Deuteronomy 2:31
And the LORD said to me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before you: begin to possess, that you may inherit his land.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(31) Behold, I have begun to give Sihon.—Notice that in all the conquests of Israel Jehovah gave the order to begin the attack. (See Deuteronomy 7:2, and Note on Joshua 13:1.)

2:24-37 God tried his people, by forbidding them to meddle with the rich countries of Moab and Ammon. He gives them possession of the country of the Amorites. If we keep from what God forbids, we shall not lose by our obedience. The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; and he gives it to whom he pleases; but when there is no express direction, none can plead his grant for such proceedings. Though God assured the Israelites that the land should be their own, yet they must contend with the enemy. What God gives we must endeavour to get. What a new world did Israel now come into! Much more joyful will the change be, which holy souls will experience, when they remove out of the wilderness of this world to the better country, that is, the heavenly, to the city that has foundations. Let us, by reflecting upon God's dealings with his people Israel, be led to meditate upon our years spent in vanity, through our transgressions. But happy are those whom Jesus has delivered from the wrath to come. To whom he hath given the earnest of his Spirit in their hearts. Their inheritance cannot be affected by revolutions of kingdoms, or changes in earthly possessions.Kedemoth - literally, "Easternmost parts;" the name of a town afterward assigned to the Reubenites, and given out of that tribe to the Levites. Compare Joshua 13:18; 1 Chronicles 6:79. 24-36. Rise ye up … and pass over the river Arnon—At its mouth, this stream is eighty-two feet wide and four deep. It flows in a channel banked by perpendicular cliffs of sandstone. At the date of the Israelitish migration to the east of the Jordan, the whole of the fine country lying between the Arnon and the Jabbok including the mountainous tract of Gilead, had been seized by the Amorites, who, being one of the nations doomed to destruction (see De 7:2; 20:16), were utterly exterminated. Their country fell by right of conquest into the hands of the Israelites. Moses, however, considering this doom as referring solely to the Amorite possessions west of Jordan, sent a pacific message to Sihon, requesting permission to go through his territories, which lay on the east of that river. It is always customary to send messengers before to prepare the way; but the rejection of Moses' request by Sihon and his opposition to the advance of the Israelites (Nu 21:23; Jud 11:26) drew down on himself and his Amorite subjects the predicted doom on the first pitched battlefield with the Canaanites. It secured to Israel not only the possession of a fine and pastoral country, but, what was of more importance to them, a free access to the Jordan on the east. No text from Poole on this verse. And the Lord said unto me,.... After or about the time when the messengers were sent to Sihon, perhaps when they had returned and had brought his answer:

behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee; by hardening his heart, which was a sure token of his ruin, and a leading step to the delivery of him into the hands of Israel:

begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land; move towards it and enter into it, not fearing any opposition made by him.

And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
31. deliver up before thee] See Deuteronomy 1:8. The Sg. is retained as original by Steuern. presumably on the ground of its being addressed to Moses.

Sihon] LXX. Sam. add king of Ḥeshbon, the Amorite.Verses 31-37. - God had determined to give Sihon and his land to the Israelites, and so certainly should this be done, that Moses is exhorted already to begin to seize, in order to possess the land. Sihon initiated hostilities by coming out with all his host to fight against Moses and the Israelites. The battle took place at Jahaz (or Jahazah, or Jahza), a town between Medeba and Dibon (Euseb.; cf. Numbers 33:45), afterwards belonging to the tribe of Reuben (Joshua 13:18), and assigned to the Levites of the line of Merari (Joshua 21:36; 1 Chronicles 6:78). The war was one of extermination, in which all the people of Sihon were destroyed, from one cad of his dominion to the other; all his cities were devoted irredeemably (comp. Leviticus 27:29), and only the cattle and the material property were preserved as booty by the conquerors (Numbers 21:23-26). The Help of God in the Conquest of the Kingdom of Sihon. - Deuteronomy 2:24. Whereas the Israelites were not to make war upon the kindred tribes of Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites, or drive them out of the possessions given to them by God; the Lord had given the Amorites, who had forced as way into Gilead and Bashan, into their hands.

Deuteronomy 2:24-25

While they were encamped on the Arnon, the border of the Amoritish king of Sihon, He directed them to cross this frontier and take possession of the land of Sihon, and promised that He would give this king with all his territory into their hands, and that henceforward ("this day," the day on which Israel crossed the Arnon) He would put fear and terror of Israel upon all nations under the whole heaven, so that as soon as they heard the report of Israel they would tremble and writhe before them. רשׁ החל, "begin, take," an oratorical expression for "begin to take" (רשׁ in pause for רשׁ, Deuteronomy 1:21). The expression, "all nations under the whole heaven," is hyperbolical; it is not to be restricted, however, to the Canaanites and other neighbouring tribes, but, according to what follows, to be understood as referring to all nations to whom the report of the great deeds of the Lord upon and on behalf of Israel should reach (cf. Deuteronomy 11:25 and Exodus 23:27). אשׁר, so that (as in Genesis 11:7; Genesis 13:16; Genesis 22:14). וחלוּ, with the accent upon the last syllable, on account of the ו consec. (Ewald, 234, a.), from חוּל, to twist, or writhe with pain, here with anxiety.

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