Deuteronomy 2:9
And the LORD said to me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give you of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar to the children of Lot for a possession.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) Distress not the Moabites . . . I have given Ar unto the children of Lot.—The children of Lot, like those of Ishmael and Esau, had their earthly inheritance before the children of Abraham.

2:8-23 We have the origin of the Moabites, Edomites, and Ammonites. Moses also gives an instance older than any of these; the Caphtorims drove the Avims out of their country. These revolutions show what uncertain things wordly possessions are. It was so of old, and ever will be so. Families decline, and from them estates are transferred to families that increase; so little continuance is there in these things. This is recorded to encourage the children of Israel. If the providence of God has done this for Moabites and Ammonites, much more would his promise do it for Israel, his peculiar people. Cautions are given not to meddle with Moabites and Ammonites. Even wicked men must not be wronged. God gives and preserves outward blessings to wicked men; these are not the best things, he has better in store for his own children.The Moabites and the Ammonites Deuteronomy 2:19 being descended from Lot, the nephew of Abraham Genesis 19:30-38, were, like the Edomites, kinsmen of the Israelites. 8-18. we passed … through the way of the plain—the Arabah or great valley, from Elath ("trees") (the Ailah of the Greeks and Romans). The site of it is marked by extensive mounds of rubbish.

Ezion-geber—now Akaba, both were within the territory of Edom; and after making a circuit of its southeastern boundary, the Israelites reached the border of Moab on the southeast of the Salt Sea. They had been forbidden by divine command to molest the Moabites in any way; and this special honor was conferred on that people not on their own account, for they were very wicked, but in virtue of their descent from Lot. (See on [113]De 23:3). Their territory comprised the fine country on the south, and partly on the north of the Arnon. They had won it by their arms from the original inhabitants, the Emims, a race, terrible, as their name imports, for physical power and stature (Ge 14:5), in like manner as the Edomites had obtained their settlement by the overthrow of the original occupiers of Seir, the Horims (Ge 14:6), who were troglodytes, or dwellers in caves. Moses alluded to these circumstances to encourage his countrymen to believe that God would much more enable them to expel the wicked and accursed Canaanites. At that time, however, the Moabites, having lost the greater part of their possessions through the usurpations of Sihon, were reduced to the small but fertile region between the Zered and the Arnon.

Ar, the chief city of the Moabites, Numbers 21:15,28, here put for the whole country, which depended upon it.

The children of Lot; so called to signify that this preservation was not for their sakes, for they were a wicked people; but for Lot’s sake, whose memory God yet honours. And the Lord said unto me,.... When upon the borders of Moab:

distress not the Moabites, neither contend with than in battle; besiege not any of their cities, nor draw them into a battle, or provoke them to fight:

for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; at least not as yet, the measure of their sins not being fully up, and the time of their punishment not come; otherwise in David's time they were subdued, and became tributaries to him, and the Edomites also, 2 Samuel 8:2,

because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession; so the Moabites were, they sprung from Moab, a son of Lot by his firstborn daughter, Genesis 19:37. Ar was the metropolis of Moab, called Ar of Moab, Isaiah 15:1 and is here put for the whole country of Moab; so Aben Ezra interprets it of Moab. Jarchi says it is the name of the province; in the Septuagint version it called Aroer.

And the LORD said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children {e} of Lot for a possession.

(e) Which were the Moabites and Ammonites.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. Vex not Moab] Treat not Moab as a foe.

neither contend with them] See on Deuteronomy 2:5.

Ar] ‘Ar (Numbers 21:15) or ‘Ar of Mo’ab (id. 28) is in these passages a township, probably the same as ‘Ir, or City of, Mo’ab, on the border of Arnon at the end of the border (JE, Numbers 22:36). Musil identifies it with the strong site and ruins of Medeyyneh on an upper tributary of the W. Môjeb or Arnon (see below on Deuteronomy 2:24; Deuteronomy 2:36) on the edge of the desert (Moab 247, 338 ff. with photo. and plan; cp. the present writer in Enc. Bibl., art. ‘Ar’ and Expositor, seventh series, vol. vii. 138 ff.). But in Syria names have been at all times apt to extend from towns, especially capitals, to their districts and vice versâ. Here ‘Ar obviously is a district: the territory of Mo’ab. So in Isaiah 15:1, LXX render ‘Ar Mo’ab by ἡ Μωαβεῖτις. At the time of Israel’s march the name would cover all the land between the W. el-Ḥsa and the W. Môjeb or Arnon, to the S, of which Mo’ab were confined by the Amorites.

children of Lot] Genesis 19:37; Psalm 83:8 (9).

Deuteronomy 2:9 is in the Sg. address and elided by Steuern. as the addition of a later hand. But some such warning as it gives in regard to the relations of Israel to Mo’ab was to be expected in this discourse, similar to that on Israel’s relations to Edom and ‘Ammon. The change to the Sg. may be due either to the fact that Moses himself is addressed or because for the moment Israel, in relation to Mo’ab, is regarded as a single whole. Sam. confirms the Heb. Sg.; but LXX has the Pl.Verse 9. - The Moabites, being the descendants of Lot, and so allied by race to the Israelites, the latter were commanded to pass through their country without offering them any injury or assault. Ar, a border-town of Moab (Numbers 21:15), here put for the country itself. It is the Areopolis of the Greeks, and was, as Jerome tells us, destroyed in a single night by an earthquake. A hill with ruins a short distance southwest from Ara'ir, is supposed to be its site. When they had gone through the Arabah to the southern extremity, the Lord commanded them to turn northwards, i.e., to go round the southern end of Mount Seir, and proceed northwards on the eastern side of it (see at Numbers 21:10), without going to war with the Edomites (התגּרה, to stir oneself up against a person to conflict, מלחמה), as He would not give them a foot-breadth of their land; for He had given Esau (the Edomites) Mount Seir for a possession. For this reason they were to buy victuals and water of them for money (כּרה, to dig, to dig water, i.e., procure water, as it was often necessary to dig wells, and not merely to draw it, Genesis 26:25. The verb כּרה does not signify to buy).
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