Deuteronomy 3:1
Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.
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(1) Then.—In the Hebrew, a simple And. The history of this movement is given in Numbers 21:32-33. For Edrei, see Numbers 21:33, from which this whole verse is repeated.

Deuteronomy 3:1. Og, the king of Bashan, came out against us — As a further encouragement to the Israelites to confide in the power and faithfulness of God, Moses proceeds to remind them of the wonderful success they had had against Og, who appears to have been the first aggressor, Numbers 21:33.3:1-11 Og was very powerful, but he did not take warning by the ruin of Sihon, and desire conditions of peace. He trusted his own strength, and so was hardened to his destruction. Those not awakened by the judgments of God on others, ripen for the like judgments on>Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon - Aroer stood on the north bank of the river, and was assigned Joshua 13:9, Joshua 13:16 to the tribe of Reuben, of which it formed the most southerly city. The valley of the Arnon is here deep, and the descent to it abrupt. In Roman times it was spanned by a viaduct, the ruins of which still remain, and which was probably built on the lines of the original structure of Mesha 2 Kings 3:5. Aroer here must not be confounded with "Aroer, which is before Rabbah" Joshua 13:25. This latter place was "built," "i. e." rebuilt, by the Gadites Numbers 32:34; it belonged to that tribe, and was consequently far to the north of the Arnon. A third Aroer in the tribe of Judah is mentioned in 1 Samuel 30:28.

"The city that is by the river," literally, "in the midst of the river" (compare Joshua 13:9, Joshua 13:16) is Ar Moab (compare Numbers 21:15 note).


De 3:1-20. Conquest of Og, King of Bashan.

1. we turned, and went up the way to Bashan—Bashan ("fruitful" or "flat"), now El-Bottein, lay situated to the north of Gilead and extended as far as Hermon. It was a rugged mountainous country, valuable however for its rich and luxuriant pastures.

Og the king of Bashan came out against us—Without provocation, he rushed to attack the Israelites, either disliking the presence of such dangerous neighbors, or burning to avenge the overthrow of his friends and allies.Their march to Bashan, Deu 3:1. Og its king is put to flight; they possess his land, Deu 3:2-11; which is distributed to two tribes and half, Deu 3:12-17; who are commanded to assist their brethren to possess the land beyond Jordan, Deu 3:18-20. Moses encourages Joshua, Deu 3:21,22. His prayer to go into the promised land Deu 3:23-25. God grants not his request, Deu 3:26. He gives him a prospect of it, Deu 3:27; and bids him encourage Joshua, Deu 3:28.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Then we turned and went up the way to Bashan,.... Which seems to have been higher than the kingdom of Sihon: this was a fine country for pasturage, for the breeding of cattle, larger and lesser, and was famous for its oaks: it is the same country which in Josephus and others goes by the name of Batanea:

and Og the king of Bashan came out against us; got his forces together, and came out from Ashteroth, the royal city where he dwelt:

he and all his people, to battle at Edrei; another city in his kingdom, about six miles from the former; see Deuteronomy 1:4.

Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan {a} came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.

(a) Therefore aside from the commandment of the Lord, they had just cause to fight against him.

1. turned, and went up] See on Deuteronomy 1:7.

Bashan] Heb. the Bashan, so in all historical statements and sometimes in poetry in which however the article is oftener omitted (HGHL, 549 n. 7). In its wider sense the name covered all the land from the. Yarmûk to Ḥermon, Deuteronomy 4:43, Deuteronomy 33:22. But its proper application was confined to the land immediately N. of the Yarmûk and E. of Geshur and Ma‘akah, the present Jaulan (see below Deuteronomy 3:14, Deuteronomy 4:43): the S. end of Ḥauran, including ‘Ashtaroth (perhaps Tell el ‘Ashari) on the W., Edre‘i on the S. and Salkah on the S.E. (Deuteronomy 1:4, Deuteronomy 3:10, Joshua 9:10; Joshua 12:4; Joshua 13:11 f., 31), the district known in Greek times as Batanea, and in the 10th century still called ‘Ard-el-Bathaniyeh, containing Edre‘i (Idrisi); but to-day the name has drifted N.E. to the E. of the Lejá. Ar. Bathnah means level, loamy land (Freytag) and suits the region. See HGHL, 549, 553, 570 f.

Og] The name ‘Og, LXX Ιώγ and Ὤγ, does not occur except as that of the king of Bashan; the root meaning ‘curved’ or ‘round’ supplies some Ar. geographical names. W. R. Smith (Rel. of the Sem. 83) arguing that in Heb. a king’s name is usually joined with that of his people or of his capital (e.g. Sîḥôn, king of the Amorites, or of Ḥeshbon) and that ‘Ôg’s is the only exception, takes ‘Ôg ‘who is a mythical figure’ as presumably ‘an old god of the region.’

Edrei] Edre‘i on the S. frontier of Bashan (Deuteronomy 3:10), the Otara‘a of Egyptian inscriptions, Adra of Ptolemy, Adraa of Euseb., now Edhra‘at, Dera‘at or on Bedawee lips ’Azra‘at, a strong site on the S. edge of the gorge that forms the S. limit of Ḥauran, and further entrenched by a tributary ravine. In the rock beneath the walled city, a labyrinth of streets with houses and shops was excavated. That this marvel is not mentioned in the O.T. proves it of later date, and indeed its architecture and inscriptions point to the Greek period: HGHL, 576, ZDPV, xx. 118 ff. On the only possible remains in Bashan of ‘Ôg’s time see Driver, Deut., in loco.Verses 1-11. - CONQUEST OF OG, KING OF BASHAN. The Amorites had wrested from Moab a portion of the territory taken by the Moabites and the Edomites from the giant aborigines; and Og, who was of the same giant race, ruled over the northern half of the region of Gilead and over all Bashan. This district also God purposed Israel to possess; and therefore, before crossing the Jordan, a diversion was made north. wards by the Israelites, for the purpose of attacking this powerful chief. Og encountered them with all his host, but was signally defeated, and he and all his people were exterminated. Not fewer than three score fortified cities, besides villages, were captured by the Israelites, the whole country was subjugated, and all the cattle and material property taken as booty (cf. Numbers 21:33-35). Verse 1. - (Cf. Numbers 21:33 ) We turned - i.e. took a new route - and went up (וַנַּעַל, and we ascended). As Bashan was an upland region, they are very properly said to have gone up. Edrei, hod. Draa, with Roman and Arabian ruins, nearly three miles in circumference, but without inhabitants; not the same as the Edrei of ver. 10. Defeat of Sihon, as already described in the main in Numbers 21:23-26. The war was a war of extermination, in which all the towns were laid under the ban (see Leviticus 27:29), i.e., the whole of the population of men, women, and children were put to death, and only the flocks and herds and material possessions were taken by the conquerors as prey.
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