So we stayed in the valley over against Bethpeor.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)So we abode in the valley over against Beth-peor.—Moses’ burial-place, as appears by Deuteronomy 34:6. It is a significant finishing touch to the scene described above. This verse also concludes the recapitulation of Israel’s journey from Horeb (Deuteronomy 1:6) to the banks of Jordan, with which this first discourse of Moses begins. The remainder, contained in Deut. Iv., is the practical part of the discourse, which now begins.
Numbers 23:28, and also to the valley of the Jordan perhaps in the Wady Heshban. Numbers 25:3, whence this place or city had its name. Deuteronomy 34:6. So we abode in the valley over against Bethpeor.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)29. the valley over against Beth-peor] Heb. the gai = hollow, glen, ravine, inapplicable to the Jordan plain; rather one of the glens descending to this from the Moab-plateau. That suits the probable meaning of Pe‘or, gap or cleft (Ar. fughrah, ‘a river-mouth’; cp. the ‘other Phogor’ of Euseb. and Jer. near Bethlehem, the modern Kh. Fâghûr, PEF Map Sh. xvii.). Beth-Pe‘or abbrev. from Beth-Ba‘al-Pe‘or, shrine of the B. of P. (cp. Deuteronomy 4:3). This gai of Israel’s encampment, where also Moses was buried (Deuteronomy 34:6), unnamed, but defined as over against Beth-pe‘or (so too Deuteronomy 4:46), is also nameless in E, Numbers 21:20, defined as in the region of Moab, and these words are added, headland of the Pisgah that looks upon the Yeshîmon; and Numbers 23:28 gives a headland of Pe‘or that looks out upon the Yeshîmon; while Beth-Pe‘or is placed by P, Joshua 13:20, with the slopes of the Pisgah and Beth-Yeshimôth. Again Euseb. and Jer. describe Beth-phogor as near Mt Phogor opposite Jericho 6 Roman miles above Livias, the mod. Tell er-Rameh, on the Jordan plain. These data suit the identification of the gai with the W. ‘Uyûn Musa, on the N. of the Nebo or Pisgah headland (see on Deuteronomy 3:17). So Dillm., G. A. Smith (HGHL, 564) and G. B. Gray (Numbers 21:20). Further, Musil (Moab, 344 f., 348) suggests for the headland of Pe‘or the headland to the N. of W. ‘Uyûn Musa, and for Beth-Pe‘or the ruins and shrine esh-Sheikh Jâyel on one of the steps of that headland, ‘thence one gets the best view of the lower slopes and of the Jordan valley.’ The stream of the wady between these two headlands, before it reaches the Dead Sea, passes the ruins es-Sueimeh, in which there is a possible echo of Yeshimon, and Yeshimôth; and the bare district about this lies in full view of both headlands. There is, therefore, no need to read Pisgah for Pe‘or in Numbers 23:28 on the basis of Numbers 21:20. On the whole the above identification of the Gai with the W. ‘Uyun Musa is preferable to that with the next wâdy to the N., the W. Hesbân (Driver). Conder’s proposal for Beth-Pe‘or (Heth and Moab, 146), the headland by ‘Ain el Minyeh, would remove the Gai too far south.Verse 29. - In the valley over against Beth-peor; i.e. in the plains of Moab (Arboth Moab, Numbers 22:1; cf. Deuteronomy 4:46; Deuteronomy 34:6). Beth-pe'or, i.e. the house or temple of Pe'or, the Moabitish Baah There was a hill Pe'or, in the Abarim range, near to which this town was; it was opposite to Jericho, six Roman miles north of Libias (Eusebius); it was given to the tribe of Reuben (Joshua 13:20). In passing from the historical recapitulation, Moses indicates precisely the locality in which they were when this address was delivered.
Numbers 27:16, as the Lord directs him in His reply (Deuteronomy 3:28) to appoint Joshua as the leader of the people. In his prayer, Moses appealed to the manifestations of divine grace which he had already received. As the Lord had already begun to show him His greatness and His mighty hand, so might He also show him the completion of His work. The expression, "begun to show Thy greatness," relates not so much to the mighty acts of the Lord in Egypt and at the Red Sea (as in Exodus 32:11-12, and Numbers 14:13.), as to the manifestation of the divine omnipotence in the defeat of the Amorites, by which the Lord had begun to bring His people into the possession of the promised land, and had made Himself known as God, to whom there was no equal in heaven or on earth. אשׁר before אל מי (v. 24) is an explanatory and causal relative: because (quod, quia), or for. "For what God is there in heaven and on earth," etc. These words recall Exodus 15:11, and are echoed in many of the Psalms, - in Psalm 86:8 almost verbatim. The contrast drawn between Jehovah and other gods does not involve the reality of the heathen deities, but simply presupposes a belief in the existence of other gods, without deciding as to the truth of that belief. גּבוּרת, manifestations of גּבוּרה, mighty deeds.
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