Deuteronomy 34:3
And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.
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(3) And the southi.e., the Negeb.

And the plaini.e., the plain of Jordan.

The valley of Jericho.—The city of palm trees may or may not be identical with that place.

34:1-4 Moses seemed unwilling to leave his work; but that being finished, he manifested no unwillingness to die. God had declared that he should not enter Canaan. But the Lord also promised that Moses should have a view of it, and showed him all that good land. Such a sight believers now have, through grace, of the bliss and glory of their future state. Sometimes God reserves the brightest discoveries of his grace to his people to support their dying moments. Those may leave this world with cheerfulness, who die in the faith of Christ, and in the hope of heaven.Unto Zoar - Compare Genesis 19:22. CHAPTER 34

De 34:1-12. Moses from Mount Nebo Views the Land.

1. Moses went up from the plains of Moab—This chapter appears from internal evidence to have been written subsequently to the death of Moses, and it probably formed, at one time, an introduction to the Book of Joshua.

unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah—literally, the head or summit of the Pisgah; that is, the height (compare Nu 23:14; De 3:17-27; 4:49). The general name given to the whole mountain range east of Jordan, was Abarim (compare De 32:49), and the peak to which Moses ascended was dedicated to the heathen Nebo, as Balaam's standing place had been consecrated to Peor. Some modern travellers have fixed on Jebel Attarus, a high mountain south of the Jabbok (Zurka), as the Nebo of this passage [Burckhardt, Seetzen, &c.]. But it is situated too far north for a height which, being described as "over against Jericho," must be looked for above the last stage of the Jordan.

the Lord showed him all the land of Gilead—That pastoral region was discernible at the northern extremity of the mountain line on which he stood, till it ended, far beyond his sight in Dan. Westward, there were on the horizon, the distant hills of "all Naphtali." Coming nearer, was "the land of Ephraim and Manasseh." Immediately opposite was "all the land of Judah," a title at first restricted to the portion of this tribe, beyond which were "the utmost sea" (the Mediterranean) and the Desert of the "South." These were the four great marks of the future inheritance of his people, on which the narrative fixes our attention. Immediately below him was "the circle" of the plain of Jericho, with its oasis of palm trees; and far away on his left, the last inhabited spot before the great desert "Zoar." The foreground of the picture alone was clearly discernible. There was no miraculous power of vision imparted to Moses. That he should see all that is described is what any man could do, if he attained sufficient elevation. The atmosphere of the climate is so subtle and free from vapor that the sight is carried to a distance of which the beholder, who judges from the more dense air of Europe, can form no idea [Vere Monro]. But between him and that "good land," the deep valley of the Jordan intervened; "he was not to go over thither."

i.e. The south quarter of thee land of Judah, which is towards the Salt Sea, which is described Numbers 34:3-5 Joshua 15:1-4, as the western quarter of Judah was described in the words next foregoing. The plain of the valley of Jericho; or, in which lies Jericho; which was in the tribe of Benjamin.

The city of palm trees, i.e. Jericho, so called both here and Judges 1:16 3:13 2 Chronicles 28:15, from the multitude of palm trees which were in those parts, as Josephus and Strabo write; from whence and the balm there growing it was called

Jericho, which signifies odoriferous, or sweet-smelling.

And the south,.... The southern part of the land, even all of it; and having shown him that, he is directed eastward to take a view of

the plain of the valley of Jericho; which lay before him, a delightful plain; see Joshua 5:10,

the city of palm trees; so Jericho was called, because of the multitude of palm trees which grew there, and which Josephus not only testifies (r), who speaks of it as a plain planted with palm trees, and from whence balsam comes; but several Heathen writers: Pliny says (s) Jericho was set with palm trees; Diodorus Siculus (t) speaks of the country about Jericho as abounding with palm trees, and in a certain valley, meaning the vale or plains of Jericho, is produced that which is called balsam; so Strabo says (u), Jericho is a plain surrounded with mountains abounding with palm trees, where there is a plantation of palm trees, with other fruit trees, the space of a hundred furlongs:

unto Zoar; near the salt sea; see Genesis 19:22.

(r) De Bello Jud. l. 1. c. 18. sect. 5. & l. 4. c. 8. sect. 2.((s) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 14. (t) Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 132. (u) Geograph. l. 16. p. 525.

And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.
3. the South] Heb. the Negeb, see on Deuteronomy 1:7.

the Plain] Heb. kikkar, the root meaning of which, to judge from its use alike for a district, a loaf and a weight, must be round or oval. Render the Round: here in apposition (delete of) to the Biḳ‘ah (lit. space cleft or laid open between hills, HGHL 385, 654 f.), or Valley, of Jericho; called also the kikkar of Jordan, Genesis 13:10 f., 1 Kings 7:46. If (as the present writer still holds, cp. HGHL 505 ff.) the overwhelmed Cities of the Kikkar (Genesis 13:12; Genesis 19:29) lay not at the N., but at the S., end of the Dead Sea, the name the Kikkar, like the Ar. ghor to-day, was applied to the ‘Arabah at both ends of that sea.

the city of palm trees] Jdg 1:16; Jdg 3:13; 2 Chronicles 28:15. The district of Jericho was celebrated for its palms from a remote antiquity down to Roman times, and even to those of the Crusades. See for details HGHL 266 and note 4.

unto Zoar] The position of this town, S. of the Dead Sea, is strongly attested, HGHL 506 f. The present passage is not decisive, for it is uncertain whether unto Zoar refers only to the Valley of Jericho, or to the whole of the southern regions included in the v.

The originality of this geographical list is doubtful. Sam. has instead the ideal description of the Promised Land, from the River of Egypt unto the Great River, the River Euphrates, and unto the Western Sea.

Deuteronomy 34:3And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, After blessing the people, Moses ascended Mount Nebo, according to the command of God (Deuteronomy 32:48-51), and there the Lord showed him, in all its length and breadth, that promised land into which he was not to enter. From Nebo, a peak of Pisgah, which affords a very extensive prospect on all sides, he saw the land of Gilead, the land to the east of the Jordan as far as Dan, i.e., not Laish-Dan near the central source of the Jordan (Judges 18:27), which did not belong to Gilead, but a Dan in northern Peraea, which has not yet been discovered (see at Genesis 14:14); and the whole of the land on the west of the Jordan, Canaan proper, in all its different districts, namely, "the whole of Naphtali," i.e., the later Galilee on the north, "the land of Ephraim and Manasseh" in the centre, and "the whole of the land of Judah," the southern portion of Canaan, in all its breadth, "to the hinder (Mediterranean) sea" (see Deuteronomy 11:24); also "the south land" (Negeb: see at Numbers 13:17), the southern land of steppe towards the Arabian desert, and "the valley of the Jordan" (see Genesis 13:10), i.e., the deep valley from Jericho the palm-city (so called from the palms which grew there, in the valley of the Jordan: Judges 1:16; Judges 3:13; 2 Chronicles 28:15) "to Zoar" at the southern extremity of the Dead Sea (see at Genesis 19:22). This sight of every part of the land on the east and west was not an ecstatic vision, but a sight with the bodily eyes, whose natural power of vision was miraculously increased by God, to give Moses a glimpse at least of the glorious land which he was not to tread, and delight his eye with a view of the inheritance intended for his people.
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