Deuteronomy 4:43
Namely, Bezer in the wilderness, in the plain country, of the Reubenites; and Ramoth in Gilead, of the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, of the Manassites.
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4:41-49 Here is the introduction to another discourse, or sermon, Moses preached to Israel, which we have in the following chapters. He sets the law before them, as the rule they were to work by, the way they were to walk in. He sets it before them, as the glass in which they were to see their natural face, that, looking into this perfect law of liberty, they might continue therein. These are the laws, given when Israel was newly come out of Egypt; and they were now repeated. Moses gave these laws in charge, while they encamped over against Beth-peor, an idol place of the Moabites. Their present triumphs were a powerful argument for obedience. And we should understand our own situation as sinners, and the nature of that gracious covenant to which we are invited. Therein greater things are shown to us than ever Israel saw from mount Sinai; greater mercies are given to us than they experienced in the wilderness, or in Canaan. One speaks to us, who is of infinitely greater dignity than Moses; who bare our sins upon the cross; and pleads with us by His dying love.In the plain country - literally, "in the land of the Mishor." The word means a level tract of land; but when used (Deuteronomy 3:10; Joshua 13:9, etc.) with the article, seems to be the proper name for the smooth downs of Moab, which reach from the Jordan eastward of Jericho far into the Desert of Arabia, and which form a striking contrast alike to the rugged country west of the river, and to the higher and remarkable districts belonging to Bashan northward.

Bezer is, with little certainty, identified with Bostra, or (1 Macc. 5:36) Bosor. Golan gave the name of Gaulonitis to a district of some extent east of the sea of Galilee and north of the Hieromax; but the exact site of the city if uncertain.

41-43. Then Moses severed three cities on this side Jordan—(See on [114]Jos 20:7). No text from Poole on this verse. Namely, Bezer in the wilderness,.... In Joshua 20:8, it is added "upon the plain"; this perhaps was the wilderness of Moab, in the plains of it, the same with Bozrah, see Jeremiah 48:24 and in the Apocrypha:"Hereupon Judas and his host turned suddenly by the way of the wilderness unto Bosora; and when he had won the city, he slew all the males with the edge of the sword, and took all their spoils, and burned the city with fire,'' (1 Maccabees 5:28)it was in the

plain country of the Reubenites, or lay in that part of the country which was allotted to them, and which they gave to the Levites, 1 Chronicles 6:78,

and Ramoth in Gilead of the Gadites; it lay in that part of Mount Gilead, and among the cities of it, which fell to the share of the tribe of Gad, and was by them given to the Levites, 1 Chronicles 6:80, this city is frequently in Scripture called Ramothgilead; see 1 Kings 4:13.

and Golan in Bashan, of the Manassites, or "Gaulon", as the Septuagint, and from hence the country round about was called Gaulanitis; all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, was given to the half tribe of Manasseh, and out of it this city was given by them to the Levites, 1 Chronicles 6:71, and appointed a city of refuge: now as these cities were typical of Christ, there may be something observed in the names of them as agreeing with him. "Bezer" signifies "a fortified place"; Christ is the fortress, mountain, and place of defence for his people, and strong hold to which the prisoners of hope turn, the strong tower whither the righteous run and are safe. "Ramoth" signifies "exaltations"; which may point both at the exaltation of Christ in human nature at the right hand of God, and the exaltation of his people by him, who are raised by him from a low estate to sit among princes, and to inherit the throne of glory, and by whom he is exalted in his person, office, and grace. "Golan" signifies "revealed" or" manifested": so Christ has been manifest in the flesh, and is revealed to sinners, when they are called by his grace; to whom they flee for refuge, and lay hold on him, the hope set before them.

Namely, Bezer in the wilderness, in the plain country, of the Reubenites; and Ramoth in Gilead, of the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, of the Manassites.
43. Bezer] Beṣer; described, as here, in Joshua 20:8; and in Joshua 21:36 along with Yahaṣ, Ḳedemoth, and Mepha‘ath. The name also occurs on the Moabite stone, line 27. No modern equivalent has been recovered. The meaning of the name is the general one of wall or fence.

Ramoth in Gilead] Joshua 20:8; Joshua 21:38 (with Maḥanaim), Ramoth of Gilead, 1 Kings 4:13, etc. It has been variously identified with Es-Salṭ (because of the military and administrative importance of this site, and the statement of Eusebius and Jerome that Ramoth Gilead lay 15 Roman miles W. of Philadelphia = Rabbath-‘Ammon), and with the ruins called el-Jal‘ûd, 6 miles N. of es-Salṭ. The Biblical data, however, imply a site N. of the Jabboḳ. Some have fixed on Jerash, but a site still further N. seems necessary. There Gadara (because it must always have been a fortress of importance, debateable between Israel and Aram, and because it is not otherwise mentioned in the O.T.) and Remtheh (both because of its position and its name) seem most suitable. Salḥad has been suggested, but it lies too far E., and its own name was too well known. See further HGHL 587 f., G. A. Cooke in Driver’s Deuteronomy (3rd ed.), Add. p. xx; Cheyne, E. B. 4014 ff.

Golan] Joshua 20:8; Joshua 21:27. The Γαυλάνη of Josephus (XIII. Ant. xv. 3; 1 B.J. iv. 4, 8) was in Eusebius’ time ‘a very large village in Batanea.’ To-day the name Jaulân corresponds to the Γαυλανῖτις of the Greek period, E. of the Lake of Galilee and between the Yarmûk and Ḥermon. Schumacher identifies the town with the modern Saḥem-el-Jaulan, 17 miles E. of the Lake. See HGHL 444 n. 2, 536, 553.Verse 43. - Names of the cities set apart. Bezer; LXX. βοσόρ; one of the cities of the plain or table-land of the Amorites, on the east of Jordan (Deuteronomy 3:10; Joshua 20:8), afterwards a Levitical city in the tribe of Reuben (Joshua 21:36). It is probably the Bosor of I Macc. 5:36; it has not been identified with any existing locality, but the ruined heaps of Burazin to the east of Hesban, or those of Berza in the same district, may mark its site. Ramoth in Gilead; probably the same as Ramoth-mizpeh (Joshua 13:26); it lay to the northwest of Philadelphia (Rabba or Rabbath-Ammon, hod. Amman), on the Jabbok ('Onom.,' s.v." Rammoth" and "Remmoth"); a Levitical city in the tribe of Gad (Joshua 21:38), hod. Es Salt, six hours from Amman (Von Raumer, Porter). Golan in Bashan. Eusebius identifies this with Gaulon, a very large village in Batanaea, from which the surrounding region had its name, viz. Gaulonitis, hod. Jolan ('Onom.,' s.v. "Gau-lon "); it was a Levitical city in the tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 21:27; 1 Chronicles 6:71); it has not been identified.

All this He did from love to the fathers of Israel (the patriarchs): "and indeed because He loved thy fathers, He chose his seed (the seed of Abraham, the first of the patriarchs) after him, and brought thee (Israel) out of Egypt by His face with great power, to drive out...and to bring thee, to give thee their that thou mightest know and take to heart...and keep His laws," etc. With regard to the construction of these verses, the clause כּי ותחת (and because) in Deuteronomy 4:37 is not to be regarded as dependent upon what precedes, as Schultz supposes; nor are Deuteronomy 4:37 and Deuteronomy 4:38 to be taken as the protasis, and Deuteronomy 4:39, Deuteronomy 4:40 as the apodosis (as Knobel maintains). Both forms of construction are forced and unnatural. The verses form an independent thought; and the most important point, which was to bind Israel to faithfulness towards Jehovah, is given as the sum and substance of the whole address, and placed as a protasis at the head of the period. The only thing that admits of dispute, is whether the apodosis commences with ויּבחר ("He chose," Deuteronomy 4:37), or only with ויּוצאך ("brought thee out"). Either is possible; and it makes no difference, so far as the main thought is concerned, whether we regard the choice of Israel, or simply the deliverance from Egypt, in which that choice was carried into practical effect, as the consequence of the love of Jehovah to the patriarchs. - The copula ו before תהת is specially emphatic, "and truly," and indicates that the sum and substance of the whole discourse is about to follow, or the one thought in which the whole appeal culminates. It was the love of God to the fathers, not the righteousness of Israel (Deuteronomy 9:5), which lay at the foundation of the election of their posterity to be the nation of Jehovah's possession, and also of all the miracles of grace which were performed in connection with their deliverance out of Egypt. Moses returns to this thought again at Deuteronomy 10:15, for the purpose of impressing it upon the minds of the people as the one motive which laid them under the strongest obligation to circumcise the foreskin of their heart, and walk in the fear and love of the Lord their God (Deuteronomy 10:12.). - The singular suffixes in זרעו (his seed) and אחריו after him) refer to Abraham, whom Moses had especially in his mind when speaking of "thy fathers," because he was pre-eminently the lover of God (Isaiah 41:8; 2 Chronicles 20:7), and also the beloved or friend of God (James 2:23; cf. Genesis 18:17.). "By His face" points back to Exodus 33:14. The face of Jehovah was Jehovah in His personal presence, in His won person, who brought Israel out of Egypt, to root out great and mighty nations before it, and give it their land for an inheritance. "As this day" (clearly shows), viz., by the destruction of Sihon and Og, which gave to the Israelites a practical pledge that the Canaanites in like manner would be rooted out before them. The expression "as this day" does not imply, therefore, that the Canaanites were already rooted out from their land.
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