Judges 11:19
And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place.
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(19) Unto Sihon.Numbers 21:21; Deuteronomy 2:26-29 (where see the Commentary).

The King of Heshbon.—He was king of the Aniorites by birth, but king of Heshbon only by conquest. The town was assigned to Reuben (Numbers 32:37).

Into my place.—The conquest of the territories of Reuben, Gad, and half-Manasseh had not entered into the original plan of Israel, but had been providentially determined by the hostility of Sihon and Og (Deuteronomy 2:29). The Vulg. renders it “unto the river (usque ad fluvium).

Jdg 11:19-22. Let us pass through thy land unto my place — That is, unto the land of Canaan, which the Lord hath given me. But Sihon fought against Israel — He not only refused, after the example of his neighbours, to grant the Israelites a passage through his country, which they could not insist upon as their absolute right, but raised all his forces, and proudly marched to drive them away from his borders. So that, as Jephthah intends to signify, Sihon was the aggressor, and the Israelites were compelled to fight in their own defence. They possessed all the coasts — Or borders, together with all the land included within those borders. From the wilderness — Namely, the desert of Arabia; unto Jordan.

11:12-28 One instance of the honour and respect we owe to God, as our God, is, rightly to employ what he gives us to possess. Receive it from him, use it for him, and part with it when he calls for it. The whole of this message shows that Jephthah was well acquainted with the books of Moses. His argument was clear, and his demand reasonable. Those who possess the most courageous faith, will be the most disposed for peace, and the readiest to make advances to obtain; but rapacity and ambition often cloak their designs under a plea of equity, and render peaceful endeavours of no avail.Into my place - This expression implies that the trans-Jordanic possessions of Israel were not included in the land of Canaan properly speaking.13. the king of Ammon …, Because Israel took away my land—(See on [221]De 2:19). The subject of quarrel was a claim of right advanced by the Ammonite monarch to the lands which the Israelites were occupying. Jephthah's reply was clear, decisive, and unanswerable;—first, those lands were not in the possession of the Ammonites when his countrymen got them, and that they had been acquired by right of conquest from the Amorites [Jud 11:21]; secondly, the Israelites had now, by a lapse of three hundred years of undisputed possession, established a prescriptive right to the occupation [Jud 11:22, 23]; and thirdly, having received a grant of them from the Lord, his people were entitled to maintain their right on the same principle that guided the Ammonites in receiving, from their god Chemosh, the territory they now occupied [Jud 11:24]. This diplomatic statement, so admirable for the clearness and force of its arguments, concluded with a solemn appeal to God to maintain, by the issue of events, the cause of right and justice [Jud 11:27]. i.e. Unto the land of Canaan, which God hath given to me.

And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon,.... Which was his royal city, where he had his palace, and kept his court, and is therefore particularly mentioned; and the rather, because he had taken it from the Moabites, and was part of that land now in dispute; and this Sihon was not only in possession of, when Israel sent messengers to him, but it was his royal seat, the metropolis of his kingdom, and he was called king of it:

and Israel said unto him, let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land unto my place; the land of Canaan, prepared and reserved for them when the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, promised by the Lord to their ancestors and to them, and given unto them, who is sovereign Lord of all; and all that Israel desired of Sihon was only a passage through his land to that, promising the same as to the king of Edom; see the history of it in Numbers 21:21.

And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place.
19. Again abbreviated from JE’s narrative, Numbers 21:21-24, which is further expanded in Deuteronomy 2:26-37.

Sihon … the king of Heshbon] So frequently, e.g. Numbers 21:26, Deuteronomy 2:24; Deuteronomy 2:26; Deuteronomy 2:30; Deuteronomy 3:6; Deuteronomy 29:7, Joshua 12:5 etc. The site of Sihon’s capital is now represented by Ḥesbân (nearly 3000 ft.), finely placed among the mountains, 16 m. N.E. of the upper end of the Dead Sea, and overlooking Mt Nebo, which Isaiah 5 m. to the S.W. In later times Heshbon is referred to as a Moabite city, Isaiah 15:4; Isaiah 16:8 f., Jeremiah 48:2; Jeremiah 48:34; Jeremiah 48:45; Jeremiah 49:3; it was assigned to Reuben by the Israelites, Joshua 13:17 P.

Verse 19. - And Israel, etc. The text here follows Numbers 21:21-24 almost verbatim; but the expression, "the king of Heshbon," is from Deuteronomy 2:24, 26, 80. Judges 11:19Judges 11:19-22 are almost verbatim the same as Numbers 21:21-25. Israel then sent messengers to Sihon the king of the Amorites at Heshbon, to ask permission to pass through his land. "Into my place," i.e., into the land of Canaan, that Jehovah has appointed for me. But Sihon "trusted not Israel to pass through his land," i.e., he did not trust to the assurance of Israel that they only wanted to pass peaceably through his land, but supposed the petition to cover an intention to take forcible possession of it. (In Numbers 21:23 we have נתן לא instead of האמין לא.) He did not confine himself, therefore, to a refusal of the permission they asked for, but collected his men of war, and marched against the Israelites to the desert as far as Jahza, on the east of Medeba and Dibon (see at Numbers 21:23), and fought with them. But he was defeated, and lost all his land, from the Arnon (Mojeb) on the south to the Jabbok (Zerka) on the north, and from the desert on the east to the Jordan on the west, of which the Israelites took possession.
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