Numbers 21:16
And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well whereof the LORD spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
21:10-20 We have here the removes of the children of Israel, till they came to the plains of Moab, from whence they passed over Jordan into Canaan. The end of their pilgrimage was near. They set forward. It were well if we did thus; and the nearer we come to heaven, were so much the more active and abundant in the work of the Lord. The wonderful success God granted to his people, is here spoken of, and, among the rest, their actions on the river Arnon, at Vaheb in Suphah, and other places on that river. In every stage of our lives, nay, in every step, we should notice what God has wrought for us; what he did at such a time, and what in such a place, ought to be distinctly remembered. God blessed his people with a supply of water. When we come to heaven, we shall remove to the well of life, the fountain of living waters. They received it with joy and thankfulness, which made the mercy doubly sweet. With joy must we draw water out of the wells of salvation, Isa 12:3. As the brazen serpent was a figure of Christ, who is lifted up for our cure, so is this well a figure of the Spirit, who is poured forth for our comfort, and from whom flow to us rivers of living waters, Joh 7:38,39. Does this well spring up in our souls? If so, we should take the comfort to ourselves, and give the glory to God. God promised to give water, but they must open the ground. God's favours must be expected in the use of such means as are within our power, but still the power is only of God.Beer is probably the "Well," afterward known as Beer-elim, the "well of heroes" Isaiah 15:8. 16. from thence they went to Beer—that is, a "well." The name was probably given to it afterwards [see Jud 9:21], as it is not mentioned (Nu 33:1-56). Beer, and Mattanah, Nahaliel, and Bamoth named here, Numbers 21:19, are not mentioned among those places where they pitched or encamped, Num 33. Either therefore they did not pitch or encamp in these places, but only pass by or through them, nor indeed is it here said they pitched or encamped in these places, which is said of those places, Num 33, but only that they went to them, Numbers 21:18; or, these are stations omitted there, and to be supplied from hence; for though it be there said they went from such a place, and pitched in such a place, yet it is not said they went immediately from the one place to the other, and therefore they might take these places in their way.

Will give them water, to wit, in a miraculous manner.

And from thence they went to Beer,.... A place so called from a well which sprung up here, of which the following account is given:

that is, the well whereof the Lord spake unto Moses; promising him to give it to the children of Israel, without asking for it; which was a very singular favour, and for which they were thankful: saying to him:

gather the people together, and I will give them water; for as they were now gone from the river Arnon, and the streams and brooks of it, they might be in want of water, though they did not murmur as they had been used to do; and without their petition for it, the Lord promises to give it to them; and that they might be witness of the miracle that would be wrought for them, they are ordered to be gathered together.

And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well whereof the LORD spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. The journey in a westerly, or north-westerly, direction is here begun.

Beer] The name means a ‘well’ (R.V. marg.). It is probably an abbreviation of a compound name; cf. Beer-sheba. A place called Beer-elim in Moab is mentioned in Isaiah 15:8, but whether Beer is to be identified with that is not known.

Verse 16. - And from thence... to Beer. A well; so named, no doubt, from the circumstance here recorded. That they were told to dig for water instead of receiving it from the rock showed the end to be at hand, and the transition shortly to be made from miraculous to natural supplies. Numbers 21:16They proceeded thence to Beer (a well), a place of encampment which received its name from the fact that here God gave the people water, not as before by a miraculous supply from a rock, but by commanding wells to be dug. This is evident from the ode with which the congregation commemorated this divine gift of grace. "Then Israel sang this song: Spring up, O well! Sing ye to it! Well which princes dug, which the nobles of the people hollowed out, with the sceptre, with their staves." ענה, as in Exodus 15:21 and Exodus 32:18. מחקק, ruler's staff, cf. Genesis 49:10. Beer, probably the same as Beer Elim (Isaiah 15:8), on the north-east of Moab, was in the desert; for the Israelites proceeded thence "from the desert to Mattanah" (Numbers 21:18), thence to Nahaliel, and thence to Bamoth. According to Eusebius (cf. Reland, Pal. ill. p. 495), Mattanah (Μαθθανέμ) was by the valley of the Arnon, twelve Roman miles to the east (or more properly south-east or south) of Medabah, and is probably to be seen in Tedun, a place now lying in ruins, near the source of the Lejum (Burckhardt, pp. 635, 636; Hengstenberg, Balaam, p. 530; Knobel, and others). The name of Nahaliel is still retained in the form Encheileh. This is the name given to the Lejum, after it has been joined by the Balua, until its junction with the Saide (Burckhardt, p. 635). Consequently the Israelites went from Beer in the desert, in a north-westerly direction to Tedun, then westwards to the northern bank of the Encheileh, and then still farther in a north-westerly and northerly direction to Bamoth. There can be no doubt that Bamoth is identical with Bamoth Baal, i.e., heights of Baal (Numbers 22:4). According to Joshua 13:17 (cf. Isaiah 15:2), Bamoth was near to Dibon (Dibn), between the Wady Wale and Wady Mojeb, and also to Beth-Baal Meon, i.e., Myun, half a German mile (2 1/2 English) to the south of Heshbon; and, according to Numbers 22:41, you could see Bamoth Baal from the extremity of the Israelitish camp in the steppes of Moab. Consequently Bamoth cannot be the mountain to the south of Wady Wale, upon the top of which Burckhardt says there is a very beautiful plain (p. 632; see Hengstenberg, Balaam, p. 532); because the steppes of Moab cannot be seen at all from this plain, as they are covered by the Jebel Attarus. It is rather a height upon the long mountain Attarus, which runs along the southern shore of the Zerka Maein, and may possibly be a spot upon the summit of the Jebel Attarus, "the highest point in the neighbourhood," upon which, according to Burckhardt (p. 630), there is "a heap of stones overshadowed by a very large pistachio-tree." A little farther down to the south-west of this lies the fallen town Kereijat (called Krriat by Seetzen, ii. p. 342), i.e., Kerioth, Jeremiah 48:24; Amos 2:2.
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