Matthew Poole's Commentary
Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.Their march to Bashan, Deu 3:1. Og its king is put to flight; they possess his land, Deu 3:2-11; which is distributed to two tribes and half, Deu 3:12-17; who are commanded to assist their brethren to possess the land beyond Jordan, Deu 3:18-20. Moses encourages Joshua, Deu 3:21,22. His prayer to go into the promised land Deu 3:23-25. God grants not his request, Deu 3:26. He gives him a prospect of it, Deu 3:27; and bids him encourage Joshua, Deu 3:28.
No text from Poole on this verse.
And the LORD said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.Fear him not, though he be of so frightful a look and stature, Deu 3:11.
So the LORD our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining.No text from Poole on this verse.
And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan.Argob; a province within Bashan, or at least subject and belonging to Bashan, as appears from Deu 3:13 1 Kings 4:13; called Argob possibly from the name of a man, its former lord and owner.
All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many.High walls, gates, and bars; which may encourage you in your attempt upon Canaan, notwithstanding the fenced cities which the spies told you of, and you must expect to find.
And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city.No text from Poole on this verse.
But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities, we took for a prey to ourselves.No text from Poole on this verse.
And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land that was on this side Jordan, from the river of Arnon unto mount Hermon;On this side Jordan; so it was when Moses wrote this book, but afterward, when Israel passed over Jordan, it was called the land beyond Jordan.
(Which Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion; and the Amorites call it Shenir;)Elsewhere called Mount Gilead, and Libanus or Lebanon, and here
Shenir, and Sirion, and, by abbreviation, Sion, Deu 4:48; which several names are given to this one mountain, partly by several people, and partly in regard of several tops and parts of it, whence
Shenir and Hermon are mentioned as distinct places, Song of Solomon 4:8.
All the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, unto Salchah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.Gilead is sometimes taken largely for all the Israelites’ possessions beyond Jordan, and so it comprehends Bashan, but here more strictly for that part of it which lies in and near Mount Gilead, and so it is distinguished from Bashan and Argob.
For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.The other giants of Bashan were destroyed before; and therefore when Og was killed, the Israelites’ work was done.
In Rabbath of the children of Ammon; where it might now be, either because the Ammonites in some former-battle with Og had taken it as a spoil; or because after Og’s death the Ammonites desired to have this monument of his greatness, and the Israelites permitted them to carry it away to their chief city.
After the cubit of a man, to wit, of ordinary stature. So his bed was four yards and a half long, and two yards broad.
And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.No text from Poole on this verse.
Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi; and called them after his own name, Bashanhavothjair, unto this day.Geshuri, or Geshurites, a people towards the north of Canaan, 2 Samuel 3:3 15:8. See also Joshua 13:13. Maachathi; of whom see 2 Samuel 3:3 10:6. Unto this day: this must be put among those other passages which were not written by Moses, but added by those holy men who digested the books of Moses into this order, and inserted some very few passages to accommodate things to their own time and people.
And I gave Gilead unto Machir.i.e. The half part of Gilead, as appears from Deu 3:12,13. See Poole "Numbers 32:40". Unto Machir, i.e. unto the children of Machir son of Manasseh, for Machir was now dead.
And unto the Reubenites and unto the Gadites I gave from Gilead even unto the river Arnon half the valley, and the border even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon;Half the valley, or rather to the middle of the river; for the word rendered half signifies commonly middle; and the same Hebrew word signifying both a valley and a brook or river, it seems more reasonable to understand it of a river, as the same word is here rendered in the next foregoing clause of this verse, than of a valley, which was not mentioned before, especially seeing there is here an article added which seems to be emphatical, and to note that river, to wit, now mentioned. Add to this, that there was no such valley, much less any half valley, belonging both unto the Reubenites and Gadites. But according to the other translation the sense is plain and agreeable to the truth, that their land extended from Gilead unto Aroer, and, to speak exactly, to the middle of that river; for as that river was the border between them and others, so one half of it belonged to them, as the other half did to others. And that this is no subtle device, as some may think it, but the truth of the thing, and the real meaning of the place, will appear by comparing this place with two others:
1. With Joshua 12:2, where the same thing is expressed in the same words in the Hebrew which are here, though our translators render the selfsame words there from the middle of the river, which here they render half of the valley; and where the bounds of Sihon’s kingdom, which was the same portion there mentioned as given to Reuben and Gad, are thus described, from Aroer, which is upon the bank of the river of Arnon, and from the middle of the river, and from half Gilead, even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon.
2. With Deu 2:36, From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, or rather, as the Hebrew hath it, in the river, i.e. from Ar, which was the chief city of the Moabites, and therefore denied to the Israelites, as is here implied, and more fitly expressed, Deu 2:9, which city was seated in an island in the middle of the river. So that here we have a just and full reason why the border of this land given to Reuben and Gad is so nicely and critically described there, even to the middle of a river, which although in truth and strictness it be the bound of those lands which are divided by a river, yet is not usually expressed in the description of borders, either in Scripture or other authors, because here was an eminent city of the Moabites in the middle of this river, which by this curious and exact description is excepted from their possession, as God would have it to be. And the border even unto the river Jabbok: the meaning seems to be this, and the border, to wit, of their land, was, which verb substantive is commonly understood, or went forth, (as the phrase is, Joshua 15:6,7, &c.,) from thence, to wit, from the river Arnon, even unto the river Jabbok, for so indeed their border did proceed. Which is the border of the children of Ammon. Object. This was the border between them and the Manassites, as is evident, and therefore not the border of the Ammonites.
Answ. It bordered upon the Manassites in one part, and upon the Ammonites in another part, to wit, in that part which is remoter from Jordan, and so both are true.
The plain also, and Jordan, and the coast thereof, from Chinnereth even unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, under Ashdothpisgah eastward.The plain; the low country towards Jordan.
Chinnereth; of which see on Numbers 34:11 Joshua 12:3.
The sea of the plain, i.e. that salt sea, as it here follows, which before that dreadful conflagration was a goodly plain, called the plain of Jordan, Genesis 13:10. Ashdoth-pisgah; the proper name of a city, of which Joshua 13:20.
And I commanded you at that time, saying, The LORD your God hath given you this land to possess it: ye shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all that are meet for the war.I commanded you, to wit, the Reubenites and Gadites, mentioned Deu 3:16, to whom he now turns his speech by an apostrophe.
Meet for the war; in such number as your brethren shall judge necessary. See Joshua 1:14 4:13.
But your wives, and your little ones, and your cattle, (for I know that ye have much cattle,) shall abide in your cities which I have given you;No text from Poole on this verse.
Until the LORD have given rest unto your brethren, as well as unto you, and until they also possess the land which the LORD your God hath given them beyond Jordan: and then shall ye return every man unto his possession, which I have given you.Rest; a peaceable and fixed possession.
And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall the LORD do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest.No text from Poole on this verse.
Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you.No text from Poole on this verse.
And I besought the LORD at that time, saying,No text from Poole on this verse.
O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?No text from Poole on this verse.
I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.For he supposed God’s threatening might be conditional and reversible, as many others were.
That goodly mountain, or, that blessed mountain, which the Jews not improbably understand of that mountain on which the temple was to be built. For as Moses desired and determined to prepare an habitation for God, Exodus 15:2, and knew very well that God would choose a certain place for his habitation, and to put his name there, Deu 12:5; so he also knew that it was the manner both of the true worshippers of God and of idolaters to worship their God in high places, and particularly that Abraham did worship God in the mount of Moriah, Genesis 22:2, and therefore did either reasonably conjecture that God would choose some certain mountain for the place of his habitation, or possibly understood by revelation that in that very mount of Moriah, where Abraham performed that eminent and glorious act of worship, there also the children of Abraham should have their place of constant and settled worship. This he seems to call that mountain, emphatically and eminently, that which was much in Moses’s thoughts, though not in his eye, and the blessed (as the Hebrew tob oft signifies) or the goodly mountain. Or, the mountain may be here put for the mountainous countries, as that word is oft used, as Genesis 36:9 Numbers 13:29 23:7 Deu 1:7 Joshua 10:6 11:16,21, &c. And it is known that a great part of the glory and beauty and profit of this country lay in its hills or mountains. See Deu 11:11 33:15. And
that goodly mountain may by an enallage of the number be put for those goodly mountains in Canaan, which were many. Thus also he proceeds gradually in this desire and description, and prays that he may see in general the good land that is beyond Jordan, and then particularly the goodly mountains of it, and especially that famous mount of Lebanon, which was so celebrated for its tall and large cedars, and other trees and excellent plants. See Psalm 29:5 104:16 Isaiah 2:13 14:8.
But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.For your sakes; by occasion of your sins, which provoked me to unadvised words and carriages, Psalm 106:32,33. See Numbers 20:12 Deu 31:2 34:4. Let it suffice thee that this is my pleasure and unalterable resolution. Compare 2 Corinthians 12:8,9.
Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan.Pisgah; of which see on Numbers 27:12. Lift up thine eyes towards the land of Canaan and its several quarters.
But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.Charge Joshua; give him commission and authority, and a command to execute his trust, and conduct the people.
Strengthen him with exhortations and promises, and assurances of my presence and help, and of good success.
He shall go over: it was not Moses, but Joshua or Jesus, that was to give the people rest, Hebrews 4:8.
So we abode in the valley over against Bethpeor.The house or temple of Peor, or of Baal-Peor, of which see Numbers 25:3, whence this place or city had its name.