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DEUTERONOMY CHAPTER 2
Their march from Kadesh-barnea, Deuteronomy 2:1-3.
A charge that they trouble not the Edomites, Deuteronomy 2:4,Deuteronomy 2:5; nor the Moabites, Deuteronomy 2:9; nor the Ammonites, Deuteronomy 2:19.
But are encouraged to fight the Amorites: they put them to flight, and take possession of their lands, Deuteronomy 2:24-37.
The mountainous country of Seir or Edom. Many days, or, many years, even for thirty-eight years.
Towards the land of the Amorites and Canaanites.
Through the coast, or, by or near the coast or border; for they did not pass through their borders, as it is said, Numbers 20:21. And the particle beth doth oft signify by or near, as Genesis 37:13; Joshua 5:13; Judges 8:5; Jeremiah 32:7. Thus that difference may be reconciled, which others reconcile thus, that they at first denied it, but afterwards granted it.
Which dwell in Seir: these words restrain the prohibition to these particular children of Esau, for there were another sort or branch of Esau’s children, which were to be meddled with and destroyed, even the Amalekites, Exodus 17:14; Deuteronomy 25:17, who were Esau’s posterity, Genesis 36:12.
They shall be afraid of you; but I charge you take no advantage of their fears, which you will be very apt to do.
Meddle not with them, to wit, in battle at this time.
Buy meat of them; for though the manna did yet rain upon them, they were not forbidden to buy other meats when they had opportunity, but only were forbidden greedily to hunger after them when they could not obtain them.
Buy water of them; for water in those parts was scarce, and therefore private persons did severally dig pits for their particular use. See Genesis 26:18; Numbers 21:18.
By God’s blessing thou art able to buy thy conveniences, and therefore thy theft and rapine will be inexcusable, because without any pretence of necessity.
He knoweth, Heb. he hath known, i.e. observed, or regarded with care and kindness, which that word oft notes, as Psalms 1:6; Psalms 31:7; which experience of God’s singular goodness to thee, should make thee trust him still, and not use any indirect and unjust practices to procure. what thou wantest or desirest.
Ezion-gaber; of which see Numbers 33:35, which may be either that place upon the Red Sea, 1 Kings 9:26, or another of the same name.
We turned, to wit, from our direct road which lay through Edom’s land.
Ar, the chief city of the Moabites, Numbers 21:15,Numbers 21:28, here put for the whole country, which depended upon it.
The children of Lot; so called to signify that this preservation was not for their sakes, for they were a wicked people; but for Lot’s sake, whose memory God yet honours.
Emims; men terrible for stature and strength, as their very name imports; see Genesis 14:5; whose expulsion by the Moabites is here noted as a great encouragement to the Israelites, for whose sake he would much more drive out the wicked and accursed Canaanites.
Object. God had not yet given it unto them.
Answ. 1. The past tense is here put for the future, will give, after the manner of the prophets.
2. Things are oft said to be done when they are only resolved, or decreed, or attempted to be done, in which sense Reuben is said to deliver Joseph, Genesis 37:21; Balak to fight against Israel, Joshua 24:9; Abraham to have offered his son, Hebrews 11:17.
3. God may well be said to have given it, not only because he had purposed and promised to give it, but also because he was now about to give it, and had already given them some part of it, and that as an earnest of the whole.
4. This may be particularly understood of that part of Israel’s possession which was beyond Jordan, which God had actually given to them, that is, to some of them, for even the land of Canaan on this side Jordan was not given to all of them, but only to some of the tribes.
Of the Horims, see Genesis 14:6; Genesis 36:20.
Or, to pass by the border of Moab, by Ar.
Which signifies men most wicked and abominable, or most presumptuous, or most crafty.
The Lord therefore will certainly do as much for his own people.
Caphtorims, a people akin to the Philistines, Genesis 10:14, and confederate with them in this enterprise, and so dwelling together, and by degrees were probably united together by marriages or other ways, and became one people, the Caphtorims being at last swallowed up in the Philistines. See Jeremiah 47:4; Amos 9:7.
Caphtor is by the learned thought to be Cappadocia; whither these people might make an expedition out of Egypt, either because of the report of the great riches of part of that country, which drew others thither from places equally remote, or after the manner of those ancient times, or for some other reason now unknown.
Under the whole heaven; which is a synecdoche and an hyperbole, but is explained by the following words, which restrain the sentence to those nations that heard of them.
Kedemoth; so called from a city of that name, Joshua 13:18; and called Jeshimon, Numbers 21:20.
With words of peace; with offers of peace, which they refusing, their destruction was highly just and reasonable.
In my direct road to Canaan, from which I will not turn aside into thy fields, or vineyards, or houses;
Or, with my foot-men, or with my company which are on foot; which is added significantly, because if their army had consisted as much of horsemen as many other armies did, their passage through his land might have been more mischievous and dangerous; but they were generally on foot.
Object. The king of Edom, i.e. of the children of Esau, did not grant them passage, Numbers 20:0.
Answ. They did permit them to pass quietly by the borders, though not through the heart of their land; and in their passage the people sold them meat and drink, being, it seems, more kind to them than their king would have had them; and therefore they here ascribe this favour not to the king, though they are now treating with a king, but to the people,
the children of Esau.
By him, i.e. by his borders. Obstinate; unmovable and inexorable to our desires.
By God’s command, these being a part of those people who were devoted by the Lord of life and death to utter destruction for their abominable wickedness. See Deuteronomy 7:2; Deuteronomy 20:16.
Aroer was in the border of Moab, but now in the hands of the Amorites.
By the river, Heb. in the river, wherewith it was encompassed, Numbers 21:15,Numbers 21:28; Joshua 12:2; Joshua 13:9. He speaks exclusively, for this was Ar, which now was in the Moabites’ jurisdiction, above, Deuteronomy 2:9.
Of the river Jabbok, i.e. beyond Jabbok; for that was the border of the Ammonites, Joshua 12:2.
Object. Half the land of the Ammonites is said to be given to the tribe of Gad, Joshua 13:25.
Answ. This is true of that half of it which the Amorites had taken from them, but not of the other half, which yet was in the possession of the Ammonites.
In the mountains; the mountainous country of the Ammonites.
Forbad us, Heb. commanded us: commanding is put for forbidding here, as Genesis 2:16; Genesis 3:11; Leviticus 4:2; Deuteronomy 4:23. The words may be thus rendered, concerning
which the Lord gave us command or charge, to wit, that we should not meddle with them, as was said before. So it is only an ellipsis of the preposition, which is very frequent.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Deuteronomy 2". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25