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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 2

Preacher's Complete Homiletical CommentaryPreacher's Homiletical

Verses 1-37


Deuteronomy 2:1. The story continued. After the unsuccessful attack, Israel broke up emcampment at Kadesh. Many days. i.e., many years in a nomadic life, wandering in various directions from place to place, according to pasturage and water. Details are not mentioned, because not required.

Deuteronomy 2:2. This command relates to the journey from Kadesh to Mount Hor (Numbers 20:22; Numbers 33:37), and directs their march round the south extremity of Mount Seir, so as to “compass the land of Edom” (Judges 11:18; Numbers 21:4), and so northwards towards the Arnon, i.e., “by the way of the wilderness of Moab (Deuteronomy 2:8). This circuitous path was followed because of the refusal of the Edomites to allow the people to pass through their territory” (Speak. Com.).

Deuteronomy 2:4. Afraid. They repelled approach from western frontier; now they fear Israel coming round on the weak side (Exodus 15:15).

Deuteronomy 2:5. Meddle not, lit., excite not yourselves against them. They were not to war, nor injure them in property nor persons. Originally the relation between the two people was fraternal, and God had granted Mount Seir to Esau.

Deuteronomy 2:6. Buy water, lit., dig water; perhaps purchased permission to dig wells for water.

Deuteronomy 2:7. Blessed thee. Israel had means to buy provisions, and should not therefore be guilty of fraud or violence.

Deuteronomy 2:8. Elath (tress.), cf., 1 Kings 9:26, now called Akaba, on the route of annual pilgrimage from Cairo to Mecca. Ez-gaber, cf. Numbers 33:35 (backbone of a man; so called, probably, from rugged rocks in its vicinity). A seaport near Elath, cf. 1 Kings 9:26; 2 Chronicles 20:36.

Deuteronomy 2:9. Moabites and Ammonites (Deuteronomy 2:19) descended from Lot, and like Edomites, kinsmen of Israelites.

Deuteronomy 2:10-12. Ethnographical notices concerning earlier inhabitants of these lands. Emim, i.e., frightful, terrible to the Moabites. Anakim, cf. Numbers 13:32. Horims, Genesis 14:5.

Deuteronomy 2:13. Connected with Deuteronomy 2:9. Zered, the boundary line between Edom and Moab, crossed thirty-eight years after the doom pronounced upon them at Kadesh.

Deuteronomy 2:14. Sware, Numbers 14:28 -Ver. 29.

Deuteronomy 2:15. Destroy not by natural causes, but by terrors (Exodus 14:24) and judgments (Numbers 16:35; Numbers 16:49).

Deuteronomy 2:16-19. Advance into the country of Moabites, but Israel not to meddle with them, for God would give them nothing of their land.

Deuteronomy 2:20-22. For confirmation, ethnographical notices introduced again. Zam, from zamam, to hum, a humming or roaring people; probably the Zuzim (Genesis 14:5).

Deuteronomy 2:23. Avims, the Avites (Joshua 13:3), possibly connected with Ava, 2 Kings 17:24 (Speak. Com.)

Deuteronomy 2:24. Command to possess the land of Sihon.

Deuteronomy 2:25. Be in anguish, lit., writhe in pain (Isaiah 13:8).

Deuteronomy 2:26. Moses sent a peaceful messenger, to prove to the Amorites that they brought punishment upon themselves.

Deuteronomy 2:30. Hardened, lit., sharpened his heart by keen resolution. No direct influence from God imparted. Sihon was permitted like Pharaoh to pursue his own course.

Deuteronomy 2:32. cf. Numbers 21:23 -Ver. 26. “A war of extermination, in which all towns were laid under the ban (see Leviticus 27:29), i.e., the whole of the population of men, women, and children, were put to death, and only the flocks and herds and material possessions were taken by the conquerors as prey.”—Keil.

TURNED BACK AND DELAYED.—Deuteronomy 2:1-3

In this chapter Moses reviews the history of Israel, and narrates the journey from Kadesh to the frontier of the Amorites. He is silent about many things, but glances at God’s goodness to the end of their wandering. Israel had been turned back, and entrance into Canaan delayed.

I. God’s purpose is sometimes delayed in its fulfilment. God had purposed and promised that the land should be given to Israel, but they had come short of it. Their unbelief and rebellion had delayed the fulfilment of this design. Thus by our sins we may be driven away from our destiny, and hinder the work of God. “Ye shall know my breach (lit., removal, withholding) of promise.” (Numbers 14:34.)

II. Human discipline is secured by this delay. We cannot always see what ends God has in view, but he brings good out of evil, and light from darkness. Two things we learn from this delay.

1. Israel was prepared for the inheritance. Men are often unfit for duty and destiny. Hasty preparation will be a curse and not a blessing. In the wilderness Israel was organised into a nation, received laws and learned obedience. Solitude, delay, and affliction are salutary, and discipline for life’s end and reward. “How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out.”

2. The Canaanites had forfeited the inheritance. Their opportunities were almost gone, and their day of grace over. They had ripened themselves for their doom. No overtures of peace were offered them. Their land was taken from them, and as an absolute sovereign gift bestowed upon Israel. Solemn thought, men may sin away their day of salvation. (Leviticus 16:30.)

III. When men are prepared by discipline, God’s purpose is realised through them. God’s design is not forgotten nor frustrated, though often delayed. If some do not, others are taught to accomplish it. David may not, but Solomon builds a house for God. God’s purposes comprehend all agencies and all events. Change of method does not indicate change of design. “For He performeth the thing that is appointed for me, and many such things are with Him.”


It appears from Numbers 20:18-20 that the Edomites were prepared to resist Israel’s passage through their land. But the country was not invaded, and the Edomites did not attack nor hinder them in their journey. The Israelites are forbidden to meddle with these nations, for their lands were given them; to remember their blood relationship, and to deal kindly and justly with them. From this charge learn—

I. Natural advantage is no ground for strife. The Israelites were now strong in number and wealth. God was with them, and terror fell upon their enemies. “They shall be afraid of you.” But they were not to take advantage of prevalent fear and weak opponents. The strong must help and not oppress the weak. Right and not might must rule. We are not to despise others because we are stronger than they in body and mind. Great nations should not invade and destroy small ones. Aggressive war may defeat its end, and ruin those who engage in it. “Scatter thou the people that delight in war.”

II. Natural brotherhood is a ground for social intercourse. Israel, Edom, and Moab, were kinspeople. “Our brethren the children of Esau.” All nations are made of one blood, bound by natural affinity, and mutually dependent. Trade, commerce, and international treaties, promote the good feeling and develop the resources of nations. Israel must not war, but trade. Their social intercourse must be straight-forward and honourable—not in jealousy, but in love—not as strangers, but as brethren. “Honour all men, love the brotherhood.”

III. God’s gifts to others are no reason for dissatisfaction with our own. “I will not give thee of their land,” Deuteronomy 2:8, “because I have given Mount Seir unto Esau for a possession,” Deuteronomy 2:4. God has apportioned to men and nations their position. They are to be grateful and content, and not to touch possessions which do not belong to them. Covet no man’s houses or land, envy no person’s influence and position. Be content with your own lot—it might have been worse—improve your own gifts. The desire of something unpossessed is a greater source of misery than positive pain or actual destitution. Solon asked by Croesus, “Who was the happiest man?” referred to a poor cottager of Greece, who never desired greater wealth or a better condition than he possessed.

IV. God’s goodness in the past is an encouragement for future blessings. “The Lord thy God hath been with thee, thou hast lacked nothing.” God had blessed Israel with abundance and they had no need to beg nor steal. His continued presence should prevent us from resorting to fraud or violence to supply our wants. We have God’s all sufficient providence to depend upon, and should therefore live by faith and constant obedience. Our wants are known and our supplies are promised (cf. Deuteronomy 8:2-3; Deuteronomy 8:15-16). Carking anxiety preys upon temper, spirits, and health; leads to envy, selfishness, and unbelief; and acts like the vulture feeding upon the vitals of Prometheus while chained to the rock. “Take no thought for the morrow.”

GOD’S CARE FOR HUMAN LIFE.—Deuteronomy 2:7

He knoweth thy walking. God is omniscient and knows all things. But this knowledge is not mere notice, but intimate acquaintance with every step and circumstance of life; a fatherly care and regard for men. We learn therefore from this verse—

I. Human life is under divine control. This knowing comprehends purpose, presence, and providential guidance.

1. In preventing wrong. Israel were prevented from entering Canaan when determined to go in defiance of God’s command. A rebellious self-will leads men to misery and destruction, but a merciful providence checks their folly.

2. In disposing to right. Israel’s proud will was conquered, and they were led back into the wilderness. They were humbled and taught to obey and depend upon God. We are prevented from sin “and made willing” to serve in “the day of God’s power.”

II. Human life is measured by Divine purpose. The journey in the desert is a type of our life in the world. God fixed the time—“these forty years.” So human life is measured in its length. It is not a matter of chance or inflexible law, but an object of Divine purpose. So many days, months, years, and no more. “The measure of my days.” “Man’s life,” says Mt. Henry, “is no more governed by the stoic’s blind fate, than by the Epicuræn’s blind fortune.” “His days are determined, the number of his months are with thee.”

III. Human life is an object of Divine care. Whatever God makes He sustains. Human life, Christian life, is especially dear to Him.

1. In our journeys. “Thy walking.” Temporally and spiritually the steps of a good man are ordered (formed, prepared) by the Lord (Psalms 37:23). God keeps an exact account, and notes every incident of our life. “Thou tellest (takest note of) my wanderings” (Psalms 56:8).

2. In our works. “In all the works of thy hand.” Flocks and herds had increased (Numbers 32:1). Israel had gained wealth in trafficking with the tribes, and in cultivating the soil of the desert. There can be no prosperity or increase in labour without God’s blessing. “The blessing of the Lord it maketh rich.”

3. In our wants. “Thou hast lacked nothing.” God had been their leader and protector, chosen places of rest and supplied their varied wants. Their clothes decayed not, and their shoes wore not away (Deuteronomy 29:5). He knows our wants and wishes, temporal and spiritual, and can sustain us through life. “Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing.” If God knows, measures and controls our pilgrimage on earth.

1. Learn dependence on Him.
2. Submit to Him.
3. Seek His guidance and presence.


Deuteronomy 2:1-4. God the Leader of His people. Resting where they encamp, going with them in their journey, commanding and directing in their march and social intercourse.

Deuteronomy 2:4. Take ye good heed to yourselves. Self-control needed.

1. In prosperity. Israel wonderfully blessed in strength and numbers, but must not become selfish and tyrannical.

2. In the presence of those who fear us. When men are an easy prey to us we are ready to take advantage. But we must be cautious, and keep strict control over our spirit and actions.

Deuteronomy 2:7. God’s continued mercies to us. That we may see that God’s care was not exclusively confined to Israel, we will show—I. What mercies have been vouchsafed to us during the whole period of our sojourning in this wilderness. In relation to—

1. Temporal concerns: the necessities and luxuries of life;
2. The concerns of the soul. II. Under what circumstances they have been continued to us. If we look at Israel they will serve to show us.
1. How great our provocations towards God have been.
2. How entirely we have been under the influence of unbelief.—C. Simeon, M. A.

THE VICISSITUDES OF NATIONS.—Deuteronomy 2:10-12; Deuteronomy 20-23

The mention of the Moabites gives occasion for the interpolation of remarks concerns the earliest inhabitants of these countries. From what we read of these nations in this and other places, we trace the providence and purpose of God in history.

I. God has made Nations to differ in their character and habits of life. The names of these people are instructive. The Enims were considered by the Moabites to be terrible; men of gigantic stature and fierce manners. The Horim appear to be dwellers in caves, which abound in the Edomite range. Their origin is not known (cf. Genesis 14:6; Genesis 36:20). The Zamzummims, Deuteronomy 2:20, a bullying presumptuous band of Rephaim; Genesis 14:5, were another giant tribe. The Avim dwelt in villages (farms) south-west of Canaan, and were a pastoral people. The Captorims sprang from Caphtor (Genesis 10:14), and were immigrants, like the Israelites. Thus some nations are physically strong and numerous, and others few and weak; some blessed with natural and others with spiritual advantages. The climate and products, the language and diversities of nations display the wisdom and goodness of God.

II. God displaces some nations to fix others. God permitted the children of Esau to drive out the Horims; Moab to subdue the Emins; and the Caphtorims to dislodge the Avims. Wars of conquests, changes of dynasties, and revolutions of history are under Divine control, and work out Divine purposes. The same law appears in the formation and government of the earth, and in the progress of Christianity. “This is so often repeated, to possess the minds of the Israelites with a sense of God’s providence, which rules everywhere; displacing one people and settling another in their stead, and fixing their bounds also, which they shall not pass without leave” (Patrick). “He putteth down one, and setteth up another.”

III. God in the history of nations teaches many lessons. If the providence of God is seen in the settlement of nations, it is not by chance or accident that they are what and where they are. Learn—

1. That all our possessions are the gifts of God. Whatever be the skill and valour by which they were gained, in some mysterious manner they come from Him. The lands of Edom, Moab, and Ammon are said to be given by God. Canaan was not acquired by the valour of Israel, but by the will of God.

2. That all our possessions are uncertain in their tenure. If nations can be deprived of their territories, kings of their thrones, and families of their inheritance: What hold have we of earthly fortunes? Why may we not be deprived of our place and power? Let us take heed lest we forfeit our blessings, lest God “take us away and pluck us out of our dwelling place.”

“What exhibitions various hath the world
Witness’d of mutability in all
That we account most durable below!
Change is the diet on which all subsist;
Created changeable, and change at last
Destroys them.”—Cowper.

Men of War Consumed.—Deuteronomy 2:14-15

The outbreak at Kadesh at the false report of the spies was only the filling up of the measure of Israel’s iniquity. That generation was not wholly given up to idolatry, but they had displayed a fearful amount of rebellion in the desert, only hinted at in this history, but truly described in other places. (Ezekiel 20:25, Ezekiel 20:26; Amos 5:25; Amos 5:27; Acts 7:42.) For this great wickedness “the men of war,” those able to war, the responsible transgressors were doomed to perish in the desert by special judgments of God.

I. The cause of this consumption. By their long and open revolt, Israel had provoked the wrath of God. In his displeasure they were punished and buried in the wilderness. Wickedness of any kind is most unprofitable, often brings down the judgments of God and shortens human life. “With whom was He grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?”

II. The method of this consumption. Their unbelief made this “a day of provocation in the wilderness” and their punishment was most exemplary.

1. It was a terrible consumption. “I will smite them with the pestilence and disinherit them.”

2. It was a complete destruction. With two exceptions the whole generation were blotted out of existence.

3. This was designedly carried out. “When all the men of war were consumed and dead,” then and not before were they permitted to invade the land and conquer its inhabitants. God can do without the greatest warriors. In his cause faith is more needful than numbers. This gives courage and make children heroes. God designs to give success, by removing the wise and the mighty and causing us to look to Him alone. “To whom sware he that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not.”


After the death of the generation that had sinned the people were to cross the border of Moab and advance into Canaan. To the east of Moab was the country of the Ammonites, but Israel was not to touch them, for God had bestowed upon them possessions which must be held sacred. From this charge we learn—

I. The honour God puts upon His word. “I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession.” God never breaks His word, nor changes His purpose. Ammon did not belong to the chosen people, but God guaranteed them certain temporal advantages. He is faithful in His dealings with them, and others must be taught to recognise this faithfulness. “I am the Lord; I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass.”

II. The sacredness of human rights. “The Most High divided to the nations their inheritance,” and what is assigned to them by right belongs to them. It is our duty to respect national rights and national territories, and never wrong men by force or fraud. They may insult and seek to do us mischief, as Moab sought to ruin Israel (Numbers 22:6), but we are not to retaliate, nor meddle with their possessions. “He that studieth revenge keepeth his wounds open.”—Bacon.

III. The blessings derived by children from their ancestors. The Ammonites are called “the children of Lot,” a righteous ancestor. We have power to be of service to our offspring, and put succeeding generations under obligation. “Children often fare the better in this world for the piety of their ancestors;” says Math. Henry, “The seed of the upright, though they degenerate, yet are blessed with temporal good things.”

THE FIRST WAR.—Deuteronomy 2:24-25

Israel ceased to meddle with some nations and thus practised self-denial and obedience. Now God gives them commission to begin the war, and promises them success over Sihon, king of Heshbon. If we wrong not others, God will ever right us.

I. Israel must co-operate with God to attain the victory. God purposed to give Sihon into their hands, but they must “contend with him in battle.” God’s promise does not exclude human effort. It should stimulate and encourage it. To secure the fulfilment of the pledge, we must “rise up” from idleness and doubt. God has promised to give us daily bread, a regular harvest, and spiritual conquest in His service; but we have to pray and fight.

II. God will help and encourage Israel when they begin the contest. No longer must they wait or hesitate. They must take the journey, pass over the river, begin the war.

1. The enemy is dispirited. They trembled in fear, were bereft of strength, and were ready to melt away before the victorious nation. “Their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel” Joshua 5:1-2. God begins the work, and they have only to carry it on. “Begin to possess it,” for “this day will I begin.” God’s people must follow their Commander in courage and confidence. Fear, inactivity, and cowardliness may lose the day. Success often depends upon the vigour of the onset. “The first stroke is half the battle.” This was seen at the battle of Cressy, in King Alfred’s attack upon the Danes, and in Israel’s conflict with Sihon. “Only be thou valiant for me, and fight the Lord’s battles.”

THE DESTRUCTION OF SIHON.—Deuteronomy 2:26-37

The kingdom of Sihon formed no part of the land promised to the seed of Abraham. Moses desired to pass through peaceably, and sent messengers to request this, but the king rejected the proposal, met Israel with hostility, and brought ruin upon his people and country.

I. An example of human folly. A respectful and pacific message was rejected (cf. Numbers 21:21-22). Israel was not permitted to pass through the “high way” quietly, and pay for what provisions they wanted, but Sihon made a bold and unprovoked attack, and was utterly defeated. What folly to be obstinate in wrong doing, to oppose might against right, and bring on self-destruction! How often are men found self-willed, casting off all restraint, forgetting their opportunities, and ripening themselves for judgment by abusing their mercies!

II. An illustration of spiritual law. “God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate.” Not by evil influence, but by permitting him to carry out his own will, and to remain in circumstances fitted to soften rather than to harden. This effect results from a law which we see in operation every day in our moral nature. Sin blinds the mind, and alienates the affections. Indulgence in self-will corrupts and hardens the heart. When men resist the truth, and ward off appeals of conscience—when they are obstinate and invincible in sin—then a process of hardening goes on. They have less struggle, less compunction, and less feeling. And as the same sun melts one substance and hardens another, so the gospel subdues one heart and indirectly hardens another—becomes the savour of life to one and the savour of death to another. Pharaoh grew more stubborn, and rushed madly to his ruin. Ahab despised reproof until “the bow” received its commission. “He that being often reproved (a man of reproof, marg.) hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1).

III. An evidence of a retributive Providence. This law is a mysterious operation of God in the moral government of the world. God hardened Sihon “that He might deliver him” up. The guilt of the Amorites was great, ready for judicial punishment. If they gained their territory by violence and bloodshed—if they forced their way into Gilead and Bashan, then they were repaid; for as they measured to others it was measured to them. But a natural course of sin against spiritual laws and unseen forces will bring retributive justice. In this world we have awful examples, predictions, and precursors of the judgment to come.

“Oh I blind to truth and God’s whole scheme below,
Who fancy bliss to vice, to virtue woe.”—Pope.

THE VICTORY OF JAHAZ.—Deuteronomy 2:32-35

Jahaz was a memorable place—a city of Moab, afterwards assigned to the tribe of Reuben and given to the priests (Joshua 13:18; 1 Chronicles 6:33; Isaiah 15:4). Here Israel fought a battle and gained the victory.

I. The victory was gained in self-defence. Israel could only reach Canaan through the lands of Sihon. All reasonable demands had been rejected. They were hindered in seeking their natural rights, and provoked to war by a needless attack. A righteous cause gives courage, and inspires hope of victory in the conflict.

II. The victory was secured by Divine help. “The Lord our God delivered him before us.” With God with us we shall always win, but without Him numbers and skill will not avail. In all spiritual conflicts victory belongs to Him, “for the battle is not your’s, but God’s.”

III. The victory was decisive in its results. The battle had not to be fought again. Its advantages were not worthless. It was complete and overwhelming. The people were exterminated; “We smote him, and his sons, and all his people”—a warning to all who fight against God. The cities were “utterly destroyed” and the land desolated.

IV. The victory was limited in its operations. Only cattle and material goods were booty for the conquerors. The lands of the Ammonites were not touched. They left undone “whatsoever the Lord our God forbad us” to do. Ambition must be checked, and victors must learn self-control and dependence upon the Divine will. “Next to gaining a great victory is knowing how to use it,” said Wellington.


Deuteronomy 2:24. Rise up. Activity, diligence, progress and Divine direction in Christian pilgrimage. Neither be idle, nor remain stationary.

Deuteronomy 2:24-25. I have given, rise up. Attainment of Divine gifts.

1. They are ready to be given.
2. God will help us to get them, (a) By giving strength. “Contend with Him.” (b) By disposing us to follow Him. “I begin”—“You begin.”

Deuteronomy 2:24-25. The fame of Israel as a conquering people. I. How, at this time, that fame was increased, viz., by the conquest of the mightiest nations east of Jordan. II. The moral effects of this conquest.

1. Israel prepared for future conquest.
2. Canaan awed before she had received a blow.—Biblical Museum.

Deuteronomy 2:30. Made his heart obstinate. Learn—

1. God’s power over men.
2. God’s method of dealing with men as moral governor and judge. He suffers them to be hardened in consequence of obstinate wickedness, yet not as an arbitrary, capricious, or tyrannical being. He wills nothing but good, and therefore His will is the proper rule of judgment. But men obstinately pervert and resist His will. Hence learn—

3. Man’s fearful power in opposing God and destroying himself. “Who hath hardened himself against Him and hath prospered?”

Deuteronomy 2:31. Israel victorious. We may apply thus to the spiritual Israel, the Christian Church. 1: We have a warfare. Contest with ignorance and sin, Satan and the world.

2. In this warfare God prepares the world for the conquests of the Church. By toning society, removing difficulties, and striking terror into the enemies. The world was never riper than at present for courageous, determined effort. “Great fear came on all them that heard those things.”
3. In this warfare the Church can only conquer by God’s presence. “Providence is with the strongest battalions,” said Napoleon. But in this war neither might nor numbers will avail. “Not by might, nor by power.”
4. The more victorious is the Church the stronger is she for warfare. Victory gives experience, courage, and confidence in the commander. One success may be the forerunner of many. Israel’s prowess flew on the winds, and widespread fear made further achievements easy. Good deeds reproduce themselves. The conquests of grace in the heart, and of the gospel in the world, inspire the Church with hope and enthusiasm. She becomes stronger, more ready to obey and fight, and appears “terrible as an army with banners.”

Deuteronomy 2:31-33. Sihon’s defeat.

1. Self-inflicted. “He came out.”
2. Unexpected. Just the reverse of anticipation. “I have them,” cried Napoleon, concerning the English at Waterloo. What disappointment!
3. Very sudden. Only one pitched battle.
4. Divinely accomplished. “And the Lord God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them.”

Deuteronomy 2:33; Deuteronomy 2:37. The secret of successful undertaking.

1. When directed by God.
2. When accompanied by God’s help.
3. When made subservient to God’s will.”


Deuteronomy 2:1. Turned. Thus God orders our will without infringing our liberty. We observe this supremacy in directing not only an important end, but every stop towards it. Often has the way of our own devising been blocked up and an opposite way marked out, with the ultimate acknowledgement.”—He led me forth in the right way.—Bridge.

Deuteronomy 2:3. Long enough. Delays, whether in the business of God or our own, are hateful and prejudicial; many lose the land of promise by lingering.—Nicholls.

Deuteronomy 2:4-5. Meddle not. How many unholy hearts would be restrained by the practice of these rules of wisdom and love! A generous self-forgetting warmth of kindness puts down the first evil; denying ourselves the pleasure of justifying our cause, or triumphing over our opponent; instead of standing upon punctilious reforms, or waiting for an acknowledgement from the offender.—Bridge.

Deuteronomy 2:6. Water. The value attached to water in the East is here brought strikingly before us; also the justice which characterised the policy of the Jewish law giver. The Edomites were in possession of the wells, and the fluid of life must be paid for, if money would be accepted.—Temperance Commentary.

Deuteronomy 2:7. Knoweth. Have you not much reason for thankfulness in your retrospect? And when things you undertook have not prospered in your sense of prosperity, have you not found that in some way you never expected they did you good? Have you not often been thankful that you did not succeed where your heart was calculating on unbounded success? Where your work has not enriched you, has it not often humbled you? and are you not constrained to say now, after an impartial retrospect of thirty, forty or sixty years, that “the Lord hath blessed me in all the works of my hands”—Dr. Cumming.

Deuteronomy 2:10-12; Deuteronomy 20-23. National changes. The succession of tribes or nations indicated in the chapter is a very remarkable feature; showing that not only individuals pass away like a shadow, but nations also. There is not a nation at this moment inhabited by the people that dwelt in it fifteen, or sixteen hundred years ago. The people in Rome are less like the ancient Romans than we are; the inhabitants of Athens are not the lineal descendants of the ancient Greeks. And who knows not that our own country has successively been invaded by Saxon, Norman, and Dane; and that Britain which we look upon as our home has been successively peopled by different nations. As if God would teach the nations of the earth, as well as the units that compose them, that here we have no continuing city, no fixed place of abode; that we are nationally and individually pilgrims and strangers and should be looking for a better country.—Dr. Cumming.

Deuteronomy 2:14-16. Wasted.

Like leaves on trees the race of man is found,
Now green in youth, now withering on the ground:
Another race the following spring supplies;
They fall successive, and successive rise.

Pope’s Homer.

Deuteronomy 2:24-25. Fear of thee. As in the natural world in times of ripeness there is change in the appearance of things; so there are evident signs of ripeness in the spiritual world. There is a preparedness with individuals, neighbourhoods, and nations. Let the Church awake and work, and her victories will be large and immediate.

Deuteronomy 2:33-37. God delivered. The person who has a firm trust in the Supreme Being, is powerful in his power, wise by his wisdom, happy by is happiness. He reaps the benefit of every Divine attribute, and loses his own insufficiency in the fulness of Infinite Perfection.—Addison.

Give me the eye which can see God in all, and the hand which can serve Him with all, and the heart which can bless him for all.—Abp. Secker.

Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 2". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/phc/deuteronomy-2.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.
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