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Monday, June 17th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 2

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New TestamentsBenson's Commentary


A.M. 2553. B.C. 1451.

Their march from Kadesh-barnea, Deuteronomy 2:1-3 . A charge not to trouble the Edomites, Deuteronomy 2:4-8 . Nor the Moabites, Deuteronomy 2:9-12 . (They pass the river Zered, Deuteronomy 2:13-16 .) Nor the Ammonites, Deuteronomy 2:17-23 . A command to attack Sihon, Deuteronomy 2:24-26 . The conquest of his kingdom, Deuteronomy 2:27-37 .

Verse 1

Deuteronomy 2:1. We compassed mount Seir The mountainous part of Edom, or Idumea. Many days Even for thirty-eight years, which time they spent in tedious marches to and fro through that desert country, reaching from Kadesh to the Red sea, and in various encampments, till that race of murmurers was quite extinct, and then orders were given them to bend their course again toward Canaan, Deuteronomy 2:3.

Verse 6

Deuteronomy 2:6. Buy meat of them for money 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 For water in those parts was scarce, and therefore private persons did severally dig pits for their particular use.

Verse 7

Deuteronomy 2:7. The Lord hath blessed thee 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 Hebrew, He hath known; that is, observed, or regarded with care and kindness, which that word often denotes. Which experience of God’s singular goodness to thee should make thee rely on him still, and not use any unjust practice to procure what thou wantest or desirest.

Verses 8-9

Deuteronomy 2:8-9. We turned From our direct road, which lay through Edom. Ar The chief city of the Moabites, 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 honoured.

Verses 10-12

Deuteronomy 2:10-12. The Emims Men terrible for stature and strength, as their very name imports, 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. Which the Lord gave

The past tense is here put for the future, will give, after the manner of the prophets.

Verses 16-17

Deuteronomy 2:16-17. When all the men of war were consumed Israel is not called to march against and attack the Canaanites till the men most fit for war, and who probably had learned the art of it in Egypt, and had been used to hardship, were all wasted and dead from among the people, and only a host of new raised men, trained up in a wilderness, were left, in whom, as being possessed of little knowledge, experience, or natural fortitude, no great dependance could be placed. Thus it became more fully manifest that the excellency of the power which subdued the warlike Canaanites, was of God and not of man. On the same principle, and with the same design, long after this, were the following words spoken by the Lord to Gideon: The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. And thus, to subdue the enemies of God’s church, and bring sinners to the obedience of the faith, he hath chosen the weak things of the world, and things that are despised, and things that are not, to bring to naught the things that are, that no flesh may glory in his presence.

Verse 23

Deuteronomy 2:23. And the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim This is another instance of God’s disposal of countries unto what people he pleases. The Avims are mentioned Joshua 13:3, as the ancient inhabitants of Palestine. The Caphtorims A people akin to, or a branch of, the Philistines, so called, probably, from their founder, who settled in Caphtor, a country in or about Egypt, see Genesis 10:14. By producing these instances of God’s displacing one people, and settling another in their stead, Moses designed to strengthen the faith of the Israelites in the divine promise of giving them the victory over all their enemies, and settling them in the land of Canaan.

Verse 25

Deuteronomy 2:25. Upon the nations that are under the whole heaven That is, upon as many as shall hear of these conquests, for to such the following words restrain the sentence; especially upon the Canaanites, whose courage would droop at the news of such an absolute victory gained so near them, Joshua 2:10-11.

Verse 26

Deuteronomy 2:26. I sent messengers unto Sihon To show the prince of the Amorites that we were not aggressors, and offered no violence, and that, if he refused to grant us a passage through his land, his destruction would be of himself. Kedemoth was a city of that tract which fell to the lot of the Reubenites.

Verse 28

Deuteronomy 2:28. On my feet Or, with my company who 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 this land might have been more mischievous and dangerous.

Verses 29-30

Deuteronomy 2:29-30. As the children of Esau did 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. Hardened his spirit That is, suffered it to be hardened.

Verse 34

Deuteronomy 2:34. Utterly destroyed 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.

Verse 37

Deuteronomy 2:37. Of Jabbok That is, beyond Jabbok; for that was the border of the Ammonites.

Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 2". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rbc/deuteronomy-2.html. 1857.
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