And the Lord said unto me
After or about the time when the messengers were sent to Sihon, perhaps when they had returned and had brought his answer:
behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee;
by hardening his heart, which was a sure token of his ruin, and a leading step to the delivery of him into the hands of Israel:
begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land;
move towards it and enter into it, not fearing any opposition made by him.