Deuteronomy 3:11

Deuteronomy 3:11

For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants,
&c.] The meaning seems to be, either that he was the only one that was left of the race of the giants the Ammonites found when they took possession of this country, ( Deuteronomy 2:20 ) or that was left when the Amorites took it from the Ammonites; and who having by some means or other ingratiated himself into their affections, because of his stature, strength, and courage, and other qualifications they might discern in him, made him their king:

behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron:
his body being so large and bulky, he might think it most proper and safest for him to have a bedstead made of iron to lie upon, or to prevent noxious insects harbouring in it; nor was it unusual to have bedsteads made of other materials than wood, as of gold, silver, and ivory; (See Gill on Amos 6:4). Some learned men F18 have been of opinion, that the beds of Typho in Syria, made mention of by Homer F19, refer to this bedstead of Og:

is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon?
which was the royal city of the Ammonites, in the times of David, ( 2 Samuel 12:26 ) , now called Philadelphia, as Jerom says F20. This bedstead might be either sent thither by Og, before the battle at Edrei, for safety, or rather might be sold by the Israelites to the inhabitants of Rabbath, who kept it, as a great curiosity:

nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it,
after the cubit of a man;
a common cubit, so that it was four yards and a half long, and two yards broad. Onkelos renders it, after the king's cubit; and the king's cubit at Babylon, according to Herodotus F21, was larger by three fingers than the common one; such as the cubit in ( Ezekiel 40:5 ) , which was a cubit and an hand's breadth; and this makes the dimensions of the bedstead yet larger. And by this judgment may be made of the tallness of Og's stature, though this is not always a sure rule to go by; for Alexander, when in India, ordered his soldiers to make beds of five cubits long, to be left behind them, that they might be thought to be larger men than they were, as Diodorus Siculus F23 and Curtius F24 relate; but there is little reason to believe that Og's bedstead was made with such a view. Maimonides observes F25, that a bed in common is a third part larger than a man; so that Og, according to this way of reckoning, was six cubits high, and his stature doubly larger than a common man's; but less than a third part may well be allowed to a bed, which will make him taller still; the height of Og is reckoned by Wolfius F26 to be about thirteen feet eleven inches of Paris measure.


F18 Vid. Dickinson. Delph. Phaenieizant. c. 2. p. 12.
F19 Iliad. z.
F20 De loc. Heb. fol. 94. C.
F21 Clio, sive, l. 1. c. 175.
F23 Bibliothec. l. 17. p. 563.
F24 Hist. l. 9. c. 3.
F25 Moreh Nevochim, par. 2. c. 47. p. 325.
F26 Apud Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 3. p. 401.