And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek,
&c.] Either the Lord gathered them to Eglon, inclined them to enter into a confederacy with him, to assist in the war against Israel; or the king of Moab got them to join with him in it, they being his neighbours, and enemies to Israel, and especially Amalek:
and went and smote Israel;
first the two tribes and a half, which lay on that side Jordan Moab did, whom it is reasonable to suppose he would attack first; and having defeated them, he came over Jordan:
and possessed the city of the palm trees;
Jericho, as the Targum, which was set with palm trees; see ( Deuteronomy 34:3 ) ( Judges 1:16 ) ; not the city itself, for that was destroyed by Joshua, and not rebuilt until the time of Ahab; but the country, about it, or, as Abarbinel thinks, a city that was near it; here Josephus says F20 he had his royal palace; it is probable he built a fort or garrison here, to secure the fords of Jordan, and his own retreat; as well as to keep up a communication with his own people, and prevent the tribes of the other side giving any assistance to their brethren, if able and disposed to do it.
F20 Antiqu. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 1.