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.