The conquest of Og king of Bashan. (1-11) The land of Gilead and Bashan. (12-20) Moses encourages Joshua. (21-29)
Verse 1 1-11 Og was very powerful, but he did not take warning by the ruin of Sihon, and desire conditions of peace. He trusted his own strength, and so was hardened to his destruction. Those not awakened by the judgments of God on others, ripen for the like judgments on themselves.
Verses 12-20 This country was settled on the Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh: see ( Numbers 32 ) . Moses repeats the condition of the grant to which they agreed. When at rest, we should desire to see our brethren at rest too, and should be ready to do what we can towards it; for we are not born for ourselves, but are members one of another.
Verses 21-29 Moses encouraged Joshua, who was to succeed him. Thus the aged and experienced in the service of God, should do all they can to strengthen the hands of those who are young, and setting out in religion. Consider what God has done, what God has promised. If God be for us, who can be against us, so as to prevail? We reproach our Leader if we follow him trembling. Moses prayed, that, if it were God's will, he might go before Israel, over Jordan into Canaan. We should never allow any desires in our hearts, which we cannot in faith offer up to God by prayer. God's answer to this prayer had a mixture of mercy and judgment. God sees it good to deny many things we desire. He may accept our prayers, yet not grant us the very things we pray for. It God does not by his providence give us what we desire, yet if by his grace he makes us content without, it comes to much the same. Let it suffice thee to have God for thy Father, and heaven for thy portion, though thou hast not every thing thou wouldst have in the world. God promised Moses a sight of Canaan from the top of Pisgah. Though he should not have the possession of it, he should have the prospect of it. Even great believers, in this present state, see heaven but at a distance. God provided him a successor. It is a comfort to the friends of the church of Christ, to see God's work likely to be carried on by others, when they are silent in the dust. And if we have the earnest and prospect of heaven, let these suffice us; let us submit to the Lord's will, and speak no more to Him of matters which he sees good to refuse us.
In this chapter the account is carried on of the conquest of the Amorites by Israel, of Og king of Bashan, and his kingdom, De 3:1-11, and of the distribution of their country to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh, De 1:12-17 and then the command to the said tribes is observed, to go out armed before their brethren, and assist them in the conquest of the land of Canaan, and then return to their possessions, De 3:18-20 and also that to Joshua not to fear, but to do to the Canaanitish kings and kingdoms what he had seen done to the two kings of the Amorites, De 3:21,22. After which Moses relates the request he made, to go over Jordan and see the good land, which was denied him, only he is bidden to look from the top of an hill to see it, De 3:23-27. And the chapter is closed with the charge he was to give Joshua, De 3:28 which was received in the valley where they abode, De 3:29.