Deuteronomy 3

Defeat of Og King of Bashan

1 Next we turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan with his whole army marched out to meet us in battle at Edrei.
2 The LORD said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands, along with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”
3 So the LORD our God also gave into our hands Og king of Bashan and all his army. We struck them down, leaving no survivors.
4 At that time we took all his cities. There was not one of the sixty cities that we did not take from them—the whole region of Argob, Og’s kingdom in Bashan.
5 All these cities were fortified with high walls and with gates and bars, and there were also a great many unwalled villages.
6 We completely destroyed[a] them, as we had done with Sihon king of Heshbon, destroying[b] every city—men, women and children.
7 But all the livestock and the plunder from their cities we carried off for ourselves.
8 So at that time we took from these two kings of the Amorites the territory east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge as far as Mount Hermon.
9 (Hermon is called Sirion by the Sidonians; the Amorites call it Senir.)
10 We took all the towns on the plateau, and all Gilead, and all Bashan as far as Salekah and Edrei, towns of Og’s kingdom in Bashan.
11 (Og king of Bashan was the last of the Rephaites. His bed was decorated with iron and was more than nine cubits long and four cubits wide.[c] It is still in Rabbah of the Ammonites.)

Division of the Land

12 Of the land that we took over at that time, I gave the Reubenites and the Gadites the territory north of Aroer by the Arnon Gorge, including half the hill country of Gilead, together with its towns.
13 The rest of Gilead and also all of Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh. (The whole region of Argob in Bashan used to be known as a land of the Rephaites.
14 Jair, a descendant of Manasseh, took the whole region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maakathites; it was named after him, so that to this day Bashan is called Havvoth Jair.[d] )
15 And I gave Gilead to Makir.
16 But to the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the territory extending from Gilead down to the Arnon Gorge (the middle of the gorge being the border) and out to the Jabbok River, which is the border of the Ammonites.
17 Its western border was the Jordan in the Arabah, from Kinnereth to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea), below the slopes of Pisgah.
18 I commanded you at that time: “The LORD your God has given you this land to take possession of it. But all your able-bodied men, armed for battle, must cross over ahead of the other Israelites.
19 However, your wives, your children and your livestock (I know you have much livestock) may stay in the towns I have given you,
20 until the LORD gives rest to your fellow Israelites as he has to you, and they too have taken over the land that the LORD your God is giving them across the Jordan. After that, each of you may go back to the possession I have given you.”

Moses Forbidden to Cross the Jordan

21 At that time I commanded Joshua: “You have seen with your own eyes all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings. The LORD will do the same to all the kingdoms over there where you are going.
22 Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.”
23 At that time I pleaded with the LORD:
24 “Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?
25 Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan—that fine hill country and Lebanon.”
26 But because of you the LORD was angry with me and would not listen to me. “That is enough,” the LORD said. “Do not speak to me anymore about this matter.
27 Go up to the top of Pisgah and look west and north and south and east. Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan.
28 But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see.”
29 So we stayed in the valley near Beth Peor.

Deuteronomy 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

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.

Cross References 52

  • 1. S Numbers 32:19
  • 2. S Numbers 21:33
  • 3. Joshua 10:8; 2 Kings 19:6; Isaiah 7:4; Numbers 21:34
  • 4. S Numbers 21:24
  • 5. Numbers 21:35
  • 6. S Numbers 21:24
  • 7. ver 13
  • 8. S Numbers 21:33; 1 Kings 4:13
  • 9. Deuteronomy 2:24; Deuteronomy 2:24,34
  • 10. Deuteronomy 2:35
  • 11. Numbers 32:33; Joshua 13:8-12
  • 12. Deuteronomy 4:48; Joshua 11:3,17; Joshua 12:1; Joshua 13:5; Judges 3:3; 1 Chronicles 5:23; Psalms 42:6; Psalms 89:12; Psalms 133:3; Song of Songs 4:8
  • 13. Deuteronomy 4:48; Psalms 29:6
  • 14. 1 Chronicles 5:23; Song of Songs 4:8; Ezekiel 27:5
  • 15. Joshua 12:5; 1 Chronicles 5:11; Joshua 13:11
  • 16. Genesis 14:5
  • 17. Joshua 13:25; Joshua 15:60; 2 Samuel 11:1; 2 Samuel 12:26; 2 Samuel 17:27; 1 Chronicles 20:1; Jeremiah 49:2; Ezekiel 21:20; Ezekiel 25:5; Amos 1:14
  • 18. Numbers 32:32-38; Deuteronomy 2:36; Joshua 13:8-13
  • 19. Deuteronomy 29:8
  • 20. S Genesis 14:5
  • 21. S Numbers 32:41; 1 Chronicles 2:22
  • 22. Joshua 12:5; Joshua 13:11,13; 2 Samuel 10:6; 2 Samuel 23:34; 2 Kings 25:23; 1 Chronicles 4:19; Jeremiah 40:8
  • 23. Joshua 19:47; Psalms 49:11
  • 24. S Genesis 50:23; Numbers 32:39-40
  • 25. S Numbers 21:24
  • 26. 2 Samuel 2:29; 2 Samuel 4:7; Ezekiel 47:8
  • 27. S Numbers 34:11; Joshua 13:27
  • 28. S Deuteronomy 1:1
  • 29. S Genesis 14:3; Joshua 12:3
  • 30. Joshua 1:13
  • 31. S Numbers 32:17
  • 32. Joshua 1:14
  • 33. S Numbers 32:16
  • 34. S Deuteronomy 1:29
  • 35. Deuteronomy 7:18; Deuteronomy 20:1; Deuteronomy 31:6; 2 Chronicles 32:8; Psalms 23:4; Isaiah 41:10
  • 36. S Exodus 14:14; Deuteronomy 20:4
  • 37. Deuteronomy 1:37; Deuteronomy 31:2; Deuteronomy 32:52; Deuteronomy 34:4
  • 38. Deuteronomy 5:24; Deuteronomy 11:2; Deuteronomy 32:3
  • 39. S Exodus 8:10; Exodus 15:11; Psalms 86:8
  • 40. Psalms 71:16; Psalms 106:2; Psalms 145:12; Psalms 150:2; Psalms 71:16,19
  • 41. 2 Samuel 7:22
  • 42. Deuteronomy 4:22
  • 43. Deuteronomy 1:7; Joshua 1:4; Joshua 9:1; Joshua 11:17; Joshua 12:7; Joshua 13:5; Judges 3:3; Joshua 9:15; 1 Kings 4:33
  • 44. ver 27; Deuteronomy 1:37; Deuteronomy 31:2
  • 45. S Numbers 21:20
  • 46. S Genesis 13:14
  • 47. S ver 26; S Numbers 20:12; Deuteronomy 32:52
  • 48. S Numbers 27:12
  • 49. Numbers 27:18-23
  • 50. Deuteronomy 31:7
  • 51. Deuteronomy 1:38; Deuteronomy 31:3,23
  • 52. S Numbers 23:28; Deuteronomy 4:46; Deuteronomy 34:6; Joshua 13:20

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  • [b]. The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  • [c]. That is, about 14 feet long and 6 feet wide or about 4 meters long and 1.8 meters wide
  • [d]. Or "called the settlements of Jair"

Chapter Summary


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.

Deuteronomy 3 Commentaries

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.