Deuteronomy 2

Wanderings in the Wilderness

1 "1Then we turned and set out for the wilderness by the way to the [a]Red * Sea, as the LORD spoke to me, and circled 2Mount Seir for many days.
2 "And the LORD spoke to me, saying,
3 'You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north,
4 3and command the people, saying, "You will pass through the 4territory of your brothers the sons of Esau who live in Seir; and 5they will be afraid of you. So be very careful;
5 do not [b]provoke them, for I will not give you any of their land, even as little as a [c]footstep * * 6because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession.
6 "You shall buy food from them with money so that you may eat, and you shall also purchase water from them with money so that you may drink.
7 "For the LORD your God has blessed you in all [d]that you have done; He has known your [e]wanderings through this 7great wilderness. These 8forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing."'
8 "So we passed beyond * our brothers the sons of Esau, who live in Seir, away from the 9Arabah road, away from Elath and 10from Ezion-geber. And we turned and passed through by the way of the wilderness of Moab.
9 "Then the LORD said to me, 'Do not harass Moab, nor provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of [f]their land as a possession, because I have given 11Ar to 12the sons of Lot as a possession.
10 (The 13Emim lived there formerly, a people as great, numerous, and tall as the Anakim.
11 Like the Anakim, they are also regarded as 14Rephaim, but the Moabites call them Emim.
12 15The Horites formerly lived in Seir, but the sons of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them from before them and settled in their place, 16just as Israel did to the land of [g]their possession which the LORD gave to them.)
13 'Now arise and cross over the brook Zered yourselves.' So we crossed over the brook Zered.
14 "Now the time that it took for us to come from Kadesh-barnea until * we crossed over the brook Zered was 17thirty-eight * years, until 18all the generation of the men of war perished from within the camp, as 19the LORD had sworn to them.
15 "20Moreover the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from within the camp until they all perished.
16 "So it came about when 21all the men of war had finally perished * from among the people,
17 that the LORD spoke to me, saying,
18 'Today you shall cross over 22Ar, the border of Moab.
19 'When you come opposite the 23sons of Ammon, do not harass them nor provoke them, for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to 24the sons of Lot as a possession.'
20 (It is also regarded as the land of the 25Rephaim, for Rephaim formerly lived in it, but the Ammonites call them Zamzummin,
21 a people as great, numerous, and tall as the Anakim, but the LORD destroyed them before them. And they dispossessed them and settled in their place,
22 just as He did for the sons of Esau, who 26live in Seir, when He destroyed 27the Horites from before them; they dispossessed them and settled in their place even to this day.
23 And the 28Avvim, who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the 29Caphtorim who came from 30Caphtor, destroyed them and lived in their place.)
24 'Arise, set out, and pass through the 31valley of Arnon. Look! I have given Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land into your hand; begin to take possession and contend with him in battle.
25 'This day I will begin to put 32the dread and fear of you upon the peoples everywhere under the heavens, who, when they hear the report of you, 33will tremble and be in anguish because * of you.'
26 "34So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying,
27 'Let me pass through your land, I will travel only on the highway; I will not turn aside to the right or to the left.
28 'You will sell me food for money so that I may eat, and give me water for money so that I may drink, 35only let me pass through on foot,
29 just as the sons of Esau who live in Seir and the Moabites who live in 36Ar did for me, until * I cross over the Jordan into the land which the LORD our God is giving to us.'
30 "But 37Sihon king of Heshbon was not willing for us to pass through his land; for the 38LORD your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, in order to deliver him into your hand, as he is today.
31 "The LORD said to me, 'See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to occupy, that you may possess his land.'
32 "Then Sihon with all his people came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz.
33 "39The LORD our God delivered him over to us, and we 40defeated him with his sons and all his people.
34 "So we captured all his cities at that time and 41utterly destroyed the men, women and children of every city. We left no survivor.
35 "We took 42only the animals as our booty and the spoil of the cities which we had captured.
36 "From 43Aroer which is on the edge of the valley of Arnon and from the city which is in the valley, even to Gilead, there was no city that was too high for us; the LORD our God delivered all over to us.
37 "44Only you did not go near to the land of the sons of Ammon, all along the river 45Jabbok and the cities of the hill country, and wherever * the LORD our God had commanded us.

Deuteronomy 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

The Edomites to be spared. (1-7) The Moabites and Ammonites to be spared. (8-23) The Amorites to be destroyed. (24-37)

Verses 1-7 Only a short account of the long stay of Israel in the wilderness is given. God not only chastised them for their murmuring and unbelief, but prepared them for Canaan; by humbling them for sin, teaching them to mortify their lusts, to follow God, and to comfort themselves in him. Though Israel may be long kept waiting for deliverance and enlargement, it will come at last. Before God brought Israel to destroy their enemies in Canaan, he taught them to forgive their enemies in Edom. They must not, under pretence of God's covenant and conduct, think to seize all they could lay hands on. Dominion is not founded in grace. God's Israel shall be well placed, but must not expect to be placed alone in the midst of the earth. Religion must never be made a cloak for injustice. Scorn to be beholden to Edomites, when thou hast an all-sufficient God to depend upon. Use what thou hast, use it cheerfully. Thou hast experienced the care of the Divine providence, never use any crooked methods for thy supply. All this is equally to be applied to the experience of the believer.

Verses 8-23 We have the origin of the Moabites, Edomites, and Ammonites. Moses also gives an instance older than any of these; the Caphtorims drove the Avims out of their country. These revolutions show what uncertain things wordly possessions are. It was so of old, and ever will be so. Families decline, and from them estates are transferred to families that increase; so little continuance is there in these things. This is recorded to encourage the children of Israel. If the providence of God has done this for Moabites and Ammonites, much more would his promise do it for Israel, his peculiar people. Cautions are given not to meddle with Moabites and Ammonites. Even wicked men must not be wronged. God gives and preserves outward blessings to wicked men; these are not the best things, he has better in store for his own children.

Verses 24-37 God tried his people, by forbidding them to meddle with the rich countries of Moab and Ammon. He gives them possession of the country of the Amorites. If we keep from what God forbids, we shall not lose by our obedience. The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; and he gives it to whom he pleases; but when there is no express direction, none can plead his grant for such proceedings. Though God assured the Israelites that the land should be their own, yet they must contend with the enemy. What God gives we must endeavour to get. What a new world did Israel now come into! Much more joyful will the change be, which holy souls will experience, when they remove out of the wilderness of this world to the better country, that is, the heavenly, to the city that has foundations. Let us, by reflecting upon God's dealings with his people Israel, be led to meditate upon our years spent in vanity, through our transgressions. But happy are those whom Jesus has delivered from the wrath to come. To whom he hath given the earnest of his Spirit in their hearts. Their inheritance cannot be affected by revolutions of kingdoms, or changes in earthly possessions.

Cross References 45

  • 1. Numbers 21:4
  • 2. Deuteronomy 1:2
  • 3. Numbers 20:14-21
  • 4. Genesis 36:8
  • 5. Exodus 15:15, 16
  • 6. Genesis 36:8; Joshua 24:4
  • 7. Deuteronomy 1:19
  • 8. Numbers 14:33, 34; Numbers 32:13; Deuteronomy 2:14
  • 9. Deuteronomy 1:1
  • 10. Numbers 33:35; 1 Kings 9:26
  • 11. Numbers 21:15, 28; Deuteronomy 2:18, 29
  • 12. Genesis 19:36, 37
  • 13. Genesis 14:5
  • 14. Genesis 14:5; Deuteronomy 2:20
  • 15. Genesis 36:20; Deuteronomy 2:22
  • 16. Numbers 21:25, 35
  • 17. Deuteronomy 2:7
  • 18. Numbers 14:29-35; Numbers 26:64, 65; Psalms 106:26; 1 Corinthians 10:5
  • 19. Deuteronomy 1:34, 35
  • 20. Jude 5
  • 21. Deuteronomy 2:14
  • 22. Deuteronomy 2:9
  • 23. Genesis 19:38
  • 24. Deuteronomy 2:9
  • 25. Deuteronomy 2:11
  • 26. Genesis 36:8; Deuteronomy 2:5
  • 27. Deuteronomy 2:12
  • 28. Joshua 13:3
  • 29. Genesis 10:14; 1 Chronicles 1:12
  • 30. Jeremiah 47:4; Amos 9:7
  • 31. Numbers 21:13, 14; Judges 11:18
  • 32. Exodus 23:27; Deuteronomy 11:25; Joshua 2:9
  • 33. Exodus 15:14-16
  • 34. Numbers 21:21-32; Deuteronomy 1:4; Judges 11:19-21
  • 35. Numbers 20:19
  • 36. Deuteronomy 2:9
  • 37. Numbers 21:23
  • 38. Exodus 4:21; Joshua 11:20
  • 39. Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 7:2
  • 40. Deuteronomy 29:7
  • 41. Deuteronomy 3:6; Deuteronomy 7:2
  • 42. Deuteronomy 3:7
  • 43. Deuteronomy 3:12; Deuteronomy 4:48; Joshua 12:2; Joshua 13:9
  • 44. Deuteronomy 2:19
  • 45. Genesis 32:22; Numbers 21:24; Deuteronomy 3:16

Footnotes 30

Chapter Summary


In this chapter Moses goes on with his account of the affairs of the people of Israel, and what befell them, how they turned into the wilderness again; but passes over in silence their travels there, till they came to Mount Self, where having been some time they were bid to depart, De 2:1-3, and were directed not to meddle with the Edomites, or take anything from them, but pay them for what they should have of them, since they lacked not, De 2:4-8, nor to distress the Moabites, of whose country, as formerly inhabited, and also of Edom, some account is given, De 2:9-12, when they were bid to go over the brook Zered, to which from their coming from Kadeshbarnea was the space of thirty eight years, in which time the former generation was consumed, De 2:13-16 and now passing along the borders of Moab, they were ordered not to meddle with nor distress the children of Ammon, of whose land also, and the former inhabitants of it, an account is given, De 2:17-23, then passing over the river Arnon, they are bid to fight with Sihon king of the Amorites, and possess his land, De 2:24,25 to whom they sent messengers, desiring leave to pass through his land, and to furnish them with provisions for their money, as the Edomites and Moabites had done, De 2:26-29 but he refusing, this gave them an opportunity to attack him, in which they succeeded, slew him and his people, and took possession of his country, De 2:30-37.

Deuteronomy 2 Commentaries

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