Devarim 2

1 Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Yam Suf, as Hashem spoke unto me; and we circled Mt Seir yamim rabbim (many days).
2 And Hashem spoke unto me, saying,
3 Ye have circled hahar hazeh (this mountain) long enough; turn you northward.
4 And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the territory of your brethren the Bnei Esav, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you; be shomer me’od of yourselves therefore:
5 Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a regel (foot) breadth; because I have given Mt Seir unto Esav for a yerushah (possession, inheritance).
6 Ye shall get by trade okhel (food) of them for kesef, that ye may eat; and ye shall also buy mayim of them for kesef, that ye may drink.
7 For Hashem Eloheicha hath bestowed a brocha on thee in all the works of thy hand; He knoweth thy walking through this midbar hagadol (great wilderness); these arba’im shanim Hashem Eloheicha hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.
8 And when we went on past our brethren the Bnei Esav, who dwell in Seir, through the road of the Aravah from Eilat, and from Etzyon-Gever, we turned and passed by on the road through the midbar of Moav.
9 And Hashem said unto me, Harass not the Moavim, neither provoke them to milchamah for I will not give thee of their land for a yerushah; because I have given Ar unto the Bnei Lot for a yerushah.
10 The Emim dwelt therein in times past, a people great, many, and tall, as the Anakim;
11 Which also were accounted Refa’im, as the Anakim; but the Moavim called them Emim.
12 The Chorim also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the Bnei Esav succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their place; as Yisroel did unto the eretz of his yerushah Hashem gave unto them.
13 Now rise up, and get you over the Wadi Zered. And we went over the Wadi Zered.
14 And the space in which we came from Kadesh-Barnea, until we were come over the Wadi Zered, was 38 shanim; until all the generation of the anshei hamilchamah had been consumed from the machaneh, as Hashem had sworn unto them.
15 For indeed the yad Hashem was against them, to destroy them from among the machaneh, until they were consumed.
16 So it came to pass, when kol anshei hamilchamah were consumed and dead from among HaAm (the People),
17 That Hashem spoke unto me, saying,
18 Thou art to pass over the border of Moav at Ar today;
19 And when thou comest opposite the Bnei Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them; for I will not give thee of the Eretz Bnei Ammon any yerushah; because I have given it unto the Bnei Lot for a yerushah.
20 (That also was accounted a land of Refa’im; Refa’im dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonim call them Zamzummim;
21 A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakim; but Hashem destroyed them before them; and they [the Ammonim] dispossessed them, and dwelt in their place:
22 As He did to the Bnei Esav, which dwelt in Seir, when He destroyed the Chori from before them; and they succeeded them, dwelling in their place even to this day;
23 And the Avim which dwelt in villages, even unto Azzah, the Caphtorim, which came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in their place.)
24 Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the Wadi Arnon: see, I have given into thine hand the Emori, Sichon Melech Cheshbon, and his land: begin to possess it, and contend with him in milchamah (battle, war).
25 Hayom hazeh will I begin to put the pachad (dread) of thee and the fear of thee upon the ammim (peoples) that are under Kol HaShomayim, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.
26 And I sent malachim out of the midbar Kedemot unto Sichon Melech Cheshbon with divrei shalom, saying,
27 Let me pass through thy land on the derech; I will go along on the derech; I will neither turn unto the yamin nor to the semol (left).
28 Thou shalt sell me okhel for kesef, that I may eat; and give me mayim for kesef, that I may drink; only I will pass through on foot;
29 (As the Bnei Esav which dwell in Seir, and the Moavim which dwell in Ar, did unto me;) until I shall pass over Yarden into the land which Hashem Eloheinu giveth us.
30 But Sichon Melech Cheshbon would not let us pass by him; for Hashem Eloheicha hardened and made stubborn his ruach, and made his lev obstinate, that He might deliver him into thy hand, as indeed hayom hazeh.
31 And Hashem said unto me, See, I have begun to give Sichon and his land before thee; begin the occupation, that thou mayest take possession to inherit his land.
32 Then Sichon came out against us, he and all his people, to make milchamah (battle, war) at Yachatz.
33 And Hashem Eloheinu delivered him before us; and we struck him, and his banim, and all his people.
34 And we took all his towns at that time, and in cherem utterly destroyed them, and of the nashim, and the little ones, of every town, we left no remnant;
35 Only the behemah we took for booty unto ourselves, and the plunder of the towns which we took.
36 From Aroer, which is on the edge of Wadi Arnon, and from the town that is by the wadi, even unto Gil‘ad, there was not one town too strong for us; Hashem Eloheinu delivered all unto us:
37 Only unto the Eretz Bnei Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any place of the Wadi Yabok, nor unto the towns in the hills, in accordance with the command of Hashem Eloheinu.

Devarim 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.

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.

Devarim 2 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.