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of the People
B. C. 1491.
a Num. 13. 29.
b Ex. 13. 21.
up, but rebelled against the command- |1 Heb., melted. (34) And the Lord heard the voice of ment of the LORD
your words, and was wroth, and sware, murmured in your tents, and said, Be
saying, (35) • Surely there shall not one cause the LORD hated us, he hath
of these men of this evil generation see brought us forth out of the land of
that good land, which I sware to give Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of
unto your fathers, (36) save Caleb the the Amorites, to destroy us.
son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and ther shall we go up? our brethren have
to him will I give the land that he hath discouraged our heart, saying, The
trodden upon, and to his children, bepeople is greater and taller than we;
cause he hath? wholly followed the the cities are great and walled up to
LORD. (37) d Also the LORD was angry heaven; and moreover we have seen the
with me for your sakes, saying, Thou sons of the a Anakims there.
also shalt not go in thither.
(38) But (29) Then I said unto you, Dread not,
Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth neither be afraid of them. (30) The LORD | Num. 14. 29. before thee, he shall go in thither: enyour God which goeth before you, he
courage him : for he shall cause Israel shall fight for you, according to all that
to inherit it. (39) Moreover your little he did for you in Egypt before your 2 Heh, fulfled to ones, which ye said should be a prey, eyes; (31) and in the wilderness, where
and your children, which in that day thou hast seen how that the LORD thy
had no knowledge between good and God bare thee, as a man doth bear his
evil, they shall go in thither, and unto son, in all the way that ye went, until | 29. 12. 20. 12. & them will I give it, and they shall posye came into this place. (32) Yet in this
(40) But as for you, turn you, thing ye did not believe the LORD your
and take your journey into the wilderGod, (33) who went in the way before
ness by the way of the Red sea. you, to search you out a place to pitch & 31. 5. (41) Then ye answered and said unto your tents in, in fire by night, to shew
me, f we have sinned against the LORD, you by what way ye should go, and in
we will go up and fight, according to all a cloud by day.
that the LORD our God commanded us.
e ch.3. 28. & 4 21.
I Num. 14. 40.
(27) Because the Lord hated us. – A most Moses' substitute, the exception among the recognised astounding commentary on the events of the exodus up leaders, is named separately. to that date. It is a stronger expression than any re- (37) Also the Lord was angry with me for your corded, even in Num. xiv. 3.
sakes. Here, again, Moses combines his own rejection, (28) Whither shall we go up ? our brethren an event of the fortieth year of the exodus, with the have discouraged our heart.-So Caleb says in rejection of the people in the second year. The reason Josh. xiv. 8, My brethren made the heart of the was the same—unbelief. “Because ye believed me people melt." For the rest of the verse see Num. xiii. not " was the reason given to Moses in Num. xx. 12. 28.
“Ye did not believe the Lord your God” is the reason (29) Dread not, neither be afraid of them. for the rejection of the people, given above in verse 32. -The reminder that " Jehovah went before them :; As the spies presumed to investigate the route and did not avail, for they had already chosen men to go order of the conquest, a matter of Divine guidance, so before them.
Moses presumed to alter the prescribed order for the (31) The Lord
bare thee, as a man miracle in Kadesh. Like transgressions incurred like doth bear his son.-From this comes the expression penalties. The fault for which the people had suffered in Acts xiii. 18, “ He bare them as a nursing father in could not be overlooked in the leader. (See also Notes the wilderness. -Rev. N. T., margin.
on chaps. iii. 23—28; xxxii. 49.) This and verse 38 (33) Who went in the way before you, to should be taken as a parenthesis. search you out a place.-Comp. Num. x. 33, “ The (39) Moreover your little ones. This continues ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them the sentence of Jehovah from verse 36. to search out a resting place for them;” and St. John Which ye said should be a prey.-In Num. xiv. 2, “ I go to prepare a place for you ;
" and Heb. vi. xiv. 3, " that our wives and children should be a prey." 20,“ Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even (See also verse 31.) Jesus.' On the whole manner of this cloud-guidance, (10) But as for you, turn you, and take your see Num. ix. 15—23.
journey into the wilderness by the way in (34) Was wroth, and sware.-See Ps. xcv. 11, the direction) of the Red Sea.-In Num. xiv. 32 “I sware in my wrath, that they should not enter into the parallel sentence is, “ As for you, your carcases,
they shall fall in this wilderness." (35) Surely. Comp. St. Luke xiv. 24, “None (11) We have sinned ... we will go up and of those men which were bidden shall taste of my fight.-The emphatic we of this verse may be comsupper.'
pared with the we" of verse 28. In both instances it (36) Save Caleb.-Caleb is here placed by himself, was we, without Jehovah.
It was a change from as the one exception among the people. Joshua, as cowardice to presumption, not from unbelief to faith.
in the Wilderness.
And when ye had girded on every man
according unto the days that ye abode his weapons of war, ye were ready to go
there. up into the hill. (42) And the LORD said unto me, Say unto them, Go not up,
CHAPTER II.-(1) Then we turned, neither fight; for I am not among you;
and took our journey into the wilderness lest ye be smitten before your enemies.
by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD (23) So I spake unto you;
spake unto me: and we compassed not hear, but revelled against the com
mount Seir many days.
(2) And the mandment of the Lord, and I went pre- 1 Heb, ye were pre
LORD spake unto me, saying, (3) Ye sumptuously up into the hill. (44) And seem tous, and have compassed this mountain long the Āmorites, which dwelt in that moun
enough: turn you northward.
(4) And tain, came out against you, and chased
command thou the people, saying, Ye you, as bees do, and destroyed you in
are to pass through the coast of your Seir, even unto Hormah.
brethren the children of Esau, which returned and wept before the LORD ;
dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid but the LORD would not hearken to
of you: take ye good heed unto youryour voice, nor give ear unto you.
selves therefore : (5) meddle not with (46) So ye abode in Kadesh many days,
them; for I will not give you of their
(45) And ye
Yo were ready to go up into the hill.–Some (3) Ye have compassed this mountain long render, Ye made light of going up.
enough: turn you northward.-Apparently this (43) The last clause comes from Num. xiv. 44.
command must have been issued when they were in (44) As bees do.-This should be observed as illus. Kadesh the second time, at the commencement of the trating what is said of the hornet in Exod. xxiii. 28– fortieth year (Num. xx. 1). It was from this encamp30, and further on in Deut. vii. 20; Josh. xxiv. 12. ment that Moses sent messengers to the king of Edom, The incidental mention of the bees in this place shows asking permission to pass through his territory; It that the writer of Deuteronomy was familiar with the would be interesting to know when it was decided that spectacle of a company of men pursued by bees. Israel should enter the land of promise by passing over
In Seir, even unto Hormah.— Čonder (Bible Jordan, instead of going through the Negeb. Did Handbook, p. 250) understands this Seir as the range Mount Seir, or the territory of Edom, lie wholly on the of hills round Petra. There is another Seir in east, or partly on the west of Israel when they were en. the territory of Judah (Josh. xv. 10). As to Hormah, camped in Kadesh ? If Edom had acquired any territhe Jewish commentator Aben Ezra says, " the name torial rights to the westward during the thirty-eight years' of a place or the verb," i.e., either unto Hormah, or wandering, it might have been necessary for Israel to unto utter destruction. But in our version the word ask his permission to go by the way of the spies, and in Hormah is always taken as a proper name.
The situa- that case the decision to pass Jordan may have been tion of Hormah is unknown.
taken in consequence of Èdom's refusal. But if, as (45) And ye returned and wept before the Conder (Bible Handbook, p. 250) appears to think, the Lord.—This fact is not related in Num. xiv. It shows permission asked was to go eastward between the the personal knowledge of the writer, and that the nar. mountains by the W. el Ghaweir to the north of rative is not simply drawn from the earlier books. Mount Hor, or the W. Ghurundel to the south of it
(46) So ye abode in Kadesh many days. – (see Stanley's Map in Sinai and Palestine for these), Better, and. In Num. xiv. 25 the command was, then the decision to pass the Jordan must have morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness." been taken before this period. The reason for the This command was broken by the attack on the Canaan- step would then be similar to what we find in Exod. ites, made on the morrow after the command. We xiii. 17, that the people might not have to fight their cannot be certain that the many days spent in Kadesh way into the country through the land of the Amorites. were spent after the defeat. It may be merely a note The miraculous eisodus across Jordan would thus of the fact that the time spent in Kadesh was consider- become still more analogous to the miraculous exodus able. The mission of the spies alone occupied forty from Egypt. days.
(4) Ye are to pass through the coast.–LiteAccording unto the days that ye abode there. rally, Ye are passing through the border. This was ap- The Jewish commentator Rashi, quoting from Sêder parently said before the permission was asked, and in 'Olám, says they spent nineteen years in Kadesh, and view of the request made for it (Num. xx. 17). But nineteen in their wanderings.
Edom refused to let Israel pass through his coast or
border (Num. xx. 21). II.
They shall be afraid of you.-According to (1) Then.-In the original simply " And.” There is the prophecy in the song of Moses (Exod. xv. 15)," Then no note of time.
the dukes of Edom shall be amazed.” By the way of the Red sea.-i.e., in the direc. (5) I have given mount Seir unto Esau.tion of the Gulf of Akabah, southwards.
It is worthy of notice that the development of Ishmael As the Lord spake unto me.- In Num. xiv. preceded that of Isaac, and the inheritance of Esau 25, as noted on chap. i. 40.
was won earlier than that of Jacob. (Comp. Gen. xxv. Many days.-Until near the close of the thirty. | 16 with chap. XXXV. 23—26, and Gen. xxxvi. 31 with ninth year of the exodus.
chap. xxxvii. 1.) Isaac and Israel were still strangers
Their Contests with
the Nations there.
sole of the foot.
a Gen. 36. 8.
b Gen. 36. 20.
land, 'no, not so much as a foot breadth; 1 Heberen to the have given Ar unto the children of Lot because I have given mount Seir unto
for a possession. (10) The Emims dwelt Esau for a possession. (6) Ye shall buy
therein in times past, a people great, meat of them for money, that ye may
and many, and tall, as the Anakims; eat; and ye shall also buy water of
(11) which also were accounted giants, them for money, that ye may drink.
as the Anakims; but the Moabites call (7) For the Lord thy God bath blessed 2 or, ['se no 106-them Emims. (12) b The Horims also thee in all the works of thy hand: he
dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the knoweth thy walking through this great
children of Esau 'succeeded them, when wilderness : these forty years the LORD
they had destroyed them from before thy God hath been with thee; thou hast
them, and dwelt in their stead; as lacked nothing
Israel did unto the land of his possession, (8) And when we passed by from our
which the Lord gave unto them. (13) Now brethren the children of Esau, which
rise up, said I, and get you over "the dwelt in Seir, through the way of the
5 brook Zered. And we went over the plain from Elath, and from Ezion-gaber,
brook Zered. we turned and passed by the way of
(14) And the space in which we came the wilderness of Moab. (9) And the
from Kadesh-barnea, until we were LORD said unto me, % Distress not the
come over the brook Zered, was thirty Moabites, neither contend with them
and eight years; until all the generation in battle: for I will not give thee of
of the men of war were wasted out their land for a possession; because I sor, raltey. from among the host, as the LORD
3 Heh.. inherited
4 Or, room.
c Num. 21. 12.
and sojourners, while the Ishmaelites were princes, 10—12) editorial, though it forms no essential part of with towns and castles, and the Edomites dukes and Moses' speech. kings.
(13) Now rise up, said I. - A continuation of (6) Ye shall buy meat . .. and ... water. the order in verse 9. The words “ said I” are not -Comp. Gen. xiv. 23, ". Lest thou shouldest say, I have needed. made Ābram rich,” and chap. xv. 1, “ I am thy shield, The brook Zered is not yet identified. (See and thy exceeding great reward.”
Num. xxi, 12.) Several streams run into the Dead Sea (7) The Lord thy God hath blessed thee.- on its eastern side south of Arnon; Zered is possibly There is nothing unreasonable in the view suggested one of these.
Or it may be a tributary of Arnon, by these words, that the Israelites acquired wealth by which has one large tributary running from south to trade or by ordinary occupations during their wilderness north. journey. They had skilled workmen among them. (14) Until we were
over the brook (8) When we passed
Esau Zered.-The root zarad in Chaldee means to prune. through the way of the plain from Elath.
“ Zered” signifies the luxuriant foliage and -The route from Seir, after Esau's refusal, was the young shoots, especially of the willow, which are southward to Ezion-geber, at the head of the Gulf of cut off with the knife : so the Targum takes it (Num. Akabah, and Elath, à few miles south-east of Ezion- xxi. 12). Probably the valley was so named from the geber, on the same coast. They then turned northward, "willows of the brook” which grew there. But it was and going round the territory of Edom, reached the the “ valley of pruning” to the “vine” which God had country of Moab.
* brought out of Egypt” in another sense. The last (9) Distress not the Moabites
I have of the fruitless branches was here taken away, and given Ar unto the children of Lot. The
the vine "purged, that it might bring forth more children of Lot, like those of Ishmael and Esau, had fruit." their earthly inheritance before the children of Abra- Thirty and eight years; until all men ham.
of war were wasted out from among the (10-12) These three verses which follow should be host.–The census did not take place until some read parenthetically.
months later. A plague intervened, which cut off The Emims. - See Gen. xiv. 5, 6, for the first twenty-four thousand. The observation that at the mention of Rephaim, Zuzim, Emim, and Horim. (The brook Zered all the men of the older generation were termination im is plural in Hebrew, and, like cherubim, “wasted out of the host” indicates an intimate know. does not need the additional s.) These tribes were ledge of the incidents of the exodus. But it is quite flourishing in the time of Abraham, but were conquered natural to suppose that, as the survivors of that generabefore the exodus.
tion became fewer, those who remained would become The children of Esau succeeded them.- marked men. Every man of the twelve tribes (exclud. A partial mixture of the two races resulted in this ing Levi ?) who passed the census at Sinai was doomed. case, and from their union sprang the Amalekites, The fortieth year of the exodus had more than half Israel's inveterate foes (Gen. xxxvi. 12, 22).
expired when they came to the brook Zered. All who As Israel did unto the land of his pos. remained alive in that year knew that they had a short session.-On the east of Jordan in Moses' lifetime, time to live. Probably more notice was taken of the as well as on the west of Jordan under Joshua. It is last few deaths than of all the rest of the six hundred not necessary, therefore. to make the parenthesis (verses thousand put together.
over the Amorites.
sware unto them. (15) For indeed the
Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in hand of the LORD was against them, to
their stead.) (21) Rise ye up, take your destroy them from among the host,
journey, and pass over the river Arnon: until they were consumed.
behold, I have given into thine hand (16) So it came to pass, when all the
Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, men of war were consumed and dead
and his land : l begin to possess it, and from among the people, (17) that the
contend with him in battle. (25) This LORD spake unto me, saying, (18) Thou
day will I begin to put the dread of art to pass over through Ar, the coast
thee and the fear of thee upon the of Moab, this day: (19) and when thou
nations that are under the whole heaven, comest nigh over against the children beska begin. Pose who shall hear report of thee, and shall of Ammon, distress them not, nor
tremble, and be in anguish because of meddle with them : for I will not give
thee. thee of the land of the children of
(26) And I sent messengers out of the Ammon any possession; because I have
wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon given it unto the children of Lot for a
king of Heshbon with words of peace, possession. (20) (That also was accounted
saying, (27) a Let me pass through thy à land of giants: giants dwelt therein
land: I will go along by the high way, in old time; and the Ammonites call
I will neither turn unto the right hand them Zamzummims; (21) a people great,
nor to the left. (28) Thou shalt sell me and many, and tall, as the Anakims;
meat for money, that I may eat; and but the LORD destroyed them before a Num. 21. 21, 22. give me water for money, that I may them; and they succeeded them, and
drink : only I will pass through on my dwelt in their stead : (22) as he did to
feet; (29) (As the children of Esau which the children of Esau, which dwelt in
dwell in Seir, and the Moabites which Seir, when he destroyed the Horims
dwell in Ar, did unto me;) until I shall from before them; and they succeeded
pass over Jordan into the land which them, and dwelt in their stead even
the LORD our God giveth us.
(30) But unto this day : (23) and the Avims which
Sihon king of Heshbon would not let dwelt in Hazerim, even unto Azzah, the
us pass by him: for the Lord thy God Caphtorims, which came forth out of
hardened his spirit, and made his heart
(15) The hand of the Lord was against them. to be Cyprus or Crete. But at least this statement - The best comment on this discipline is to be found in makes Philistia the scene of a conquest, and the Psalm xc. 8, 9, “ Thou hast set our iniquities before Philistines of the time of Joshua would thus appear to thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance; be a mixed race. for all our days are passed away in thy wrath.”
(24) Pass over
Arnon. The territory (18) Ar.-According to Conder, “Rabbath-Moab,” from Arnon northward to Jabbok had been taken from the present ruin Rabba, north of Merah.
Moab by the Amorites, and was to be possessed by (19) And when thou comest nigh.—Compare Israel. (See on Num. xxi. 24.) Note on verse 9.
(25) The fear of thee.- Compare Exod. xv. 15, 16 : (20) In old time. See Gen. xiv.
All the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away, fear Zamzummims Zuzims (Gen. xiv. 5).
and dread shall fall upon them.” (21) The Lord destroyed them before them. (26) Kedemoth.-Mentioned as a city in the plain -It is noticeable that the conquest of Canaan is here of Jordan, belonging to Heshbon (Josh. xiii. 18). brought into the domain of common history, by com- Words of peace. – By this message Sihon was parison with the conquests of gigantic races accom- excepted from the catalogue of the doomed kings and plished by Edom, Moab, and Ammon. The value of nations, according to the distinction drawn in chap. this analogy to Moses and Israel is plain. If the xx. 10, 11, 15, 16. He therefore brought his fate upon children of Lot, Ishmael, and Esau—who were but himself. He was offered the privileges of the Moabites Gentiles, although they were Abraham's seed—were whom he had conquered, and refused to accept the able to dispossess these gigantic races, how much more position. would Israel be able to dispossess the Canaanites under (29) Until I shall pass over Jordan. This the personal guidance of Jehovah?
was already determined. (23) The Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, even (30) The Lord thy God hardened his spirit, unto Azzah, the Caphtorims destroyed. and made his heart obstinate. Jehovah gave the -" In Hazerim” should apparently be rendered “in strength to Sihon, as He had done to Pharaoh, and as He villages." It does not occur elsewhere as a proper does to all. Sihon was responsible for using the name; it is plural in form, and is found in this sense in strength which God gave him in opposition to the some other places. “Azzah,” i.e., Gaza. The Caphtorim : Divine purposes. To → harden” a man's spirit is not comp. Amos ix. 7: “The Philistines from Caphtor.” necessarily a moral process any more than the harden(See Gen. x. 14.) Some make the country of Caphtor | ing of steel. “Made obstinate" is the same verb used The Defeat of Sihon
and of Og.
obstinate, that he might deliver him a Num. 21. 23. Og the king of Bashan came out into thy hand, as appeareth this day.
against us, he and all his people, to (31) And the LORD said unto me, Be
battle at Edrei. (2) And the LORD said hold, I have begun to give Sihon and
unto me, Fear him not: for I will his land before thee: begin to possess,
deliver him, and all his people, and his that_thou mayest inherit his land.
land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do (32) a Then Sihon came out against us,
unto him as thou didst unto Sihon he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz. Hemene vena city king of the Amorites, which dwelt at (33) And the LORD our God delivered him
men, and little Heshbon. (3) So the Lord our God before
delivered into our hands Og also, the and all his people. (34) And we took all
king of Bashan, and all his people : his cities at that time, and utterly des
and we smote him until none was left troyed the men, and the women, and the
to him remaining. (4) And we took all little ones, of every city, we left none to
his cities at that time, there was not a remain : (35) only the cattle we took for a
city which we took not from them, prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the Num. 9. 83, &c.: threescore cities, all the region of Argob, cities which we took. (36) From Aroer,
the kingdom of Og in Bashan. (5) Alí which is by the brink of the river of
these cities were fenced with high walls, Amnon, and from the city that is by the
gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns river, even unto Gilead, there was not
a great many. (6) And we utterly deone city too strong for us: the LORD
stroyed them, as we did unto Sihon our God delivered all unto us : (37) only
king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the unto the land of the children of Ammon
men, women, and children, of every thou camest not, nor unto any place of
city. (7) But all the cattle, and the the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in
spoil of the cities, we took for a prey to the mountains, nor unto whatsoever
ourselves. (8) And we took at that time the LORD our God forbad us.
out of the hand of the two kings of
the Amorites the land that was on this CHAPTER III.—(1) Then we turned,
side Jordan, from the river of Arnon and went
unto mount Hermon; (9) (Which Hermon
cb. 29. 7.
c Num. 21. 24.
d Num. 91. 33.
in Joshua i. 6, for "Be of a good courage." An unyielding For I will deliver him should be rather read spirit and a courageous heart are good or bad according thus, for into thy hand have I delivered him. to the use made of them. Sihon used them badly, (4, 5) These details are not given in Numbers. Pro. Joshua used them well. God's gifts were the same to fessor Porter, in the Giant Cities of Bashan, has well both. (See also Josh, xi. 20.)
described the impression made upon him by verifying (31) Behold, I have begun to give Sihon.- this description in detail. “The whole of Bashan," he Notice that in all the conquests of Israel Jehovah gave says, " is not larger than an ordinary English county." the order to begin the attack. (See chap. vii. 2, and That" sixty walled cities, besides unwalled towns a great Note on Josh. xiii. 1.)
many,' should exist in a small province, at such a remote (33) And his sons.-As the Hebrew is written, it age, far from the sea, with no rivers and little commerce, should be his son (possibly a person of distinction). appeared to be inexplicable. Inexplicable, mysterious
(34) And utterly destroyed.-i.e., devoted to though it appeared, it was true. On the spot, with my destruction. They made them chêrem, like the spoil of own eyes, I had now verified it. A list of more than Jericho. This could only be by Divine direction. The one hundred ruined cities and villages, situated in these word implies Nothing less. It will be seen, therefore, mountains alone, I had in my hands; and on the spot that the narri tive asserts in this case an extermination I had tested it, and found it accurate, though not comof Sihon's p? Sple by the express command of Jehovah. plete.” Many of the cities in the mountains are not
(36) Aroe:.- According to Conder, “ the ruin ’Ar ruins. Rooms, doors, bars are entire to this day. The 'Air, on the north bank of Wâdy Môjib.” (But he region of Argob is distinctly marked out by its natural makes the Aroer of Num. xxxii. 34 a different place, boundaries, and well described by the same writer. and marks it as unknown. Why?)
(6) We utterly destroyed them. — Devoted The rity that is by the river.—The description them, made them chérem, as above (chap. ii. 34). suggest: Rabbath-ammon, but this cannot be referred (9) Sirion.-(Sion, chap. iv.48.) Sirion, or Shirion, and to here:
Shenir, are thought to have similar meanings. But the
Targum inteprets Shenir as the “rock of snow.” Shirion, III.
according to Gesenius, means “ glittering like a breast(1) Then. In the Hebrew, a simple And. The his. plate.” It would not be safe to assert that the mention tory of this movement is given in Num. xxi. 32, 33. of the Sidonian name of Hermon makes this verse an For Edrei, see Num. xxi. 33, from which this whole addition after Israel was in Palestine, though it might verse is repeated.
be so. The Jewish commentator Rashi points out that, (2) And the Lord said unto me -This including the name Sion (chap. iv. 48), “this mountain verse repeats Num. xxi. 34.
has four names. Why mention them? To declare the