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The Conquest of the Land

DEUTERONOMY, III.

Beyond the Jordan.

it:

are

(19) But your

the Sidonians call Sirion; and the la Num. 22. 23; Josh. unto the river Arnon half the valley, Amorites call it Shenir ;) (10) All the

and the border even unto the river cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and

Jabbok, which is the border of the all Bashan, unto Salchah and Edrei,

children of Ammon; (17) The plain also, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.

and Jordan, and the coast thereof, from (11) For only Og king of Bashan remained Num. 32. 41. Chinnereth even unto the sea of the of the remnant of giants; behold, his

plain, even the salt sea, 'under Ashdothbedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it

pisgah eastward. not in Rabbath of the children of

(18) And I commanded you at that Ammon? nine cubits was the length 1. Or, under the time, saying, The LORD your God hath thereof, and four cubits the breadth of yungur, eie niks given you this land to possess it, after the cubit of a man.

se shall pass over armed before your (12) And this land, which we possessed

brethren the children of Israel, all that at that time, from Aroer, which is by

2 meet for the war. the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead,

wives, and your little ones, and your and the cities thereof, gave I unto the

cattle, for I know that ye have much Reubenites and to the Gadites. (13) And

cattle,) shall abide in your cities which the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being

I have given you; (20) until the LORD the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the

have given rest unto your brethren, half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of preba song of as well as unto you, and until they also Argob, with all Bashan, which was called

possess the land which the LORD your the land of giants. (14) Jair the son of

God hath given them beyond Jordan: Manasseh took all the country of Argob

and then shall ye return every man unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maa

unto his possession, which I have given chathi; and called them after his own

you. name, Bashan- havoth-jair, unto this

(21) And I commanded Joshua at that day. (15) And I gave Gilead unto Machir.

time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all (16) And unto the Reubenites and unto

that the LORD your God hath done the Gadites I gave from Gilead even

unto these two kings: so shall the Lord

c Num. 32. 20.

d Josh. 22. 4.

e Num. 27. 18,

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praise of the land of Israel, which had four kingdoms think that the cubit of any man is meant; others that glorifying themselves in it, and each of them saying, the man himself for whom it was made, viz., Og, is in. It is called after

my name!

But there are several tended. (Comp. Rev. xxi. 17, “ according to the meanotes of this kind in the Pentateuch. (See Gen. xxiii. sure of a man-i.e., of an angel.”) 2, xxxi. 47; Num. xiii. 22; also Joshua xiv. 15.). (10) Salchah.-" The present large town Salkhâd,

(13—17) Comp. Num. xxxii. 33–42, and Notes thereon. east of Bashan” (Conder). (See also Giant Cities of (13) The land of giants-i.e., of Rephaim. Bashan, 75.)

(14) Jair took

unto this day.-The last (11) of the remnant of giants - i.e., of the words of this chapter seem to point to a later hand, as nation of Rephaim in these parts. (See Note on Gen. of Joshua, describing the completion of the conquest. xiv. 5.)

The expression "unto this day” is characteristically His bedstead.-The word may mean either bed. common in Joshua, or in the editorial notes inserted stead or coffin. Both the word for “bedstead” and throughout that book. (See Introduction to Joshua, the word for “ iron ” have given rise to some discussion “On the Style of the Book.”) and difficulty. An iron bedstead and an iron coffin Geshuri and Maachathi-i.e., the Geshurite and are almost equally improbable. Basalt has been sug. the Maachathite, the inhabitants of Geshur and Maachah. gested as an alternative. But though there is basalt The_Maachathites, near the Jordan springs (comp. in Argob, there is none in Rabbath-Ammon. Conder, Abel-Beth-maachah, 2 Sam. xx. 14, 15), and the Geshurwho has recently explored Rabbath, has discovered a ites, rather farther east” (Conder, Bible Handbook, p. remarkable throne of stone on the side of a hill there, 254). Talmai, king of Geshur, was the grandfather of and he suggests that the Hebrew word rendered“ bed. Absalom (2 Sam. iii

. 3), who took refuge with him after stead,” which properly signifies a couch with a canopy, he killed Ammon (2 Sam. xiii. 37). · Argob, Trachonitis, may apply to this. The word for “iron ” (barzil) in or El-Lejja, has been an asylum for all malefactors and Talmudical language means also “a prince,” and this refugees ever since” (Giant Cities of Bashan, p. 92). meaning has been suggested for the name Barzillai, (16, 17) And unto the Reubenites and unto which we find in the same district in later times.

the Gadites I gave.-The circumstances are decanopied throne was a princely one, and yet remains in tailed in Num. xxxii. They desired the land for their Rabbath of the Ammonites,” would be the meaning of cattle. the passage, on this hypothesis. The dimensions of (18, 19) This is a summary of the agreement made and the throne recently discovered are said to be nearly described in Num. xxxii. 20—32. (See also Note on Josh. those given in this verse.

i. 12.) After the cubit of a man.-Ish (not adam), (21, 22) I commanded Joshua at that time the distinctive and emphatic word for a man. Some

Thine eyes have seen,-“ Thine

“ His

The Statutes and the

DEUTERONOMY, IV.

Judgments of the Lord.

do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest. (22) Ye shall not fear them : for the LORD your God he shall fight

for you.

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(25) I pray

(23) And I besought the Lord at that time, saying, (24) O Lord God, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand : for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. (26) But the LORD & was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. (27) Get thee up into the top of 'Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and

b ch. 12. 32; Josh.

CHAPTER IV.- (1) Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live,

and go in and possess the land which Prov. 30.6; the LORD God of your fathers giveth

you. (2) b Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the

Rev. 22. 18.

eyes are the witnesses of all,” &c. The conquest of be spoken after,” a figure of things to come. Moses, Sihon and Og, as well as that of Amalek, was to be like Ezekiel (chap. xxiv. 15—24), was made a sign. impressed upon Joshua (comp. Exod. xvii. 14) as a (26) Let it suffice thee.- Literally, enough for precedent for his encouragement, and also for his in- thee, or, as it is paraphrased by Rashi from older com. struction. It is remarkable that no details are given us mentators, “Far more than this is reserved for thee; of the battles against Sihon and Og, or of the capture plentiful goodness is hidden for thee.” And so indeed of the cities, except in Josh. xii. 6, " Them did Moses it proved. For on some “goodly mountain” (Her. the servant of the Lord smite." We see the reflection mon or “Lebanon,") Moses and Elias stood with the of Moses' campaign, which is unwritten, in the recorded Saviour of the world, and spake of a far more glorious campaigns of Joshua. The peculiar form of the sen- conquest than Joshua's, even “ His exodus, which He tence, * Thine eyes are they that see," may also serve should fulfil at Jerusalem” (St. Luke ix. 31). to remind us of the fact, that though the Law was (27) Northward, and southward.- Southward, given by Moses, no eye saw its full breadth and grasp literally, Teman-ward.

The negeb, or

“ south” of until it came int he hand of Jesus, the antitype of Palestine, is not named her Joshua.

(28) For he shall go over.- Emphatic, he it is (23) Here begins the second section according to the that shall go over, and he it is that shall make them to Jewish division, called “ And I besought (vaeth inherit; not Moses. channån).

(29) So we abode in the valley over against (23—28) And I besought the Lord at that time. Beth-peor.-Moses' burial-place, as appears by chap. -Two things Moses is recorded to have asked for xxxiv. 6. It is a significant finishing touch to the scene himself in the story of the exodus. The first is described above. This verse also concludes the rewritten in Exod. xxxiii. 18, "I beseech thee shew me capitulation of Israel's journey from Horeb (chap. i. 6) thy glory;” the second is before us here. “O Lord to the banks of Jordan, with which this first discourse GOD (Adonai Jehovah), thou hast begun to shew thy of Moses begins. The remainder, contained in chap. iv., servant thy greatness and thy mighty hand

I is the practical part of the discourse, which now begins. pray thee let me go over and see the good land beyond Jordan.” It would seem that Moses desired not so

IV. much to view the land (which, indeed, was granted him), (1) Now therefore hearken.- The whole point but to see the greatness of Jehovah manifested in the of the exhortation in this chapter is the same which we conquest, as he had seen it in the victories over Og and find in Joshua's address to the people (Josh. xxiv.), that Sihon. While we cannot allow for a moment that “the they should serve Jehovah. And the ground of the exold fathers looked only for transitory promises” (see hortation is His revelation of Himself in Horeb as Notes on chaps. v. 16, xxii . 7), yet it is impossible not to

their God. feel in this prayer of Moses the pressure of the veil which The statutes

and the judgments.hung over the unseen world before the coming of our Perhaps we should say "institutions and requirements” Saviour, who “ brought life and immortality to light in modern language. For “judgments," see Exod. xxi. through the Gospel. Moses evidently did not realise -xxiii. that he might see the works of Jehovah and His glory That ye may live, and go in.-Life is put bestill more clearly in the other world.

possession. The penalty of the broken law is death. (26) For your sakes.-Because “I will be sancti. (2) Ye shall not add unto the word.-The fied in them that come nigh me, and before all the word, not “ the words.” The word is the substance of people I will be glorified” (Lev. x. 3; Num. xx. 12, 13); the Law. The words in which it is expressed may be and also because the death of Moses and the suc. more or less. The law of Moses contains in it the germ cession of Joshua were “for a testimony of things to of all revelation to the very end.

fore

The Israelites especially

DEUTERONOMY, IV.

the People of the Lord.

LORD your God which I command you. la Num. 25.4, &c. | thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the (3) Your eyes have seen what the LORD

things which thine eyes have seen, and did because of a Baal-peor: for all the

lest they depart from thine heart all men that followed Baal-peor, the LORD

the days of thy life: but teach them thy thy God hath destroyed them from

sons, and thy sons' sons; (10) specially among you. (4) But ye that did cleave

the day that thou stoodest before the unto the LORD your God are alive every

LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD one of you this day.

said unto me, Gather me the people to(5) Behold, I have taught you statutes o Ex. 19. 18.

gether, and I will make them hear my and judgments, even as the LORD my

words, that they may learn to fear me God commanded me,

that

ye
should do

all the days that they shall live upon so in the land whither ye go to possess

the earth, and that they may teach their it. (6) Keep therefore and do them; for

children. (11) And ye came near and this is your wisdom and your under

stood under the mountain; and the standing in the sight of the nations,

6 mountain burned with fire unto the which shall hear all these statutes, and

1 midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, say, Surely this great nation is a wise

and thick darkness. (12) And the LORD and understanding people. (7) For what 1 Heb. heart, spake unto you out of the midst of the nation is there so great, who hath God so

fire : ye heard the voice of the words, nigh unto them, as the Lord our God

but saw no similitude ; * only ye heard a is in all things that we call upon him

voice. (13) And he declared unto

you

his for? (8) And what nation is there 80

covenant, which he commanded you to great, that hath statutes and judgments

perform, even ten commandments; and 80 righteous as all this law, which I set

he wrote them upon two tables of stone. before you this day?

(14) And the LORD commanded me at (9) Only take heed to thyself, and keep : Heb., save a voice. that time to teach you statutes and

(3) Your eyes have seen.-Literally, your eyes are instances. It is not every parent who finds himself they that see-i.e., you are witnesses of these things. The able to “teach his sons, and his sons' sons.” men who perished by the plague because of the iniquity (10) The day that thou stoodest before the of Beth-peor-to the number of 24,000—seem to have Lord thy God in Horeb.—The Church of Israel been all members of the younger generation; for they dated from Sinai, as the Church of Christ does from had already passed the brook Zered. (See on chap. ii. 13.) Pentecost. It is noticeable that the giving of the Law

(5) That ye should do so in the land.-It appears to have taken place about fifty days after the should never be forgotten that there is a special con- Passover in Egypt. Jewish writers associate the Feast nection between the law of Moses and the land of of Pentecost with the memory of the event. A similar Canaan. It cannot be kept in many of its precepts, association, and a contrast between the first and last except by a chosen people in a protected land.

Pentecost, appears to have been present to St. Paul's (6) This is your wisdom and your under- mind in 2 Cor. iï. The law given at Sinai is the standing in the sight of the nations. The “ministration of death,” and is contrasted with the laws of Jehovah in Israel, and the constant presence of “ministration of the Spirit ”—the letter that killeth Jehovah with Israel, would make an impression upon with the Spirit that giveth life. (Comp. also Gal. iv. the world that it would not be easy to resist. For, he 24—26, and Heb. xii. 18—24.) The word “specially” adds, " what nation is there so great, that hath God so is not in the Hebrew of this verse. nigh unto them?”

The day

in Horeb is not only to be (8) What nation is there so great, that hath regarded as a special subject of instruction; it is the statutes and judgments so righteous ?—These root of the whole matter. words direct our attention to the law of Moses, as dis- Gather me the people together.-The Greek here tinctly in advance of the time when it was given. is ekranciacov, which might be paraphrased according

(9) Only take heed to thyself.—The exhortation to New Testament language, “Form a Church of this contained in the following verses lays special emphasis people.” The “day of the assembly" alluded to in on one point-the worship of the invisible Jehovah this and other passages (as chap. x. 4) may be similarly withont images. This more than anything else would paraphrased as the day of the Church.” It seems to tend to separate the religion of Israel from that of all be the source of the expression used by St. Stephen," the other nations.

Church in the wilderness” (Acts vii

. 38). "Thus the Teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons.- analogy between Israel's receiving the letter of the law A command which Israel evidently failed to obey; For at Sinai, and the gift of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem is a generation speedily rose up “which knew not Jehovah still further brought out. nor yet the works which he had done for Israel” (11) Darkness, clouds, and thick darkness.(Judg. ï. 10). It is worth while to observe that we The “blackness, and darkness, and tempest ” of Heb. cannot find any trace of a system of national education xii. 18. in Israel until many years later. When education is (13) His covenant .. ten commandments.purely parental, it is likely to be neglected in many See on chap. v.

They are not to

DEUTERONOMY, IV.

Make Graven Images.

1 Or, imparted.

judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.

(15) Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves ; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire : (16) lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, (17) the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, (18) the likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth : (19) and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath 1 divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. (20) But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day. * (21) Furthermore the LORD was angry with me for your

sakes, and sware that I should not go over Jordan, and that I should

not go in unto that good land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance: (22) but I must die in this land, I must not go over Jordan : but ye shall go over, and possess that good land. (23) Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee. (24) For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

(25) When thou shalt beget children, and children's children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger: (26) I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. (27) And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you. (28) And there ye shall serve gods, the

a ch.9.3: Heb. 12.

29.

He wrote them.-See on chap. x. 2.

Jehovah was pledged to be the God of Israel. This (15) Ye saw no manner of similitude.-The appears to be the argument of verses 19 and 20. worship of the invisible Jehovah is here specially (21—23) The Lord was angry with me for your insisted on. The difficulty of learning to worship sakes . . . I must die in this land .. but one whom we cannot see is, happily, one which our ye shall go over ... Take heed unto youreducation does not enable us to realise in its relation selves.-The argument appears to be this : "I cannot to Israel of old. All nations had their visible sym. go with you to warn you; therefore take the more bols of deity. Centuries afterwards the world de. heed when you are alone.” The same line of thought scribed the followers of Christ as Atheists, because appears in St. Paul's last appeal to Timothy: Fulfil they had no visible God. It is especially recorded thy ministry; for I am now ready to be offered” in praise of Moses that “he endured as seeing Him (2 Tim. iv. 6). who is invisible” (Heb. xi. 27).

(24) The Lord thy God is a consuming fire.(16) Lest ye corrupt ... and make.-The con- The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews makes use nection between idolatry and corruption is twofold. of this in chap. xii. 29, to enforce the lessons not First, it changes “the glory of the incorruptible Godof Sinai, but of Pentecost, and of the voice of “Him into an image of His corruptible creatures. Secondly, it that speaketh from heaven” by the Spirit whom He always ends in corrupting the idolater. Man was made has sent. to have dominion over the works of God's hands. He (25) Shall have remained long.-Literally, shall cannot worship anything in creation, which he was not slumber-a very suggestive expression. Prosperity intended to rule. "He can only fulfil his destiny when often sends true religion to sleep, and brings conhe strives after the Divine likeness, rising to that ventional, or fashionable, religion in its stead. which is above him, instead of stooping to that which (27) And the Lord shall scatter you,-Our is below.

familiarity with this fact in history must not blind (17, 18) Likeness of any beast

fowl ...- us to its force when uttered as a prophecy. The There may be an allusion to the animal idolatry of fact that the Jews were taken captive for idolatry, Egypt here.

and dispersed for the rejection of Jesus, is a remark(197 The sun, and the moon, and the stars.- able proof that the real reason why they were brought The purest worship of antiquity—that which we find into Canaan, and kept there, was to be witnesses for among the Persians—hardly escaped this snare.

Jehovah. Which the Lord thy God hath divided unto (28) And there ye shall serve gods, the work all nations. The heavenly bodies could never be of men's hands.-That is, “ you shall be in bondage regarded as special protectors of any one nation. But to them,” being ruled by their worshippers. And so The Signs of the

DEUTERONOMY, IV.

Lord to Israel.

work of men's hands, wood and stone,

LORD your God did for you in Egypt which neither see, nor hear, nor eat,

before your eyes ? (35) Unto thee it was nor smell. (29) But if from thence thou

shewed, that thou mightest know that shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt

the Lord he is God; there is none else find him, if thou seek him with all thy

beside him. (36) Out of heaven he made heart and with all thy soul. (30) When

thee to hear his voice, that he might thou art in tribulation, and all these

instruct thee: and upon earth he things lare come upon thee, even in the

shewed thee his great fire; and thou latter days, if thou turn to the LORD

heardest his words out of the midst of thy God, and shalt be obedient unto

the fire. (37) And because he loved thy his voice; (31) (for the LORD thy God is

fathers, therefore he chose their seed a merciful God ;) he will not forsake

after them, and brought thee out in his thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget

sight with his mighty power out of the covenant of thy fathers which he

Egypt; (38) to drive out nations from sware unto them.

before thee greater and mightier than (32) For ask now of the days that are 1 Heb. have found thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee past, which were before thee, since the

their land for an inheritance, as it is day that God created man upon the

this day. earth, and ask from the one side of

(39) Know therefore this day, and conheaven unto the other, whether there

sider it in thine heart, that the LORD he hath been any such thing as this great

is God in heaven above, and upon the thing is, or hath been heard like it?

earth beneath: there is none else. (33) Did ever people hear the voice of God

(40) Thou shalt keep therefore his staspeaking out of the midst of the fire, as

tutes, and his commandments, which I thou hast heard, and live? (34) Or hath

command thee this day, that it may go God assayed to go and take him a

well with thee, and with thy children nation from the midst of another nation,

after thee, and that thou mayest' proby temptations, by signs, and by won

long thy days upon the earth, which the ders, and by war, and by a mighty hand,

LORD thy God giveth thee, for ever. and by a stretched out arm, and by

(41) Then Moses severed three cities on great terrors, according to all that the

this side Jordan toward the sun rising ;

thee.

If every

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Rashi explains it. Captivity was the means of eradi. way as to enforce the doctrine of God's sovereignty, cating idolatry from Israel rather than encouraging and to show the Israelites that their own merit was it. But the cause of a people and its idols is so in no way the ground of God's choice. constantly identified in the Old Testament, that those (39) Know therefore .. and consider.who are in bondage to a nation may naturally be “Consider,” i.e., reckon (the word for “impute" and described as in bondage to its gods. The gods were account in St. Paul's argument to the Romans). even held to be sharers in the captivity of the Do not indulge any polytheistic notions regarding the nation. It is said of Bel and Nebo, in Isa. xlvi. 2, Deity. “To us there is but One God. “They could not deliver ... but themselves are nation has its separate deity, how is it that Jehovah gone into captivity.

controls them all! His various dealings with Egyp(29, 30, 31) Comp. chap. xxx. 1-5 for a more ex. tians, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Amorites, as plicit promise and prophecy of the same thing, and well as with Israelites and Canaanites, mark Him as see Note on that passage.

Lord of all. “ There is none else.” There are no (32) For ask now

whether there hath more gods ; if you desire to leave Him behind, there been any such thing.-The same argument is is no one else to serve. Compare Isa. xliv. 8: "Is afterwards employed by St. Paul (Rom. xi. 29) for the there a God beside me ? yea, there is no Rock. I restoration of Israel: “for the gifts and calling of know not any." God are without repentance,” i.e., irrevocable. He did not go and take Him a nation out of the midst

THE APPOINTMENT OF THREE CITIES OF

REFUGE. of another nation in order to abandon them at last. He never did so much in the way of personal and (41) Then Moses severed.-The word “then” visible interposition for any people, and He will not appears to be a note of time. It would seem that the forsake the work of His own hands. Moses had appointment of the three cities of refuge on the eastern proved the truth of what he says here in many scenes side of Jordan actually followed this discourse. of sin and peril averted by his own intercession. On this side Jordan.-Heb., b’’éber hay-yardên. (See especially Num. xiv. 11–21, and comp. 1 Sam. The expression is here defined by the words that follow, xii. 22.)

" toward the sun-rising,” and it need not, therefore, be (37) Because he loved thy fathers.-The rea- taken to fix the writer's point of view. By itself, the sons for God's choice of Israel are frequently stated expression would naturally mean, on the other side of in this book; and they are always stated in such a Jordan.

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