Overview of Israel's History Up to This Point
Deuteronomy 1 - 4

four stages to the journey of the children of israel, encompassing 42 encampments:
  1. From egypt to sinai (2 years) – Exodus
  2. from sinai to Kadesh (11 days) – Deut. 1
  3. From kadesh to kadesh (38 years) – Deut. 2:1
  4. from kadesh to Canaan (1 year) – Deut. 2:2 – ch. 3
WHy does the Lord Have moses review Israel’s history of failures? the real purpose of this dirst section of the book is to show Israel that the flesh profits nothing, and that they should distrust themselves, and “put no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:3).”

chapter 1 traces israel’s journey from Horeb where they received the law to kadesh-barnea where Israel failed in unbelief. after that pivotal point in kadesh-barnea, God turns them back into the wilderness to wander for 38 years.

The great lesson of Ch. 1-4 is that the flesh hindered israel from possessing their inheritance. 

Setting (1:1-5)

These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on this side the Jordan, in the wilderness, in the plain, opposite to Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab. v.1 the book of Deuteronomy was delivered at the end of the wilderness pathway, just before they crossed over Jordan into Canaan.

2 There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea. v.2 There are not eleven days’ journey from Egypt to Canaan as is often said. The eleven days is from Horeb (southern tip of Sinai peninsula) to Kadesh (southern border of Canaan).

3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, that Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that Jehovah had given him in command to them; 4 after he had smitten Sihon the king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei. v.4 this address is made after two enemies are conquered which both speak of the flesh. If we read Num. 21:21-32 we will find that Sihon king of the Amorites was Not willing to let the people pass through without taking of the world’s joy and refreshment. If we read Num. 21:33-35 we will find that Og the King of Bashan speaks of the material snares and business world that would trap us in the land. “Og” means round, and Bashan was the best land for cattle.

5 On this side the Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to unfold this law, saying, 

The Land Given to Israel (1:6-8)

6 Jehovah our God spoke unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have stayed long enough in this mountain. v.6 Horeb is the scene where Israel fell from grace… they put themselves under Jehovah’s law, rather than fall back upon his soverign grace. But once the bridge is crossed, God wants to get on with his purpose of blessing in spite of failure. The Land of Canaan was in store for his people, and he wanted them to get moving towards it. we all have a human tendency to linger by the montain that burned with fire. We cannot enjoy our heavenly blessings if we are occupied with the legal system. we need to “turn”.

7 Turn and take your journey, and go to the hill-country of the Amorites, and unto all the neighbouring places in the plain, in the mountain, and in the lowland, and in the south, and by the seaside, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates. v.7 a poetic way of referring to “settign before them (v.8)” the whole land of canaan: “the South”, the north (Lebanon, the river Euphrates), the east (the mount of the Amorites, or Kadeshbarnea), and the west (the sea side).

8 Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which Jehovah swore unto your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them. v.8 we find the land is given the Israel according to the soverign promises of God, made to their fathers.

Moses Appoints Judges to Share His Burden (1:9-18)

9 And I spoke unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone. 10 Jehovah your God hath multiplied you, and behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude. vv.9-18 this seems to be a reference to Exodus 18 (not be to be confused with Numbers 11). C.H. Macintosh sees this as a failure on Moses’ part, but F.B. Hole and J.N.D see it as all in due order. It is Jethro giving fatherly recommendations to Moses, but he says “If thou do this thing, and God command thee so.” So Jethro here is simply the mouthpiece of God, describing to Moses what distributed oversight would look like. Moses was not to “do this thing” unless God commanded him. I think what we see here is the wisdom of God in establishing the foundation of oversight, like we have in Titus 1 and I Timothy 3. Exodus 18 is actually a picture of the millennial administration of the kingdom. I prefer this “positive” interpretation; however, I would call attention to Numbers 11 – where we see the 70 elders as a result of moses complaining – that is a distinct loss for Moses due to his unbelief.

11 Jehovah, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you as he hath said unto you! v.11 the large population was not a “problem”, it was acutally part of God blessing on them, and moses wished that growth to continue. it was the fleshly squabbles that was burdening moses.

12 How can I myself alone sustain your wear, and your burden, and your strife? v.12 he is laying down the fact that the state of the people was such that there were too many issues and disputes for one person to handle.

13 Provide you wise and understanding and known men, according to your tribes, that I may make them your chiefs. 14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing that thou hast spoken is good for us to do. 15 So I took the chiefs of your tribes, wise men and known, and made them chiefs over you, captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, and captains of fifties, and captains of tens, and officers for your tribes. 16 And I commanded your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother, and him also that sojourneth with him. 17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment: ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man, for the judgment is God’s; and the matter that is too hard for you shall ye bring to me, that I may hear it. v.17 the judgment needed to be righteous judgment (John 7:24). If those in oversight are biased… it will cause disruption of order. “for the judgment is God’s.” We can always bring the matter before the lord, and he “will hear it”.

18 And I commanded you at that time all the things that ye should do. 

The Journey Horeb to Kadesh-barnea (1:19-21)

19 And we departed from Horeb and went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw, on the way to the mountain of the Amorites, as Jehovah our God had commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea. vv.19-21 Israel was dealt with in grace, despite their murmurings, etc., until they reached Sinai. There they put themselves under law, and as a result received a different type of treatment. Compare Exodus 16, when they murmured for food, with afterwards in Numbers 11, when they again murmured for food being then under law. Earlier God gave them quails (as well as manna) without any reproof before Sanai, but afterwards, “while it was yet in their mouths, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote them with a very great plague.” the wilderness was especially “great and terrible” because they had put themselves under law.

20 And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which Jehovah our God giveth us. 21 Behold, Jehovah thy God hath set the land before thee: go up, take possession, as Jehovah the God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be dismayed. v.21 we see that Kadesh-barnea was a decision point; would they go in to possess the Land? or would they turn back and wander in the wilderness. This verse shows us that the purpose of God was for them to go in to possess it… but the 38 year wandering circle was part of his ways to exhaust the energy of the flesh, to give circumstance for self-judgment, and to bring them a second time to Kadesh-barnea. however, “fear” and “discouragement” do not come from God.

The Day of Provocation, the Day of Temptation (1:22-46)

The Day of Provocation. At the time Deuteronomy was written the people were in a good state, but here he takes them back to that pivotal point where the previous generation provoked the Lord to anger. See Psalm 95:7 where this great test is called the “day of provocation, the day of temptation in the wilderness.” See also Heb. 3:7, which refers to the same event.

Having a right spirit is very important. as the father of spirits (Heb. 12:9), the Lord is correcting our attitude:
  1. II timothy 4:22. it is easy to get a bad attitude when we look around a see failure in a day of public ruin

  1. Galatians 6:18. it is easy to get a bad attiude when we have been carrying on in a legal way, and when we have been corrected.

  1. Philemon 25. It is easy to have a bad attiude when called on to frogive one who has offended us.

the flesh insists on a second opinion (the word of man) (vv.22-25)

22 And ye came near to me all of you, and said, We will send men before us, who shall examine the land for us, and bring us word again of the way by which we must go up, and of the cities to which we shall come. v.22 this is the first symptom of Israel’s state… the lord had said (v.21) go up and possess it. But this is a human idea… I need to check it out first; “We will send men before us.” the word of god is not enough … we need men to “bring us word again”.

23 And the matter was good in mine eyes; and I took twelve men of you, one man for a tribe. 24 And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came to the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out. 25 And they took of the fruit of the land in their hand, and brought it down unto us, and brought us answer, and said, The land is good that Jehovah our God hath given us. v.25 this “good report” is called in Hebrews 4:2 the “gospel”… it is the gospel of the inheritance. This gospel was not “mixed with faith in them that heard it.” Also, it says in Gal. 3:8 that god “preached before the gospel unto Abraham”… again the good news of promised blessing. Abraham “believed god”, but in kadesh-barnea the children of israel would not believe. It was only caleb and Joshua that presented this good report… the other ten spies returned an evil report (v.28). But the word of two witnesses was adaquate enough to make the people responsible.

the flesh refuses to believe the good report (vv.26-33)

26 But ye would not go up, and rebelled against the word of Jehovah your God; v.26 disobedience to the word of God is rebellion against God’s authority.

27 and ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because Jehovah hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. v.27 god knew what they said privately. They were in such a state of soul that that that attribute the Lord’s love in the light of hatred. How utterly absurd are the arguments of unbelief! if god had hated them, nothing would have been easier than to leave them to die amid the brick kilns of Egypt, beneath the cruel lash of Pharaoh's taskmasters. This would be like a christian doubting the Love of God in light of the cross.

28 Whither shall we go up? Our brethren have made our hearts melt, saying, They are a people greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there. v.28 “our brethren have discouraged our heart” – may that never be truly said of us. this is a reference to the bad report of the ten spies. “The people is greater and taller than we” – they made the mistake fo comparing the enemies with themselves. instead they sould have compared the enemies with the Lord (v.30). “walled up to heaven" - the gross exaggeration of unbelief! “We have seen the sons of the Anakim” – contrast the way they saw the giants with the way david saw goliath (I Sam. 17:45-47).

29 And I said unto you, Be not afraid, neither fear them; 30 Jehovah your God who goeth before you, he will fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes; v.30 see I John 4:4.

31 and in the wilderness where thou hast seen that Jehovah thy God bore thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came to this place. v.31 they had seen how “the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son.” if wasn’t as if they had been on their own up to this point! They hadnt been paddling their own canoe… every time we draw breath it is by the power of God. There is scarcely a picture so tender as a father carrying his boy over rough terrain. They got half-way through the wilderness on the Lord’s shoulders (v.33, etc.), and then refused to go further in faith… “until ye came into this place.”

32 But In this thing ye did not believe Jehovah your God, v.32 “in this thing” – this was a specific test from god, to see if their profession was real.

33 who went in the way before you, to search you out a place for your encamping, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in the cloud by day. v.33 the Lord undertakes for his people in every detail. somehow, unbelief doesn’t see all these things.

the government of god on account of unbelief (vv.34-40)

34 And Jehovah heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and swore, saying, v.34 they provoked the Lord to anger be unbelief.

35 None among these men, this evil generation, shall in any wise see that good land, which I swore to give unto your fathers! v.35 a contrast is made between “this evil generation” and “that good land”. the problem was not with the land… it was with the people. God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places, but unbelief can hinder us from possessing our inheritance.

36 Except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed Jehovah. v.36 “caleb” means faithful follower. It is possible to walk the wilderness pathway and have it said of us that we “wholly followed the LORD.”

37 Also Jehovah was angry with me on your account, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither. v.37 It was needful to remind the congregation that it was on their account (“for your sakes”) that Moses was prevented from crossing the Jordan, and setting his foot upon the land of Canaan. True, "he spake unadvisedly with his lips;" but "they provoked his spirit" to do so. This would have touched their hearts because they knew that moses longed to see "that goodly mountain and Lebanon" (Psa. 106:32) and that their unbelief had prevented them from entering in themselves, but also the beloved servant of God.

38 Joshua the son of Nun, who standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: strengthen him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. v.38 the government of God in our life should produce a spirit of grace. The result will be that we will encourage others to lay hold of that which we have failed in, and to lead others into the blessings that god has purposed. Joshua is a picture of Christ (the hebrew name for Jesus) who alone is able to accomplish the purpose of god.

39 And your little ones, of whom ye said, They shall be a prey, and your children, who this day know neither good nor evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it. v.39 there is a solemn irony to the government of God. The land was purposed for the older generation, and they had used their “little ones” as a prop for their unbelief. Therefore, their little ones would enter the land and enjoy its blessings, and the older generation would die in the wilderness.

40 But ye, turn, and take your journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea. v.40 as for the older, unbelieving generation, they would wander until the energy of the flesh was exhausted. this was the government of God. “the way of the Red sea” – refers to the eastern arm of the red sea. The red sea speaks of the death of Christ. This is where we need to go when we have had a failure… it will produce repentance.

the flesh rebels against the government of god (vv.41-46)

41 -- And ye answered and said unto me, We have sinned against Jehovah, we will go up and fight, according to all that Jehovah our God hath commanded us. And ye girded on every man his weapons of war, and ye would go presumptuously up the hill. v.41 when we have sinned and are under the government of God for that sin, we need to submit to it so that god can produce the spirit of grace that he is looking for. The flesh however rebels against the government of god. “We have sinned” – those were empty words (c.p. psa. 51:16-17). Israel “changed their mind” and wanted to go up and fight “according to all that Jehovah our God hath commanded us”… except it was too late, god’s decision was final. to rebel against god’s government is “presumption”, a terrible sin, which always results in futher judgment. They were proceeding to accomplish the purpose of God in the energy of the flesh, in opposition to the will of God. Compare “Whither shall we go up?” (v.28) with “we will go up” (v.41).

42 And Jehovah said to me, Say unto them, Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies. v.42 rebellion has three results:
  1. cuts off communion with the lord – “I am not among you”
  2. brings hurt to us – “lest ye be smitten”
  3. brings shame on the testimony – “before your enemies”
43 And I spoke unto you, but ye would not hear, and ye rebelled against the word of Jehovah, and acted presumptuously, and went up the hill. 
v.43 It is an “up hill” battle when we do not have the Lord’s mind. they would go up without the lord… c.p. Exodus 33:15 where moses said “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” When a soul reaches this point, there is no other recourse but to have a fall.

44 And the Amorite that dwelt on that hill came out against you, and chased you, like as bees do, and cut you in pieces in Seir, as far as Hormah. v.44 this illustrates that judgment must begin at the house of god (I Peter 4:17). The iniquity of the Amorites was now full (Gen 15:16, Deut. 9:5) and yet god would use these wicked amorites to chasten his erring people rather than allow them to go on “acting presumptuously.” Bees – they are extremely fast, the come in swarms before you know what has hit you, and their stings are very painful. notice that the Lord would use litteral hornets to drive out the canaanite nations 38 years later (Deut. 7:20). “Hormah” – means “utter destruction.”

45 And ye returned and wept before Jehovah, but Jehovah would not listen to your voice, nor give ear unto you. v.45 these were not true tears of repentance… There was no more reality in their tears than in their words. they were unhappy because of the slaughter, but their hearts were unchanged toward Jehovah. “the LORD would not hearken” – communion isnt cheap, and may take some time to be restored (song. 5).

46 And ye abode in Kadesh many days, according unto the days that ye abode therev.46 it is interesting that if God had let this rebellion be successful, Israel would have entered the land from the south without crossing the Jordan, a picture of our death with Christ.

Israel wanders around Seir for 38 Years (2:1)

And we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as Jehovah had said unto me; and we went round mount Seir many days. v.1 notice the little word "we." Moses links himself, Joshua and Caleb in company with the unbelieving congregation, as they all had to turn back into the wilderness. in order to be blessed we must confess the sin of the chirstian testimony becuase we are a part of it. “the way of the Red sea” – refers to the eastern arm of the red sea. The red sea seaks of the death of Christ. This is where we need to go when we have had a failure… it will produce repentence.

Instructions not to attack Edom (2:2-7)

Edom’s aggression and Israel’s patience. In Deut. 2 we don’t have edom’s aggression recorded. but if we turn to Num. 20:14-22 we see that the root of bitterness sprng up at this time. This exhortation from the Lord to pass quietly by on the coast would teach Israel patience… a primary lesson of the wilderness. It is always good for those who will soon wield power to learn the exercise of patience. we too will reign with Christ for 1000 years… but it is only in this time of his rejection that we learn patience and humility.

2 And Jehovah spoke to me, saying, 3 Ye have gone round this mountain long enough: turn you northward. 4 And command the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the border of your brethren the children of Esau, who dwell in Seir; and they will be afraid of you; and ye shall be very guarded: v.4 Esau and Seir have a natural connection in that both names mean hairy or rough, showing esau’s wild nature.

Edom speaks of the jealousy and bitterness of the flesh, of those who have refused grace (as esau despised his birthright) and developed a bitter hatred for the true people of God. obadiah traces this character and marks the destruction.

5 attack them not; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot-breadth; for I have given mount Seir as a possession unto Esau. v.5 in our wilderness pathway we need to know what to contend with, and what simply to pass by. that path of wisdom is called in Num. 20:17, “the king’s highway.”

6 Ye shall buy of them food for money, that ye may eat; and water shall ye also buy of them for money, that ye may drink; 7 for Jehovah thy God hath blessed thee in all the work of thy hand. He hath known thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years hath Jehovah thy God been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing. 

Instructions not to attack Moab (2:8-15)

8 And we passed by from our brethren the children of Esau, who dwelt in Seir, by the plain, by Elath, and by Ezion-geber, and we turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab. v.8 Moab and ammon are the posterity of shame and sin in the Life of a worldly believer (lot).

moab speaks of the pride and laziness of the flesh (Jer. 48:11, Isa. 16:6). that which is the natural result of the true church sinking into the world… namely, a false profession which is alien and hostile to the true people of God, characterized largely by the principles of confederacy, mutual interest, etc.

9 And Jehovah said to me, Distress not the Moabites, neither engage with them in battle; for I will not give thee of their land a possession; for unto the children of Lot have I given Ar as a possession. 10 (The Emim dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall as the Anakim. v.10 the lord used one evil to destroy another.

11 They also are reckoned as giants like the Anakim; but the Moabites call them Emim. 12 And in Seir dwelt the Horites in times past; and the children of Esau dispossessed them, and destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their stead; as Israel did to the land of their possession, which Jehovah gave to them.) v.12 the lord compares Israel’s being used to drive out the cannanites with Edom’s being used to drive out the horims. It shows that the most high rules in the kingdoms of men, and he can use whom he will to accomplish what he will, be it the children of Israel or the children of Esau.

13 Now rise up, and pass over the torrent Zered. And we passed over the torrent Zered. 14 Now the days in which we came from Kadesh-barnea, until we had come over the torrent Zered, were thirty-eight years; until the whole generation of the men of war was consumed from the midst of the camp, as Jehovah had sworn unto them. 15 Moreover the hand of Jehovah was against them to destroy them from the midst of the camp, until they were consumed.

Instructions not to attack Ammon (2:16-23)

16 And it came to pass when all the men of war were consumed, having died off from among the people, 17 that Jehovah spoke to me, saying, 18 Thou art to pass this day over the border of Moab, which is Ar, 19 and come near over against the children of Ammon; thou shalt not distress them nor attack them; for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon a possession; for unto the children of Lot have I given it as a possession. 

Ammon is a picture of the heartlessness and cruelty of the flesh (I Sam. 11:2; Amos 1:13). They are known in scripture for ripping up women with Children, etc. never satisfies with what it has, but always wanting the possessions of others.

20 (That also is reckoned a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in time past, and the Ammonites call them Zamzummim; 21 a people great, and many, and tall as the Anakim; and Jehovah destroyed them before them, and they dispossessed them, and dwelt in their stead; 22 as he did to the children of Esau, who dwelt in Seir, from before whom he destroyed the Horites; and they dispossessed them, and dwelt in their stead, even to this day. 23 And the Avvites who dwelt in the hamlets as far as Gazah -- the Caphtorim, who came out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in their stead.) vv.20-23 The Lord used the ammonites to deal with the giantlike Zamzummims and Avims, as well as the egyptian Caphtorims. It is part of God’s ways to use one evil to destroy another.

Victory over Sihon King of Heshbon (2:24-37)

east of Jordan. we can see from v.1 that it was Jehovah’s purpose to give heshbon (and bashan) to Israel for a possession… but it never says to dwell there. The east of the Jordan speaks of the natural relm… God would have Christians to have control over the natural things of this life, but never to make it our dwelling place. The true dwelling place was west of jordan, in Canaan which speaks of our heavenly portion. we are to be those that “use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away (I Cor. 7:31). In ingress of psychology into christianity makes the natural sphere the highest plane of christian blessing. they have missed the boat.

24 Rise up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon. Behold, I have given into thy hand Sihon the king of Heshbon, the Amorite, and his land: begin, take possession, and engage with him in battle. v.24 the river arnon marks the northern border of the land of moab. across the river arnon, on the east is the land of ammon, and on the west is the land of heshbon, ruled by sihon.

Sihon king of heshbon (Num. 21:21-32) speaks of the mental energy of the flesh. we see this at work in the schemes of man. sihon means “cutting down”, and heshbon means “reason” and carries the idea of mental work.

25 This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the peoples under the whole heaven; who will hear report of thee, and will tremble, and quake because of thee. 26 And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon the king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, 27 Let me pass through thy land: by the highway alone will I go; I will neither turn to the right hand nor to the left. 28 Thou shalt sell me food for money that I may eat; and thou shalt give me water for money that I may drink; I will only pass through on my feet, v.28 why was there a need for water? was it because the rock stopped following them once they got out of the wilderness? or maybe after moses smote the rock twice it flowed one final time then stopped? because in Num. 21 they dig a well.

29 -- as the children of Esau who dwell in Seir, and the Moabites who dwell in Ar, did to me, -- until I shall pass over the Jordan into the land which Jehovah our God giveth us. 30 But Sihon the king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him; for Jehovah thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obdurate, that he might give him into thy hand, as it is this day. v.30 this was the method that god used to judge the amorites. He presented the people who bore his name. God hardened his spirit and his heart so that he would come – of his own accord – out to battle with israel.

31 And Jehovah said to me, Behold, I begin to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin, take possession, that thou mayest possess his land. 32 And Sihon came out against us for battle, he and all his people, to Jahaz. v.32 Jahaz means “quarrel” or “dispute.” The world will dispute with the christian who wants to pass through as a stranger and pilgrim.

33 But Jehovah our God gave him up before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and his whole people. 34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed every city, men, and women, and little ones: we let none escape. v.34 the wickedness of the amorites was now full (Gen. 15:16), and god would not allow the suffering and shame that accompanies an idolatrous culture to go on forever. Besides that, the amorites had seized a land that was not given to them. It was a merciful thing: to the children, to the spiritual health of Israel, and to the prosperity of Canaan to have these peoples wiped out completely.

35 Only the cattle we took as booty for ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took. 36 From Aroer, which is on the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the ravine even to Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us: Jehovah our God delivered all before us. v.36 not one city too strong for us. compare with Deut. 1:28… fear took hold of the older generation because of unbelief. but “with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26).

37 Only thou didst not approach the land of the children of Ammon, the whole border of the river Jabbok, nor the cities of the mountain, nor to whatsoever Jehovah our God had forbidden us. v.37 The great principle in these instructions to Israel is that God's word must settle everything for His people. It was not for Israel to inquire why they were to leave the possessions of Esau and Lot untouched, and to take those of Sihon and og. A great lesson for the wolderness is dependence on God for everything.

Victory over Og King of Bashan (3:1-11)

And we turned, and went up the way to Bashan; and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, for battle at Edrei. 

og king of bashan (Num. 21:33-35) speaks of the indulgence of the flesh… the sinful lust for the luxury of this world. og was known for his huge bedstead (v.11). Og means “round” and bashan means “fertile soil” or “level ground”. Bashan was the best land for cattle (Num. 32:1). Therefore, this enemy speaks of the material snares and business world that would trap us and prevent progress.

2 And Jehovah said to me, Fear him not; for into thy hand have I given him, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon the king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon. 3 And Jehovah our God gave into our hand Og the king of Bashan also, and all his people; and we smote him until none was left to him remaining. 4 And we took all his cities at that time: there was not a town which we took not from them, sixty cities, the whole region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5 All these cities were fortified with high walls, gates, and bars; besides unwalled towns very many. v.5 there are different types of obstacles. First, the Israelite army would have come to the unwalled towns. There are thing in our life with we are not very diffensive about, and the Lord can easily speak to us about them. But then there are the high walled cities, where the flesh puts up a great deal of resistance. The Lord must have access to every corner of our hearts.

6 And we utterly destroyed them, as we had done to Sihon the king of Heshbon, utterly destroying every city, men, women and little ones. 7 But all the cattle and the spoil of the cities we took as booty for ourselves. 8 And we took at that time the land out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites, that were on this side the Jordan, from the river Arnon to mount Hermon 9 (the Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir): 10 all the cities of the plateau, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, as far as Salchah and Edrei, the cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11 For only Og the king of Bashan remained of the residue of giants: behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbah of the children of Ammon? its length was nine cubits, and its breadth four cubits, after the cubit of a man. v.11 his bed was “nine cubits” or 13.5 feet long… this man was one of the only remaining Giants. “four cubits” or six feet wide, which is equal to the length of a normal bed. that is what you call a king sized bed! he knew how to pamper himself.

The inheritance of the 2 ½ Tribes (3:12-17)

12 And this land we took in possession at that time. From Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and the half of mount Gilead, and its cities, I gave to the Reubenites and to the Gadites; vv.12-17 the two and a half tribes had their eye on this cattle-land east of Jordan. It speaks of that which nature offers, compared with the hevenly places forshadowed by the land of canaan. these tribes picture believers because they had passed through the red sea. however, they were those who refused to cross the Jordan, a picture of the Christian’s death with Christ.

13 and the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to half the tribe of Manasseh. (The whole region of Argob, even all Bashan, is called a land of giants. 14 Jair the son of Manasseh took the whole region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and Maachathites, and called Bashan after his own name, Havoth-Jair, to this day.) v.14 It is interesting that initially it was only reuben and gad that walked their portion east of Jordan, but when the half tribe of Manasseh saw that others were allowed to settle, they riased their hand as well (Num. 32). tHE TRIBE OF MANASSEH WAS SO DIVIDED OVER THIS ISSUE THAT THEY ACTUALLY SPLIT IN HALF.

15 And I gave Gilead to Machir. 16 And to the Reubenites and to the Gadites I gave from Gilead even to the river Arnon, the middle of the ravine and its border, as far as the river Jabbok, the border of the children of Ammon; 17 the plain also, and the Jordan, and its border from Chinnereth as far as the sea of the plain, the salt sea, under the slopes of Pisgah eastward.

Instructions for the 2 ½ Tribes to Help in the Canaanite Wars (3:18-20)

18 And I commanded you at that time, saying, Jehovah your God hath given you this land to take possession of it: ye shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all who are combatants. 19 Only your wives, and your little ones, and your cattle, -- I know that ye have much cattle, -- shall abide in your cities which I have given you, 20 until Jehovah give rest to your brethren, as well as to you, and they also take possession of the land that Jehovah your God giveth them beyond the Jordan; then shall ye return, each man to his possession, which I have given you. 

Moses’ Desire to see the Land (3:21-29)

21 And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all that Jehovah your God hath done to these two kings: so will Jehovah do to all the kingdoms to which thou shalt go. 22 Ye shall not fear them; for Jehovah your God, he will fight for you. 23 And I besought Jehovah at that time, saying, 24 Lord Jehovah, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy powerful hand; for what GOD is in the heavens or in the earth that can do like to thy works, and like to thy might? 25 Let me go over, I pray thee, and see the good land that is beyond the Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. 26 But Jehovah was wroth with me on your account, and did not hear me; and Jehovah said to me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter! 27 Go up to the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes; for thou shalt not go over this Jordan. 28 But charge Joshua, and encourage him and strengthen him; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall put them in possession of the land which thou shalt see. 29 And we abode in the valley opposite to Beth-Peor. 

The Importance of Obedience to Commandments (4:1-24)

And now, Israel, hearken to the statutes and to the ordinances which I teach you, to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which Jehovah the God of your fathers giveth you. 2 Ye shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall ye take from it, that ye may keep the commandments of Jehovah your God which I command you. 3 Your eyes have seen what Jehovah did because of Baal-Peor; for all the men that followed Baal-Peor, Jehovah thy God hath destroyed them from among you; 4 but ye that did cleave to Jehovah your God are alive every one of you this day. 5 See, I have taught you statutes and ordinances, even as Jehovah my God commanded me, that ye may do so in the land into which ye enter to possess it. 6 And ye shall keep and do them; for that will be your wisdom and your understanding before the eyes of the peoples that shall hear all these statutes, and say, Verily this great nation is a wise and understanding people. 7 For what great nation is there that hath God near to them as Jehovah our God is in everything we call upon him for? 8 And what great nation is there that hath righteous statutes and ordinances, as all this law which I set before you this day? 9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things that thine eyes have seen (and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life; but thou shalt make them known to thy sons and to thy sons’ sons), 10 the day that thou stoodest before Jehovah thy God in Horeb, when Jehovah said to me, Gather me the people together, that I may cause them to hear my words, that they may learn them, and fear me all the days that they live upon the earth, and teach them to their children. 11 And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire to the heart of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and obscurity. 12 And Jehovah spoke to you from the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but ye saw no form; only ye heard a voice. 13 And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to do, the ten words; and he wrote them on two tables of stone. 14 And Jehovah commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances, that ye might do them in the land whither ye are passing over to possess it. 15 And take great heed to your souls (for ye saw no form on the day that Jehovah spoke to you in Horeb from the midst of the fire), 16 lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the form of any figure, the pattern of male or female, 17 the pattern of any beast that is on the earth, the pattern of any winged fowl that flieth in the heaven, 18 the pattern of anything that creepeth on the ground, the pattern of any fish that is in the waters under the earth; 19 and lest thou lift up thine eyes to the heavens, and see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, the whole host of heaven, and be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, which Jehovah thy God hath assigned unto all peoples under the whole heaven. 20 But you hath Jehovah taken, and hath brought you forth out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, that ye might be to him a people of inheritance, as it is this day. 21 And Jehovah was angry with me on your account, and swore that I should not go over the Jordan, and that I should not enter in to that good land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee for an inheritance; 22 for I shall die in this land, I shall not go over the Jordan; but ye shall go over, and possess this good land. 23 Take heed to yourselves lest ye forget the covenant of Jehovah your God, which he made with you, and make yourselves a graven image, the form of anything which Jehovah thy God hath forbidden thee. 24 For Jehovah thy God is a consuming fire, a jealous GOD. 

Idolatry Would Result in Expulsion from the Land (4:25-40)

25 When thou begettest sons, and sons’ sons, and ye have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, the form of anything, and do evil in the sight of Jehovah 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 pass over the Jordan to possess it: ye shall not prolong your days on it, but shall be utterly destroyed. 27 And Jehovah will scatter you among the peoples, and ye shall be left a small company among the nations to which Jehovah will lead you. 28 And ye shall there serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. 29 And from thence ye shall seek Jehovah thy God, and thou shalt find him, if thou shalt seek him with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul. 30 In thy tribulation, and when all these things shall come upon thee, at the end of days, thou shalt return to Jehovah thy God, and shalt hearken to his voice, 31 -- for Jehovah thy God is a merciful GOD, -- he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he swore unto them. 32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man on the earth, and from one end of the heavens to the other end of the heavens, whether there hath been anything as this great thing is, or if anything hath been heard like it? 33 Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? 34 Or hath God essayed to come to take him a nation from the midst of a nation, by trials, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a powerful hand, and by a stretched-out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that Jehovah your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 Unto thee it was shewn, that thou mightest know that Jehovah, he is God -- there is none other besides him. 36 From the heavens he made thee hear his voice, that he might instruct thee; and on the earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words from the midst of the fire. 37 And because he loved thy fathers, and chose their seed after them, he brought thee out with his countenance, with his great power, out of Egypt, 38 to dispossess nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day. 39 Thou shalt know therefore this day, and consider it in thy heart, that Jehovah, he is God in the heavens above, and on the earth beneath: there is none else. 40 And thou shalt keep his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may be well with thee and with thy sons after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days on the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee, for ever. 

Cities of Refuge (4:41-49)

41 Then Moses separated three cities on this side the Jordan toward the sun-rising, 42 that the manslayer might flee thither, who should kill his neighbour unawares, and hated him not previously, that fleeing to one of these cities, he might live: 43 Bezer in the wilderness, in the plateau, of the Reubenites, and Ramoth in Gilead, of the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan, of the Manassites. 44 And this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel: 45 these are the testimonies, and the statutes, and the ordinances that Moses declared to the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt, 46 on this side the Jordan, in the valley opposite to Beth-Peor, in the land of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, whom Moses and the children of Israel smote when they came out of Egypt; 47 and they took possession of his land, and the land of Og the king of Bashan, two kings of the Amorites, who were on this side the Jordan, toward the sun-rising; 48 from Aroer, which is on the bank of the river Arnon, as far as mount Sion, which is Hermon, 49 and all the plain on this side the Jordan, eastward, and as far as the sea of the plain, under the slopes of Pisgah.