DEUTERONOMY CHAPTER 3.
The Conquest of the Land East of Jordan.
THE OVERTHROW OF KING OG OF BASHAN. — V.1. Then we turned and went up the way to Bashan; and Og, the king of Bashan, came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei, Num. 21, 33-35. V.2. And the Lord said unto me, Fear him not; for I will deliver him and all his people and his land in to thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon, king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon. The children of Israel, then, were sure of the victory before ever the battle began. V.3. So the Lord, our God, delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people; and we smote him until none was left to him remaining; for it was again a war of extermination. V.4. And we Cook all his cities at that time, that is, the fortified towns; there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the northeastern section of this territory, 1 Kings 4, 13, about forty miles northeast of the Sea of Galilee, the entire kingdom sometimes being included in the name Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan; for these sixty cities may be said to have been the very heart of the country. V.5. All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many. The entire region is now known as the Hauran. V.6. And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon, king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children of every city. V.7. But all the cattle and the spoil of the cities we took for a prey to ourselves. V.8. And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land that was on this side Jordan, from the river of Arnon, which flows into the Dead Sea about the middle of its west side, unto Mount Hermon, in the extreme north, in the Anti-Lebanon range, v.9. (which Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion; and the Amorites call it Shenir,) v.10. all the cities of the plain, the valleys of Gilead, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, unto Salchah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. V.11. For only Og, king of Bashan, remained of the remnant of giants, of the nations of giants that had formerly inhabited this region, Gen. 14, 5; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? where Og may have left it on one of his campaigns of conquest. Nine cubits was the length thereof and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man (at about 18 inches per cubit). Rabbath was the capital of the children of Ammon, and its ruins may be seen to this day.
THE DIVISION OF THE COUNTRY. — V.12. And this land which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half Mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites. Their territory thus extended from the Arnon to the Jabbok. V.13. And the rest of Gilead, the northern half, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants. Cp. Num. 32, 33. V.14. Jair, the son of Manasseh, took all the country of Argob unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi, the inhabitants of two small kingdoms in the foothills of Mount Hermon, still independent at the time of David, 2 Sam. 3, 3; 10, 6; and called them after his own name, Bashan-havoth-jair, unto this day. Num. 32, 41. V.15. And I gave Gilead, the northern half, unto Machir. V.16. And unto the Reubenites and unto the Gadites I gave from Gilead even unto the river Arnon half the valley, the eastern half of the Jordan Valley, and the border even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon; for their country was to the northeast of the Reubenites and the Gadites; v.17. the plain also, the lowlands along the Jordan, and Jordan, to the middle of the stream, and the coast thereof, from Chinnereth, afterward the Sea of Galilee, even unto the sea of the plain, even the Salt Sea, under Ashdoth-pisgah eastward, which was a hill with springs near the place where the Arnon flows into the Dead Sea. V.18. And I commanded you at that time, saying (these words are addressed to the two and one half tribes which were to occupy the region east of the Jordan), The Lord, your God, hath given you this land to possess it; ye shall pass over armed before your brethren, the children of Israel, all that are meet for the war, not all those of military age and ability, but a select number, 40,000 going with the army of Israel and 60,000 remaining for the protection of the cities and herds, Num. 32, 20-32; Josh. 4, 12. 13. V.19. But your wives and your little ones and your cattle (for I know that ye have much cattle) shall abide in your cities which I have given you, v.20. until the Lord have given rest unto your brethren, as well as unto you, and until they also possess the land which the Lord, your God, hath given them beyond Jordan, on the west side; and then shall ye return, every man unto his possession which I have given you, Josh. 22, 4. True brotherly love demands that we bear one another’s burden.
A CHARGE TO JOSHUA. — V.21. And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all that the Lord, your God, hath done unto these two kings; so shall the Lord do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest. The conquered lands of the vanquished kings were lying before Joshua’s eight, and this fact gave Joshua a perpetual guarantee of the Lord’s assistance in the work which was still before him, which he must do after the death of Moses. V.22. Ye shall not fear them, this was more than an encouragement, it was an outright command; for the Lord, your God, he shall fight for you. Note the emphatic repetition of the subject. V.23. And I besought the Lord at that time, saying, v.24. O Lord God, Thou hast begun to show Thy servant Thy greatness and Thy mighty hand, namely, in the conquest of the country east of Jordan; for what God is there in heaven or in earth that can do according to Thy works and according to Thy might? Jehovah’s majesty and sublimity was singular, because He only is the true God. V.25. I pray Thee, let me go over and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, the entire mountainous country of Canaan, and Lebanon. V.26. But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, Num. 20, 12, and would not hear me, He refused to change the decision which He had made at Meribah; and the Lord said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto Me of this matter, Moses was not to add either prayer or wish to his words, for it would avail him nothing. V.27. Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, to the highest point of the mountain range, which ran parallel to the Jordan on the eastern aide, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it, the Land of Promise, with thine eyes; for thou shalt not go over this Jordan. V.28. But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him, Num. 27, 18. 23; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see. V.29. So we abode in the valley, in the plains of the Jordan, over against Beth-peor. Cp. Num. 23, 28. We Christians should always be mindful of the fact that the Lord has given us the victory over all our spiritual enemies and is holding out before us the inheritance of the saints in light. And we should have the firm confidence that the Lord will continue His battling for us and will in due time bring us to the eternal mansions.