Deuteronomy 2


Moses continues to relate how they compassed Mount Seir, 1.

And the commands they received not to meddle with the

descendants of Esau, 2-8;

nor to distress the Moabites, 9.

Of the Emims, 10, 11;

the Horims, 12.

Their passage of the brook Zered, 13.

The time they spent between Kadesh-barnea and Zered, 14;

during which all the men of war that came out of Egypt were

consumed, 15, 16.

The command not to distress the Ammonites, 17-19.

Of the Zamzummims, 20,

the Anakims, 21,

the Horims, 22,

the Avims and Caphtorims, all destroyed by the Ammonites, 23.

They are commanded to cross the river Arnon, and are promised the

land of Sihon, king of the Amorites, 24, 25.

Of the message sent to Sihon, to request a passage through his

territories, 26-29.

His refusal, 30.

The consequent war, 31, 32.

His total overthrow, 33;

and extermination of his people, 34.

The spoils that were taken, 35.

And his land possessed from Aroer to Arnon by the Israelites,


who took care, according to the command of God, not to invade any

part of the territories of the Ammonites, 37.


Verse 3. Turn you northward.] From Mount Seir, in order to

get to Canaan. This was not the way they went before, viz., by

Kadesh-barnea, but they were to proceed between Edom on the one

hand, and Moab and Ammon on the other, so as to enter into Canaan

through the land of the Amorites.

Verse 5. Meddle not with them] That is, the Edomites. See on

Nu 20:14-21.

Verse 7. The Lord-hath blessed thee, &c.] God had given them

much property, and therefore they had no need of plunder; they had

gold and silver to buy the provender they needed, and therefore

God would not permit them to take any thing by violence.

Verse 10. The Emims dwelt therein] Calmet supposes that these

people were destroyed in the war made against them by Chedorlaomer

and his allies, Ge 14:5. Lot possessed their country after the

destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha. They are generally esteemed as

giants; probably they were a hardy, fierce, and terrible people,

who lived, like the wandering Arabs, on the plunder of others.

This was sufficient to gain them the appellation of giants, or men

of prodigious stature. See next verse.

Verse 11. Which also were accounted giants] This is not a

fortunate version. The word is not giants, but Rephaim,

the name of a people. It appears that the Emim, the Anakim, and

the Rephaim, were probably the same people, called by different

names in the different countries where they dwelt; for they appear

originally to have been a kind of wandering free-booters, who

lived by plunder. (See on the preceding verse.) It must be

granted, however, that there were several men of this race of

extraordinary stature. And hence all gigantic men have been

called Rephaim. (See on Ge 6:4, and Ge 14:5.) But we well

know that fear and public report have often added whole cubits to

men's height. It was under this influence that the spies acted, when

they brought the disheartening report mentioned Nu 13:33.

Verse 12. The Horims also dwelt in Seir] The whole of this

verse was probably added by Joshua or Ezra.

Verse 20. That also was accounted a land of giants] That was

accounted the land or territory of the Rephaim.

Zamzummims] Supposed to be the same as the Zuzim, Ge 14:5.

Of these ancient people we know very little; they were probably

inconsiderable tribes or clans, "pursuing and pursued, each

other's prey," till at length a stronger totally destroyed or

subdued them, and their name became either extinct or absorbed in

that of their conquerors. From the 10th to the 12th, and from

the 20th to the 23d verse inclusive, we have certain historical

remarks introduced which do not seem to have been made by Moses,

but rather by Joshua or Ezra. By the introduction of these verses

the thread of the narrative suffers considerable interruption. Dr.

Kennicott considers both these passages to be interpolations. That

they could not have made a part of the speech of Moses originally,

needs little proof.

Verse 29. As the children of Esau which dwell in Seir]

See Clarke on Nu 20:21.

Verse 30. The Lord-hardened his spirit]

See Clarke on Ex 4:21, and "Ex 9:15", &c.

Verse 36. From Aroer-by the brink of the river of Arnon]

See Clarke on Nu 21:13, &c.

Verse 37. Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou

camest not] God gave them their commission; and those only were

to be cut off, the cup of whose iniquity was full. Though the

Moabites and Ammonites were thus spared, they requited good with

evil, for they fought against the Israelites, and cast them out of

their possessions, Jud 11:4, 5; 2Ch 20:1, &c., and committed the

most shocking cruelties; see Am 1:13. Hence God enacted a law,

that none of these people should enter into the congregation of the

Lord even to their tenth generation: see De 23:3-6.

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