Deuteronomy 3

Defeat of King Og of Bashan

1Next we set out on
Heb “turned and went up.”
the route to Bashan,
Bashan. This plateau country, famous for its oaks (Isa 2:13) and cattle (Deut 32:14; Amos 4:1), was north of Gilead along the Yarmuk River.
but King Og of Bashan and his whole army
Heb “people.”
came out to meet us in battle at Edrei.
Edrei is probably modern Derʿa, 60 mi (95 km) south of Damascus (see Num 21:33; Josh 12:4; 13:12, 31; also mentioned in Deut 1:4).
2The Lord, however, said to me, “Don’t be afraid of him because I have already given him, his whole army,
Heb “people.”
and his land to you. You will do to him exactly what you did to King Sihon of the Amorites who lived in Heshbon.”
3So the Lord our God did indeed give over to us King Og of Bashan and his whole army and we struck them down until not a single survivor was left.
Heb “was left to him.” The final phrase “to him” is redundant in English and has been left untranslated.
4We captured all his cities at that time – there was not a town we did not take from them – sixty cities, all the region of Argob,
Argob. This is a subdistrict of Bashan, perhaps north of the Yarmuk River. See Y. Aharoni, Land of the Bible, 314.
the dominion of Og in Bashan.
5All of these cities were fortified by high walls, gates, and locking bars;
Or “high walls and barred gates” (NLT); Heb “high walls, gates, and bars.” Since “bars” could be understood to mean “saloons,” the qualifying adjective “locking” has been supplied in the translation.
in addition there were a great many open villages.
The Hebrew term פְּרָזִי (peraziy) refers to rural areas, at the most “unwalled villages” (KJV, NASB “unwalled towns”).
6We put all of these under divine judgment
Heb “we put them under the ban” (נַחֲרֵם, nakharem). See note at 2:34.
The divine curse. See note on this phrase in Deut 2:34.
just as we had done to King Sihon of Heshbon – every occupied city,
Heb “city of men.”
including women and children.
7But all the livestock and plunder from the cities we kept for ourselves. 8So at that time we took the land of the two Amorite kings in the Transjordan from Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon
Mount Hermon. This is the famous peak at the southern end of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range known today as Jebel es-Sheik.
9(the Sidonians
Sidonians were Phoenician inhabitants of the city of Sidon (now in Lebanon), about 47 mi (75 km) north of Mount Carmel.
call Hermon Sirion
Sirion. This name is attested in the Ugaritic texts as sryn. See UT 495.
and the Amorites call it Senir),
Senir. Probably this was actually one of the peaks of Hermon and not the main mountain (Song of Songs 4:8; 1 Chr 5:23). It is mentioned in a royal inscription of Shalmaneser III of Assyria (saniru; see ANET 280).
10all the cities of the plateau, all of Gilead and Bashan as far as Salecah
Salecah. Today this is known as Salkhad, in Jordan, about 31 mi (50 km) east of the Jordan River in the Hauran Desert.
and Edrei,
Edrei. See note on this term in 3:1.
cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.
11Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaites. (It is noteworthy
Heb “Behold” (הִנֵּה, hinneh).
that his sarcophagus
The Hebrew term עֶרֶשׂ (’eres), traditionally translated “bed” (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT) is likely a basaltic (volcanic) stone sarcophagus of suitable size to contain the coffin of the giant Rephaite king. Its iron-like color and texture caused it to be described as an iron container. See A. Millard, “King Og’s Iron Bed: Fact or Fancy?” BR 6 (1990): 16-21, 44; cf. also NEB “his sarcophagus of basalt”; TEV, CEV “his coffin.”
was made of iron.
Or “of iron-colored basalt.” See note on the word “sarcophagus” earlier in this verse.
Does it not, indeed, still remain in Rabbath
Rabbath. This place name (usually occurring as Rabbah; 2 Sam 11:11; 12:27; Jer 49:3) refers to the ancient capital of the Ammonite kingdom, now the modern city of Amman, Jordan. The word means “great [one],” probably because of its political importance. The fact that the sarcophagus “still remain[ed]” there suggests this part of the verse is post-Mosaic, having been added as a matter of explanation for the existence of the artifact and also to verify the claim as to its size.
of the Ammonites? It is thirteen and a half feet
Heb “nine cubits.” Assuming a length of 18 in (45 cm) for the standard cubit, this would be 13.5 ft (4.1 m) long.
long and six feet
Heb “four cubits.” This would be 6 ft (1.8 m) wide.
wide according to standard measure.)
Heb “by the cubit of man.” This probably refers to the “short” or “regular” cubit of approximately 18 in (45 cm).

Distribution of the Transjordanian Allotments

12 This is the land we brought under our control at that time: The territory extending from Aroer
The words “the territory extending” are not in the Hebrew text; they are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
Aroer. See note on this term in Deut 2:36.
by the Wadi Arnon and half the Gilead hill country with its cities I gave to the Reubenites and Gadites.
Reubenites and Gadites. By the time of Moses’ address the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh had already been granted permission to settle in the Transjordan, provided they helped the other tribes subdue the occupants of Canaan (cf. Num 32:28–42).
13The rest of Gilead and all of Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to half the tribe of Manasseh.
Half the tribe of Manasseh. The tribe of Manasseh split into clans, with half opting to settle in Bashan and the other half in Canaan (cf. Num 32:39–42; Josh 17:1–13).
(All the region of Argob,
Argob. See note on this term in v. 4.
that is, all Bashan, is called the land of Rephaim.
14Jair, son of Manasseh, took all the Argob region as far as the border with the Geshurites
Geshurites. Geshur was a city and its surrounding area somewhere northeast of Bashan (cf. Josh 12:5 ; 13:11, 13). One of David’s wives was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur and mother of Absalom (cf. 2 Sam 13:37; 15:8; 1 Chr 3:2).
and Maacathites
Maacathites. These were the people of a territory southwest of Mount Hermon on the Jordan River. The name probably has nothing to do with David’s wife from Geshur (see note on “Geshurites” earlier in this verse).
(namely Bashan) and called it by his name, Havvoth-Jair,
Havvoth-Jair. The Hebrew name means “villages of Jair,” the latter being named after a son (i.e., descendant) of Manasseh who took the area by conquest.
which it retains to this very day.)
15I gave Gilead to Machir.
Machir was the name of another descendant of Manasseh (cf. Num 32:41; 1 Chr 7:14–19). Eastern Manasseh was thus divided between the Jairites and the Machirites.
16To the Reubenites and Gadites I allocated the territory extending from Gilead as far as Wadi Arnon (the exact middle of the wadi was a boundary) all the way to the Wadi Jabbok, the Ammonite border. 17The Arabah and the Jordan River
The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity (also in vv. 20, 25).
were also a border, from the sea of Chinnereth
Heb “from Chinnereth.” The words “the sea of” have been supplied in the translation as a clarification.
Chinnereth. This is another name for the Sea of Galilee, so called because its shape is that of a harp (the Hebrew term for “harp” is כִּנּוֹר, kinnor).
to the sea of the Arabah (that is, the Salt Sea),
The Salt Sea is another name for the Dead Sea (cf. Gen 14:3; Josh 3:16).
beneath the watershed
The meaning of the Hebrew term אַשְׁדֹּת (’ashdot) is unclear. It is usually translated either “slopes” (ASV, NAB, NIV) or “watershed” (NEB).
of Pisgah
Pisgah. This appears to refer to a small range of mountains, the most prominent peak of which is Mount Nebo (Num 21:20; 23:14; Deut 3:27; cf. 34:1).
to the east.

Instructions to the Transjordanian Tribes

18 At that time I instructed you as follows: “The Lord your God has given you this land for your possession. You warriors are to cross over before your fellow Israelites
Heb “your brothers, the sons of Israel.”
equipped for battle.
19But your wives, children, and livestock (of which I know you have many) may remain in the cities I have given you. 20You must fight
The words “you must fight” are not present in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.
until the Lord gives your countrymen victory
Heb “gives your brothers rest.”
as he did you and they take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them on the other side of the Jordan River. Then each of you may return to his own territory that I have given you.”
21I also commanded Joshua at the same time, “You have seen everything the Lord your God did to these two kings; he
Heb “the Lord.” The translation uses the pronoun (“he”) for stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy.
will do the same to all the kingdoms where you are going.
Heb “which you are crossing over there.”
22Do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God will personally fight for you.”

Denial to Moses of the Promised Land

23 Moreover, at that time I pleaded with the Lord, 24“O, Lord God,
Heb “Lord Lord.” The phrase אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה (’adonay yehvih) is customarily rendered by Jewish tradition as “Lord God.” Cf. NIV, TEV, NLT “Sovereign Lord.”
you have begun to show me
Heb “your servant.” The pronoun is used in the translation to clarify that Moses is speaking of himself, since in contemporary English one does not usually refer to oneself in third person.
your greatness and strength.
Heb “your strong hand” (so NIV), a symbol of God’s activity.
(What god in heaven or earth can rival your works and mighty deeds?)
25Let me please cross over to see the good land on the other side of the Jordan River – this good hill country and the Lebanon!”
The article is retained in the translation (“the Lebanon,” cf. also NAB, NRSV) to indicate that a region (rather than the modern country of Lebanon) is referred to here. Other recent English versions accomplish this by supplying “mountains” after “Lebanon” (TEV, CEV, NLT).
26But the Lord was angry at me because of you and would not listen to me. Instead, he
Heb “the Lord.” For stylistic reasons the pronoun (“he”) has been used in the translation here.
said to me, “Enough of that!
Heb “much to you” (an idiom).
Do not speak to me anymore about this matter.
27Go up to the top of Pisgah and take a good look to the west, north, south, and east,
Heb “lift your eyes to the west, north, south, and east and see with your eyes.” The translation omits the repetition of “your eyes” for stylistic reasons.
for you will not be allowed to cross the Jordan.
Heb “command”; KJV, NASB, NRSV “charge Joshua.”
Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, because he will lead these people over and will enable them to inherit the land you will see.”
29So we settled down in the valley opposite Beth Peor.
Beth Peor. This is probably the spot near Pisgah where Balaam attempted to curse the nation Israel (Num 23:28). The Moabites also worshiped Baal there by the name “Baal [of] Peor” (Num 25:1–5).

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