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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Deuteronomy

(Return to Old Testament Contents)

 

CONTEXT

Part 1: Ch.1-4 Moses Reminds Israel how they got here

Ch.1 – Reminders of Failure at Kadesh

Ch.2 – Reminders of Guidance to get to this point

Ch.3 – Reminders of Triumphs & Direction

Ch.4 – Encouragements to Obedience

 

 

FRAMEWORKS: Deuteronomy 2: Reminders of Guidance to get to this point

 

v.1-3 Recounting the Wanderings in the Wilderness

v.4-8 Recounting the Instructions not to touch Seir

v.9-12 Recounting Instructions not to harass others

v.13-16 Recollecting crossing the Zered Valley with a new Generation

v.17-23 Recollecting continuing north

v.24-37 Recollecting the Defeat of Sihon King of Heshbon

 

 

v.1-3 Recounting the Wanderings in the Wilderness

 

v.1 Then we turned back and set out toward the wilderness along the route to the Red Sea, as the Lord had directed me. For a long time we made our way around the hill country of Seir. [probably south west of Edom, somewhere south of the Dead Sea]

v.2 Then the Lord said to me,

v.3“You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north.

 

[Notes: These verses recollect the period of the wanderings in the desert and the Lord calling for them to end. What follows, therefore, is all what follows after that period of wilderness wandering. Now there will be purposeful movement north in preparation to cross the Jordan opposite Jericho to enter the Land.]

 

 

v.4-8 Recounting the Instructions not to touch Seir

 

v.4 Give the people these orders: ‘You are about to pass through the territory of your relatives the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. They will be afraid of you, but be very careful.

v.5 Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on. I have given Esau the hill country of Seir as his own.

v.6 You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.'”

v.7 The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.

v.8 So we went on past our relatives the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. We turned from the Arabah road, which comes up from Elath and Ezion Geber, and travelled along the desert road of Moab.

 

[Notes: The Lord had instructed Moses to go north up the east side of the Dead Sea but He still wanted to honour Esau's descendants and so Israel were not to afflict them, but instead pay for provisions – after all He had provided for them throughout the forty years of wilderness wanderings; they could afford it.]

 

 

v.9-12 Recounting Instructions not to harass others

 

v.9 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not harass the Moabites or provoke them to war, for I will not give you any part of their land. I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession.”

v.10 (The Emites used to live there—a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites.

v.11 Like the Anakites, they too were considered Rephaites, but the Moabites called them Emites.

v.12 Horites used to live in Seir, but the descendants of Esau drove them out. They destroyed the Horites from before them and settled in their place, just as Israel did in the land the Lord gave them as their possession.)

 

[Notes: Likewise the Lord had told them not to afflict the Moabites.]

 

 

v.13-16 Recollecting crossing the Zered Valley with a new Generation

 

v.13 And the Lord said, “Now get up and cross the Zered Valley.” So we crossed the valley. [to the south east of the Dead Sea]

v.14 Thirty-eight years passed from the time we left Kadesh Barnea until we crossed the Zered Valley. By then, that entire generation of fighting men had perished from the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them.

v.15 The Lord 's hand was against them until he had completely eliminated them from the camp.

v.16 Now when the last of these fighting men among the people had died,

 

[Notes: This crossing of this distinctive landmark, still to the south-east of the Dead Sea, occurred thirty eight years after they had been prevented from entering the Promised Land by which time all the previous generation over twenty back then had now died off.

 

 

v.17-23 Recollecting continuing north

 

v.17 the Lord said to me,

v.18 “Today you are to pass by the region of Moab at Ar.

v.19 When you come to the Ammonites, do not harass them or provoke them to war, for I will not give you possession of any land belonging to the Ammonites. I have given it as a possession to the descendants of Lot.”

v.20 (That too was considered a land of the Rephaites, who used to live there; but the Ammonites called them Zamzummites.

v.21 They were a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites. The Lord destroyed them from before the Ammonites, who drove them out and settled in their place.

v.22 The Lord had done the same for the descendants of Esau, who lived in Seir, when he destroyed the Horites from before them. They drove them out and have lived in their place to this day.

v.23 And as for the Avvites who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorites coming out from Caphtor [that is Crete] destroyed them and settled in their place.)

 

[Notes: The Ammonites likewise receive the Lord's protection, being descendants of Lot. Distinguish between the Ammon ites (protected) and the Amor ites who they are going to have to fight shortly.]

 

 

v.24-37 Recollecting the Defeat of Sihon King of Heshbon

 

v.24 “Set out now and cross the Arnon Gorge. See, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his country. Begin to take possession of it and engage him in battle.

v.25 This very day I will begin to put the terror and fear of you on all the nations under heaven. They will hear reports of you and will tremble and be in anguish because of you.”

 

v.26-29 Peaceful overtures made to Sihon

v.26 From the Desert of Kedemoth I sent messengers to Sihon king of Heshbon offering peace and saying,

v.27 “Let us pass through your country. We will stay on the main road; we will not turn aside to the right or to the left.

v.28 Sell us food to eat and water to drink for their price in silver. Only let us pass through on foot—

v.29 as the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir, and the Moabites, who live in Ar, did for us—until we cross the Jordan into the land the Lord our God is giving us.”

 

v.30 Like Pharaoh (in Exodus) Sihon stubbornly refused them

v.30 But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the Lord your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to give him into your hands, as he has now done.

 

v.31-37 Sihon conquered

v.31 The Lord said to me, “See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his country over to you. Now begin to conquer and possess his land.”

v.32 When Sihon and all his army came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz,

v.33 the Lord our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army.

v.34 At that time we took all his towns and completely destroyed them—men, women and children. We left no survivors.

v.35 But the livestock and the plunder from the towns we had captured we carried off for ourselves.

v.36 From Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge, and from the town in the gorge, even as far as Gilead, not one town was too strong for us. The Lord our God gave us all of them.

v.37 But in accordance with the command of the Lord our God, you did not encroach on any of the land of the Ammonites, neither the land along the course of the Jabbok nor that around the towns in the hills.

 

[Notes: Moses had made peaceful overtures to the Amorites but their king refused them and battle ensued. It is interesting that the Lord had said this would happen yet Moses still had made peaceful overtures. The Lord clearly knew Sihon's heart and, like Pharaoh, when confronted would act hostilely. This victory is the start of Israel's reputation growing as an invincible warrior force, the fear of which would be one of the instruments the Lord would use in order to drive out the inhabitants of Canaan.]

  

 

CONTINUE TO CHAPTER 3