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3. Division of the Land

1Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, unto battle at Edrei. 2And Jehovah said unto me, Fear him not; for I have delivered him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon. 3So Jehovah our God delivered into our hand Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining. 4And we took all his cities at that time; there was not a city which we took not from them; threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates, and bars; besides the unwalled towns a great many. 6And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying every inhabited city, with the women and the little ones. 7But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities, we took for a prey unto ourselves. 8And we took the land at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites that were beyond the Jordan, from the valley of the Arnon unto mount Hermon; 9(which Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir;) 10all the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, unto Salecah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11(For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the Rephaim; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbah of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.)

12And this land we took in possession at that time: from Aroer, which is by the valley of the Arnon, and half the hill-country of Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites: 13and the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half-tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, even all Bashan. (The same is called the land of Rephaim. 14Jair the son of Manasseh took all the region of Argob, unto the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and called them, even Bashan, after his own name, Havvoth-jair, unto this day.) 15And I gave Gilead unto Machir. 16And unto the Reubenites and unto the Gadites I gave from Gilead even unto the valley of the Arnon, the middle of the valley, and the border thereof, even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon; 17the Arabah also, and the Jordan and the border thereof, from Chinnereth even unto the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, under the slopes of Pisgah eastward.

18And I commanded you at that time, saying, Jehovah your God hath given you this land to possess it: ye shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all the men of valor. 19But 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, 20until Jehovah give rest unto your brethren, as unto you, and they also possess the land which Jehovah your God giveth them beyond the Jordan: then shall ye return every man unto his possession, which I have given you. 21And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all that Jehovah your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall Jehovah do unto all the kingdoms whither thou goest over. 22Ye shall not fear them; for Jehovah your God, he it is that fighteth for you.

23And I besought Jehovah at that time, saying, 24O Lord Jehovah, thou hast begun to show thy servant thy greatness, and thy strong hand: for what god is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy mighty acts? 25Let me go over, I pray thee, and see the good land that is beyond the Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. 26But Jehovah was wroth with me for your sakes, and hearkened not unto me; and Jehovah said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. 27Get thee up unto the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan. 28But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see. 29So we abode in the valley over against Beth-peor.

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23 And I besought the Lord. 239239     “I had besought, etc.” — Lat. Others have, “I besought;” but I have preferred using the pluperfect tense, because, in my opinion, Moses interrupts himself to show why he had resigned his office to another, and did not rather declare that he would be their leader, as heretofore, and at the same time an example to the people of courage. He says, therefore, that when he had prayed that he might be permitted to enter the land, he received a refusal. For it is not probable that, after he had substituted Joshua for himself, he straightway conceived a desire, which was in direct opposition to it.

The drift of the prayer is that God, by granting him permission to enter the land, should thus fill up to the full the measure of His grace towards him: for he enumerates the blessings already vouchsafed to him, as the ground of his confidence in asking, and that God, who is not wont to forsake the work of His own hands, might carry on to the end the mercies He had begun. For this reason he says that the might of God had been shown him; modestly hinting that it was natural to expect that he should be a partaker of the crowning blessing, in order that the end might correspond with the beginning. He also magnifies the power of God as proclaimed by the miracles; that so magnificent a work might not be interrupted. On the other hand, he speaks in commendation of the goodness of the land, and expressly shows that his desire to see it springs from earnest piety; for I willingly subscribe to the opinion of those who understand Sion by the “goodly mountain;” for, with the exception of Lebanon, there was no other mountain so delectable in the land; whereas Lebanon, as if next to it in rank, is mentioned in the second place.




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