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Deu 2:1 Then we turned and took our journey into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea as Yahweh spoke to me, and we circled Mount Seir many days.

Deu 2:2 Yahweh spoke to me saying,
Deu 2:3 You have circled this mountain long enough; turn to the north.
Deu 2:4 Command the people saying, ‘You are to pass through the border of your brothers the children of Esau, who dwell in Seir, and they will be afraid of you. Take good heed to yourselves therefore-
 
Moses seems to express his own weakness in his final speeches to Israel in Deuteronomy. He recalls how even towards the end of the wilderness journey, God told him to contend with Sihon in battle (Dt. 2:24); and yet Moses admits: "I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, Let me pass through thy land: I will go along by the highway, I will turn neither unto the right hand nor to the left. Thou shalt sell me food for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink: only let me pass through on my feet" (Dt. 2:26-28). And yet God by grace to Moses hardened Sihon's heart so that there was a battle in which, again by grace, he gave Israel victory.

Paul warned the new Israel that after his death ("after my departing", Acts 20:29) there would be serious apostasy. This is the spirit of his very last words, in 2 Tim. 4. it is exactly the spirit of Moses' farewell speech throughout the book of Deuteronomy, and throughout his final song (Dt. 32) and Dt. 31:29: "After my death you will utterly corrupt yourselves". Paul's "Take heed therefore unto yourselves" (Acts 20:28) is quoted from many places in Deuteronomy (e.g. Dt. 2:4; 4:9,15,23; 11:16; 12:13,19,30; 24:8; 27:9).


Deu 2:5 don’t meddle with them, for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as for the sole of the foot to tread on, because I have given Mount Seir to Esau for a possession.
Deu 2:6 You shall purchase food of them for money that you may eat, and you shall also buy water of them for money that you may drink’.
Deu 2:7 For Yahweh your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand; He has known your walking through this great wilderness; these forty years Yahweh your God has been with you and you have lacked nothing-
Because God ‘knew’ Israel’s journey through the wilderness, therefore they “lacked nothing”. The Hebrew language reflects certain realities about the nature of God's ways. The common Hebrew word for 'to see', especially when used about God's 'seeing', means also 'to provide' (Gen. 16:13; 22:8,14; 1 Sam. 16:17; ). What this means in practice is that the fact God sees and knows all things means that He can and will therefore and thereby provide for us in the circumstances of life; for He sees and knows all things. 


Deu 2:8 So we passed by from our brothers the children of Esau who dwell in Seir, from the way of the Arabah from Elath and from Ezion Geber. We turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.
Deu 2:9 Yahweh said to me, Don’t bother Moab, neither contend with them in battle, for I will not give you of his land for a possession, because I have given Ar to the children of Lot for a possession.
Deu 2:10 (The Emim lived there before, a people great and many and tall as the Anakim;
Deu 2:11 these also are accounted Rephaim, as the Anakim, but the Moabites call them Emim.
Deu 2:12 The Horites also lived in Seir before, but the children of Esau succeeded them, and they destroyed them from before them and lived in their place, as Israel did to the land of his possession, which Yahweh gave to them.)-
This history had been arranged by God to encourage His people; if those in the unbelieving world could do this, then how much more could they with God behind them. God arranges our lives so that we sometimes encounter others who without faith in God have achieved great things in their lives- in order to inspire us that if they can do it, how much more can we. See on Dt. 2:21.


Deu 2:13 Now rise up and cross over the brook Zered. We went over the brook Zered.
Deu 2:14 The days in which we came from Kadesh Barnea until we had come over the brook Zered were thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war were consumed from the midst of the camp, as Yahweh swore to them.
Deu 2:15 Moreover the hand of Yahweh was against them, to destroy them from the midst of the camp until they were consumed.
Deu 2:16 So it happened. When all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people,
Deu 2:17 Yahweh spoke to me saying-
Moses stood before Israel at the end of his life and pleaded with them to have the faith and courage to go and drive out the tribes of giants that lived in Canaan, and dwell there themselves. He cites as an example the way that other tribes had driven out giants and lived in their lands, in order to inspire his Israel (Dt. 2:12-21). The zeal and example of the unbelieving world around is should challenge us.


Deu 2:18 You are today to pass over Ar, the border of Moab,
Deu 2:19 and when you come near to the children of Ammon, don’t bother them or contend with them, for I will not give you of the land of the children of Ammon for a possession, because I have given it to the children of Lot for a possession-
As also commanded about other areas in :5 and :9. The idea was that Israel weren’t to take anything less than the real promised land; they weren’t to seek to develop their own kingdom wherever seemed easier and more convenient to them. Likewise we are surrounded by temptation to have our own pseudo-Kingdom of God in this life; but we are to keep focused on the one and only true Kingdom of God which is yet to come.


Deu 2:20 That also is accounted a land of Rephaim. Rephaim lived there before, but the Ammonites call them Zamzummim,
Deu 2:21 a people great and many and tall, as the Anakim; but Yahweh destroyed them before them and they succeeded them and lived in their place-
If giants weren’t a barrier to the children of Lot taking land for a possession, neither should they be for Israel; but they greatly feared them (Num. 13:28,33). If worldly people can achieve as they do, quitting alcoholism, achieving amazing goals... how much more can we with God on our side. 


Deu 2:22 as He did for the children of Esau, who dwell in Seir, when He destroyed the Horites from before them and they succeeded them and lived in their place to this day;
Deu 2:23 and the Avvim, who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorim, who came out of Caphtor, destroyed them and lived in their place.

Deu 2:24 Rise up, take your journey and pass over the valley of the Arnon. Behold, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite king of Heshbon and his land; begin to possess it and contend with him in battle-
The implication could be that Moses was disobedient to this and tried to avoid confrontation with him (:27). But we can’t ultimately avoid the confrontations which God at times puts in our path (:32).

Just as all the animals and everything in the eretz promised to Abraham was 'delivered into the hands' of Noah (s.w. Gen. 9:2), so the nations of that eretz were delivered into the hands of Israel (s.w. Ex. 6:8; 23:31; Dt. 2:24; 3:2,3; 7:24; 21:10; Josh. 2:24; Jud. 1:2). Tragically, like Adam in Eden [perhaps the same eretz promised to Abraham] and Noah in the new, cleansed eretz, Israel didn't realize this potential. What was delivered into the hand of Joshua (Josh. 2:24) actually wasn't delivered into their hand, because they disbelieved (Jud. 2:23); and this looks ahead to the disbelief of so many in the work of the Lord Jesus, who has indeed conquered the Kingdom for us. They considered the promise of the nations being delivered into their hand as somehow open to question, and only a possibility and not at all certain (Jud. 8:7; Num. 21:2 cp. Num. 21:34). Some like Jephthah (s.w. Jud. 11:32; 12:3), Ehud (Jud. 3:10,28), Deborah (Jud. 4:14), Gideon (Jud. 7:15) did, for a brief historical moment; but as individuals, and their victories were not followed up on. Instead they were dominated by the territory. And so instead, they were delivered into the hands of their enemies within the eretz (s.w. Lev. 26:25; Jud. 13:1).   


Deu 2:25 This day will I begin to put the dread of you and the fear of you on the peoples who are under the whole sky, who will hear the report of you and will tremble and be in anguish because of you.

Deu 2:26 I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace saying-

Moses seems to express his own weakness in his final speeches to Israel in Deuteronomy. He recalls how even towards the end of the wilderness journey, God told him to contend with Sihon in battle (Dt. 2:24); and yet Moses admits: "I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, Let me pass through thy land: I will go along by the highway, I will turn neither unto the right hand nor to the left. Thou shalt sell me food for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink: only let me pass through on my feet" (Dt. 2:26-28). And yet God by grace to Moses hardened Sihon's heart so that there was a battle in which, again by grace, he gave Israel victory.


Deu 2:27 Let me pass through your land; I will go along by the highway; I will turn neither to the right hand nor to the left.
Deu 2:28 You shall sell me food for money, that I may eat and give me water for money, that I may drink; only let me pass through on my feet,
Deu 2:29 as the children of Esau who dwell in Seir, and the Moabites who dwell in Ar, did to me, until I shall pass over the Jordan into the land which Yahweh our God gives us-
This phrase or idea occurs many times in Deuteronomy. Moses was urging the people to believe the most basic reality- that God would really give them the promised Kingdom. And we too are likewise continually encouraged by God’s word. In this particular example, Moses quite openly tells a Gentile people about their destination, in the same way as we should be unashamed to speak of our hope of the Kingdom to unbelievers.


Deu 2:30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him, for Yahweh your God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that He might deliver him into your hand, as at this day-
The same Hebrew words used of the hardening of Gentile heart occur in a positive context- for God also hardens or strengthens the hearts of the righteous (Ps. 27:14; Is. 35:4). Indeed, Is. 35:4 speaks of how the righteous shouldn’t have a weak or [Heb.] ‘fluid’ heart, but rather a hardened one. Clearly enough, God solidifies human attitudes, one way or the other, through the work of His Spirit upon our spirit. This is a sobering thought- for He is prepared to confirm a person in their weak thinking. But on the other hand, even the weakest basic intention towards righteousness is solidified by Him too.

 


Deu 2:31 Yahweh said to me, Behold, I have begun to deliver up Sihon and his land before you; begin to possess, that you may inherit his land-

"Drive out" is s.w. "possess". We must note the difference between the  Canaanite peoples and their kings being "struck" and their land "taken" by Joshua-Jesus; and the people of Israel permanently taking possession. This is the difference between the Lord's victory on the cross, and our taking possession of the Kingdom. Even though that possession has been "given" to us. The word used for "possession" is literally 'an inheritance'. The allusion is to the people, like us, being the seed of Abraham. The Kingdom was and is our possession, our inheritance- if we walk in the steps of Abraham. But it is one thing to be the seed of Abraham, another to take possession of the inheritance; and Israel generally did not take possession of all the land (Josh. 11:23 13:1; 16:10; 18:3; 23:4). The language of inheritance / possession is applied to us in the New Testament (Eph. 1:11,14; Col. 3:24; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Pet. 1:4 etc.). Israel were promised: "You shall possess it" (Dt. 30:5; 33:23). This was more of a command than a prophecy, for sadly they were "given" the land but did not "possess" it. They were constantly encouraged in the wilderness that they were on the path to possessing the land (Dt. 30:16,18; 31:3,13; 32:47), but when they got there they didn't possess it fully.


Deu 2:32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Jahaz.
Deu 2:33 Yahweh our God delivered him up before us and we struck him and his sons and all his people-
Deu 2:34 We took all his cities at that time and utterly destroyed every inhabited city, with the women and the little ones. We left none remaining-
Even on our wilderness journey, before we have possessed the Kingdom, we do have some foretastes of that Kingdom; in the same way as Israel began to possess the promised land in some limited sense whilst still in the desert.


Deu 2:35 Only the livestock we took for a prey to ourselves, with the spoil of the cities which we had taken.
Deu 2:36 From Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, and the city that is in the valley, to Gilead, there was not a city too high for us; Yahweh our God delivered up all before us.
Deu 2:37 Only to the land of the children of Ammon you didn’t come near, all the side of the river Jabbok, and the cities of the hill country, and wherever Yahweh our God forbad us-
 
Paul speaks of how he had been given areas in which it was potentially possible for him to preach in, and he didn’t enter into those areas which had either already been preached in, or which were another brother’s responsibility. This seems to suggest that God does indeed look down from Heaven and as it were divide up the world amongst those who could preach in it. This is why Paul perceived that he had been ‘forbidden’ from preaching in some areas [e.g. Macedonia] and yet a door was opened to him in Achaia. This language is allusive to the way in which the Lord forbad Israel to conquer certain areas on their way to the promised land (Dt. 2:37). The point is, between us, our preaching is a war of conquest for Jesus, pulling down strong holds and fortresses as Paul put it; or, as Jesus expressed it, taking the Kingdom by force, as stormtroopers.