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Deu 3:1 Then we turned and went up the way to Bashan, and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei-
God gives us potential victories, but we still have to fight the human battle.


Deu 3:2 Yahweh said to me, Don’t fear him, for I have delivered him and all his people and his land into your hand; you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon-
See on Ex. 34:27. Moses seems to have appreciated fully his representative role when he addressed Israel: "The Lord said unto me... I will deliver [Og] into thy [singular] hand... so the Lord our God delivered into our hands Og" (Dt. 3:2,3). David recognized this unity between Moses and Israel; David describes both Israel and Moses as God's chosen (Ps. 16:5,23).

 


Deu 3:3 So Yahweh our God delivered into our hand Og also, the king of Bashan and all his people, and we struck him until none remained-

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 3:4 We took all his cities at that time. There was not a city which we didn’t take from them; sixty cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan-
As noted in Num. 21:33; Dt. 3:4,10, some of the places they had known in their wilderness journeys (cp. our life now after baptism, which is like crossing the Red Sea, 1 Cor. 10:1,2) were revisited and taken by Joshua (Josh. 12:4), and incorporated into God's Kingdom. Perhaps situations and places we know in this life will then become eternally ours when we possess them in God's Kingdom.  


Deu 3:5 All these were fortified cities with high walls, gates, and bars, besides the unwalled towns very many.
Deu 3:6 We utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying every inhabited city, with the women and the little ones.
Deu 3:7 But all the livestock and the spoil of the cities we took for a prey to ourselves.
Deu 3:8 We took the land at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, from the valley of the Arnon to Mount Hermon.
Deu 3:9 (The Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir.)
Deu 3:10 We took all the cities of the plain, all Gilead, and all Bashan, to Salecah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan-
 
v. 10 - 13 The boundaries of Gad appear to in practice encroach upon that given to Manasseh (1 Chron. 5:11 cp. Josh. 13:8,7,11,25,30; Dt. 3:10-13). But the tribe of Manasseh had extended their borders northward (1 Chron. 5:23). The territory was given to Israel as their intended inheritance in the Kingdom of God; but God was open to some flexibility about this. We think of Caleb and Othniel asking for territory as an inheritance. And so it is with our dialogue with God's and His eternal intentions for us.

 


Deu 3:11 (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 its length and four cubits its breadth, after the cubit of a man.)-
 
We note that the Rephaim had children like other human beings (2 Sam. 21:16,18; Dt. 3:11), inhabiting an area known as the valley of Rephaim (Josh. 15:8). The "giants" of Gen. 6:2-4 were therefore humans and not celestial beings.


Deu 3:12 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 its cities I gave to the Reubenites and to the Gadites;
Deu 3:13 and the rest of Gilead and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, all of Bashan. (The same is called the land of Rephaim.)-
These are the 60 cities of "Argob" (Dt. 3:4), which is "called the land of giants / Rephaim" (Dt. 3:13; Josh. 13:30). The two and a half tribes saw good pasture land and wanted it there and then, as a king of short cut to the Kingdom of God. But there are no short cuts to the Kingdom. The conditions they were given demanded even more faith from them. Their men had to leave their flocks and families unprotected on the east of Jordan whilst they fought in the front line vanguard of Joshua's army to secure the territory on the west of Jordan. And the territory they were asked to possess was huge, far larger than the pasture lands they initially coveted, and inhabited by giants.


Deu 3:14 Jair the son of Manasseh took all the region of Argob to the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and called them, even Bashan, after his own name, Havvoth Jair, to this day.
Deu 3:15 I gave Gilead to Machir.
Deu 3:16 To the Reubenites and to the Gadites I gave from Gilead to the valley of the Arnon, the middle of the valley and its border, to the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon;
Deu 3:17 the Arabah also, and the Jordan and its border, from Chinnereth to the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, under the slopes of Pisgah eastward.
Deu 3:18 I commanded you at that time, saying Yahweh your God has given you this land to possess it; you shall pass over armed before your brothers, the children of Israel, all the men of valour-
Moses has just said that he gave Israel their land possessions (:12,13,15,16). So often we encounter this kind of thing; Moses loves to emphasize that God is working through him, that he is identified with God and merely His agent doing His work. Likewise the language of God can be applied to all His servants and supremely to His Son. This doesn’t mean that they were God in person, neither was Jesus; but it also doesn’t mean that we as individuals are meaningless because God is manifest through us.

"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 3:19 But your wives and your little ones and your livestock (I know that you have much livestock) shall live in your cities which I have given you,
Deu 3:20 until Yahweh gives rest to your brothers as to you, and they also possess the land which Yahweh your God gives them beyond the Jordan; then you shall return every man to his possession which I have given you-
 
- see on Josh. 22:2-4.
He had promised Reuben and Manasseh that they could return to their possessions only when the others had possessed the land (Dt. 3:20). This condition never happened- yet they were allowed to return. And our very salvation from death and the consequences of sin is in a sense another example of this kind of grace.

Although context is indeed important, it isn't always so. The New Testament writers so often quote the Old Testament without (apparently) attention to the context of the words they are quoting. And this is indeed the approach of the Rabbis, who tend to expound each Bible verse as a separate entity. But all the same, in seeking to understand a verse, attention should be paid to the context. Because a word or phrase means something in one context doesn't mean it always means this in any context. Thus "leaven" can be a symbol of both the Gospel and also sin. And the eagle is a symbol of several quite different enemies of Israel, as well as of God Himself. Another simple example is in Dt. 3:20; the land "beyond Jordan" refers to land on the West of the river; but in Josh. 9:10 the same phrase refers to land on the East. That same phrase "beyond Jordan" means something different in different contexts. We can't always assume, therefore, that the same phrase must refer to the same thing wherever it occurs.


Deu 3:21 I commanded Joshua at that time saying, Your eyes have seen all that Yahweh your God has done to these two kings; so shall Yahweh do to all the kingdoms where you go-
We are given some foretastes of the Kingdom of God even in this life; just as their victories in the wilderness were foretastes of the greater victories they would have against the inhabitants of Canaan.


Deu 3:22 You shall not fear them, for Yahweh your God, He it is who fights for you.

Deu 3:23 I begged Yahweh at that time saying,
Deu 3:24 Lord Yahweh, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or in earth that can do according to Your works and according to Your mighty acts?-

The might of Yahweh's hand was shown through His grace in as it were forcing Israel out of Egypt, when they actually wanted to remain there and He wished to destroy them (Ez. 20:8). They were idolatrous and had told Moses to leave them alone and let them serve the Egyptians. Yahweh's strength therefore refers to the power of His grace in continuing His program with them. 

Moses was to stretch forth his hand to cause the waters of the Red Sea to part and return, not his rod; because he was manifesting the hand of Yahweh which was to deliver Israel (s.w. Ex. 7:5). The repeated references to the stretched our arm or hand of Yahweh to save His people invite us to recall this incident, and to perceive that Yahweh's hand had been manifest through the hand of Moses (Dt. 4:34; 5:15; 7:19; 11:2; 26:8). That stretched out, saving arm and hand of Yahweh was and is stretched out still, to save His people (1 Kings 8:42; Ez. 20:34; Dan. 9:15 "as at this day") and bring about a new creation in human lives (Is. 45:12). For the deliverance through the Red Sea is intended to be experienced by all God's people, and is now seen through His saving grace at baptism (1 Cor. 10:1,2). What happened there was but the beginning of the work of God's outstretched arm (Dt. 3:24). Yet the stretched out arm / hand of God is also a figure for His judgment (1 Chron. 21:16; Is. 9:12; 10:4). His hand is at work in our lives- either to our condemnation or our salvation. And it is for us therefore to humble ourselves beneath that mighty hand (1 Pet. 5:6).


Deu 3:25 Please let me go over and see the good land that is beyond the Jordan, that good mountain, and Lebanon-
 
Moses asked at least twice (maybe three times?) for him to be allowed to enter the land (Dt. 3:25; Ps. 90); but the answer was basically the same as to Paul when he asked for his thorn in the flesh to be removed: "My grace is sufficient for you". The fact Moses had been forgiven and was at one with his God was so great that his physical entering the land was irrelevant. And for Paul likewise, temporal blessings in this life are nothing compared to the grace of forgiveness which we have received (Ex. 34:9).

Moses knew God well enough to know that He is capable of changing His stated intentions; for Moses had persuaded God not to destroy Israel as He once planned in His wrath. God is open to dialogue, He isn’t the impervious ‘Allah’ of Islam who must be merely submitted to; and this gives our prayer life real energy and zest, knowing that we’re not simply firing requests at God in the hope we might get at least some response; we can dialogue with God, wrestling in prayer over specific, concrete situations and requests.


Deu 3:26 But Yahweh was angry with me for your sakes and didn’t listen to me; and Yahweh said to me, Let it suffice you; speak no more to Me of this matter-
Moses says “for your sakes” several times. Although he spoke Deuteronomy in his spiritual maturity at the end of his life, it could be argued that like all of us, he died with some spiritual point of weakness; and in his case it would have been his failure to own up fully to his sin of striking the rock, still blaming it on others even at the end of his life. But Moses will be saved; without any complacency, we all the same shouldn’t think that we won’t be saved because we have weaknesses we failed to overcome, and likewise we shouldn’t assume others won’t be saved because they can’t recognize what to us is an obvious failure in their behaviour or personality.


See on Dt. 1:37. The Lord would have meditated upon the way righteous men had taken upon themselves the sins of their people. Thus Jeremiah speaks as if he has committed Israel's sins; Ezra rends his clothes and plucks off his hair, as if he has married out of the faith (Ezra 9:4 cp. Neh. 13:25; the Lord received the same sinner's treatment, Is. 50:6). Moses' prayer for God to relent and let him enter the land was only rejected for the sake of his association with Israel's sins.

Moses truly was made spiritually strong out of weakness. His faith fluctuated, until at last he came to a spiritual height at the end of his life. We have seen something of the intensity and passion of his love for Israel, to the point where he was willing to give his physical and eternal life for Israel's salvation. In a sense, his desire was heard. Because of the sin of a moment, caused by the provocation of the people he loved, God decreed that he could not enter the land of promise. For their sakes he was barred from the land; this is the emphasis of the Spirit (Dt. 1:37; 3:26; 4:21); and Ps. 106:32,33 says that Moses was provoked to sin because Israel angered God, and that therefore "it went ill with Moses for their sakes". Truly, God works through sinful man to achieve His glory. Ez. 20:38 says that the rebels in the wilderness “shall not enter into the land”, with reference to how when Moses called the people “rebels” and beat the rock, he was disallowed entry into the land. Because he called them rebels, i.e. unworthy of entry to the Kingdom, he also was treated as a rebel. If we condemn others, we likewise will be condemned. On another level, he was simply barred for disobedience; and on yet another, his prayer to the effect that he didn’t want to be in the land if his people weren’t going to be there was being answered; and on yet another and higher level, his offer to be blotted out of the book of inheritance for Israel’s sake was also being heard. Thus God works within the same incident in so many ways! Thus Moses says that he must die “Because ye [plural] trespassed against me” (Dt. 32:51 AV). This all helps explain why Christ had to die, apart from the fact that he was mortal. He died the death of a sinner for our salvation, he felt all the emotions of the rejected, the full weight of God's curse; for "cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" in crucifixion (Gal. 3:13). Moses was a superb and accurate type of the Lord Jesus. Therefore Moses in his time of dying must grant us insight into the death of our Lord, the prophet like him (Dt. 18:18). As Christ declared God's Name just before his death (Jn. 17:26), so did Moses (Dt. 32:3 LXX).


Deu 3:27 Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes westward and northward and southward and eastward, and see with your eyes, for you shall not go over this Jordan.
Deu 3:28 But commission 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 you shall see.
Deu 3:29 So we stayed in the valley over against Beth Peor.