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the Anakims; but the Moabites call them Emims.
12 The Horims also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their "stead; as Israel did unto the land of his possession, which the LORD gave unto them.
13 Now rise up, said I, and get you over "the brook Zered. And we went over the brook Zered.
14 And the space in which we came from Kadesh-barnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the LORD Sware unto them.
15 For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed.
16 So it came to pass, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people,
17 That the LORD spake unto me, saying,
18 Thou art to pass over through Ar, the coast of Moab, this day:
19 And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a pos
20 (That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims;
21 A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the LORD destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead:
22 As he did to the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, when he destroyed the Horims from before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead even unto this day:
23 And the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto Azzah, the Caphtorims, which came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in their stead.)
24 ¶ Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon: behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land: 'be
4 Gen. 36. 20. 5 Heb. inherited them.
11 Num. 21. 23.
gin to possess it, and contend with him in battle.
25 This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.
26 And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying,
27 10 Let me pass through thy land: I will go along by the high way, I will neither turn unto the right hand nor to the left.
28 Thou shalt sell me meat for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink: only I will pass through on my feet;
29 (As the children of Esau which dwell in Seir, and the Moabites which dwell in Ar, did unto me;) until I shall pass over Jordan into the land which the LORD our God giveth us.
30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.
31 And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land.
32 "Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz.
33 And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people.
34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain :
35 Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took.
36 From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us: the LORD our God delivered all unto us:
37 Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any place of the river Jabbok, nor unto the citi in the mountains, nor unto whatsoever the LORD our God forbad us.
6 Or, room. 7 Num. 21. 12.
8 Or, valley. 9 Heb. begin, possess. 12 Heb. every city of men, and women, and little ones.
10 Num. 21. 21, 22.
Verse 8. "Elath."-This place is called by a great number of names, which are chiefly formed by alterations in the vowels, the essential consonants being generally retained. The most conspicuous of these names are Elath, Eloth, Ailah, Ela, Elana, from which last name the denomination Elanitic was conveyed to the whole gulf, at the northern extremity of which it was situated. Indeed, the modern town of Akaba, by which it has been succeeded, and which stands on or near the same site, has succeeded also to the distinction of giving a name to the eastern arm of the Red Sea, which is at present called the Gulf of Akaba. Elath seems to have been in its origin a port of the Edomites, on this gulf (see the note on Gen. xxxvi. 9); and as a port it long continued a place of considerable importance, being, as it were, the key to the commercial relations carried on through that arm of the Arabian Gulf. Yet, as Ezion-gaber is noticed here and elsewhere contemporaneously with Elath, and is still more decidedly mentioned as a seaport, we venture to think that Ezion-gaber did not, as some conceive, succeed Elath as the port; but that it was the naval station, while Elath was the proper entrepôt and seat of commercial relations. We can think of no other hypothesis which so well reconciles all statements, and solves any little difficulties which may attend the question. Into this question, or indeed into the commercial character of Elath and Ezion-geber, we do not now intend to enter, as it will more properly come under our notice hereafter. We may here, however, mention the leading facts in its history. When David conquered Edom, he took possession of Elath, and he, as well as his son Solomon, availed themselves of this advantage to engage in maritime commerce. The Edomites, however, seem never to have lost sight of the importance of this station, and, after 150 years, they succeeded in regaining possession of it, in the reign of Joram (2 Kings viii. 20). It was, however, retaken by Azariah (ch. xiv. 22); but under his grandson Ahaz, the Edomites captured it again (ch. xvi. 6), and it was not afterwards recovered by the Jews. It subsequently fell into the hands of the Ptolemies; and the change of the course of trade from Tyre to Alexandria seems to have greatly affected its commercial importance, as the trade conducted through the Arabian Gulf then naturally passed up its western arm. It then successively passed to the Romans, the Greek emperors, the Arabians, the sultans of Egypt, and the Turks, to whom (or rather to the Pasha of Egypt) it now belongs, under the name of Akaba. Burckhardt gives the following important passage from Makrizi, the Egyptian historian's chapter on Aila (Akaba). "In former times it was the frontier place of the Greeks; at one mile from it is a triumphal arch of the Cæsars. In the time of the Islam it was a fine town, inhabited by the Beni-Omeya. Ibn Ahmed Ibn Toulaun (a sultan of Egypt) made the road over the Akaba, a steep mountain before Aila. There were many mosques at Aila, and many Jews lived there. It was taken by the Franks during the Crusades; but, in 566, Saladin transported ships upon camels from Cairo to this place, and recovered it from them. Near Aila was formerly situated a large handsome town called Aszyoun" (Ezion-gaber).
Here, at the head of the Gulf, the Wady-el-Araba, a broad sandy valley from the Dead Sea, otherwise the desert of Zin, issues into a plain, which is about nine or ten miles in length, from east to west, and is probably "the way of the plain" mentioned in the text. Its breadth northward is not much less than its length; and it affords good pasturage, although strongly impregnated with salt, for an hour's journey from the sea; and sands prevail from thence northward. The modern Akaba is less a town than a fortress, built in the sixteenth century by Sultan El Ghoury of Egypt. It stands a few hundred paces from the sea, and is surrounded with large groves of date-trees. It is a square building, with strong towers, and contains many Arab huts. A market is held there, which is frequented by Hedjaz and Syrian
Arabs. The fortress contains deep wells of tolerably good water: and its present use is as a place of deposit for provisions for the supply of the great pilgrim caravan on its march to and from Mecca. The Pasha of Egypt keeps a garrison of about thirty soldiers in the fortress. (See Burckhardt's 'Travels in Syria;' and also Laborde's Voyage de l'Arabie Pétrée,' from which our cut is taken.)
9. "The Moabites."-The Moabites, being descended from one of Lot's two sons, are here, in virtue of the relationship which they thus hore to the descendants of Abraham, allowed to enjoy their own actual territories in peace ; but their unfriendly conduct, in refusing the Israelites a passage through their country, and afterwards in sending for Balaam to lay a curse upon them, as well as the part which they bore in seducing the Hebrews to sin in the matter of Baalpeor, was so far resented, that it was ordained that the Moabites should not, even to the tenth generation, be admitted to the congregation of the people (Deut. xxiii. 3). The territory which they cultivated lay on the eastern side of the Dead Sea, to the south, and partly to the north, of the river Arnon. This country they had acquired by conquering the ancient inhabitants, the Emim, mentioned in Gen. xiv. Their brethren, the Ammonites, had also a portion of the country north of the Arnon, that is, between that river and the Jabbok. But, at some time previous to the arrival of the Hebrews, both these people had been dispossessed of the country between these two rivers by the Amorites, and when the latter were, as mentioned in the sequel of this chapter, subdued by Moses, the Israelites occupied the district by right of conquest. It was in the end given to the tribes of Reuben and Gad; that is, Reuben received nearly three-fourths of the whole, while a district south of the Jabbok was assigned to Gad, the bulk of whose territory lay on the north of that river. Dr. Wells thinks, with some probability, that, in this distribution, Moses had regard to the old division of the country between the Moabites and the Ammonites, so as to assign to the Reubenites what had formerly belonged to the Moabites, and to the Gadites what had belonged to the children of Ammon. But then, how are we to account for a similar case as to the half tribe of Manasseh, whose portion encroached south of the Jarnouk, which naturally would have formed the northern boundary of Gad, in the same way that Gad encroached south of the Jabbok, which would have formed the proper natural boundary to Reuben in the north? We venture to conjecture that this somewhat singular distribution was in order to give to each of the tribes an exclusive right to one of the three principal streams east of the Jordan, and thus prevent any disputes which might have arisen about water.
The Moabites remained in possession of the country south of the Arnon, of which the Israelites found them in possession; and we hear nothing further about them till after the death of Joshua, when, to punish the Hebrews for their iniquities, "the Lord strengthened Eglon king of Moab against Israel" (Judg, iii. 12); and he, with the assistance of the Ammonites and Amalekites, defeated them in battle and held them in subjection eighteen years, after which they were delivered by Ehud, as recorded in the sequel of that chapter. We afterwards find the Moabites joined with the Ammonites in the war occasioned by the insult offered by the latter to David's ambassadors. Both nations were totally defeated by David, and remained in subjection to the kings of Israel till the death of Ahab. Shortly after that event, we find the Moabites refusing to pay the tribute of a hundred thousand rams and as many lambs, which till then they had been accustomed to pay, either yearly, or at the commencement of a new reign-which of the two we cannot exactly learn from Scripture (2 Kings iii. 4, 5). Mesha, the king, is called a "sheepmaster" (nokeed, a herdsman, a rearer or owner of cattle), which seems to show that the people were at this time given to pastoral pursuits, for which their country is well adapted. Jehoram, the son of Ahab, with his ally, Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and his tributary the king of Edom, undertook to reduce the Moabites to their former subjection. The history of the expedition, which is given at length in 2 Kings iii., is very interesting. In the end the Moabites were defeated with a terrible overthrow, and ruin to their country. This victory does not however appear to have brought them into subjection, as very shortly after, we find them, with the Ammonites and others, making a very alarming irruption into Judah, probably in revenge for the part which Jehoshaphat had taken in the late war; but in this instance they were again completely defeated. At a considerably later period, in the reign of Joash, we also incidentally read of bands of Moabites invading the kingdom of Israel, but are not told for what purpose or with what result (2 Kings xiii. 20). From the manner in which the denunciations of the prophets against Moab are expressed, and which describe them as holding possession of towns north of the Arnon, it would seem probable that they availed themselves of the opportunity which was offered by the two and half tribes being carried away captive by Pul, king of Assyria (1 Chron. v. 26), to repossess themselves of the territory which had, in very remote times, been taken from them by the Amorites. From the prophecies it may also be concluded, that they did themselves suffer much from the invasions of the kings of Assyria, and were ultimately, like the Jews, carried away captive by Nebuchadnezzar. It is probable that Cyrus gave them and the Ammonites permission to return to their own country; for we find them again in their own lands, exposed to those revolutions which included the people of Syria and Palestine, and subject successively to the Persians, the Syrian Greeks, the Egyptian Greeks, and the Romans, and are thought in the end to have been under the authority of the Asmonean kings, and afterwards of Herod the Great. There is no trace of them afterwards; and we may conclude that, like most of the other small nations mentioned in Scripture, which survived to so late a period, they were lost in the great Arabian nation to which they were allied. Indeed Josephus calls them "Arabians" when writing of events which took place about a century before Christ. (Antiq. lib. xiii. 13.)
The land of Moab lay to the cast and south-east of the Dead Sea. The surface is more diversified with hill and plain than that of the kindred nation of the Ammonites, farther east; but the hilly character is less conspicuous than in the districts north of the Arnon. Although the land now lies desolate, and the sand and salt of the desert and the Dead Sea now encroach upon its borders, there is not wanting abundant evidence of its ancient fertility and abundant population. The land thus desert is eminently fertile in its natural character, and continues to afford rich returns in the few spots which are under cultivation. The frequent ruins of towns, often in close vicinity to each other, testify that the ancient populousness of the region, which is only now traversed by wandering and hostile Arab tribes, was in full correspondence with the rich character of the soil, and, conversely, the extraordinary number of the ruined towns, which cover the plains and every eminence or spot convenient for their construction, manifests the extent of that cultivation which could subsist so large a population. The form of the ancient fields may still be traced; and there are remains of ancient highways, which in some places are completely paved, and on which there are milestones of the times of Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, and Severus, with the number of the miles still legible upon them. The latter facts seem to show that the land of Moab continued to be populous and cultivated down to times considerably subsequent to those in which the canon of Scripture was closed. (See Irby and Mangles' 'Travels;' Burckhardt's Travels in Syria,' &c.) "Ar."-This was the capital of Moab, called also "Ariel of Moab," and Rabbah, or Rabbath-Moab, to distinguish it from the Ammonitish city of the same name. The Greeks call it Areopolis, but the ruins still retain the name of Rabba. It was situated about twenty-five miles south of the Arnon, near the stream called Beni-Hamed (see note to Num. xxi. 15.) The ruins are situated upon a low hill which commands the whole plain; and those which now appear are comprehended within a circuit of little more than a mile. There are many remains of private buildings,
but none entire; and the only conspicuous objects among the ruins are the remains of a temple or palace (of which one wall and several niches are still standing), the gate of another building, two Corinthian columns, and an insulated altar in the plain. Burckhardt says that the walls of the larger buildings are built like those of Beit-Kerm; that is, if we understand his reference, of large stones five feet long by two broad. As there are no springs in this spot, the town had two birkets or reservoirs, the largest of which is cut entirely out of the rocky ground, together with several cisterns. In Isaiah (ch. xvi. 7, 11) the place is called Kir-hareseth and Kir-haresh, meaning the city with walls of burnt brick, which is a curious circumstance, as indicating a distinction and seeming to imply that the walls of towns were generally, as at present, of sun-dried bricks. Captains Irby and Mangles could find no traces of walls, and seem altogether disappointed as to the importance of the capital of Moab. But they estimated its ancient extent by the visible ruins, without recollecting that cities which have so long lain in ruins often have so much of their extent buried under the soil that their limits cannot be determined without digging. Jerome says that the city was overthrown by an earthquake when he was a young man.
13. "Brook Zered."-In the note to Num. xxi. 12, we referred to a note in this place, not having been at that time able to convince ourselves that the brook Beni-Hamed, described in the note to verse 15 of that chapter, could be identified with the brook Zered, as it commonly is. We inclined to the opinion that the brook in question might, with more probability, be found in the river Ahsa, the largest of several streams that flow into the back-water at the southern extremity of the Dead Sea. It is not only the largest river south of the Arnon, but is the first which the Israelites would meet with in coming from the south; whereas, the Beni-Hamed is so very inconsiderable, that, as they must have crossed it near its source, it would be as surprising to see it mentioned at all as to see the river Ahsa not mentioned. We therefore are still inclined to think that the latter, rather than the former, is the Zered, which seems mentioned as a sort of boundary river. But we are content to register this conjecture without discussion.
19. "The children of Ammon.”—These also were descended from Lot, and their history has been partly mentioned in the note concerning the Moabites. Indeed their history is so closely connected with that of their brethren, that having just noticed the latter, it is scarcely requisite to do more than mention the points in which the former differed. They dispossessed the ancient people, the Zuzims, or Zamzummims, and occupied their country. It appears in the end that they were in turn dispossessed, like the Moabites, of the district between the Arnon and the Jabbok by the Amorites, from whom it was taken and retained by the Hebrews. From the circumstantial manner in which Moses relates this history, here and in Num. xxi. 21-26, concerning the Moabites' portion, which was the most considerable in that district, it would appear that they had, in the time of Moses himself, urged some claim to the lost lands, so as to render it necessary for the sacred historian to inform posterity in a particular manner by what right the Hebrews held the lands in question. We do not indeed find the Moabites urging such a claim, unless by this implication; but three hundred years later (Judg. xi. 13—26), we find the Ammonites laying claim to all the country between the Arnon and the Jabbok, which shows that part of that country had belonged to them, although in the original narrative the Moabites only are mentioned. How they came to claim the whole of this domain, thus interfering with the superior pretensions of the Moabites, the history does not relate. Jephthah met this demand by a recapitulation of the history of the region in question, contending that it having been taken by the Hebrews from their enemies the Amorites, who then occupied it, they were by no means bound to restore it to the previous possessors. Indeed when we recollect the unhandsome manner in which the children of Lot treated the Israelites, it does not appear on what grounds they could have expected that the latter would reconquer their lost territory, and bestow it on them. The Ammonites, however, being dissatisfied with the reply of Jephthah, a battle ensued, in which that general was completely victorious. In after-times they acted with the Moabites in nearly all their measures against Israel, and are on all occasions marked for the peculiar savageness of their disposition. They sometimes, also, acted on their own account. Saul's first military exploit consisted in defeating the Ammonites before Jabesh-Gilead, which was besieged by them, and to which they offered no other terms of capitulation than that each of the inhabitants should have his right eye put out. They were also severely punished and brought under subjection by David, whom they had greatly provoked by their scandalous treatment of his ambassadors. Being more distant than the Moabites, they probably shook off the yoke on the separation of Israel into two kingdoms. We have seen in the preceding note that they joined the Moabites in the invasion of Judah, and partook in the defeat. They do not, however, seem to have been permanently subdued; but, many years after, Jotham, king of Judah, overcame them in battle, and laid upon them a tribute of a hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and as many of barley. But they are only said to have paid this the second and third years. The remainder of their history is almost identical with that of the Moabites, and may, with the alteration of name, be read in the note to verse 9. They lost no opportunity of manifesting their peculiar hatred of the Jews, and when the two and half tribes were carried away captive, took possession of the towns of Gad, apparently in their own ancient territory, for which they were reproached by Jeremiah. After their own presumed return from captivity, they, like the Jews, rebuilt and fortified their towns. Antiochus the Great took their capital Rabboth, or Philadelphia (see note to Jer. xlix. 2), demolished the walls, and put a garrison into it. But, upon the whole, they throve so well during their subjection to the great monarchies, that the books of Maccabees speak of their "mighty power and much people;" and it was only after several battles with them that Judas Maccabeus succeeded in punishing their implacable hatred and injurious treatment of the Hebrew nation. (1 Macc. v.) Justin Martyr says there were many Ammonites remaining in his time (the second century); but Origen, in the following century, states that they were only known under the general name of Arabians.
The country which the Ammonites occupied lay to the east of Reuben and Gad, beyond the hills which bounded on the east the territories of the trans-Jordanic tribes. Whether they went there after the Amorites had expelled them from between the Arnon and Jabbok, or this eastern territory had before belonged to them, we do not know. Dr. Wells is of the latter opinion, and thinks that, as it is said in Num. xxi. 24, that "the border of the children of Ammon was strong," the hills formed the barrier which prevented the Amorites from disturbing them in their eastern territory. It is more likely that the Amorites did not want the country in question, as the hills form a much less formidable obstacle than Dr. Wells imagined.
1 The story of the conquest of Og king of Bashan. 11 The bigness of his bed. 12 The distribution
of those lands to the two tribes and half. 23 Moses prayer to enter into the land. 26 He is permitted to see it.
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.
3 So the LORD our God delivered into our hands 'Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining.
15 And I gave Gilead unto Machir.
2 And the LORD said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his peo16 And unto the Reubenites and unto ple, and his land, into thy hand; and thou the Gadites I gave from Gilead even unto shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon the river Arnon half the valley, and the king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Hesh-border even unto the river Jabbok, which is bon. the border of the children of Ammon;
4 And 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.
5 All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many.
6 And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city.
7 But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities, we took for a prey to ourselves.
8 And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land that was on this side Jordan, from the river of Arnon unto mount Hermon ;
9 (Which Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion; and the Amorites call it Shenir;)
10 All the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, unto Salchah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.
11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a
12 And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites.
1 Num. 21. 33, &c. Chap. 29. 7. 2 Num. 21. 24. Or, under the springs of Pisgah, or the hill,
13 And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.
14 Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi; and called them after his own name, Bashan-'havoth-jair, unto this day.
7 Nam. 32. 20. 11 Num. 20, 12.
17 The plain also, and Jordan, and the coast thereof, from Chinnereth even unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, 'under Ashdoth-pisgah eastward.
18 ¶ And I commanded you at that time, saying, The LORD your God hath given you this land to possess it: ye shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all that are meet for the
19 But your wives, and your little ones, and your cattle, (for I know that ye have much cattle,) shall abide in your cities which I have given you;
20 Until the LORD have given rest unto your brethren, as well as unto you, and until they also possess the land which the LORD your God hath given them beyond Jordan: and then shall ye 'return every man unto his possession, which I have given
21 And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall the LORD do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest.
22 Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you.
23 And I besought the LORD at that time, saying,
24 O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?
25 I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.
26 But the LORD "was wroth with me for
3 Num 21. 33.
4 Num. 32. 33. 8 Heb. sons of power. Chap. 1. 37.