King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Deuteronomy 2

The Edomites to be spared. (1-7) The Moabites and Ammonites to be spared. (8-23) The Amorites to be destroyed. (24-37)

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The Edomites to be spared

1 Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days.

2 And the LORD spake unto me, saying,

3 Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.

4 And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you: take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore:

5 Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession.

6 Ye shall buy meat of them for money, that ye may eat; and ye shall also buy water of them for money, that ye may drink.

7 For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.

The Moabites and Ammonites to be spared

8 And when we passed by from our brethren the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, through the way of the plain from Elath, and from Eziongaber, we turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.

9 And the LORD said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession.

10 The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims;

11 Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites called 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 Kadeshbarnea, 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 possession.

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.)

The Amorites to be destroyed

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: begin 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 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 cities in the mountains, nor unto whatsoever the LORD our God forbad us.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Sea, encamping again at Mosera. When they were at Asiongaber, they were ordered to go to the north, by the mountains of Idumea or of Seir. Being arrived at Cades, they attempted to penetrate into Chanaan, by the road of the spies, but were repulsed. Upon which they asked leave of the Idumeans to pass through their country, lying south of the Dead Sea, but could not obtain permission, and God would not suffer them to force a passage, but ordered them to go round their territories. Num. xx. and xxi. C.

Ver. 5. Stir. Heb. gur, meddle not, wage not war, do not molest, &c. The Idumeans near Mount Hor, afterwards refused the Hebrews a passage, and the necessaries of life, though their brethren in Mount Seir had granted them the latter, while they passed quietly along their borders, v. 28. See Num. xx. 21. H.

Ver. 6. Meats, if they wanted any other sort, besides manna. M.

Ver. 7. Knoweth, or approveth, directing by his loving providence, Ps. i. 6. and xxxvi. 18.

Ver. 9. Moabites. They allowed the Hebrews to pass, as the Idumeans had done; (v. 29,) but they treated them with no particular marks of affection, (C. xxiii. 3,) nor would they suffer them to go across their country. Judg. xi. 17. — Ar is sometimes called Rabbah Moab, “the great city of the Moabites,” (Jo. xiii. 25,) and Areopolis. Euseb.

Ver. 10. Emim signifies “the terrible,” or “men of cubits or length.” See Num. xiii. 33. They had been probably ruined in the war of Chodorlahomor, (Gen. xiv. 5,) a little before the birth of Moab. C. — But those few who remained, were sufficient to strike the beholders with terror, as they were not inferior to the other giants who were known, since the deluge, of the race of Enac, or of Rapha. H.

Ver. 11. Giants. Heb. Raphaim, which Grotius thinks is a word retained from the primitive language. It sometimes denotes giants, and those who groan in hell, on account of the great iniquity of the Raphaim. Job. xxvi. 5. Og was one of their descendants, and inhabited the same country, which they had occupied in the days of Abraham. C. iii. 2. C. — They lost much of their power in the war of Sodom. Some of them fled into the land of the Philistines, and established themselves there, 1 K. xxi. 16. As these gigantic nations had been overthrown, as well as the Horrhites, when God formerly gave their territories to Moad and to Esau, (H.) so the Hebrews may be assured, that nothing will be able to resist their power, while He is with them. M.

Ver. 12. Gave him, on the east side of the Jordan. They had not yet taken possession of Chanaan. But Moses foresees that they shortly will; and in this sense we may translate, “Esau dwelt there, as Israel will in the land,” &c. v. 29. The neighbouring nations could not rationally object to their coming, as they themselves had dispossessed the former owners of the land, v. 20. 23. C.

Ver. 14. Years. They had continued another year at Sinai, and some months at least at Cades-barne; so that the few remaining months of the 40 years’ sojournment, were spent in conquering the kingdoms east of the Jordan. H.

Ver. 20. Zomzommim, means “wicked wretches,” famous for their stature, &c. M. — They are probably the same nation as the Zuzim. Gen. xiv. 5.

Ver. 21. Enacims. See on this race of giants what has been said, Num. xiii. 23. They made place for the Zomzommim, as the latter did for the Ammonites. H.

Ver. 22. Horrhites, so called because they dwelt in caverns. S. Jerom.

Ver. 23. Haserim, the same as Haseroth. Num. xxxiii. 17. — Gaza belonged to the Philistines. The intermediate country, or the south part of Chanaan, occupied by the Hevites, was seized by invaders from the isle of Cyprus, (Heb. Caphtorum. C. Gen. x. 14,) or from Egypt, which the Nile intersects, forming many islands, in the Delta. Jer. xlvii. 4. The Cappadocians, who dwelt in Asia Minor, on the Euxine sea, were a different nation, and sprung from Japhet. T.

Ver. 24. Arise. God did not forbid Moses to ask for leave to pass through the land quietly, as the latter did; (v. 26.) but he gives him to understand that his demand will be rejected with disdain, and he is at liberty to attack this insolent king, and thus to commence his conquests.

Ver. 25. Heaven. All who hear of thy exploits, will have cause to fear. H.

Ver. 26. Cademoth, “to the east,” of the Arnon. There was a city of the same name on the other side of the banks, which belonged to Sehon, and was given afterwards to the Levites, 1 Par. vi. 79. C.

Ver. 29. As, &c. These nations had only permitted them to pass along their borders, and furnished them, through fear, (v. 4,) with the necessaries of life. Sehon will not even grant so much.

Ver. 30. Hardened, &c. That is, in punishment of his past sins, he left him to his own stubborn and perverse disposition, which drew him to his ruin. See the note on Exod. vii. 3. Ch. — God did not soften his heart, (M.) nor make him see the danger to which he was exposing his dominions, by provoking such an army. H.

Ver. 34. Killing, according to God’s express command. C. xx. 16. M.

Ver. 37. Jeboc, towards its source: for both sides of the torrent were taken by the Hebrews from the kings Sehon and Og, who had already driven the Ammonites farther into the mountains, on the east. H. — When these demanded the conquered country to be restored to them, Jephte shewed that their claim was inadmissible. Jud. i. 13. C. — They had lost possession when the Hebrews came; and, as God had authorized the latter to take the land from those kings, without enquiring who were the former proprietors, the Ammonites, who had themselves expelled the Zomzommim, came with a very bad grace to assert their title, after a lapse of near 300 years. God only forbids the Hebrews to molest the actual dominions of the sons of Ammon, Moab, and Esau, in consideration of their fathers, to whom they were so nearly related. H.