III The conquest of Og and his country, ver. 1-11. The distribution of it to the two tribes and an half, ver. 12-17. On condition of assisting their brethren, ver. 18-20. Joshua encouraged, ver. 21- 22. Moses prays that he may go into Canaan, v. 23-25. But is refused, yet permitted to see it, ver. 26-29.
Verse 9. Sirion - Elsewhere called Mount Gilead, and Lebanon, and here Shenir, and Sirion, which several names are given to this one mountain partly by several people, and partly in regard of several tops and parts of it.
Verse 10. All Gilead - Gilead is sometimes taken for all the Israelites possessions beyond Jordan, and so it comprehends Bashan; but here for that part of it which lies in and near mount Gilead, and so it is distinguished from Bashan and Argob.
Verse 11. In Rabbath - Where it might now be, either because the Ammonites in some former battle with Og, had taken it as a spoil: or because after Og's death, the Ammonites desired to have this monument of his greatness, and the Israelites permitted them to carry it away to their chief city. Nine cubits - So his bed was four yards and an half long, and two yards broad.
Verse 14. Unto this day - This must be put among those passages which were not written by Moses, but added by those holy men, who digested the books of Moses into this order, and inserted some few passages to accommodate things to their own time and people.
Verse 15. Gilead - That is, the half part of Gilead. To Machir - That is, unto the children of Machir, son of Manasseh, for Machir was now dead.
Verse 16. Half the valley - Or rather to the middle of the river: for the word rendered half signifies commonly middle, and the same Hebrew word means both a valley and a brook or river. And this sense is agreeable to the truth, that their land extended from Gilead unto Arnon, and, to speak exactly, to the middle of that river; for as that river was the border between them and others, so one half of it belonged to them, as the other half did to others, Josh. xii, 2. The same thing is expressed in the same words in the Hebrew which are here, though our translators render the self- same words there, from the middle of the river, which here they render, half of the valley. There the bounds of Sihon's kingdom, which was the same portion here mentioned as given to Reuben and Gad, are thus described, from Aroer, which is upon the bank of the river of Arnon, and from the middle of the river, and from half Gilead, even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon.
Verse 17. The plain - The low country towards Jordan. The sea of the plain - That is, that salt sea, which before that dreadful conflagration was a goodly plain.
Verse 18. You - Namely, the Reubenites and Gadites. All that are meet - In such number as your our brethren shall judge necessary. They were in all above an hundred thousand. Forty thousand of them went overJordan before their brethren.
Verse 23. I besought the Lord - We should allow no desire in our hearts, which we cannot in faith offer unto God by prayer.
Verse 24. Thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness - Lord, perfect what thou hast begun. The more we see of God's glory in his works, the more we desire to see. And the more we are affected with what we have seen of God, the better we are prepared for farther discoveries.
Verse 25. Let me go over - For he supposed God's threatening might be conditional and reversible, as many others were. That goodly mountain -Which the Jews not improbably understood of that mountain on which the temple was to be built. This he seems to call that mountain, emphatically and eminently, that which was much in Moses's thoughts, though not in his eye.
Verse 28. He shall go over - It was not Moses, but Joshua or Jesus that was to give the people rest, Heb. iv, 8. 'Tis a comfort to those who love mankind, when they are dying and going off, to see God's work likely to be carried on by other hands, when they are silent in the dust.