Notes & 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, Numbers xx.,
and xxi. (Calmet)
Ver. 5. Stir.
Hebrew 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, ver. 28. See Numbers xx. 21. (Haydock)
Ver. 6. Meats,
if they wanted any other sort, besides manna. (Menochius)
Ver. 7. Knoweth,
or approveth, directing by his loving providence, Psalm i. 6., and xxxvi. 18.
Ver. 9. Moabites.
They allowed the Hebrews to pass, as the Idumeans had done; (ver. 29,) but they treated them with no particular marks of affection,
(chap. xxiii. 3,) nor would they suffer them to go across their country, Judges xi. 17. --- Ar, is sometimes called
Rabbah Moab, "the great city of the Moabites," (Josue xiii. 25,) and Areopolis. (Eusebius)
Ver. 10. Emim,
signifies "the terrible," or "men of cubits or length." See Numbers xiii. 33. They had been probably ruined in the
war of Chodorlahomor, (Genesis xiv. 5,) a little before the birth of Moab. (Calmet) --- 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. (Haydock)
Ver. 11. Giants.
Hebrew 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, chap. iii. 2. (Calmet) --- 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 Kings 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, (Haydock) so the Hebrews may be assured, that nothing will be able to resist their power, while He is with them.
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., ver. 29. The neighbouring
nations could not rationally object to their coming, as they themselves had dispossessed the former owners of the land, ver.
20, 23. (Calmet)
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. (Haydock)
Ver. 20. Zomzommim,
means "wicked wretches," famous for their stature, &c. (Menochius) --- They are probably the same nation as the Zuzim,
Genesis xiv. 5.
Ver. 21. Enacims.
See on this race of giants what has been said, Numbers xiii. 23. They made place for the Zomzommim, as the latter did for
the Ammonites. (Haydock)
Ver. 22. Horrhites,
so called because they dwelt in caverns. (St. Jerome)
Ver. 23. Haserim,
the same as Haseroth, Numbers 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, (Hebrew, Caphtorum; Calmet;
Genesis x. 14,) or from Egypt, which the Nile intersects, forming many islands, in the Delta, Jeremias xlvii. 4. The Cappadocians,
who dwelt in Asia Minor, on the Euxine sea, were a different nation, and sprung from Japhet. (Tirinus)
Ver. 24. Arise.
God did not forbid Moses to ask for leave to pass through the land quietly, as the latter did; (ver. 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. (Haydock)
Ver. 26. Cademoth,
"to the east," of the Arnon. There was a city of the same name on the other side of its banks, which belonged to Sehon, and
was given afterwards to the Levites, 1 Paralipomenon vi. 79. (Calmet)
Ver. 29. As,
&c. These nations had only permitted them to pass along their borders, and furnished them, through fear, (ver. 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 Exodus vii. 3. (Challoner) --- God did not soften his heart, (Menochius) nor make him see the
danger to which he was exposing his dominions, by provoking such an army. (Haydock)
Ver. 34. Killing,
according to God's express command, chap. xx. 16. (Menochius)
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. (Haydock) --- When these demanded the conquered country to be restored
to them, Jephte shewed that their claim was inadmissible, Judges xi. 13. (Calmet) --- 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. (Haydock)