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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 2

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes

Verses 1-3

Deuteronomy 2:1 seems to refer in general terms to the long years of wandering, the details of which were not for Moses’ present purpose. The command of Deuteronomy 2:2-3 relates to their journey from Kadesh to Mount Hor Numbers 20:22; Numbers 33:37, and directs their march around to the southern extremity of Mount Seir, so as to “compass the land of Edom” Judges 11:18; Numbers 21:4, and so northward toward the Arnon, i. e., “by the way of the wilderness of Moab,” Deuteronomy 2:8. This circuitous path was followed because of the refusal of the Edomites to allow the people to pass through their territory.

Verse 4

Compare the marginal reference. Though the Edomites resisted the passage through the midst of their land, they did not, and probably could not, oppose the “passing through the coast” or along their eastern frontier.

Verse 5

I have given mount Seir to Esau - Though the descendants of Esau were conquered by David 2 Samuel 8:14, yet they were not dispossessed of their land, and in the reign of Jehoshaphat they regained their independence 2 Kings 8:20-22.

Verse 8

Elath (Akaba) is at the northern extremity of the eastern arm of the Red Sea, and gives to that arm the name of the Elanitic Gulf. The name means “trees;” and is still justified by the grove of palm-trees at Akaba.

Verse 9

The Moabites and the Ammonites Deuteronomy 2:19 being descended from Lot, the nephew of Abraham Genesis 19:30-38, were, like the Edomites, kinsmen of the Israelites.

Verses 10-12

For the Emims, Horims, and Anakims, see the marginal references. These verses are either parenthetical or the insertion of a later hand.

Verse 13

The words, “said I,” are not in the Hebrew. The words “rise up, and get you over the brook Zered” (Numbers 21:12 note) connect themselves with Deuteronomy 2:9, and form the conclusion of what God said to Moses.

Verses 20-23

These verses, like Deuteronomy 2:10-12, are in all likelihood an addition made by a later reviser.

Deuteronomy 2:20

Zamzummims - A giant race usually identified with the Zuzims of Genesis 14:5.

Deuteronomy 2:23

The Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto Azzah - Read (Gaza, of which Azzah is the Hebrew form. “Hazerim” is not strictly a proper name, but means “villages,” or “enclosures,” probably such as are still common in the East. The Avims are no doubt identical with the Avites of Joshua 13:3, and were doubtless a scattered remnant of a people conquered by the Caphtorim (Genesis 10:14 note) and living in their “enclosures” in the neighborhood of Gerar. The word, which means “ruins,” seems itself expressive of their fallen state.

Verse 26

Kedemoth - literally, “Easternmost parts;” the name of a town afterward assigned to the Reubenites, and given out of that tribe to the Levites. Compare Joshua 13:18; 1 Chronicles 6:79.

Verse 34

Utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city - Render, laid under ban (compare Leviticus 27:28 note) every inhabited city, both women and children: these last words being added by way of fuller explanation.

Verse 36

Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon - Aroer stood on the north bank of the river, and was assigned Joshua 13:9, Joshua 13:16 to the tribe of Reuben, of which it formed the most southerly city. The valley of the Arnon is here deep, and the descent to it abrupt. In Roman times it was spanned by a viaduct, the ruins of which still remain, and which was probably built on the lines of the original structure of Mesha 2 Kings 3:5. Aroer here must not be confounded with “Aroer, which is before Rabbah” Joshua 13:25. This latter place was “built,” “i. e.” rebuilt, by the Gadites Numbers 32:34; it belonged to that tribe, and was consequently far to the north of the Arnon. A third Aroer in the tribe of Judah is mentioned in 1 Samuel 30:28.

“The city that is by the river,” literally, “in the midst of the river” (compare Joshua 13:9, Joshua 13:16) is Ar Moab (compare Numbers 21:15 note).

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/deuteronomy-2.html. 1870.
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