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Deuteronomy Chapter 3
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Last Episodes in the Desert
3:1 We then turned and traveled along the road to the Bashan, where Og and his troops came to confront us in battle at Edre'i.
3:2 God said to me, 'Do not be afraid of him, since I have turned him over to you along with all his people and his land. You will do the same to him as you did to the Amorite king Sichon, who lived in Cheshbon.'
3:3 God thus also turned Og, king of the Bashan, and all his people over to us, and we defeated him, not leaving any survivors.
3:4 We then captured all his cities, not leaving a single city that we did not take from [his people]. These included the entire Argov group of 60 cities that constituted Og's kingdom in the Bashan.
3:5 They were all cities fortified with high walls, gates and bars, and there were also very many open towns.
3:6 We destroyed [these cities] just as we had done to those of Sichon, king of Cheshbon, annihilating every man, woman and child.
3:7 For ourselves, we took as plunder all the animals and all the spoils of the cities.
3:8 At that time we thus took the lands of the two Amorite kings who lived to the east of the Jordan, in the area between the Arnon Brook and Mount Hermon.
3:9 (The people of Sidon refer to Hermon as Siryon, while the Amorites call it Senir.)
3:10 [The occupied territory included] all the cities of the flatlands, the entire Gilead, and the entire Bashan as far as Salkhah and Edre'i; the cities of Og's kingdom in the Bashan.
3:11 Of all the Rephaim, only Og had survived. His bed was made of iron. It is in the Ammonite city of Rabbah, nine standard cubits long and four cubits wide.
3:12 Of the land that we then captured, I gave the Reubenites and Gaddites [the territory] between Aro'er on the Arnon Gorge and the [southern] half of the Gilead highlands, along with the cities there.
3:13 The rest of the Gilead and the entire Bashan which had been Og's kingdom, I gave to half of the tribe of Manasseh. This included the entire Argov group and the entire Bashan, which was known as the land of the Rephaim.
3:14 Yair, a descendant of Manasseh, took the Argov group as far as the borders of the Geshurites and Maakhathites, and he gave that area in the Bashan the name Chavvath Yair, [a name] which is still used today.
3:15 To Makhir I gave the Gilead region.
3:16 To the Reubenites and Gaddites, I gave [the territory] between the Gilead and the Arnon Gorge, including the interior of the gorge and its boundary. [The territory extended] as far as the gorge of the Jabbok, the border of the Ammonites.
3:17 [It also included] the Aravah, the Jordan, and its boundary, from the Kinnereth as far as the Aravah Sea, which is [the portion of] the Dead Sea under the rapids on the cliff to the east.
3:18 At that time I gave you instructions, saying, 'God your Lord has given you this land as a heritage. Let every able-bodied man among you go forth ahead of your fellow Israelites as a special force.
3:19 I know that you have much livestock; your wives, children and livestock can remain in the cities I have given you
3:20 until God gives your brethren the same haven that He has given you. When they occupy the land that God your Lord is giving them across the Jordan, each man will be able to return to his inheritance that I have given you.'
3:21 At that time, I gave instructions to Joshua, saying, 'Your own eyes have seen all that God your Lord has done to these two kings. God will do the same to all the kingdoms [in the land] to which you will be crossing.
3:22 Do not fear them, since God your Lord is the One who will be fighting for you.'

Moses' Plea to Enter the Holy Land
3:23 At that time I pleaded with God, saying,
3:24 'O God, Lord! You have begun to show me Your greatness and Your display of power. What Force is there in heaven or earth who can perform deeds and mighty acts as You do?
3:25 Please let me cross [the Jordan]. Let me see the good land across the Jordan, the good mountain and the Lebanon.
3:26 But God had turned Himself against me because of you, and He would not listen to me. God said to me, 'Enough! Do not speak to Me any more about this!
3:27 Climb to the top of the cliff, and gaze to the west, north, south and east. Let your eyes feast on it, since you will not cross the Jordan.
3:28 Give Joshua instructions, strengthening him and giving him courage, since he will be the one to lead these people across, and he will parcel out to them the land that you will see.'
3:29 At that time we were staying in the valley facing Beth Peor.


  Numbers 21:33.

Argov group
  Chevel Argov in Hebrew. (cf. Ibn Ezra; Septuagint). See Deuteronomy 3:14, 1 Kings 4:13; cf. 2 Kings 15:25. Saadia identifies the Argov as Almogav, the land between the Arnon and the Jabbok. The Targum renders Argov as Tarkhona, which Rashi interprets as 'royal cities,' but which others see as a place name (Arukh). Others see Argov as coming from the root ragav (cf. Job 21:33, 38:38), a swamp (Ibn Janach), a mound, or a river tributary (Radak, Sherashim), a canal (Ibn Ezra on Job 21:33), or a gully (Ibn Ezra on Job 38:38). Some say that the Argov area is around Suwet, south of the upper Yarmuk, while others identify it with el-Leja, east of Lake Kinnereth (see Menachoth 8:3).

open towns
  (Targum; Rashi). Or, 'Perizite towns' (Septuagint; cf. Genesis 13:7, 15:20).

  Literally, 'other side.'

Mount Hermon
  The large mountain to the north of the Holy Land. At 9232 feet high, it is the highest mountain of the southern Lebanon range.

  Tzidon in Hebrew; see Genesis 10:15,19, 49:13. This was a city on the Mediterranean, just northwest of Hermon.

  See Psalms 29:6. Some say that it denotes 'falling fruit' (Targum Yonathan) or 'much fruit' (Targum Yerushalmi) or it can possibly be related to Shiryon, armor. See Deuteronomy 4:48.

  See Ezekiel 27:5, Song of Songs 4:8, 1 Chronicles 5:23. This denotes 'snow mountains' (Targum; Rashi). The eastern peaks are known as Siryon, while the northern peaks are known as Senir (cf. Malbim).

  Identified with the present Salkhad, 70 miles east and 20 miles south of the Kinnereth Sea and some 40 miles east of Edre'i. It forms the extreme southeast of Bashan, and is situated on very high ground, providing a natural fortress.

  See Numbers 21:33. It is approximately halfway between Salkhah and the Kinnereth.

  Eres in Hebrew. Or, 'cradle' (Rashbam; HaKethav VeHaKabbalah).

  Cf. Joshua 13:25. Or, Rabbath, cf. 2 Samuel 12:26, Jeremiah 49:2, Ezekiel 21:25 (Targum). This was the capital city of Ammon, some 22 miles east of the Jordan, and 18 miles north of the Dead Sea. In Roman times it was known as Philadelphia (cf. Josephus, Wars 1:6:3), and it is the present Amman, capital of Jordan. The Septuagint translates Rabbah as akra, Greek for a chief city, citadel or extremity.

  Literally, (at the end of the verse), 'the cubit of a [normal] man.'

and four cubits wide
  The bed was thus 13 1/2 ' x 6'. Since a bed is usually one third longer than the person, this would indicate that Og was some 6 cubits or 9 feet high (Moreh Nevukhim 2:47).

Of the land...
  (Saadia; Ramban). Or, 'We thus occupied that land at that time' (Rashi).

  See Numbers 32:41.

  An Aramaic nation (cf. 2 Samuel 15:8), possibly identified with Gether son of Aram (Genesis 10:23). Others identify them with the Girgashites (Septuagint; cf. Genesis 10:6, 15:21, Joshua 3:10). They later lived with the Israelites (Joshua 13:13), inhabiting the city of Geshur (Joshua 12:5, 13:11, 2 Samuel 3:3). This is the area between Gilead and Hermon, particularly that to the east and northeast of the Kinnereth. Some identify it with the present Jaulan, or Jisre in Ledjah, to the east of Jaulan. Ancient sources identify it with Kirvah (Targum Yonathan; cf. Shabbath 45b).

  Maakhah was a son of Nachor (Genesis 22:24), and the city Maakhah was near Aram Tzovah (2 Samuel 10:9), usually identified with Aleppo, Syria. Also see 2 Samuel 20:14, 1 Kings 15:20. See note on Genesis 22:24.

  Numbers 32:40.

its boundary
  (Saadia). Or, 'far bank' (Rashi).

  See Genesis 32:23, Numbers 21:24. The Jabbok formed the northwest border of Ammon.

  See Deuteronomy 1:1.

  See Numbers 34:11.

Aravah Sea
  See Deuteronomy 4:49, Joshua 3:16, 12:3, 2 Kings 14:25. This may be the small bay at the north end of the Dead Sea, just to the west of the point where the Jordan flows into it.

  Or, 'waterfall,' ashdoth in Hebrew. See Numbers 21:15.

  Speaking to Reuben and Gad (Rashi; Ibn Ezra).

  See Numbers 27:23 (Chizzkuni).

  Literally, 'Your servant.'

display of power
  Literally, 'mighty hand.'

good mountain
  Some say that the reference is to Jerusalem (Sifri; Berakhoth 48b; Rashi).

turned Himself against
  (Hirsch; Septuagint). Hith-avar in Hebrew. Or, 'made Himself angry' (Targum; Rashi; Radak, Sherashim). See Zephaniah 1:15, Psalms 78:49 (Bachya).

  (Targum; Septuagint). Gai in Hebrew. Or, 'plateau' (Ibn Ezra). Some identify this with the Avarim Mountains (Numbers 27:12; Ibn Ezra). See Numbers 21:20.

Beth Peor
  'The house of Peor.' See Numbers 23:28, 25:3.

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