Date:         Fri, 25 Nov 1994 11:18:45 CET
Sender:       Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From:         Teus Benschop 
Subject:      The Scriptures opened, 6 (Deuteronomy 3)
    1.   Deuteronomy explained
    2.   From the editor
1.  Deuteronomy explained
This is an issue of a continuous explanation of the Bible-book
Dvarim/Deuteronomy. You can ask the editor for previous issues. If
something is unclear in the explanation (they are not easy), ask the editor.
This issue contains an explanation of chapter three of Dvariem/Deuteronomy.
King Og. Division of land. Moshe not allowed in Kenaan.
Moshe (Moses) tells how Og is beaten and how his land is taken. The land
of Siechon (Sihon) and Og is given to the tribe of Ruben, Gad and the half
tribe of Menashe (Manasseh). Jehoshua/Joshua is strengthened to be Moshe's
successor in the leading of the people. Moshe prays to be allowed to come
in the land Kenaan, but God refuses. He may see the land.
This is still the speech of Moshe. It is a long speech.
1 "Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of
Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei."
Moshe tells that Og came. He tells it to the nation, because they still
see it before them. Such a great man. A giant was Og, because in verse 11
is written that his bed was nine cubits long. A cubit is 69 centimetres,
so the bed was more then six metres long. Probably Og was a giant of about
six metres high. Student, imagine it yourself. There comes a strongly
armed giant, of six metres high. Try to see it before you. Would you not
be frightened? The nation was not a little frightened, but very much.
Therefore Adonai will comfort them, and will say that they not need to be
2 "And the LORD said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and
all his people, and his land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as
thou didst unto Siechon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Cheshbon
the LORD says that they not need to fear for that long giant. Why do they
not need to fear? They do not need to fear, because God has given the king
Og en his whole suite in the hand of Israel. And God adds that He will do
that, just like He has done to Siechon. So the people may see back on the
previous victory. And from this they may draw hope for this victory.
3 "So the LORD our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of
Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him
The LORD Who promised the victory, also gave it. This was a victory, which
the people could never gain in own strength. But the LORD gave this
victory. The war was against a giant, a mighty king. Therefore, later is
sung about this deed, to the honour of God. "Who smote great nations, and
slew mighty kings". "Siechon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan,
and all the kingdoms of Kenaan. And gave their land for an heritage, an
heritage unto Israel his people. Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and
thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations," Thilliem/Psalm 135:10-
4 "And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we
took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argov, the
kingdom of Og in Bashan."
5 "All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside
unwalled towns a great many."
6 "And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Siechon king of Cheshbon,
utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city."
In these verses Moshe tells, how much cities it were. Sixty very strong
cities, fenced with high walls, gates and bars. And the people took it,
because of the help of God, in a short time. Moshe tells this to show the
people, how mighty the LORD is. Because the people have not taken these
cities in own strength, but in the power of God. "All nations compassed me
about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them," Thilliem/Psalm
7 "But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities, we took for a prey to
8 "And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the
Amorites the land that was on this side Jordan, from the river of Arnon
unto mount Chermon;"
9 "(Which Chermon the Sidonians call Sirion; and the Amorites call it
10 "All the cities of the plain, and all Gilad, and all Bashan, unto
Salchah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan."
Moshe describes how great the plain was, and Gilad and Bashan. The nation
has taken this field in a short time. Moshe always tries to show the
nation that God  extraordinarily has helped them.
11 "For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold,
his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children
of Ammon? Nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth
of it, after the cubit of a man."
Moshe mentions the bed of Og, more than six metres long and more than twee
and a half metres wide. The people can still see it, because it is in
Rabbah. The proof of the strength of the giant, and with that the proof of
the triumphing power of God, is still to see.
12 "And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is
by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilad (Gilead), and the cities thereof,
gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites."
13 "And the rest of Gilad, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I
unto the half tribe of Menashe; all the region of Argov, with all Bashan,
which was called the land of giants."
14 "Jaier the son of Menashe took all the country of Argov unto the coasts
of Geshuri and Maachathi; and called them after his own name,
Bashanhavothjair, unto this day."
15 "And I gave Gilad unto Machir."
16 "And unto the Reubenites and unto the Gadites I gave from Gilad even
unto the river Arnon half the valley, and the border even unto the river
Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon;"
17 "The plain also, and Jordan, and the coast thereof, from Chinnereth
even unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, under Ashdothpisgah
In the previous six verses Moshe repeats the division of the land. This
land was situated eastern of Jordan, outside promised Kenaan. Moshe says
expressly, that the land is given to those tribes. He wants to prevent
possible later disagreement between the tribes. It could happen that the
other tribes later would exclude the two and a halve tribes, because that
they lived outside Kenaan. Moshe wants to prevent this. The LORD has
chased away the enemies from this piece of land. And also therefore the
LORD has given this land to the nation. It belongs to Kenaan, the promised
18 "And I commanded you at that time, saying, the LORD your God hath given
you this land to possess it: ye shall pass over armed before your brethren
the children of Israel, all that are meet for the war."
Moshe expressly says that the LORD has given them this land. The combative
people were still not allowed to settle down there. They had to help the
other tribes in the fight in Kenaan. It is one nation, and they should
help each other.
19 "But your wives, and your little ones, and your cattle, (for I know
that ye have much cattle,) shall abide in your cities which I have given
Their family and possessions can stay in the cities. Undoubtedly, also
some combative men will have stayed there, to protect them.
20 "Until the LORD have given rest unto your brethren, as well as unto
you, and until they also possess the land which the LORD your God hath
given them beyond Jordan: and then shall ye return every man unto his
possession, which I have given you."
The two and a half tribes are here an example for the rest of the tribes.
They have got the land, and in the same way will also the rest get their
land. The LORD their God, will give it. "Trust in him at all times; ye
people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah,"
Thilliem/Psalm 62:8.
21 "And I commanded Jehoshua/Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have
seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall
the LORD do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest."
Jehoshua/Joshua, look back a moment. The LORD has helped us, as you see.
As He has done, so will He also do to the other kingdoms.
22 "Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you."
Jehoshua/Joshua, do not fight in own strength. Because in own strength,
you should fear. But now you need not fear, because the LORD is fighting
for you.
23 "And I besought the LORD at that time, saying,"
24 "O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy
mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do
according to thy works, and according to thy might?"
25 "I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond
Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lvanon."
Moshe prayed God for grace. He says that God has showed until now his
greatness and power. He praises God's power. Because God has begun to give
grace, Moshe prays for new grace. He asks if he may receive also this
grace that he may see the land. Moshe knew very well that he not had
deserved this, because he had not sanctified God before the eyes of the
people. "Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the
children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into
the land which I have given them," Bemidbar/Numbers 20:12. So Moshe had
not deserved this. But he could not refrain from praying for grace.
Because he knew from own experience that God is good and He is ready to
forgive. "For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in
mercy unto all them that call upon thee," Thilliem/Psalm 86:5.
26 "But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me:
and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of
this matter."
Here Moshe gives the nation an indirect reprimand. Because by their
stubbornness, it went ill with Moshe. "They angered him also at the waters
of strife, so that it went ill with Moshe for their sakes," Thilliem/Psalm
27 "Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward,
and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes:
for thou shalt not go over this Jordan."
The LORD had decided that Moshe not should come in the land. But Moshe
pleaded on God's grace; see some verses back. And the result? Moshe had
not pleaded in vain, although he had deserved nothing. What was the
result? This, that the judgement was eased a little. It is true that Moshe
is not allowed to come in the land, but he was allowed to see it from far.
The praying to God, with the one eye directed to own worthlessness, and
with the other eye of faith directed to God's grace, that will not be
without results.
28 "But charge Jehoshua/Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for
he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit
the land which thou shalt see."
29 "So we abode in the valley over against Bethpeor."
The history of that great giant Og teaches us something. The people relied
on God. He has beaten the giant. So the opponent cannot be too great, or
God can defeat him. Also for us is this important to see. No matter will
be too great for us, when we only put our trust in God, and totally
refrain from own power. "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In
God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear
what flesh can do unto me," Thilliem/Psalm 56:3,4. Let we, in God's grace,
trust, as also Jesajah has done: "Behold, God is my salvation; I will
trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD HaShem is my strength and my song;
he also is become my salvation," Jeshajah/Isaiah 12:2.
    Moshe was not allowed to come in the promised land. But in grace he
might see it from far. The LORD had said to him that he would not come in
the land. Nevertheless Moshe prayed to God for grace, see verse 23. And
God gave him grace. This is for you, student, useful to notice. God has
said to all people that they will not see the promised land. For us, with
this promised land is meant the salvation. Because all people are
disobedient, and rebel against God, therefore they do not receive the
salvation. "What", will you say, "are all people unjust? With me it is not
so bad." Yes, is it not so bad with you? How does Tanach speak of it? The
LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there
were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they
are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not
one," Thilliem/Psalm 14:2,3. Tanach teaches us that all the persons have
deviated from God's commandments. Nobody does good, no, not one. So also
you not, student. And when you think by yourself, that you do good, than
you do not have Tanach on your side. Of course it is possible that you do
well for the eyes of the people. The people do not see in the inside of
your heart, but God does. For God, the Holy, the Impeccable, for that God
cannot exist the most little spot on your works. He penetrates the whole
earth, also your heart. "Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our
secret sins in the light of thy countenance," Thilliem/Psalm 90:8. God
sees all. That is why Tanach teaches, that nobody can do true good.
Because of his sinning, every person has deserved that he cannot come in
the promised land. But from Moshe's prayer it is clear, that there is
still deliverance. There is deliverance for all, who call upon God in
truth. And for who call upon Him with detesting of themselves, so that
their heart is broken and humiliated because of their own misbehaviour. To
such people God promised grace. "For thus saith the high and lofty One
that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy
place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive
the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones,"
Jeshajah/Isaiah 57:15. The people who in pride rely on their so-called
good deeds, will be knocked down by God. On the other hand, they who not
look upon themselves, but look up unto God, they will receive grace.
Tanach teaches us this on many places. "For the froward is abomination to
the LORD but his secret is with the righteous. The curse of the LORD is in
the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.
Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly,"
Mishlee/Proverbs 3:32-34.
2.  From the editor
Shalom reader,
I hope that everything is well with you.
To gain more benefit from an explanation in general, it if useful to
answer some questions about it. When you like questions about Deuteronomy,
tell me, and I will add these questions the next time.
Some do not know if there is a regular rule in the editions of "The
Scriptures opened". It is the habit at the moment, that you receive two
editions a week. In the beginning of the week you get an edition with
preaching of explanation of the Word. At the end of the week, you get this
edition, which contains an explanation of Deuteronomy.
The list Chr-Exp is moderated at the moment, but it will become
unmoderated in the near future.
I wish you the blessings of God, and admonish you to a life according to
His will.
Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament
Editor: Teus Benschop    E-mail:
There are no copyrights on this publication
Translated by a Dutchman
Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-006.txt