Deut 3:1 Next we turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan with his whole army marched out to meet us in battle at Edrei.
Deut 3:2 The LORD said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”
Deut 3:3 So the LORD our God also gave into our hands Og king of Bashan and all his army. We struck them down, leaving no survivors.
Deut 3:4 At that time we took all his cities. There was not one of the sixty cities that we did not take from them—the whole region of Argob, Og’s kingdom in Bashan.
Deut 3:5 All these cities were fortified with high walls and with gates and bars, and there were also a great many unwalled villages.
Deut 3:6 We completely destroyed them, as we had done with Sihon king of Heshbon, destroying every city—men, women and children.
Deut 3:7 But all the livestock and the plunder from their cities we carried off for ourselves.
Deut 3:8 So at that time we took from these two kings of the Amorites the territory east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge as far as Mount Hermon.
Deut 3:9 (Hermon is called Sirion by the Sidonians; the Amorites call it Senir.)
Deut 3:10 We took all the towns on the plateau, and all Gilead, and all Bashan as far as Salecah and Edrei, towns of Og’s kingdom in Bashan.
Deut 3:11 (Only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide. It is still in Rabbah of the Ammonites.)
‘Apart from his defeat by Israel, the only thing Og has bequeathed to the annals of history is the size of his bed!’ So says Wright, who adds that commentators have puzzled over the purpose of this detail. The Rephaites were renowned for their tall stature. The size, however, was ‘probably honorific – a truly “king-size” bed’. It has been argued on archaeological grounds that it was indeed a bed (and not a sarcophagus) and that it was probably a wooden frame plated or decorated with iron. At this time of transition from the Late Bronze Age ro the Early Iron Age iron was a precious metal and a suitable material with which to decorate a royal bedroom. The mention here of the bed is consistent with an early date for Deuteronomy.
Deut 3:12 Of the land that we took over at that time, I gave the Reubenites and the Gadites the territory north of Aroer by the Arnon Gorge, including half the hill country of Gilead, together with its towns.
Deut 3:13 The rest of Gilead and also all of Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half tribe of Manasseh. (The whole region of Argob in Bashan used to be known as a land of the Rephaites.
Deut 3:14 Jair, a descendant of Manasseh, took the whole region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites; it was named after him, so that to this day Bashan is called Havvoth Jair.)
Deut 3:15 And I gave Gilead to Makir.
Deut 3:16 But to the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the territory extending from Gilead down to the Arnon Gorge (the middle of the gorge being the border) and out to the Jabbok River, which is the border of the Ammonites.
Deut 3:17 Its western border was the Jordan in the Arabah, from Kinnereth to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea ), below the slopes of Pisgah.
Deut 3:18 I commanded you at that time: “The LORD your God has given you this land to take possession of it. But all your able-bodied men, armed for battle, must cross over ahead of your brother Israelites.
Deut 3:19 However, your wives, your children and your livestock (I know you have much livestock) may stay in the towns I have given you,
Deut 3:20 until the LORD gives rest to your brothers as he has to you, and they too have taken over the land that the LORD your God is giving them, across the Jordan. After that, each of you may go back to the possession I have given you.”
Deut 3:21 At that time I commanded Joshua: “You have seen with your own eyes all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings. The LORD will do the same to all the kingdoms over there where you are going.
“At that time I commanded Joshua” – Those who are older, and more experienced, should do everything they can to encourage those who are younger and just setting out.
“These two kings” – Sihon, king of Heshbon (Deut 2:24-37), and Og, king of Bashan (Deut 3:1-11). Past mercies are the guarantees of future ones, Psa 9:10; 2 Cor 1:10. What God has done before, to two kings, he can do again, to many. Similar encouragement is given in Deut 31:1-8, when Moses actually commissions Joshua, and Josh 1:1-9.
Deut 3:22 Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.”
Deut 3:22: “The Lord your God himself will fight for you” – As indeed he did, notably at Jericho, when the walls fell down, and at Gibeon, when God rained down hailstones on their enemies. Truly, one person with God on his side is in a majority.
Deut 3:23 At that time I pleaded with the LORD:
I pleaded with the Lord – The expression is a strong one. “Moses has just begun to see the greatness and the power of Yahweh bringing to pass his promises to his people…With deep longing in his heart Moses sought permission to cross over the Jordan and witness the end of the great pilgrimage which had begun under his leadership, Ex 3:10. It was not to be. Like Jeremiah and other Moses was asked to accept the outworking of God’s purposes in faith.” (Thompson) Cf. Heb 11:39. Moses turns from his encouragement of Joshua concerning the future, to his own desire to be allowed to share that future.
“Through the humble prayer of Moses and the firm reply of Yahweh we discern a deep fellowship between God and a man such as it rarely seen in all the Bible except perhaps between Jeremiah and God. Jesus, of course, showed this supremely. It is a unity of purpose which leads to the utterance of such word as ‘If thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.’ (Lk 22:42). It is only out of the experience of deep fellowship with God that one may speak so.” (Thompson)
Deut 3:24 “O Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?
“You have begun to show…your greatness…” – “He has a long-term understanding of God’s will and purpose, such that he can look back over the incredible acts of God in two generations and realise that they were only ‘the beginning’ of God’s greatness (rather like the way Luke can describe his gospel as merely what Jesus ‘began to do and to teach,’ Acts 1:1)!” (Wright) Would not God allow him to see the next stage of his mighty acts?
Deut 3:25 Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan—that fine hill country and Lebanon.”
Deut 3:26 But because of you the LORD was angry with me and would not listen to me. “That is enough,” the LORD said. “Do not speak to me anymore about this matter.
This passage, along with Deut 1:37and 4:21, indicate that Moses’ exclusion from the Promised Land was the peope’s fault. However, Deut 32:48-52 and Num 20 suggest that Moses himself failed in some way, albeit under provocation from the people. Both are, of course, connected. What is clear is that there is evidence of both the ‘severity and the kindness of God’ here.
“Do not speak to me any more about this matter” – This suggests that there may be times when prayer is actually wrong!
Deut 3:27 Go up to the top of Pisgah and look west and north and south and east. Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan.
“Look at the land with your own eyes” – This will be Moses’ compensation for not being allowed to enter the Promised Land. (“You are not going to cross this Jordan”- In v 4 the outmost boundaries of the land are defined, though the southern boundary is sketchy. Only during the reign of Solomon did Israel control such an area (Josh 13:1-7). The desert refers to the eastern desert that begins in Trans-Jordan. Lebanon is included in the promised land in Jos. 13:5.”
Deut 3:28 But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see.”
“Commission Joshua” – The commission itself is recorded in Num 27:15-23. Consider what qualities and qualifications Joshua had for this leadership role.
“He will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land” – Moses, and Joshua after him, can have confidence that God, having begun a good work, will bring it to completion, Deut 1:38; 31:7. In God’s wisdom, the new phase of Israel’s history needed a new leader. Moses commissioning of Joshua is an important theme of Deuteronomy, and vital for the peoples confidence. We see here at what great personal cost Moses did this. His laying down of his own deepest desire is the best measure of his faithfulness.” (NBC)
“One of the greatest challenges facing leaders is to replace themselves, training others to become leaders. Many outstanding accomplishments have been started by someone with great ability whose life or career ended before the vision became reality. The fulfillment of that dream then became the responsibility of that person’s successor. Death is the ultimate deadline for leadership. One of the best tests of our leadership is our willingness and ability to train another for our position.” (Life Application)
“Joshua had played a key role in the exodus from Egypt. Introduced as the field general of Israel’s army, he was the only person allowed to accompany Moses partway up the mountain when Moses received the law. Joshua and Caleb were the only two among the 12 spies to bring back an encouraging report after being sent into the promised land the first time. Other references show him to have been Moses’ constant shadow. His basic training was living with Moses — experiencing firsthand what it meant to lead God’s people. This was modeling at its best!” (Life Application)
“Who is your Moses? Who is your Joshua? You are part of the chain of God’s ongoing work in the world. You are modeling yourself after others, and others are patterning their lives after you. How important is God to those you want to be like? Do those who are watching you see God reflected in every area of your life? Ask God to lead you to a trustworthy Moses. Ask him to make you a good Joshua.” (Life Application).
Deut 3:29 So we stayed in the valley near Beth Peor.