Deuteronomy 2:37
Only to the land of the children of Ammon you came not, nor to any place of the river Jabbok, nor to the cities in the mountains, nor to whatever the LORD our God forbade us.
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Deuteronomy 2:37. Of Jabbok — That is, beyond Jabbok; for that was the border of the Ammonites.2:24-37 God tried his people, by forbidding them to meddle with the rich countries of Moab and Ammon. He gives them possession of the country of the Amorites. If we keep from what God forbids, we shall not lose by our obedience. The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; and he gives it to whom he pleases; but when there is no express direction, none can plead his grant for such proceedings. Though God assured the Israelites that the land should be their own, yet they must contend with the enemy. What God gives we must endeavour to get. What a new world did Israel now come into! Much more joyful will the change be, which holy souls will experience, when they remove out of the wilderness of this world to the better country, that is, the heavenly, to the city that has foundations. Let us, by reflecting upon God's dealings with his people Israel, be led to meditate upon our years spent in vanity, through our transgressions. But happy are those whom Jesus has delivered from the wrath to come. To whom he hath given the earnest of his Spirit in their hearts. Their inheritance cannot be affected by revolutions of kingdoms, or changes in earthly possessions.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).

24-36. Rise ye up … and pass over the river Arnon—At its mouth, this stream is eighty-two feet wide and four deep. It flows in a channel banked by perpendicular cliffs of sandstone. At the date of the Israelitish migration to the east of the Jordan, the whole of the fine country lying between the Arnon and the Jabbok including the mountainous tract of Gilead, had been seized by the Amorites, who, being one of the nations doomed to destruction (see De 7:2; 20:16), were utterly exterminated. Their country fell by right of conquest into the hands of the Israelites. Moses, however, considering this doom as referring solely to the Amorite possessions west of Jordan, sent a pacific message to Sihon, requesting permission to go through his territories, which lay on the east of that river. It is always customary to send messengers before to prepare the way; but the rejection of Moses' request by Sihon and his opposition to the advance of the Israelites (Nu 21:23; Jud 11:26) drew down on himself and his Amorite subjects the predicted doom on the first pitched battlefield with the Canaanites. It secured to Israel not only the possession of a fine and pastoral country, but, what was of more importance to them, a free access to the Jordan on the east. Of the river Jabbok, i.e. beyond Jabbok; for that was the border of the Ammonites, Joshua 12:2.

Object. Half the land of the Ammonites is said to be given to the tribe of Gad, Joshua 13:25.

Answ. This is true of that half of it which the Amorites had taken from them, but not of the other half, which yet was in the possession of the Ammonites.

In the mountains; the mountainous country of the Ammonites.

Forbad us, Heb. commanded us: commanding is put for forbidding here, as Genesis 2:16 3:11 Leviticus 4:2 Deu 4:23. The words may be thus rendered, concerning

which the Lord gave us command or charge, to wit, that we should not meddle with them, as was said before. So it is only an ellipsis of the preposition, which is very frequent. Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not,.... Which was then in their possession; otherwise what Sihon had took away from them, that the children of Israel came into and enjoyed, as before observed, Deuteronomy 2:19.

nor unto any place of the river Jabbok; any town or city situated on this river, which was the border of the children of Ammon, Deuteronomy 3:16; see Gill on Genesis 32:22,

nor unto the cities in the mountains; much less did they penetrate into the innermost parts of their country, the mountainous part thereof, and the cities there:

nor unto whatsoever the Lord our God forbad us: whether in Edom, Moab, or Ammon, particularly the latter, of which he is more especially and peculiarly speaking.

Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any place of the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains, nor unto whatsoever the LORD our God forbade us.
37. Change to the Sg. address. This, with the fact that the clause is a mere qualification not necessary to the context, has led some to take it for a later addition.

all the side of the river Jabboḳ, and the cities of the hill country] This defines the land of ‘Ammôn, which lay at that time on the upper stretch of Jabboḳ, where the stream runs from S.W. to N.E. before turning in its main course W. to Jordan; cp. JE, Numbers 21:24. The country there is hilly in contrast with the Mo‘ab plateau.

and wheresoever] So Sam.; LXX according to all that.

forbad us] Rather commanded us: suitable to the preceding reading of the LXX. Us is wanting in Heb. but is given by Sam. and LXX.Verse 37. - In obedience to the Divine injunction, the Israelites left untouched the country of the Ammonites, situated on the eastern side of the Upper Jabbok. Cities in the mountains; the towns in the Ammonitish highlands. In Joshua 13:25, half of the laud of the Ammonites is said to be assigned to the tribe of Gad; but that refers to the part of the land between the Arnon and the Jabbek, which had been taken from the Ammonites by the Amorites, and was in the possession of the latter at the time of the Israelitish invasion (Judges 11:13, etc.). Whatsoever the Lord our God forbad us: Finally, all that Jehovah our God commanded not to come into.

The refusal of Sihon was suspended over him by God as a judgment of hardening, which led to his destruction. "As this day," an abbreviation of "as it has happened this day," i.e., as experience has now shown (cf. Deuteronomy 4:20, etc.).
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