Deuteronomy 3:24
O Lord GOD, you have begun to show your servant your greatness, and your mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to your works, and according to your might?
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3:21-29 Moses encouraged Joshua, who was to succeed him. Thus the aged and experienced in the service of God, should do all they can to strengthen the hands of those who are young, and setting out in religion. Consider what God has done, what God has promised. If God be for us, who can be against us, so as to prevail? We reproach our Leader if we follow him trembling. Moses prayed, that, if it were God's will, he might go before Israel, over Jordan into Canaan. We should never allow any desires in our hearts, which we cannot in faith offer up to God by prayer. God's answer to this prayer had a mixture of mercy and judgment. God sees it good to deny many things we desire. He may accept our prayers, yet not grant us the very things we pray for. It God does not by his providence give us what we desire, yet if by his grace he makes us content without, it comes to much the same. Let it suffice thee to have God for thy Father, and heaven for thy portion, though thou hast not every thing thou wouldst have in the world. God promised Moses a sight of Canaan from the top of Pisgah. Though he should not have the possession of it, he should have the prospect of it. Even great believers, in this present state, see heaven but at a distance. God provided him a successor. It is a comfort to the friends of the church of Christ, to see God's work likely to be carried on by others, when they are silent in the dust. And if we have the earnest and prospect of heaven, let these suffice us; let us submit to the Lord's will, and speak no more to Him of matters which he sees good to refuse us.The sense is that the Reubenites and Gadites were to possess the district from the Jabbok on the north to the Arnon on the south, including the middle part of the valley of the Arnon, and the territory ("coast" or "border") thereto pertaining. 16. from Gilead—that is, not the mountainous region, but the town Ramoth-gilead,

even unto the river Arnon half the valley—The word "valley" signifies a wady, either filled with water or dry, as the Arnon is in summer, and thus the proper rendering of the passage will be—"even to the half or middle of the river Arnon" (compare Jos 12:2). This prudent arrangement of the boundaries was evidently made to prevent all disputes between the adjacent tribes about the exclusive right to the water.

No text from Poole on this verse. O Lord God, thou hast begun to show thy servant thy greatness and thy mighty hand,.... To give a specimen of the greatness of his power in subduing the two kings and their kingdoms, and delivering them up into the hands of the Israelites. Moses had seen instances of the mighty power of God in Egypt, at the Red sea, and in the wilderness; but this was the beginning of his power, in vanquishing the Canaanites, and putting their land into the possession of the Israelites, as he had promised; of which the Amorites were a part, and a principal nation of them: and thus God, when he begins a work of grace upon the soul of man, begins to show the exceeding greatness of his power, and which is further exerted in carrying it on, and bringing it to perfection:

for what God is there in heaven or in earth that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? here Moses speaks according to the notion of Heathens, who supposed there were other gods in heaven and in earth besides the true God; and upon this supposition observes, let there be as many as they will, or can be imagined, there is none of them like the Lord God of Israel for power and might; or are able to do such works as he has done, in nature, in the creation of all things out of nothing, in providence, in supporting what he has made, and in governing the world; and in those amazing instances of his power, in bringing down judgments upon wicked men, kings, and kingdoms; and in the deliverance of his own people from them, and putting them and their kingdoms into the possession of them; which were the wondrous works of might Moses had in view, and a sense of which was impressed on his mind at this time.

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 {i} do according to thy works, and according to thy might?

(i) He speaks according to the common and corrupt speech of those who attribute power to idols that only belongs to God.

24. O Lord God] Heb. my Lord Jehovah.

thou hast begun] But not fulfilled in my sight! A pathetic emphasis. Moses prayed to see with his own eyes the completion of the great Providence carried so far at his hands. This temper is characteristic of all Deuteronomy: the passion to experience the full-rounded Providence of God in this life, absolutely no hope of another! As time went on a nobler trust was born. The servant of Jehovah cut off from the land of the living, yet sees of the travail of his soul and is satisfied (Isaiah 53:11); and Jesus becoming obedient even unto death (Php 2:8), for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame (Hebrews 12:2). Let this cup pass from me … nevertheless … thy will be done.

thy greatness] Deuteronomy 5:24, Deuteronomy 9:26, Deuteronomy 11:2; and thy strong hand, see Deuteronomy 4:34.

what god is there, etc.] Exodus 15:11.Verse 24. - O Lord God: O Lord Jehovah. For what God, etc. (comp. Exodus 15:11; Psalm 86:8; Psalm 89:6; Psalm 113:5, etc.). "The contrast drawn between Jehovah and other gods does not involve the reality of heathen deities, but simply presupposes a belief in the existence of other gods, without deciding as to the truth of that belief" (Keil). Machir received Gilead (see Numbers 32:40). - In Deuteronomy 3:16 and Deuteronomy 3:17 the possession of the tribes of Reuben and Gad is described more fully according to its boundaries. They received the land of Gilead (to the south of the Jabbok) as far as the brook Arnon, the middle of the valley and its territory. הנּחל תּוך is a more precise definition of ארנן נחל, expressive of the fact that the territory of these tribes was not to reach merely to the northern edge of the Arnon valley, but into the middle of it, viz., to the river Arnon, which flowed through the middle of the valley; and וּגבוּל (and the border) is an explanatory apposition to what goes before, as in Numbers 34:6, signifying, "viz., the border of the Arnon valley as far as the river." On the east, "even unto Jabbok the brook, the (western) border of the Ammonites" (i.e., as far as the upper Jabbok, the Nahr Ammn: see at Numbers 21:24); and on the west "The Arabah (the Ghor: see Deuteronomy 1:1) and the Jordan with territory" (i.e., with its eastern bank), "from Chinnereth" (i.e., the town from which the Sea of Galilee received the name of Sea of Chinnereth: Numbers 34:11; see at Joshua 19:35) "to the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea under the slopes of Pisgah (see at Numbers 21:15 and Numbers 27:12) eastward" (i.e., merely the eastern side of the Arabah and Jordan). - In Deuteronomy 3:18-20 Moses reminds them of the conditions upon which he had given the two tribes and a half the land referred to for their inheritance (cf. Numbers 32:20-32).
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