Deuteronomy 3:25
I pray you, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.
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Deuteronomy 3:25. Let me go over — For he supposed God’s threatening might be conditional and reversible, as many others were. That goodly mountain — Which the Jews not improbably understood of that mountain on which the temple was to be built. This he seems to call that mountain, emphatically and eminently, that which was much in Moses’s thoughts, though not in his eye.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.That goodly mountain - i. e., that mountainous district. The fiat districts of the East are generally scorched, destitute of water, and therefore sterile: the hilly ones, on the contrary, are of more tempered climate, and fertilized by the streams from the high grounds. Compare Deuteronomy 11:11.

The whole of this prayer of Moses is very characteristic. The longing to witness further manifestations of God's goodness and glory, and the reluctance to leave unfinished an undertaking which he had been permitted to commence, are striking traits in his character: compare Exodus 32:32 ff; Exodus 33:12, Exodus 33:18 ff; Numbers 14:12 ff.

25. I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon—The natural and very earnest wish of Moses to be allowed to cross the Jordan was founded on the idea that the divine threatening might be conditional and revertible. "That goodly mountain" is supposed by Jewish writers to have pointed to the hill on which the temple was to be built (De 12:5; Ex 15:2). But biblical scholars now, generally, render the words—"that goodly mountain, even Lebanon," and consider it to be mentioned as typifying the beauty of Palestine, of which hills and mountains were so prominent a feature. For he supposed God’s threatening might be conditional and reversible, as many others were.

That goodly mountain, or, that blessed mountain, which the Jews not improbably understand of that mountain on which the temple was to be built. For as Moses desired and determined to prepare an habitation for God, Exodus 15:2, and knew very well that God would choose a certain place for his habitation, and to put his name there, Deu 12:5; so he also knew that it was the manner both of the true worshippers of God and of idolaters to worship their God in high places, and particularly that Abraham did worship God in the mount of Moriah, Genesis 22:2, and therefore did either reasonably conjecture that God would choose some certain mountain for the place of his habitation, or possibly understood by revelation that in that very mount of Moriah, where Abraham performed that eminent and glorious act of worship, there also the children of Abraham should have their place of constant and settled worship. This he seems to call that mountain, emphatically and eminently, that which was much in Moses’s thoughts, though not in his eye, and the blessed (as the Hebrew tob oft signifies) or the goodly mountain. Or, the mountain may be here put for the mountainous countries, as that word is oft used, as Genesis 36:9 Numbers 13:29 23:7 Deu 1:7 Joshua 10:6 11:16,21, &c. And it is known that a great part of the glory and beauty and profit of this country lay in its hills or mountains. See Deu 11:11 33:15. And

that goodly mountain may by an enallage of the number be put for those goodly mountains in Canaan, which were many. Thus also he proceeds gradually in this desire and description, and prays that he may see in general the good land that is beyond Jordan, and then particularly the goodly mountains of it, and especially that famous mount of Lebanon, which was so celebrated for its tall and large cedars, and other trees and excellent plants. See Psalm 29:5 104:16 Isaiah 2:13 14:8. I pray thee, let me go over and see the good land that is beyond Jordan,.... The land of Canaan, the land flowing with milk and honey; a land which he describes as a most excellent one, Deuteronomy 8:7. To see this land, he was very desirous of going over the river Jordan, beyond which it lay with respect to the place where he now was:

that goodly mountain, and Lebanon; or, "that goodly mountain, even Lebanon"; which lay to the north of the land of Canaan, and was famous for cedar and odoriferous trees. But if two distinct mountains are meant, the goodly mountain may design Mount Moriah, on which the temple was afterwards built, and of which Moses might have a foresight; and some by Lebanon think that is meant, which was built of the cedars of Lebanon, and therefore goes by that name, Zechariah 11:1 and a foreview of this made the mountain so precious to Moses, and desirable to be seen by him. So the Targum of Jonathan;"that goodly mountain in which is built the city of Jerusalem, and Mount Lebanon, in which the Shechinah shall dwell''to which agrees the note of Aben Ezra, who interprets the goodly mountain of Jerusalem, and Lebanon of the house of the sanctuary. In the Septuagint it is called Antilibanus. Mount Libanus had its name not from frankincense growing upon it, as some have thought; for it does not appear that any did grow upon it, for that came from Seba in Arabia Felix; but from the whiteness of it, through the continual snows that were on it, just as the Alps have their name for the same reason; and so Jerom says (b) of Lebanon, that the snow never leaves from the tops of it, or is ever so overcome by the heat of the sun as wholly to melt; to the same purpose also Tacitus (c) says, and Mr. Maundrell (d), who was there in May, speaks of deep snow on it, and represents the cedars as standing in snow.

(b) In Hieremiam, c. 18. 14. (c) Hist. l. 5. c. 6. (d) Journey from Aleppo, p. 139, 140.

I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly {k} mountain, and Lebanon.

(k) He means Zion, where the Temple should be built, and God honoured.

25. the good land] Deuteronomy 1:35.

that goodly mountain] To this day in Syria a whole range is called in the sing. mountain; and in fact from Nebo and the Ghôr below it all W. Palestine appears one compact mountain-mass.

and Lebanon] In clear weather Ḥermon, the summit of what is now particularised as Anti-Lebanon, is distinct from above Jericho and the opposite hills, as one looks up the Ghôr.Verse 25. - That goodly mountain; not any mountain specially, but the whole mountain elevation of Canaan, culminating in the distant Lebanon, as it appeared to the eye of Moses from the lower level of the 'Arabah. This was "goodly," especially in contrast with the arid and sunburnt desert through which the Israelites had passed; the hills gave promise of streams that should cool the air and refresh and fertilize the land (see Deuteronomy 8:7, etc.). Moses longed to go over if but to see this land, and to plant his foot on it; but his request was not granted. 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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