Judges 11:23
So now the LORD God of Israel has dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and should you possess it?
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(23) Shouldest thou possess it?—Is it likely that Israel would fight battles solely to benefit Ammon and Moab?

Jdg 11:23. So now the Lord, &c. — God, the sovereign Lord of all lands, hath given us this land; this he adds, as a further and convincing reason; because otherwise it might have been alleged against the former argument, that they could gain no more right to that land from Sihon, than Sihon himself had. And shouldest thou possess it? — It was absurd to think that they should take pains to conquer it, and God should give it to them, only that they might reinstate the Moabites or Ammonites in the possession of it, with whom they had no alliance.11:12-28 One instance of the honour and respect we owe to God, as our God, is, rightly to employ what he gives us to possess. Receive it from him, use it for him, and part with it when he calls for it. The whole of this message shows that Jephthah was well acquainted with the books of Moses. His argument was clear, and his demand reasonable. Those who possess the most courageous faith, will be the most disposed for peace, and the readiest to make advances to obtain; but rapacity and ambition often cloak their designs under a plea of equity, and render peaceful endeavours of no avail.The title "God of Israel" has a special emphasis here, and in Judges 11:23. in a narrative of transactions relating to the pagan and their gods.13. the king of Ammon …, Because Israel took away my land—(See on [221]De 2:19). The subject of quarrel was a claim of right advanced by the Ammonite monarch to the lands which the Israelites were occupying. Jephthah's reply was clear, decisive, and unanswerable;—first, those lands were not in the possession of the Ammonites when his countrymen got them, and that they had been acquired by right of conquest from the Amorites [Jud 11:21]; secondly, the Israelites had now, by a lapse of three hundred years of undisputed possession, established a prescriptive right to the occupation [Jud 11:22, 23]; and thirdly, having received a grant of them from the Lord, his people were entitled to maintain their right on the same principle that guided the Ammonites in receiving, from their god Chemosh, the territory they now occupied [Jud 11:24]. This diplomatic statement, so admirable for the clearness and force of its arguments, concluded with a solemn appeal to God to maintain, by the issue of events, the cause of right and justice [Jud 11:27]. God, the sovereign Lord of all lands, hath given us this land: this he adds, as a further and a convincing reason; because otherwise it might have been alleged against the former argument, that they could gain no more right to that land from Sihon than Sihon himself had, and he had but an unjust claim to it. So now the Lord God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel,.... It is his doing, and not the work of the Israelites; it is he that dispossessed the Amorites, and put the Israelites into the possession of their land, and therefore they enjoy it by a good tenure:

and shouldest thou possess it? what through the blessing of God on their arms they have obtained by conquest, and he has settled them in; did they conquer, that thou should possess what they conquered? did their God put it into their hands to deliver it into thine? did they fight to recover for thee what thou hadst lost, and to put thee into the possession of it? did not they fight in their own defence, and their enemies and their land fell into their hands, and by the laws and right of nations became theirs? and canst thou expect to possess it? what reason is there for it?

So now the LORD God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou possess it?
On leaving Egypt, Israel passed through the desert to the Red Sea, and came to Kadesh (Numbers 20:1). They then sent messengers to the king of Edom, to obtain permission to pass through his land; and this the king of Edom refused (Numbers 20:14-21). They also sent to the king of Moab, who sent back a similar refusal. The embassy to the king of Moab is not mentioned in the Pentateuch, as it had no direct bearing upon the further course of the Israelites (see Pentateuch, p. 741, note 1). "And Israel abode in Kadesh" (word for word, as in Numbers 20:1), and "then passed through the desert," namely to Mount Hor, then down the Arabah to the Red Sea, and still farther past Oboth to Ijje-abarim in the desert (Numbers 20:22-21:11). In this way they went round the land of Edom and the land of Moab (יסב, like סבב in Numbers 21:4); and came from the east to the land of Moab (i.e., along the eastern boundary, for Ijje-abarim was situated there, according to Numbers 21:11); and encamped on the other side of the Arnon (Numbers 21:13), i.e., on the upper course of the Arnon where it still flows through the desert (see Pent. p. 749). On this march, therefore, they did not enter the territory of Moab, as the Arnon formed the boundary of Moab, i.e., the boundary between Moab and the territory of the Amorites (Numbers 21:13).
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