And Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelled in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites.—If, as appears most probable, this and the thirty-first verse form a part of the original narrative, the word which is rendered dwelt should be rendered sojourned, or abode, and understood, in accordance with the frequent use of the word (as, e.g., in Numbers 22:5; Numbers 22:8), of a temporary occupation or encampment. The permanent occupation of the eastern side of the Jordan by the Israelites was subsequent to the death of Moses. Deu 2:34. Numbers 32:3,
and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites; being given to the Reubenites and Gadites, who inhabited them, as their possession and inheritance, Numbers 32:2,
in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof; or "daughters thereof" (q). Heshbon was the metropolis or mother city, and all the towns and villages adjacent were as daughters to it; of which city more is said in the following verses; see Gill on Isaiah 15:4.And Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)25. all the cities] No Amorite cities have as yet been mentioned. It is probable that a portion of the narrative, which must have contained a list of captured cities, has been lost.
the Amorites] The name Amurrâ occurs in Babylonian and Assyrian texts and in the Tell-el-Amarna tablets for the inhabitants of Syria and Palestine in general, before the time of the Exodus. But the natives whom the Israelites found in and around Palestine on their arrival were by no means homogeneous, and various names, such as Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites and others, frequently appear. The name ‘Amorite’ is sometimes used for the native inhabitants generally: see Genesis 15:16; Genesis 48:22, Joshua 24:15, Amos 2:9, 1 Kings 21:26, 2 Kings 21:11. But sometimes it denotes natives in particular localities; e.g. in Canaan west of the Jordan (Joshua 5:1; Joshua 7:7); in the district afterwards occupied by Judah (Joshua 10:5 f., 12, Jdg 1:34-36); in the Negeb and to the south and east of the Dead Sea (Genesis 14:7, Deuteronomy 1:7; Deuteronomy 1:44). Most frequently, however, it denotes the inhabitants of the district east of the Jordan, under the rule of Sihon and Og. Whether they were the original inhabitants who had been driven out by Moab and Ammon, but had regained their footing under the leadership of these two kings, or whether they had only first gained their territory by driving out Moab and Ammon, we do not know.
Heshbon] The modern Ḥesbân, standing some 2940 feet above the sea, about 18 miles from the Jordan, opposite to Jericho.
all the towns thereof] R.V. marg. ‘daughters’ is the literal meaning of the Heb. The word denotes the small towns and villages near, and dependent upon, Heshbon; cf. Numbers 21:32, Numbers 32:42, Jdg 1:27.Verse 25. - And Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites. The territory overrun at this time was about fifty miles north and south, by nearly thirty east and west. It was not permanently occupied until a somewhat later period (Numbers 32:33); but we may suppose that the flocks and herds, with sufficient forces to guard them, spread themselves at once over the broad pasture lands. Heshbon, and all the villages, thereof. Literally, "the daughters thereof. By a similar figure we speak of a "mother city." Heshbon occupied a central position in the kingdom of Sihon, half way between Arnon and Jabbok, and about eighteen miles eastward of the point where Jordan falls into the Salt Lake; it stood on a table-land nearly 3000 feet above the sea, and had been made his city (i.e. his capital) by Sihon at the time of his victories over Moab. Exodus 15:21 and Exodus 32:18. מחקק, ruler's staff, cf. Genesis 49:10. Beer, probably the same as Beer Elim (Isaiah 15:8), on the north-east of Moab, was in the desert; for the Israelites proceeded thence "from the desert to Mattanah" (Numbers 21:18), thence to Nahaliel, and thence to Bamoth. According to Eusebius (cf. Reland, Pal. ill. p. 495), Mattanah (Μαθθανέμ) was by the valley of the Arnon, twelve Roman miles to the east (or more properly south-east or south) of Medabah, and is probably to be seen in Tedun, a place now lying in ruins, near the source of the Lejum (Burckhardt, pp. 635, 636; Hengstenberg, Balaam, p. 530; Knobel, and others). The name of Nahaliel is still retained in the form Encheileh. This is the name given to the Lejum, after it has been joined by the Balua, until its junction with the Saide (Burckhardt, p. 635). Consequently the Israelites went from Beer in the desert, in a north-westerly direction to Tedun, then westwards to the northern bank of the Encheileh, and then still farther in a north-westerly and northerly direction to Bamoth. There can be no doubt that Bamoth is identical with Bamoth Baal, i.e., heights of Baal (Numbers 22:4). According to Joshua 13:17 (cf. Isaiah 15:2), Bamoth was near to Dibon (Dibn), between the Wady Wale and Wady Mojeb, and also to Beth-Baal Meon, i.e., Myun, half a German mile (2 1/2 English) to the south of Heshbon; and, according to Numbers 22:41, you could see Bamoth Baal from the extremity of the Israelitish camp in the steppes of Moab. Consequently Bamoth cannot be the mountain to the south of Wady Wale, upon the top of which Burckhardt says there is a very beautiful plain (p. 632; see Hengstenberg, Balaam, p. 532); because the steppes of Moab cannot be seen at all from this plain, as they are covered by the Jebel Attarus. It is rather a height upon the long mountain Attarus, which runs along the southern shore of the Zerka Maein, and may possibly be a spot upon the summit of the Jebel Attarus, "the highest point in the neighbourhood," upon which, according to Burckhardt (p. 630), there is "a heap of stones overshadowed by a very large pistachio-tree." A little farther down to the south-west of this lies the fallen town Kereijat (called Krriat by Seetzen, ii. p. 342), i.e., Kerioth, Jeremiah 48:24; Amos 2:2.
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