Deuteronomy 3:18-20: The Two and a Half Tribes are Commanded to Assist in the Conquest of Canaan

Verse 18:  And I commanded you at that time, saying, The LORD your God hath given you this land to possess it:  (Num. 32:20, etc.) ye shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all that are meet for the war (Heb. sons of power[1]).

I commanded you, to wit, the Reubenites and Gadites, mentioned verse 16, to whom he now turns his speech by an apostrophe.  Meet for the war; in such number as your brethren shall judge necessary.  See Joshua 1:14; 4:13.

 

Verse 19:  But your wives, and your little ones, and your cattle, (for I know that ye have much cattle,) shall abide in your cities which I have given you…

 

Verse 20:  Until the LORD have given rest unto your brethren, as well as unto you, and until they also possess the land which the LORD your God hath given them beyond Jordan:  and then shall ye (Josh. 22:4) return every man unto his possession, which I have given you.

Rest; a peaceable and fixed possession.



[1] Hebrew:  בְּנֵי־חָיִל.

Deuteronomy 3:12-17: The Transjordanian Inheritance

Verse 12:  And this land, which we possessed at that time, (Deut. 2:36; Josh. 12:2) from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and (Num. 32:33; Josh. 12:6; 13:8, etc.) the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites.

[And we possessed the land[1]The land which we possessed, etc. (Drusius, Ainsworth).

[Gilead:  and the cities thereof gave I to Reuben and Gad]  The word Gilead is taken less properly, for the entire Trans-jordanian land, for it would not be far off from Gilead:  for only Gadites and Manassites were properly called Gileadites (Bonfrerius).

 

Verse 13:  (Josh. 13:29) And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.

[It is called the land of Giants]  Either, because giants had dwelt in it previously; or, because Og, with his people, were of the remnants of the giants.  ה in הַהוּא/that[2] is put in the place of אֲשֶׁר/which (Drusius).

 

Verse 14:  (1 Chron. 2:22) Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob (Josh. 13:13; 2 Sam. 3:3; 10:6) unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi; and (Num. 32:41) called them after his own name, Bashan-havoth-jair, unto this day.

Geshuri, or Geshurites, a people towards the north of Canaan, 2 Samuel 3:3; 15:8.  See also Joshua 13:13.  Maachathi; of whom see 2 Samuel 3:3; 10:6.

[The villas of Jair (thus Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, Onkelos in Munster), חַוֹּת[3]]  I prefer the country districts of Jair (for a villa is only one house).  A community of houses is called חַיָּה, 2 Samuel 23:11,[4] whence חַוֹּת, with the י changed into a ו (Drusius).  The small towns (Syriac), the suburbs of Jair (Arabic).  Others:  Havoth Jair (thus the Septuagint, Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus, Oleaster, Ainsworth).

[Unto the present day]  These words were added by Ezra, for they denote a long time (Tostatus in Menochius).  But this is not necessary:  it is sufficient that this could be said, if some time intervened (Menochius out of Bonfrerius and Lapide).  Multiple months flowed from these happening to the death of Moses (Lapide).

Unto this day:  this must be put among those other passages which were not written by Moses, but added by those holy men who digested the books of Moses into this order, and inserted some very few passages to accommodate things to their own time and people.

 

Verse 15:  (Num. 32:39) And I gave Gilead unto Machir.

[GileadGilead, synecdochically, for, the remainder of Gilead, not yet occupied by Reuben and Gad (Gerhard).

Gilead; i.e. The half part of Gilead, as appears from Deuteronomy 3:12, 13.  See on Numbers 32:40.

[To Machir]  That is, to the sons of Machir; otherwise Machir himself would have lived more than two hundred years; and furthermore, all the men from twenty years, etc., had died[5] (Bonfrerius).

Unto Machir, i.e. unto the children of Machir son of Manasseh, for Machir was now dead.

 

Verse 16:  And unto the Reubenites and (2 Sam. 24:5) unto the Gadites I gave from Gilead even unto the river Arnon half the valley, and the border even unto the river Jabbok, (Num. 21:24; Josh. 12:2) which is the border of the children of Ammon…

[Unto the torrent Arnon[6]]  He describes the borders of the land of the two Tribes.  The torrent here is its uttermost part, where it empties itself into the Dead Sea; for he supplies the middle of the torrent and the boundary, that is, the end and border:  or the beginning, whence it begins to flow from the cliffs of Arnon:  and to such an extent the entire torrent (Bonfrerius).

[תּוֹךְ הַנַּחַל]  And the internal part of the torrent (Vatablus, the Syriac in The Ultimate Bible); the middle of the torrent (Oleaster, Malvenda).

[וּגְבֻל]  And the border (the Syriac in The Ultimate Bible, Malvenda, Oleaster).  The boundary, that is, the region adjacent to the torrent (Vatablus).

[The border of the children of Ammon]  Objection:  But on the other bank of the torrent were not the Ammonites, but Og, and afterwards the Manassites (in such a way that this torrent divides the land of Gilead in its middle, as Josephus testifies in his Jewish Antiquities 4:5).  Responses:  1.  Either thus he calls it because formerly it belonged to the Ammonites, but Sihon had taken it; as it is able to be gathered clearly from a comparison of Deuteronomy 2:9, 19; Numbers 21; Joshua 13:25; and Judges 11.  Or, 2.  (which I prefer) the beginning of the torrent is here called the torrent, which was near Rabbath, the capital of the Ammonites (Bonfrerius).

Half the valley, or rather to the middle of the river; for the word rendered half signifies commonly middle; and the same Hebrew word signifying both a valley and a brook or river, it seems more reasonable to understand it of a river, as the same word is here rendered in the next foregoing clause of this verse, than of a valley, which was not mentioned before, especially seeing there is here an article added which seems to be emphatical, and to note that river, to wit, now mentioned.  Add to this, that there was no such valley, much less any half valley, belonging both unto the Reubenites and Gadites.  But according to the other translation the sense is plain and agreeable to the truth, that their land extended from Gilead unto Aroer, and, to speak exactly, to the middle of that river; for as that river was the border between them and others, so one half of it belonged to them, as the other half did to others.  And that this is no subtle device, as some may think it, but the truth of the thing, and the real meaning of the place, will appear by comparing this place with two others:  1.  With Joshua 12:2, where the same thing is expressed in the same words in the Hebrew which are here, though our translators render the selfsame words there from the middle of the river, which here they render half of the valley; and where the bounds of Sihon’s kingdom, which was the same portion there mentioned as given to Reuben and Gad, are thus described, from Aroer, which is upon the bank of the river of Arnon, and from the middle of the river, and from half Gilead, even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon.  2.  With Deuteronomy 2:36, From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, or rather, as the Hebrew hath it, in the river, i.e. from Ar, which was the chief city of the Moabites, and therefore denied to the Israelites, as is here implied, and more fitly expressed, Deuteronomy 2:9, which city was seated in an island in the middle of the river.  So that here we have a just and full reason why the border of this land given to Reuben and Gad is so nicely and critically described there, even to the middle of a river, which although in truth and strictness it be the bound of those lands which are divided by a river, yet is not usually expressed in the description of borders, either in Scripture or other authors, because here was an eminent city of the Moabites in the middle of this river, which by this curious and exact description is excepted from their possession, as God would have it to be.  And the border even unto the river Jabbok:  the meaning seems to be this, and the border, to wit, of their land, was, which verb substantive is commonly understood, or went forth, (as the phrase is, Joshua 15:6, 7, etc.,) from thence, to wit, from the river Arnon, even unto the river Jabbok, for so indeed their border did proceed.  Which is the border of the children of Ammon.  Objection.  This was the border between them and the Manassites, as is evident, and therefore not the border of the Ammonites.  Answer.  It bordered upon the Manassites in one part, and upon the Ammonites in another part, to wit, in that part which is remoter from Jordan, and so both are true.

 

Verse 17:  The plain also, and Jordan, and the coast thereof, from (Num. 34:11) Chinnereth (Deut. 4:49; Num. 34:11; Josh. 12:3) even unto the sea of the plain, (Gen. 14:3) even the salt sea, under Ashdoth-pisgah (or, under the springs of Pisgah, or, the hill[7]) eastward.

[And the plain of the wilderness, hbfrF(jhfw:[8]And the plain (Vatablus, Malvenda, Oleaster); and the field (Malvenda).  But it is most obscure what this plain might be; for between the torrent of Jabbok and the borders of Chinnereth nothing intervenes, since the torrent flows into a part of the sea of Chinnereth.[9]  It is my understanding that the plain extended from mount Gilead, where were the beginning of the torrent, unto Jordan, through which the torrent descends (Bonfrerius).  [Others otherwise:]  And the fields and Jordan, that is, the fields adjacent to Jordan (Vatablus).

The plain; the low country towards Jordan.

[And the borders]  Hebrew:  and the border;[10] that is, and the bounded region, which is adjacent to it (Vatablus).  The Hebrew words signify this, that the entire greater Jordan (which begins from Chinnereth, and ends in the Salt Sea) encloses this region on the Western side (Bonfrerius).

Chinnereth; of which see on Numbers 34:11; Joshua 12:3.  The sea of the plain, i.e. that salt sea, as it here follows, which before that dreadful conflagration was a goodly plain, called the plain of Jordan, Genesis 13:10.

[Unto the roots of mount Pisgah, תַּחַת אַשְׁדֹּת הַפִּסְגָּה[11]]  [They vary.]  It is the proper name of a city, concerning which Joshua 13:20 (thus Dieu, Ainsworth, Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome in Vatablus, Eusebius in Malvenda).  Under the outpourings (springs [Tigurinus], slopes [Junius and Tremellius]) of the hill (Munster, Montanus, Vatablus), that is, unto the roots of the hill, which are wont to be moistened by springs (Vatablus).  Under the outpourings of the waters of the hill (Pagnine).  Others:  under the slopes of Pisgah (certain interpreters in Malvenda, Dieu).  For אַשְׁדֹּת/slopes and עֲרָבָה, a plain, are everywhere opposed (Dieu).  Under the slope of the hill (Chaldean, Samaritan Text).

Ashdoth-pisgah; the proper name of a city, of which Joshua 13:20.



[1] Hebrew:  וְאֶת־הָאָ֧רֶץ הַזֹּ֛את יָרַ֖שְׁנוּ.

[2] Deuteronomy 3:13b:  “…all the region of Argob, with all Bashan; that (הַהוּא) was called the land of giants.”

[3] Deuteronomy 3:14b:  “…and called them after his own name, Bashan-havoth-jair (אֶת־הַבָּשָׁן֙ חַוֹּ֣ת יָאִ֔יר), unto this day.”  חַוָּה signifies a village.

[4] 2 Samuel 23:11a:  “And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite.  And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop (לַחַיָּה), where was a piece of ground full of lentiles…”  The verbal roots, חוה and חָיָה, both signify to live.

[5] See Numbers 32:11.

[6] Deuteronomy 3:16a:  “And unto the Reubenites and unto the Gadites I gave from Gilead even unto the river Arnon (וְעַד־נַחַל אַרְנֹן), half the valley (תּוֹךְ הַנַּחַל, the middle of the river), and the border (וּגְבֻל), even unto the river Jabbok…”

[7] Hebrew:  תַּחַת אַשְׁדֹּת הַפִּסְגָּה.

[8] Deuteronomy 3:17a:  “The plain (וְהָעֲרָבָה), and Jordan, and the coast thereof…”  עֲרָבָה, a desert plain, may be derived from the verbal root ערב, to be arid.

[9] That is, the Sea of Galilee.

[10] Deuteronomy 3:17a:  “The plain, and Jordan, and the coast (וּגְבֻל, and the border)…”

[11] אַשְׁדֹּת/Ashdoth signifies foundations; פִּסְגָּה/Pisgah, a cliff or cleft.

Deuteronomy 3:1-11: The Conquest of Bashan

Verse 1:  Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan:  and (Num. 21:33, etc.; Deut. 29:7) Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle (Deut. 1:4) at Edrei.

[We went up[1]]  He who moves toward the North is said to go up (Rabbi Salomon and Ibn Ezra).  This is correct; for the North lies toward the apex of the world, which they call the arctic pole.  See Masius on Joshua 15:3[2] (Drusius).

 

Verse 2:  And the LORD said unto me, Fear him not:  for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto (Num. 21:24) Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.

Fear him not, though he be of so frightful a look and stature, Deuteronomy 3:11.

 

Verse 3:  So the LORD our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people:  (Num. 21:35) and we smote him until none was left to him remaining.

[Unto extermination, עַד־בִּלְתִּ֥י הִשְׁאִֽיר־ל֖וֹ שָׂרִֽיד]  In such a way that there remained not to that one, or to him, a survivor (certain interpreters in Vatablus) [similarly all interpreters].  A similar expression in Numbers 21:35[3] (Malvenda).

 

Verse 4:  And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, (1 Kings 4:13) all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan.

[All the region (thus the Samaritan Text, Munster, Pagnine, Oleaster, Ainsworth), or, the tract (Syriac, Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus), חֶבֶל[4]A lineA cord, in the place of the space of ground which is measured by cords (see Amos 7:17;[5] Micah 2:5[6] [Ainsworth]); in the place of a part, a portion of ground (Drusius, Ainsworth, Malvenda); as in Psalm 16:6[7] (Malvenda).  Thus Deuteronomy 32:9;[8] Zephaniah 2:5,[9] 7[10] (Drusius).  All the collection, that is, the multitude of towns.  חָבַל signifies to bind (Oleaster).  All the adjacent places (Septuagint); the places of the province (Chaldean).

[Argob]  It is the name, either, 1.  of a place, or region (Menochius, Bonfrerius, Ainsworth).  It was a province in Bashan, 1 Kings 4:13 (Ainsworth).  Bashan and Argob are the same region, as hence, and from Deuteronomy 3:13 and 1 Kings 4:13, it is abundantly able to be gathered (Bonfrerius).  The Chaldean interpreters understand Trachonitis.[11]  It appears to have been named after its rich soil and fertile land[12] (Malvenda).  Or, 2.  it is the name of a man (certain interpreters in Drusius), to whom this portion belonged.  See Ibn Ezra (Drusius).

Argob; a province within Bashan, or at least subject and belonging to Bashan, as appears from Deuteronomy 3:13; 1 Kings 4:13; called Argob possibly from the name of a man, its former lord and owner.

[In Bashan]  Something is to be understood, who was reigning in Bashan (Vatablus).

 

Verse 5:  All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many.

High walls, gates, and bars; which may encourage you in your attempt upon Canaan, notwithstanding the fenced cities which the spies told you of, and you must expect to find.

[Which did not have walls, לְבַד מֵעָרֵי הַפְּרָזִי[13]Besides towns paganorum, of peasants (Junius and Tremellius), or, pagani, of the peasant, that is, of one living in pago, in a country district (Piscator).  Besides cities (or villages [Chaldean]) without walls (Samaritan Text, Ainsworth, similarly Munster, Tigurinus, Ainsworth).  Thus it is taken in Esther 9:19[14] and Zechariah 2:4.[15]  Thus they are called because they were sparsely inhabited[16] (Ainsworth).  Besides towns not fenced in (Arabic); besides towns of the plains (Syriac); besides cities of the Perizites (Septuagint); besides the cities of commerce (Samaritan Version).  [Perhaps it thus renders it, because the Perizites both were, and were called, Canaanites:[17]  כְּנָעַן/Canaan signifies merchant.[18]Besides cities of assault, or of breaking through, that is, into which an assault is easy, because they are without walls (Malvenda).

 

Verse 6:  And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king (Deut. 2:24; Ps. 135:10-12; 136:19-21) of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city.

[City, and men, עִ֣יר מְתִ֔ם]  City of men (Dieu); of every city men (Piscator, similarly Junius and Tremellius), as in Deuteronomy 2:34[19] (Junius).  It is fully written מְתִים /males, Psalm 17:14.[20]  The singular form is found in the Æthiopic of Matthew 1:19, ἀνὴρ αὐτῆς, her husband, מתה, in the Æthiopic (Dieu).  See on Deuteronomy 2:34 (Drusius).

 

Verse 7:  But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities, we took for a prey to ourselves.

 

Verse 8:  And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land that was on this side Jordan, from the river of Arnon unto mount Hermon…

[Of the Amorites]  Hebrew:  of the Amorite[21] (Malvenda, Drusius), a singular in the place of the plural, as in Latin, Roman, in the place of Romans.  He was not an Amorite with respect to household, but from the remnant of the giants (Drusius).

On this side Jordan; so it was when Moses wrote this book, but afterward, when Israel passed over Jordan, it was called the land beyond Jordan.

[Unto mount Hermon[22]]  It is a part of mount Libanus,[23] towards the East, beyond the springs of Jordan (thus a great many interpreters in Malvenda); or, part of Anti-Libanus.  To others it is only an epithet of the Libanus, on that side where it was vast and inhospitable, covered with snow; inasmuch as חֵרֶם/herem signifies a thing destroyed, cut off, put under a ban, put away from use (Malvenda).  It is the extreme part of mount Gilead across Jordan.  In various places it had various names (Menochius out of Bonfrerius).

 

Verse 9:  (Which [Deut. 4:48; Ps. 29:6] Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion; and the Amorites call it [1 Chron. 5:23] Shenir;)…

[Sirion, שִׂרְיֹן]  They explain it, either, as having a bad smell, because the fruit on it is rotten; or, as snowy, because it was always covered with snow (Hebrews and the Chaldean in Malvenda).

[Shenir, שְׂנִיר]  That is to say, a mountain of snow (Onkelos, Rabbi Salomon and Gerundensis in Drusius).  Or, feline; perhaps from the cats wont to be lodged there.  שׁוּנַר/shunar in Chaldean is cat (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:3:14:862).  This mountain is also called Sion, שִׂיאֹן (Drusius, Ainsworth), Deuteronomy 4:48 (Ainsworth).  Do not confuse it with Sion, צִיּוֹן, where the Law was given (Drusius).  This mountain had five names, Hermon, Sirion, Shenir, and Sion, Deuteronomy 4:48, and Hor, Numbers 34:7, imposed by diverse peoples, and according to the diverse parts of the mountain (Ainsworth).

Hermon, etc.:  Elsewhere called Mount Gilead, and Libanus or Lebanon, and here Shenir, and Sirion, and, by abbreviation, Sion, Deuteronomy 4:48; which several names are given to this one mountain, partly by several people, and partly in regard of several tops and parts of it, whence Shenir and Hermon are mentioned as distinct places, Song of Songs 4:8.

 

Verse 10:  (Deut. 4:49) All the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and (Josh. 12:5; 13:11) all Bashan, unto Salchah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.

Gilead is sometimes taken largely for all the Israelites’ possessions beyond Jordan, and so it comprehends Bashan, but here more strictly for that part of it which lies in and near Mount Gilead, and so it is distinguished from Bashan and Argob.

 

Verse 11:  (Amos 2:9) For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of (Gen. 14:5) giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in (2 Sam. 12:26; Jer. 49:2; Ezek. 21:20) Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.

[Only…Og, etc.]  Objection:  There were other giants, Numbers 13; likewise, Joshua,[24] Judges,[25] 1 Chronicles 20.  Response:  There were two famous giants (whence the rest derived their origin), Rapha and Anak:[26]  from the former came the Rephaim.[27]  This one alone was of the Rephaim, namely, in that region of Bashan (Bonfrerius, Oleaster), while in Genesis 14, the Rephaim were occupying the whole (Bonfrerius, Tirinus, Menochius).  He appears to have been from the remnant of those whom Chedorlaomer, etc., smote at Ashteroth, Genesis 14:5.  For Og was reigning in Ashteroth, Joshua 13:12 (Ainsworth).

Of the remnant of giants:  The other giants of Bashan were destroyed before; and therefore when Og was killed, the Israelites’ work was done.

[In Rabbath, etc., בְּרַבַּת]  Rabbath, which was afterwards Philadelphia[28] (Menochius).  It was in that city, either, because at that time Og was in possession of that city; or, because the Ammonties, being at war with Og, carried off with themselves that bed, as spoil.  The Septuagint translates it, ἐν τῇ ἄκρᾳ, in the citadel of the children of Ammon; namely, in the royal city, and in the citadel of the kingdom, that is, Rabbath (Bonfrerius).

In Rabbath of the children of Ammon; where it might now be, either because the Ammonites in some former battle with Og had taken it as a spoil; or because after Og’s death the Ammonites desired to have this monument of his greatness, and the Israelites permitted them to carry it away to their chief city.

[Nine cubits]  Therefore, he himself was six cubits tall.[29]  For beds are wont to be made a third part longer than the men, says Maimonides[30] (Grotius).

[According to the measure of a cubit]  Hebrew:  of the cubit of a man,[31] that is, of an average man, such as they then were (Drusius).  It is spoken of the common measure of the cubit (certain interpreters, Fagius), which sort every craftsman is wont to observe (Malvenda).  The Chaldean, in accordance with the cubit of the King,[32] that is, royal, and public; that is, the measure of it is certain by the decree of the magistrate (Fagius).  A cubit is a foot and a half (Drusius).  Hebrew cubits were greater than our cubits by a third part, or rather by a fourth part (Mariana[33]).  It was of two and a half feet, according to Villalpando:[34]  which is not improbable, since the measure of the sacred cubit was established at that time, when the stature of men was greater, neither was it able to be changed thereafter (Bonfrerius).  [But these things, σὺν θεῷ, Lord willing, will be treated at greater length at the end of the Work.]

After the cubit of a man, to wit, of ordinary stature.  So his bed was four yards and a half long, and two yards broad.



[1] Deuteronomy 3:1a:  “Then we turned, and went up (וַנַּעַל) the way to Bashan…”

[2] Joshua 15:3:  “And it went out to the south side to Maaleh-acrabbim, and passed along to Zin, and ascended up (וְעָלָה) on the south side unto Kadesh-barnea, and passed along to Hezron, and went up (וְעָלָה) to Adar, and fetched a compass to Karkaa…”

[3] Numbers 21:35a:  “So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive (עַד־בִּלְתִּ֥י הִשְׁאִֽיר־ל֖וֹ שָׂרִ֑יד)…”

[4] חֶבֶל can signify a cord, or a lot, tract, or region with bounds; it is derived from the verbal root חָבַל, to bind.

[5] Amos 7:17b:  “Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line (בַּחֶבֶל); and thou shalt die in a polluted land…”

[6] Micah 2:5:  “Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord (חֶבֶל) by lot in the congregation of the Lord.”

[7] Psalm 16:6:  “The lines (חֲבָלִים) are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.”

[8] Deuteronomy 32:9:  “For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot (חֶבֶל) of his inheritance.”

[9] Zephaniah 2:5a:  “Woe unto the inhabitants of the lot (חֶבֶל) of the sea, the nation of the Cherethites!”

[10] Zephaniah 2:7a:  “And the lot (חֶבֶל) shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon…”

[11] טְרָכוֹנָא/Trachonitis is a region east of the Sea of Galilee, in modern-day Syria.

[12] אַרְגֹּב/Argob appears to be related to רֶגֶב, a clod of earth.

[13] פְּרָזִי/Perazi/hamlet-dweller is related to פְּרָזָה/hamlet.

[14] Esther 9:19a:  “Therefore the Jews of the villages (הַפְּרוֹזִים/hamlets, Kethib; הַפְּרָזִים/ hamlet-dwellers, Qere), that dwelt in the unwalled towns (הַפְּרָזוֹת), made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting…”

[15] Zechariah 2:4b:  “Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls (פְּרָזוֹת) for the multitude of men and cattle therein…”

[16] פְּרָזִי may be related to a verbal root פרז, to separate.

[17] See Genesis 13:7; Exodus 33:2; 34:11; Joshua 9:1; 11:3.

[18] Canaanite became synonymous with merchant, because the Canaanites and Phœnicians were renowned for trade.

[19] Deuteronomy 2:34:  “And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed every city, the men (אֶת־כָּל־עִ֣יר מְתִ֔ם), and the women, and the little ones, we left none to remain…”

[20] Psalm 17:14a:  “From men (מִמְתִים) which are thy hand, O Lord, from men (מִמְתִים) of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure…”

[21] Hebrew:  הָאֱמֹרִי.

[22] Hebrew:  עַד־הַר חֶרְמוֹן.

[23] The Libanus and Antilibanus are parallel mountain ranges, running north-south through Syria.  Libanus is on the coastal side, running parallel to the Meditarranean shore.

[24] See, for example, Joshua 12:4; 13:12; 15:8.

[25] See, for example, Judges 1:20.

[26] See Numbers 13:28-33.

[27] See Genesis 14:5; 15:20.

[28] Amman, Jordan, was called Philadelphia by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

[29] That is, three yards, or approximately nine feet.

[30] Moses Maimonides, or Rambam (1135-1204), is reckoned by many to be the greatest Jewish scholar of his age.  Maimonides’ command of the Hebrew Scriptures, Rabbinic tradition, natural science, and Aristotelian philosophy is staggering.

[31] Hebrew:  בְּאַמַּת־אִישׁ.

[32] Chaldean:  בְאַמַת מְלַך.

[33] John Mariana (c. 1536-1624) was a Spanish, Jesuit scholar.  His magnum opus was the thirty-book history of Spain, Historiæ de Rebus Hispaniæ.

[34] John Baptist Villalpando (1552-1608) was a Spanish Jesuit.  He is noteworthy for his interest in architecture and his fascination with Ezekiel’s Temple vision.

Deuteronomy 3 Outline

Their march to Bashan, 1.  Og its king is put to flight; they possess his land, 2-11; which is distributed to two tribes and half, 12-17; who are commanded to assist their brethren to possess the land beyond Jordan, 18-20.  Moses encourages Joshua, 21, 22.  His prayer to go into the promised land, 23-25.  God grants not his request, 26.  He gives him a prospect of it, 27; and bids him encourage Joshua, 28.

 

Deuteronomy 2:24-37: Rehearsal of the Forty Years’ History: War with the Amorites

Verse 24:  Rise ye up, take your journey, and (Num. 21:13, 14; Judg. 11:18, 21) pass over the river Arnon:  behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land:  begin to possess (Heb. begin, possess) it, and contend with him in battle.

[The torrent ArnonArnon is a cliff projecting on high (certain interpreters in Vatablus).  But if it is true, it is fitting that the torrent be in the valley, under the cliff:  unto which there is an allusion in Numbers 21:28, …the citizens of the high places of Arnon.  And in Deuteronomy 2:36, it appears that he distinguishes the torrent from Arnon (Vatablus).

[Begin to possess (thus the Samaritan Text, Tigurinus)]  Hebrew:  begin, possess[1] (Vatablus, Malvenda), or, inherit (Montanus); begin to cast out (Chaldean), to lay waste (Syriac), to destroy (Arabic).

 

Verse 25:  (Ex. 15:14, 15; Deut. 11:25; Josh. 2:9, 10) This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.

[The dread of thee]  Which sort the Greeks call panic/trembling (Grotius).

[Under the whole heaven]  It is hyperbole (Bonfrerius); that is, unto whatever places the fame of the matters conducted by me shall come (Menochius out of Lapide).

Under the whole heaven; which is a synecdoche and an hyperbole, but is explained by the following words, which restrain the sentence to those nations that heard of them.

[And they be taken with anguish, וְחָלוּ מִפָּנֶיךָ[2]And they shall suffer pain (shall be wasted [Chaldean], be weakened [Munster, Tigurinus], shall become faint [Junius and Tremellius], shall be mad [Samaritan Version], shall be in anguish [Ainsworth, English], be afraid [Syriac, similarly the Arabic, Pagnine], so that those, laboring in anguish, might be confounded [Samaritan Text]) from thy face (Montanus), from thy countenance (Syriac, similarly the Arabic, Pagnine), because of thee (Ainsworth, English).

 

Verse 26:  And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of Heshbon (Deut. 20:10) with words of peace, saying…

[From the wilderness of Kedemoth]  In Numbers 21:20, it is called Jeshimon.  קְדֵמוֹת/Kedemoth sounds like eastern[3] (Malvenda).  On the eastern side was Moab, as Adrichomius testifies (Menochius out of Bonfrerius).  To others it is a city, concerning which Joshua 13:18 (Malvenda, thus Drusius, Ainsworth).  Thence the wilderness of Kedemoth (Drusius).

Kedemoth; so called from a city of that name, Joshua 13:18; and called Jeshimon, Numbers 21:20.

[With pacific words]  With words of peace.  They are such which offer peace, or announce salvation (Piscator).

With words of peace; with offers of peace, which they refusing, their destruction was highly just and reasonable.

 

Verse 27:  (Num. 21:21, 22; Judg. 11:19) Let me pass through thy land:  I will go along by the high way, I will neither turn unto the right hand nor to the left.

[By the public way (thus the Chaldean, Arabic), בַּדֶּרֶךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ אֵלֵךְ]  By the way, by the way (Pagnine), that is, by the way public and most well-trodden (Fagius, Vatablus), and royal, Numbers 21:22 (Vatablus).  Altogether by the way (Oleaster).  Only by the way, that is to say, with no diversion into fields or vineyards.  Thus Deuteronomy 16:20, righteousness, righteousness[4] is only righteousness, and righteousness of every sort (Ainsworth).  By the direct route (Tigurinus); by the well-trodden way (Munster); always treading upon the roads (Syriac).  I shall proceed without deviation on the same road (Junius and Tremellius).

By the high way, etc.:  In my direct road to Canaan, from which I will not turn aside into thy fields, or vineyards, or houses.

 

Verse 28:  Thou shalt sell me meat for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink:  (Num. 20:19) only I will pass through on my feet…

Or, with my footmen, or with my company which are on foot; which is added significantly, because if their army had consisted as much of horsemen as many other armies did, their passage through his land might have been more mischievous and dangerous; but they were generally on foot.

 

Verse 29:  ([see Numb. 20:18; Deut. 23:3, 4; Judg. 11:17, 18] As the children of Esau which dwell in Seir, and the Moabites which dwell in Ar, did unto me;) until I shall pass over Jordan into the land which the LORD our God giveth us.

[Just as the sons of Esau]  Objection:  But the King of Edom, that is, of the sons of Esau, did not allow this, Numbers 20 (Estius).  Responses:  1.  At first he refused, but afterwards, fearing for himself, he allowed it (Oleaster).  2.  Thus far he allowed it, that they along (or, near [Lyra]) their outermost borders might make their journey (Estius, Oleaster, Junius).  3.  Or this is not referred to a concession of passage, but only to the selling of provisions (Lyra, Junius).  But the Moabites refused food and drink, Deuteronomy 23:3, 4 (Malvenda).  [The Arabic thus translates it, just as the sons of Esau dealt with me on their part.]

Objection.  The king of Edom, i.e. of the children of Esau, did not grant them passage, Numbers 20.  Answer.  They did permit them to pass quietly by the borders, though not through the heart of their land; and in their passage the people sold them meat and drink, being, it seems, more kind to them than their king would have had them; and therefore they here ascribe this favour not to the king, though they are now treating with a king, but to the people, the children of Esau.

 

Verse 30:  (Num. 21:23) But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him:  for (Josh. 11:20) the LORD thy God (Ex. 4:21) hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.

By him, i.e. by his borders.  Obstinate; unmovable and inexorable to our desires.

[Just as thou now seest]  Hebrew:  in accordance with this day.[5]  It is a Hebraism, in the place of, as the very day bears witness; or, as it is known to all (Munster, Fagius, Vatablus).

 

Verse 31:  And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have begun to (Deut. 1:8) give Sihon and his land before thee:  begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land.

[I have begun to deliver to thee]  Hebrew:  before thee,[6] that is, into thy power.  It is a Hebraism (Fagius, Vatablus).

 

Verse 32:  (Num. 21:23) Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz.[7]

 

Verse 33:  And (Deut. 7:2; 20:16) the LORD our God delivered him before us; and (Num. 21:24; Deut. 29:7) we smote him, and his sons, and all his people.

[With his sons, וְאֶת־בָּנָו[8]With his son, whom he considered notable, and his father’s equal in size and strength (Lyra out of Rabbi Salomon).  But the Massoretes[9] read בָּנָיו, his sons[10] (Drusius).  Thus it is translated by Montanus, the Septuagint, the Chaldean, the Samaritan Text, the Syriac, the Arabic.  The Hebrew characters contain both readings, one in the consonants, the other in the vowels:[11]  thus in Deuteronomy 33:9.[12]  It is able to denote all whom he considered sons, who were only one:  thus, the children of Manasseh, 2 Chronicles 33:6, in the place of the son, 2 Kings 21:6.  See the notes on Genesis 46:23 (Ainsworth).

 

Verse 34:  And we took all his cities at that time, and (Lev. 27:28; Deut. 7:2, 26) utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones (Heb. every city of men, and women, and little ones[13]), of every city, we left none to remain…

[With the inhabitants, etc., אֶת־כָּל־עִ֣יר מְתִ֔ם]  The city, the men (Montanus); the cities and the men (Chaldean).  Or, the city of men, which was full of men; as in Deuteronomy 3:6[14] (Drusius, Malvenda).  Or an hypallage,[15] for, the men of the cities (Malvenda).  Of all the cities the adult population (Arabic).  Of every city men; אֶת,[16] in the place of מֵאֶת/from (Piscator).  [But the Samaritan Version has it in this manner, his cities completely; and the Syriac, his cities we utterly destroyed.]

Utterly destroyed, etc.:  By God’s command, these being a part of those people who were devoted by the Lord of life and death to utter destruction for their abominable wickedness.  See Deuteronomy 7:2; 20:16.

 

Verse 35:  Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took.

 

Verse 36:  (Deut. 3:12; 4:48; Josh. 13:9) From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us:  (Ps. 44:3) the LORD our God delivered all unto us…

[From Aroer]  Therefore, Aroer and Ar are not the same, as Adrichomius maintains.  Since in Ar even at that time the Moabites were remaining, verse 29, but Aroer at that time was under the dominion of the Amorites, having been seized from the Moabites, as it is hence evident.  See Numbers 21:13, 24.  Now, the city Aroer was across Arnon, says Adrichomius himself (Bonfrerius).

Aroer was in the border of Moab, but now in the hands of the Amorites.

[Which is in the valley[17]In the torrent, or river.  This they maintain to be Ar, Numbers 21:15 (Malvenda).  A valley is called נַחַל, from the torrent flowing in it (Vatablus).

By the river, Heb. in the river, wherewith it was encompassed, Numbers 21:15, 28; Joshua 12:2; 13:9.  He speaks exclusively, for this was Ar, which now was in the Moabites’ jurisdiction, above, Deuteronomy 2:9.

[Unto Gilead]  Inclusively on that side, since Sihon was holding half of Gilead, Joshua 12:2; Og, the other half, Joshua 12:5 (Bonfrerius).

[Which escaped our hands (thus Oleaster, Arabic), אֲשֶׁר שָׂגְבָה מִמֶּנּוּ[18]Which was elevated from than us[19] (Malvenda, Montanus); which is stronger (Chaldean), or, higher, than us (Samaritan Text, Munster, Junius and Tremellius); that is, which we were not able to scale and conquer (Malvenda).  Others:  which was fortified from us; that is, the fortifications of which were not able to rescue it from us (Malvenda, similarly Vatablus); which resisted us (Syriac).

 

Verse 37:  Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any place of the river (Gen. 32:22; Num. 21:24; Deut. 3:16) Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains, nor unto (Deut. 2:5, 9, 19) whatsoever the LORD our God forbad us.

[Ammon]  Objection:  But, in Joshua 13:25, the land…of Ammon is given to the Gadites.  Response:  Thus they call it, because formerly it belonged to the Ammonites, but at that time to the Amorites, who snatched it away from them, and another part from the Moabites:  which portions, nevertheless, seized by them, God willed to grant to the Israelites; but He did not will that anything should be stolen from them, which at that time they possessed in peace.  Thence that quarrel arose in Judges 11 (Bonfrerius).

[Which are adjacent, כָּל־יַד[20]Every hand (Montanus), that is, space, or place (Drusius, Malvenda, Ainsworth, Munster, Pagnine); as in Judges 18:10;[21] Isaiah 33:21[22] (Malvenda); likewise Numbers 2:17;[23] Job 37:7;[24] Isaiah 10:5[25] (Drusius).  Or, coast (Arabic), or, limit (Tigurinus), or, bank (Chaldean, Malvenda, Syriac), or, tract (Junius and Tremellius, Malvenda, Samaritan Text).  All things pertaining to the torrent (Septuagint).

Of the river Jabbok, i.e. beyond Jabbok; for that was the border of the Ammonites, Joshua 12:2.  Objection.  Half the land of the Ammonites is said to be given to the tribe of Gad, Joshua 13:25.  Answer.  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.

[From which He forbad us, אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה]  Which He ordered (Montanus, Chaldean, Samaritan Text, Munster, Tigurinus, Pagnine); just as He commanded (Septuagint).  Whatever He prescribed to us, namely, that we should abstain from it (Ainsworth).  Whatever God had prohibited to us (Arabic, thus Junius and Tremellius, Piscator, Ainsworth).  A synecdoche of genus.  Thus Genesis 2:16; 3:11 (Piscator).  A word of commanding is used concerning things prohibited.  See Deuteronomy 4:23[26] (Ainsworth).

Forbad us, Heb. commanded us:  commanding is put for forbidding here, as Genesis 2:16; 3:11; Leviticus 4:2; Deuteronomy 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.



[1] Hebrew:  הָחֵל רָשׁ.  יָרַשׁ can signify to possess, or to dispossess.

[2] Deuteronomy 2:25b:  “…who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee (וְחָלוּ מִפָּנֶיךָ).”  חוּל signifies to writhe, or to be in pain.

[3] קֶדֶם signifies East.

[4] Deuteronomy 16:20:  “That which is altogether just (צֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק, righteousness, righteousness) shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

[5] Hebrew:  כַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה.

[6] Hebrew:  לְפָנֶיךָ.

[7] Jahaz was probably a few miles north of the Arnon River.

[8] The Kethib.

[9] The Massoretes were mediæval Jewish scribes, responsible for the preservation and propagation of the traditional text of the Hebrew Scriptures.

[10] The Qere.

[11] The Kethib, בָּנָו, has the consonants of the singular, his son (normally written בְּנוֹ), but the vowels of the plural, his sons (normally written בָּנָיו).

[12] Deuteronomy 33:9:  “Who said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children (בָּנָו [the Kethib]; בָּנָיו [the Qere])…”

[13] Hebrew:  אֶת־כָּל־עִ֣יר מְתִ֔ם וְהַנָּשִׁ֖ים וְהַטָּ֑ף.

[14] Deuteronomy 3:6:  “And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying every city, the men, women, and children (כָּל־עִ֣יר מְתִ֔ם הַנָּשִׁ֖ים וְהַטָּֽף).”

[15] That is, an exchange of cases.

[16] The direct object marker.

[17] Hebrew:  אֲשֶׁר בַּנַּחַל.

[18] Deuteronomy 2:36a:  “From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us (אֲשֶׁר שָׂגְבָה מִמֶּנּוּ)…”  שָׂגַב signifies to be high.

[19] A woodenly literalistic rendering.

[20] Deuteronomy 2:37a:  “Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any place (כָּל־יַד) of the river Jabbok…”

[21] Judges 18:10a:  “When ye go, ye shall come unto a people secure, and to a land broad of places (וְהָאָרֶץ רַחֲבַת יָדַיִם)…”

[22] Isaiah 33:21a:  “But there the glorious Lord will be unto us rivers and streams broad of places (רַחֲבֵי יָדָיִם)…”

[23] Numbers 2:17b:  “…as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place (עַל־יָדוֹ) by their standards.”

[24] Job 37:7:  “He sealeth up the hand (בְּיַד) of every man; that all men may know his work.”

[25] Isaiah 10:5:  “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand (בְיָדָם) is mine indignation.”

[26] Deuteronomy 4:23:  “Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee (צִוְּךָ, commanded thee).”

Deuteronomy 2:8-23: Rehearsal of the Forty Years’ History: Israel Passes between Moab and Ammon

Verse 8:  (Judg. 11:18) And when we passed by from our brethren the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, through the way of the plain from (1 Kings 9:26) Elath, and from Ezion-gaber, we turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.

[Through the way of the plain, מִדֶּרֶךְ הָעֲרָבָה]  Through the way of the plain, or of the wilderness.  Here מִן/from is taken for ב/in (Vatablus).  From the way, etc. (Malvenda).

[From Elath,[1] etc.]  And here מִן/from is taken for ב/unto, unto Elath, and unto Ezion-gaber (certain interpreters in Vatablus).  See Numbers 33:35 (Malvenda).

Ezion-gaber; of which see Numbers 33:35, which may be either that place upon the Red Sea, 1 Kings 9:26, or another of the same name.  We turned, to wit, from our direct road which lay through Edom’s land.

 

Verse 9:  And the LORD said unto me, Distress not the Moabites (or, use no hostility against Moab[2]), neither contend with them in battle:  for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given (Num. 21:28) Ar unto (Gen. 19:36, 37) the children of Lot for a possession.

[Neither join battle, וְאַל־תִּתְגָּר בָּם מִלְחָמָה[3]]  The same verb as is in verse 5,[4] but here it is adjoined to war (Vatablus).

[Ar]  This was the capital of the Moabites (Drusius); it is Aroer (Chaldean, Septuagint, thus Masius[5] on Joshua 12:23[6]).  This does not satisfy; for Ar is the inheritance of the sons of Lot, called Areopolis, and Rabbath Moab, if you believe Masius.  But the Tribe of Gad built Aroer, Numbers 32:34, that is, it restored, and therefore inhabited also (Drusius).

Ar, the chief city of the Moabites, Numbers 21:15, 28, here put for the whole country, which depended upon it.  The children of Lot; so called to signify that this preservation was not for their sakes, for they were a wicked people; but for Lot’s sake, whose memory God yet honours.

 

Verse 10:  (Gen. 14:5) The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as (Num. 13:22, 33; Deut. 9:2) the Anakims…

[Emim, הָאֵמִים[7]]  It signifies men terrible and to be feared (Vatablus).  Thus they are called because by their height and strength they instill אֵימָה/ terror in those regarding them (Fagius, Munster).  Others:  the name is from אַמָּה/cubit; that is to say, men of cubits, that is, many (Menochius).  Moses commemorates these things, so that the Hebrews, by the example of the Emim driven out of their own habitations, by arms and human power, might draw confidence in the occupation (with God as commander) of Canaan (Fagius, Menochius, Bonfrerius).

[Great]  That is, noble and famous (Vatablus).

Emims; men terrible for stature and strength, as their very name imports; see Genesis 14:5; whose expulsion by the Moabites is here noted as a great encouragement to the Israelites, for whose sake he would much more drive out the wicked and accursed Canaanites.

[As from the stock of the Anakim, כָּעֲנָקִים]  These Anakim were considered the tallest giants of all (Bonfrerius).  I call them Inachides, with the Greeks unto whom they came;[8] who were called Ἄνακες/Anakes[9] by Cicero, Pollux,[10] and others:  just as also an armed women, called Pallas by the Greeks,[11] was called ὄγκα/ענקה/onka[12] in the Tyrian tongue (Grotius).

 

Verse 11:  Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites call them Emims.

[They were thought to be giants, as it were, רְפָאִים יֵחָשְׁבוּ[13]]  Either, 1.  it is the name of a people; that is to say, the dead, infernal, and destitute of strength, not with respect to themselves, but with respect to others, who were as dead men before them (Fagius).  The sense:  Just as the Inachides were called Rephaini, so also those Emim were thought to be almost equal to the Rephaini.  The word Rephaim appears to be of the primeval tongue.  A most ancient trace of the name appears to be in the Raphanæi of Syria, and in several other places of a quite similar sound (Grotius).  2.  To other it is an appellative name.  Thus the Chaldean, strong, etc., who refer it to the Emim, who were reputed among the Anakim, that is, those strongest giants (Fagius).  Symmachus is wont to translate Rephaim as Θεομάχους/God-fighters; others, Τιτᾶνας/Titans; others, γίγαντας/giants or γηγενεῖς, the earthborn (Grotius).  In this chapter there is a clear testimony concerning giants reviving after the times of Noah.  From these all the fables of the Greeks arose, because of the fame and name of the giants, and because of the antiquity (Vatablus).

 

Verse 12:  (Deut. 2:22; Gen. 14:6; 36:20) The Horims also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them (Heb. inherited them[14]), when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their stead (or, room[15]); as Israel did unto the land of his possession, which the LORD gave unto them.

[The Horites, הַחֹרִים[16]]  It signifies men noble, illustrious, fair, wellborn; from חור, white, or brightness:  either, because in the East Princes make use of a white garment, as the Latins make use of the trabea[17] and purple; or, because they were worthy of consideration before others (Vatablus).

[Just as Israel did[18]]  Objection:  But this they had not yet done.  Responses:  1.  Either this book was written by Ezra; or this, like some other things, was added by some Sacred Writer (certain interpreters in Bonfrerius).  2.  Moses wrote by the prophetic spirit, speaking of the future in the past tense (Drusius, Lyra, Piscator), because of the certainty of the event (Piscator).  3.  Or he speaks concerning the land of Sihon and Og, which they had acquired (Drusius, Tirinus out of Lapide, Tostatus and Cajetan in Bonfrerius).  [Hence the Arabic translates it, just as Israel did to some in the possessions which God gave to them.]  4.  Or, he did, that is, he determined to do, or, he began to do (Bonfrerius).  I translate it, just as they were going to do, etc. (Castalio).

Which the Lord gave unto them:[19]  Objection.  God had not yet given it unto them.  Answer 1.  The past tense is here put for the future, will give, after the manner of the prophets.  2.  Things are oft said to be done when they are only resolved, or decreed, or attempted to be done, in which sense Reuben is said to deliver Joseph, Genesis 37:21; Balak to fight against Israel, Joshua 24:9; Abraham to have offered his son, Hebrews 11:17.  3.  God may well be said to have given it, not only because he had purposed and promised to give it, but also because he was now about to give it, and had already given them some part of it, and that as an earnest of the whole.  4.  This may be particularly understood of that part of Israel’s possession which was beyond Jordan, which God had actually given to them, that is, to some of them, for even the land of Canaan on this side Jordan was not given to all of them, but only to some of the tribes.  Of the Horims, see Genesis 14:6; 36:20.

 

Verse 13:  Now rise up, said I, and get you over (Num. 21:12) the brook (or, valley,[20] Num. 13:23[21]) Zered.[22]  And we went over the brook Zered.

 

Verse 14:  And the space in which we came (Num. 13:26) from Kadesh-barnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; (Num. 14:33; 26:64) until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, (Num. 14:35; Deut. 1:34, 35; Ezek. 20:15) as the LORD sware unto them.

[It was thirty-eight years]  They remained in Kadesh for thirty-seven and a half years; but they spent a half year in the journey from Kadesh to Zered (Junius).

[Of the warriorsOf the men of war.  Thus they are called who had completed their twentieth year of age (Grotius after Munster, Fagius, Oleaster).

 

Verse 15:  For indeed the (Ps. 78:33; 106:26) hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed.

[That they might perish (thus the Chaldean, similarly the Arabic), לְהֻמָּם[23]To waste (batter [Junius and Tremellius], destroy [Syriac, Munster, Tigurinus, Ainsworth]) them (Montanus, Samaritan Text).

 

Verse 16:  So it came to pass, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people…

 

Verse 17:  That the LORD spake unto me, saying…

 

Verse 18:  Thou art to pass over through Ar, the coast of Moab, this day…

To pass over through Ar, the coast of Moab:[24]  Or, to pass by the border of Moab, by Ar.

 

Verse 19:  And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them:  for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto (Gen. 19:38) the children of Lot for a possession.

 

Verse 20:  (That also was accounted a land of giants:  giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims (Zuzim, Gen. 14:5)…

[A land of giants]  [Thus nearly all translate רְפָאִים/Rephaim.[25]  But the Samaritan Version is, a land of physicians.[26]]

[Zamzummim, זַמְזֻמִּים]  The word signifies, 1.  men infamous and abominable (Menochius out of Lapide, Malvenda); from זָמַם, to devise, or זִמָּה/ wickedness (Malvenda, Piscator) (concerning which Leviticus 18:17[27]).  Of which sort men of this race were always held in sacred and profane literature.  The doubling augments the thing signified (Malvenda).  2.  Men most presumptuous (Malvenda).  3.  Men of uncommon size.  4.  Men famous and celebrated (Lapide, Menochius).  5.  Contrivers of plots, crafty men (certain interpreters in Malvenda).  These were called Zuzim[28] (that is, robust men [Lapide]), Genesis 14:5 (Menochius, Malvenda, Bonfrerius, Lapide).

Zamzummims:  Which signifies men most wicked and abominable, or most presumptuous, or most crafty.

 

Verse 21:  (see Deut. 2:10) A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the LORD destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead…

The Lord therefore will certainly do as much for his own people.

 

Verse 22:  As he did to the children of Esau, (Gen. 36:8) which dwelt in Seir, when he destroyed (Gen. 14:6; 36:20-30; Deut. 2:12) the Horims from before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead even unto this day…

[Just as He had done, etc., כַּאֲשֶׁ֤ר עָשָׂה֙ לִבְנֵ֣י עֵשָׂ֔ו הַיֹּשְׁבִ֖ים בְּשֵׂעִ֑יר אֲשֶׁ֙ר הִשְׁמִ֤יד אֶת־הַחֹרִי֙ מִפְּנֵיהֶ֔ם]  As He did to the sons of Esau, before whom (or, because of whom [Pagnine]) He destroyed the Horim, etc. (Junius and Tremellius, Dutch), or, when (or inasmuch as [Chaldean]) He destroyed the Horim (Ainsworth, Munster, Tigurinus) (or, the free people[29] [Samaritan Version]).  [Others otherwise:]  Just as the sons of Esau, dwelling in mount Seir, did (Syriac, Arabic), who destroyed the Horim, and possessed them (Syriac), or, when he consumed the Horim, and they destroyed them (Arabic).  [They think the ל/to in לִבְנֵי, to the sons, is superfluous, as in the Third לְאַבְשָׁלָם,[30] which is to be discussed in its own place; and עָשָׂה, He did, is put in the place of עָשׂוּ, they did, by an Enallage of number; similarly הִשְׁמִיד, He destroyed, in the place of הִשְׁמִידוּ, they destroyed.]

 

Verse 23:  And (Josh. 13:3) the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto (Jer. 25:20) Azzah, (Gen. 10:14; Amos 9:7) the Caphtorims, which came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in their stead.)

[The Hevæi also, וְהָעַוִּים]  The Evæi; Greek:  Εὐαῖοι/Euaii, who are also the Avim (Drusius).  That these were the same as חִוִּים, the Hivites, Genesis 10:17, is affirmed by Masius in Malvenda and Gerundensis in Drusius, because those guttural letters[31] are wont to be interchanged, as Gerundensis teaches with examples out of the Rabbis (Drusius).

[In Hazerim, בַּחֲצֵרִים]  It is the same as Hazeroth,[32] of the stations, Numbers 33:17 (Vatablus, Malvenda).  Others:  in villages[33] (Fagius).

[The Cappadocians (thus the Chaldean and the Greeks), כַּפְתֹּרִים ]  Whose I believe the city of Caparorsa[34] to be.  See Ptolemy[35] (Grotius).  These are not the Cappadocians that were extended through Asia Minor unto the Black Sea (Menochius, Tirinus, Bonfrerius, Vatablus).  For, 1.  Those arose from Japheth, as Josephus[36] testifies;[37] these from Mizraim, Genesis 10:13, 14 (Tirinus out of Bonfrerius).  2.  The Palestinians are said to come from the islands כַּפְתֹּרִים, of the Caphtorim, Jeremiah 47,[38] which does not agree with Cappadocia, inasmuch as it is a landlocked place.  These Caphtorim either are the same as the Philistines:  or, having descended from the common parent Mizraim, promiscuously with those and with unanimous consent they entered these regions of Canaan, and dwelt there promiscuously (yet in such a way that the name Philistine thereafter grew in prominence, with the other outdated for the most part; which, nevertheless, lest it perish, the Scripture commemorates).  It is proven, 1.  Inasmuch as the Palestinians are called the remnants of the islands of Caphtor, Jeremiah 47, and are said to have been brought from Caphtor, Amos 9:7.  2.  These are said to have dwelt in Gaza, which certainly belonged to the Philistines, Judges 16:1, 21; 1 Samuel 6:17.  I think, therefore, that the Caphtorim occupied those five Satrapies of the Philistines, Ekron, Gath, Azotus/Ashdod, Askelon, and Gaza.  And, since they were of Mizraim, why should they not come from the islands of the Nile, which were both many and great (Bonfrerius)?  That Caphtor is Cappadocia, and the Caphtorim the Cappadocians, the ancients unanimously assert:  thus the Greek interpreters, the Vulgate, Jerome, Eusebius, Theodoret,[39] Procopius,[40] etc., and the three Chaldean translators, Onkelos, Jonathan, and Jerusalem.  Thus the Caphtorim were in Cappadocia, evidently in that part which is nearest to Colchis.[41]  The Casluhim were neighbors to the Caphtorim; inasmuch as the Philistines, from the Casluhim in Genesis 10:14, are read to have proceeded from the Caphtorim elsewhere, Jeremiah 47:4; Amos 9:7.  Question:  But why would the Casluhim and the Caphtorim, having gone out from Egypt, withdraw unto such remote places?  Response:  Many reason were able to lie beneath, which it is not ours to divine.  Perhaps they were impelled (like Phrixus, Jason,[42] Sesostris,[43] the Persians and the Medes, and the Saracens afterwards) by the wealth of that region; Strabo’s Geography[44] 1:45.  But, after the exhausting annoyances of so tedious a journey, or the substance not corresponding to the fame, or to men born in Egypt the cold of those places not being at all tolerable, or having been expelled by others, they decided to return unto their native country, and some of them remained in Palestine, with the Avim driven out, as it is here said (Bochart’s Sacred Geography “Canaan” 4:32).

Caphtorims, a people akin to the Philistines, Genesis 10:14, and confederate with them in this enterprise, and so dwelling together, and by degrees were probably united together by marriages or other ways, and became one people, the Caphtorims being at last swallowed up in the Philistines.  See Jeremiah 47:4; Amos 9:7.  Caphtor is by the learned thought to be Cappadocia; whither these people might make an expedition out of Egypt, either because of the report of the great riches of part of that country, which drew others thither from places equally remote, or after the manner of those ancient times, or for some other reason now unknown.



[1] Hebrew:  מֵאֵילַת.

[2] Hebrew:  אֶל־תָּצַר אֶת־מוֹאָב.

[3] גָּרָה, in the Hithpael, signifies to excite oneself.

[4] Deuteronomy 2:5a:  “Meddle not (אַל־תִּתְגָּרוּ) with them…”

[5] Andrew Masius (1516-1573) was among the most learned Roman Catholic scholars of his age and in no field is that more evident than in the field of Oriental languages.  He also served as Counselor to William, Duke of Cleves.

[6] Joshua 12:2 may be intended.

[7] אֵימִים/Emim appears to be related to אֵימָה/terror.

[8] Inachus is the mythological founder and first king of Argos on the Greek Peloponnesus.  His descendents and people are called Inachides.

[9] Ἄναξ is used of the old gods, especially Apollo, Castor, and Pollux; of the Homeric heroes; and, in a general sense, of masters, generals, and leaders.

[10] Julius Pollux (second century AD) was a Greek grammarian and rhetorician.  Only his Onomasticon, a dictionary of Attic phrases and an invaluable source of information concerning classical antiquity, survives.

[11] Παλλὰς/Pallas was an epithet of Athena, a warrior goddess.

[12] Ὄγκα/Onka was another name for Athena.

[13] רְפָאִים/Rephaim can be translated ghosts or shadows, or the Rephaim, a race of giants.

[14] Hebrew:  יִירָשׁוּם.

[15] Hebrew:  תַּחְתָּם.

[16] חֹרִים/Horim appears to be derived from the verbal root חרר, which is able to signify to become free, or to bore or pierce.

[17] The trabea was a purple-striped robe of state.

[18] Hebrew:  כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יִשְׂרָאֵל.

[19] Hebrew:  אֲשֶׁר־נָתַן יְהוָה לָהֶם.

[20] Hebrew:  נַחַל.

[21] Numbers 13:23a:  “And they came unto the brook (נַחַל) of Eshcol…”

[22] The Zered River ran along the southern border of Moab, emptying into the southern-most portion of the Dead Sea.

[23] Deuteronomy 2:15:  “For indeed the hand of the Lord was against them, to destroy them (לְהֻמָּם) from among the host, until they were consumed.”  הָמַם signifies to discomfit, to vex.

[24] Hebrew:  עֹבֵר—אֶת־גְּבוּל מוֹאָב אֶת־עָר.

[25] Deuteronomy 2:20a:  “That also was accounted a land of giants (רְפָאִים):  giants (רְפָאִים) dwelt therein in old time…”

[26] רָפָא can signify to heal.

[27] Leviticus 18:17:  “Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen:  it is wickedness (זִמָּה).”

[28] זוּזִים/Zuzim may be related to the verbal root זוז, to be abundant.

[29] חוֹרִי, a Horite, may be related to חֹר/hole, and mean a cave-dweller; or to חרר, to become free, and mean a free man.

[30] 1 Chronicles 3:2a  “The third, Absalom (לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם) the son of Maachah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur: the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith…”

[31] Namely, ( and x.

[32] Hazeroth was probably located in the northeastern part of the Sinai peninsula.

[33] MyrIc’xj/Hazerim signifies villages or settlements.  It is possible that Hazerim refers to the villages in the southwestern portion of Palestine, around Gaza.

[34] Caparorsa is thought to have been in the southern-most hill-country of Judea.

[35] Claudius Ptolemæus (c. 90-c. 168) is that famous Ptolemy, who has had such a great impact upon the fields of geography and astronomy in the Western world.

[36] Flavius Josephus (37-93) was an eyewitness to the final siege of Jerusalem.  Josephus’ value both to the historian and to the student of the history of the interpretation of the Scriptures is incalculable.

[37] Antiquities of the Jews 1:6.

[38] Jeremiah 47:4:  “Because of the day that cometh to spoil all the Philistines, and to cut off from Tyrus and Zidon every helper that remaineth:  for the Lord will spoil the Philistines, the remnant of the country (y)i, coastal region) of Caphtor.”

[39] Theodoret (393-457) came up under the tutelage of Theodore of Mopsuestia and John Chrysostom.  With such instructors, it is not surprising that his comments on the Scripture are sober, sound in judgment, and clear in expression.  He commented on most of the books of the Bible.

[40] Procopius (c. 500-c. 560) was a Byzantine historian.

[41] Colchis was a country to the south-east of the Black Sea.

[42] Phrixus, in Greek mythology, was taken by a flying golden ram to Colchis, where he was received by King Æëtes.  Jason, with his Argonauts, came to Colchis seeking the fleece of this golden ram.

[43] Sesostris was a legendary king of ancient Egypt; he led a military expedition through Asia Minor, into southern Russian, and westward into easter Europe.

[44] Strabo (c. 63 BC-c. 24 AD) was a Greek geographer and historian.

1 Peter 3:20: The Preaching of Christ by His Spirit to the Old World, Part 3

Verse 20:  Which sometime were disobedient, (Gen. 6:3, 5, 13) when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while (Heb. 11:7) the ark was a preparing, (Gen. 7:7; 8:18; 2 Pet. 2:5) wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

[Which, etc., ἀπειθήσασί ποτε, ὅτε ἅπαξ ἐξεδέχετο ἡ τοῦ Θεοῦ μακροθυμία, ἐν ἡμέραις Νῶε κατασκευαζομένης κιβωτοῦ]  That ἅπαξ/ once is not found in the Latin, nor in the Syriac, nor in some codices, in which in the place of ἅπαξ ἐξεδέχετο, once it waited,[1] is ἀπεξεδέχετο, patiently it waited,[2] as Robert Stephanus[3] testifies (Gerhard out of Estius):  which word is not uncommon among our Writers (Grotius).  See Romans 8:19,[4] 23;[5] 1 Corinthians 1:7;[6] Galatians 5:5;[7] Philippians 3:20;[8] Hebrews 9:28[9] (Grotius, Gerhard).  [The sense:]  Which sort of souls did not obey formerly in the times of Noah.  He speaks as if they were the same:  and they were the same spirits or souls, not in number, but in kind, that is, souls equally useless to God, that is, those who did not believe the preaching of Noah.  The men, completely estranged from God, did not believe Noah, did believe Christ.  See concerning a manner of speaking not dissimilar in Concerning the Law of War and Peace[10] 2:9:3 (Grotius).  [Thus they render the words:]  Which (to those, that is, who [James Cappel]) had been unbelieving (or, were disobedient [James Cappel, similarly Piscator, Erasmus], or, were unwilling to believe [Estius], that is, tenaciously refused to apply faith to the truth sufficiently disclosed [Estius, Gerhard]:  or, were not obedient to the word [Beza], that is, to the warning which Noah, in the name of God, was relating to them [Gerhard]:  Others:  While they were unbelieving [Calvin] [that is, most were unbelieving, concerning which see the things brought forth out of Calvin on the preceding verse]) sometime (or, formerly, or once [Beza, Piscator, Estius]:  It indicates the time [both] of the preaching [Beza], [and] of the rebellion [Placæus]:  It is opposed to the νῦν/ now, which is here sufficiently understood [Beza, similarly Gerhard], and is expressed in the following verse [Gerhard]), when (that ποτε/formerly/sometime is defined by this ὅτε/when [Hammond, thus Placæus]:  Some read ὅτὶ/for, but ὅτε/when is constantly read in the more approved Codices, in the Syriac, and in Œcumenius [Gerhard]) once (that is, after the irrevocable decree was published by Him [Junius]:  He uses once, [either] so that he might declare that finally the time had been fixed, with which elapsed no hope would remain [Beza]:  [or] so that he might signify that that which God once did in a figure, now, that is, in the time of the New Testament, He daily does in the matter signified by the figure [Gerhard, similarly Estius]) God’s patience, or lenience (that is, God according to His lenience [Piscator, Gerhard, thus Estius], as it is explained in 2 Peter 3:9 [Gerhard], so that it might be taken as an Hypallage[11] [Piscator]) was awaiting (that is, their repentence and amendment [Piscator, Gerhard], or, for as long as the period of the one hundred and twenty years was continuing, and the ark was being constructed [Beza]:  or, was awaited [Erasmus, Vatablus], for this verb is in the middle voice [Erasmus]:  let it be so:  yet it is often taken actively [Estius]:  And finally by whom was this lenience of God expected at that time?  By the impious?  But they were deriding it:  By Noah?  But he was expecting God’s judgment, not His lenience [Beza]) in the days (or, times [Gerhard]) of Noah, while was being prepared, or was being made ready (or, as long as was being constructed, through the one hundred and twenty years:  See Hebrews 11:7 [Gerhard]) the ark (Gerhard, Piscator, etc.), that is, a ship, having the form of an ark (Piscator, Gerhard), as a testimony to the coming flood (Gerhard).

Which; which spirits in prison.  Question.  When were these spirits, to whom Christ preached by Noah, in prison?  Answer.  Then when Peter wrote this Epistle.  The Greek participle of the present tense is here to be supplied, and the word thus read, preached to the spirits which are in prison, viz. now at this time; and so the time of their being in prison is opposed to the time of their being disobedient; their disobedience going before their imprisonment; that is to say, They were disobedient then, they are in prison now.  Sometime; viz. in the days of Noah, when they were upon earth.  Were disobedient; would not believe what Noah told them in God’s name, nor be brought to repentance by his preaching.  When once; not always, but for a determinate time, viz. one hundred and twenty years; which term being expired, there was no hope left for them that they should be spared.  The longsuffering of God; i.e. God in his patience and longsuffering.  Waited; for the repentance and reformation of that rebellious generation.  In the days of Noah; till the one hundred and twenty years were run out, and the ark, which was preparing for the security of him and his family, were finished.

[In, etc., εἰς ἣν ὀλίγαι, τοῦτ᾽ ἔστιν ὀκτὼ ψυχαί, διεσώθησαν δι᾽ ὕδατος]  In which (εἰς/into in the place of ἐν/in [Piscator]:  Or, into which, understanding, entered [Gerhard]) few, that is, eight (that is, Noah, his wife, his three sons, his three daughters-in-law, Genesis 6:18:  See also 2 Peter 2:5 [Grotius]) souls (that is, persons, or men [Grotius, Beza, Piscator, Estius], synecdochically [Estius], as in Acts 2:41; 7:14 [Grotius]) were saved in water (Beza, Piscator), that is, in the midst of waters; for above the rain was descending, below were the waters of the flood, as in 2 Peter 3:5; or, at that time in which the waters overflowed all (Gerhard); or, while they dwelt in the waters (Grotius); or, while the ark was carried by the water (Piscator).  Διὰ/ through is set down in the place of ἐν/in, as in Romans 4:1 (Beza, Piscator, Grotius), being through uncircumcision, that is, in uncircumcision,[12] for uncircumcision was not the cause, etc.; or, most simply, in water, that is, without the flood of water hindering, as in 1 Timothy 2:15, διὰ τῆς τεκνογονίας, through childbearing, that is, without the begetting of sons hindering (Gerhard):  or, though water (Erasmus, Illyricus, Tigurinus, Estius), for the water, which destroyed the others, lifting the ark on high, brought it to pass that whoever were in it were not destroyed with the others.  This agrees with the following antitype, that is, salvific baptism (Estius).

Eight souls; i.e. eight persons, Noah, and his wife, his three sons, and their wives.  Were saved by water; either, 1.  By water is here put for in, as Romans 4:11, that believe, though they be not circumcised:  the same Greek preposition is used as here, and the words may be read, by, or through, or rather in uncircumcision; for uncircumcision was not the cause or means of their believing.  See the like use of this particle, 2 Peter 3:5.  Thus, saved in the water, is as much as, notwithstanding the water, or the water not hindering; so 1 Timothy 2:15, saved in childbearing, where the same preposition is used.  Or, 2.  By water; the water which drowned the world, lifting up the ark and saving Noah and his household.  Question.  Doth not this place countenance the papists’ limbus, or the place where the souls of the Old Testament fathers were reserved (as they pretend) till Christ’s coming in the flesh?  Answer.  No:  for, 1.  The spirits here mentioned were disobedient, which cannot be said of the fathers of the Old Testament, who were true believers.  2.  The spirits here mentioned are not said to be delivered out of prison, but only that Christ by his Spirit preached to them, and to his preaching to them their disobedience is opposed.  3.  According to the papists, Noah and his family must be in their limbus, whereas they are opposed to those disobedient spirits to whom Christ is said to preach.



[1] Thus the Textus Receptus.

[2] Thus the overwhelming majority of Byzantine texts, as well as Codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, and Ephræmi Rescriptus.

[3] Robert Estienne (1503-1559) was a printer and classical scholar in Paris.  He published several important editions of the Greek New Testament, including the Royal Codex in 1550, called the Editio Regia because of the handsome Greek font used in the printing.

[4] Romans 8:19:  “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth (ἀπεκδέχεται) for the manifestation of the sons of God.”

[5] Romans 8:23b:  “…even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting (ἀπεκδεχόμενοι) for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

[6] 1 Corinthians 1:7:  “So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting (ἀπεκδεχομένους) for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ…”

[7] Galatians 5:5:  “For we through the Spirit wait (ἀπεκδεχόμεθα) for the hope of righteousness by faith.”

[8] Philippians 3:20:  “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for (ἀπεκδεχόμεθα) the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ…”

[9] Hebrews 9:28:  “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for (ἀπεκδεχομένοις) him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

[10] De Jure Belli ac Pacis.

[11] That is, a reversal of the syntactical relation of two words.

[12] Romans 4:11b:  “…that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised (δι᾽ ἀκροβυστίας, through or in uncircumcision); that righteousness might be imputed unto them also…”

1 Peter 3:19: The Preaching of Christ by His Spirit to the Old World, Part 2

Verse 19:  By which also he went and (1 Pet. 1:12; 4:6) preached unto the spirits (Is. 42:7; 49:9; 61:1) in prison…

[In which, etc., ἐν ᾧ καὶ τοῖς ἐν φυλακῇ πνεύμασι πορευθεὶς ἐκήρυξεν]  No passage in the New Testament is held to be more obscure (Beza, thus Gomar, etc.).  That ἐν ᾧ, in that, is to be taken causally, as in Romans 8:3,[1] because of which, on the grounds, for which reason (Œcumenius in Gerhard).  Which also would be able to be accommodated to this, if it be here treated of the descent of Christ into hell.  But in this sense the Greeks quite frequently make use of ἐφ᾽ ᾧ, as in Romans 5:12;[2] 2 Corinthians 5:4.[3]  [Therefore, all the rest render it otherwise:]  In the place of πνεύμασι/spirits some read πνεύματι/spirit.  Thus Brugensis (Gerhard), and many [Latin] Codices and manuscripts (Estius).  But all the Greek codices read πνεύμασι/ spirits (Gerhard, thus Estius), and also the Syriac, and the Greek and Latin Fathers (Estius), Cyril, Œcumenius, Augustine, Ruffinus[4] (Gerhard).  [Thus they render the passage:]  In which (that is, spirit [Menochius, Zegers, Gerhard, Grotius, thus Beza, Piscator]:  or, through which [Beza, Piscator]; or, according to which, or, with respect to which [Piscator]:  Through which power, that is, the very same by which He was vivified [Beza]) et/also (or, etiam/also [Erasmus, Beza, Piscator, etc.]) to those (who, understanding, were [Erasmus, Tigurinus, Castalio, Vatablus, Vulgate, Arabic, Calvin]; or, were shut up [Syriac in Estius], which some Codices add here; but this is omitted by both the better Latin Codices, and all the Greek Codices save one, which appears to have been accommodated to the Latin Codices [Estius, similarly Gerhard]:  or, οὖσι/being [Camerarius, Beza, Gerhard], who, understanding, are [Beza, Piscator, Gerhard]:  For Peter does not have regard to the time in which it was preached to them, but in which he himself wrote [Beza]) in custody (or, prison [Erasmus, Castalio, Beza, Piscator, etc.], or, watch, as the word is often taken among the Greeks [Calvin]) having set out (or, when He had come [Tirinus], or, setting out, or, bringing Himself [Vatablus], or, proceeding, not from the body, or, from the earth; but as from heaven [Beza], after the resurrection [Vatablus]:  or, coming to, as in Mark 3:13;[5] 16:13;[6] Luke 14:10;[7] 23:33,[8] πορευθεὶς/proceeding in the place of παρελθὼν, passing by or approaching, after the manner of the Hebrews, which we explained on Matthew 4:3;[9] Mark 8:11[10] [Beza]) He preached (Montanus, Pagnine, Piscator, etc.).  The whole question is, to whom and what did Christ preach (Estius).  [This they explain in diverse ways:]  1.  Christ descended into hell, and there by His preaching He converted and liberated some (certain interpreters in Estius).  Which is false (Estius out of Bede, Gerhard out of Augustine and Epiphanius[11] and others, Beza).  For the whole Scripture declares that immediately after death judgement follows.[12]  And why would Peter mention this, or restrict it to the times of Noah (Beza)?  2.  Christ according to His soul descended into hell, unto those who were either in the Limbo of the fathers, or in Purgatory, and preached to them; that is, He proclaimed Himself to be the Redeemer, and to have come for this, that He might free them from punishments and prison, and carry them together with Himself unto the heavenlies (Estius, similarly Lapide and Bellarmine[13] and others in Gerhard).  But it is objected, 1.  that by spirit in this place is understood, not the soul, but the Deity of Christ, as it was proven on the preceeding verse (Beza, similarly Gerhard).  And, that that spirit, through which Christ is here said to have gone forth to preach, is not the soul of Christ, could be gathered, 1.  from the article, which Peter in the preceding verse set before the word πνεύματι/spirit, but not likewise before σαρκὶ/flesh,[14] not without reason, but with deliberate intention:  for he was evidently contemplating flesh according to the nature common to all flesh, which is to be weak, and liable to mortification or death; but the Spirit according to its proper nature, namely, Divine, in which alone is there the power of vivifying:  and, 2.  from this, that through that same Spirit Christ is said to have revived.  Now, when anyone is said to have revived, either negatively, when life is not taken away from him, as in 1 Samuel 27:9;[15] 2 Samuel 8:2;[16] or, properly and positively, when life, which has not yet been had or has been lost, is implanted, Christ was vivified in the latter manner, not the former, that is, by resurrection; just as He is also said to have been put to death, not Metaphorically, but truly and properly, that is, to have been afflicted with death.  Wherefore also to Christ’s death is never opposed the preservation of His soul in life, but always the resurrection, or His life following the resurrection, as in Romans 6:10; 14:9; 2 Corinthians 5:15; 13:4; etc. (Placæus).  2.  In those passages the Papists maintain only the faithful to be (Gerhard); but here he treats only of the disobedient, as the following verse shows (Gerhard, thus Beza).  Objection:  Indeed, in the beginning they did not believe; but afterwards, when they saw the flood, they repented (Tirinus, thus Estius, Menochius).  Response:  This is not found in the context, but is rather repugnant to it, for eight only are said to have been saved, but the rest to have perished; which nevertheless could be taken generally and indefinitely, not separately and individually (Beza, similarly Calvin).  Peter teaches that they were rebels at the time when the longsuffering of God waited.  Is it possible, therefore, that the obedient escaped at a time when the longsuffering of God was not waiting?  And, as he calls these rebels, so he shuts them up in prison, which is the place of rebels (Placæus).  And if any of those had repented, he would not have called them ἀπειθεῖς/disobedient.[17]  Therefore, he treats not of those here (Gerhard).  3.  There is no mention here of liberation, but only of preaching.  4.  Nowhere in Scripture is prison used as a place in which blessed Spirits were enclosed (Beza).  [Thus the second opinion.]  3.  Christ, not by His real presence, the imagination of which Peter removes when he names the spirit, but by the manifestation of His grace, came unto the souls of the Old Testament pious, which he here locates ἐν φυλακῇ, that is, either, in the watch, in which vigils are kept, that it might signify that those souls were intent upon the hope of the promised salvation, as if considering it from distance; or, in prison, because to those souls the anxiety of expectation was, as it were, a prison, as was also their anxious desire after the death of Christ.  It is objected that he recalls here not the faithful, but the unbelieving alone.  Responses:  1.  That he also treats of the faithful is evident from 1 Peter 4:6, in which this very thing is repeated, and that of the faithful.  2.  He only makes mention of the unbelieving here, that he might address this most grievous trial, that the unbelieving occupied nearly the entire world, etc.  Thus, says he, formerly the pious were nearly overspread by the multitude of the unbelieving, yet it did no harm to them, but they are made safe by the power of God.  Thus he comforts the pious of his age, lest because of their own fewness they have a broken, or downcast, spirit (Calvin).  But it is objected, 1.  that he does not here treat of some mixture of the unbelieving and the faithful, but he calls those very Spirits, located absolutely ἐν φυλακῇ, in prison, and without distinction, unbelievers (Gerhard); 2.  that the use of a watch and of vigils is not to look out for, but to guard and to watch, lest an enemy undertake an ambush (Estius, Gerhard).  [These things concerning the third opinion.]  4.  By spirits in prison he understands unbelieving Gentiles (Hessels in Gerhard, thus Vorstius, Grotius, Hammond), which he describes here as benighted, bound (Hessels), destitute of the hope of salvation; sitting, as it were, in the shadow of death, or, in Hell, or in the place of death and damnation, which here, as in Revelation 20:7 also, is called a prison.  For these are those dead, to whom the Gospel was preached in 1 Peter 4:6, and who heard the voice of Christ, John 5:25.  Compare also Luke 1:79; Ephesians 2:1, etc.; Colossians 2:13 (Vorstius); likewise Isaiah 42:7; 49:9 (Hessels).  Therefore, Christ is called spirit, going forth to these in spirit (Vorstius), after He ascended into heaven, as next in verse 22; John 14:2, 3, 12, 28; 16:28 (Grotius), not indeed in His own person, but in His Apostles, by the power of the Holy Spirit (Vorstius).  Or, πορευθεὶς, having gone forth, here is expletive,[18] like ἐλθὼν, having come, in Ephesians 2:17.[19]  By spirit he understands that Divine power, by which He was raised from the dead, and by which His enemies, unless they repent, He will destroy, as He did formerly (Hammond).  And to these He is said to have preached, inasmuch as the Apostles did it in His name and power, 2 Corinthians 5:20; Acts 13:47; Romans 15:16; Galatians 2:8; Ephesians 2:17 (Grotius).  This exposition is favored as by the style, so also by the scope, of the Apostle.  For he wishes to place before our eyes Christ’s highest glory, brought forth by death, and the fruit of that, which he teaches to have flowed effectually unto the most abandoned nations; which benefit he magnifies by Antithesis with the times of Noah, in which the same Nations, but taken in general, were called in vain unto repentance and salvation.  What, therefore, immediately follows, that those spirits were formerly disobedient, is to be understood, not of the same spirits numerically, but of the same race of spirits, or men:  that is to say, In a former time indeed the Nations of the whole world were called in vain through Noah, but now through the preaching of Christ they are not called in vain; inasmuch as many men everywhere are saved through the Baptism of Christ, but formerly only a very few were saved in that Ark (Vorstius).  Peter here noted two sorts of men, that is, those that inflict persecution, and those that suffer it; and he shows that the latter are more blessed than the former, and that by an example taken from the times of Noah; that they, although they flourish for a time, yet only briefly, unless they repent, shall be utterly destroyed, while the pious are saved in the Ark, as it were (Hammond).  Now, because Peter desired to add a similitude from the times of Noah, so that he might show how much better the matter succeeds now through Christ, than formerly through Noah, he takes the words from that history.  For God says in Genesis 6:3, לא־יָדוֹן רוּחִי בָאָדָם, my spirit shall not strive with man, where the Greeks have, οὐ μὴ καταμείνῃ, or οὐ καταμενεῖ, τὸ πνεῦμά μου, etc., my Spirit abides not, or shall not abide, etc.; but, if we follow the propriety of the words, it says, it shall not be, as kept in a sheath, so my Spirit in man:  that is, the spirit shall not be useless which I gave to him (Wisdom of Solomon 12:1[20]), like a sword in its sheath, which accomplishes nothing of that for which it was made.  Φυλακή is wont to be used of a prison, as in Genesis 40:3, 4, 7;[21] 41:10;[22] Isaiah 42:7;[23] Jeremiah 32:2, 8, 12;[24] 33:1;[25] Ezekiel 19:9,[26] etc.  Now, the Sheath is, as it were, the prison of the sword.  To the Chaldeans נדנה is a sheath.  In the same manner the Chaldeans call the body of a man, in Daniel 7:15,[27] and often in the Talmudists.[28]  Thus also Tertullian, the flesh is the sheath of the breath of God, in his book Concerning the Resurrection of the Flesh[29] (Grotius).  That יָדוֹן in Genesis 6:3 others translate He shall not dispute, or contend, as if it were from דון, although it is actually from נָדָן/sheath, 1 Chronicles 21:27, and is to be rendered, He shall remain as a sword in its sheath.  Thus also all the Ancients take it, and translate it, He shall dwell (Syriac, Arabic), He shall remain (Charldean, Septuagint, Vulgate).  Hence also נָדָן is used of both a sheath, 1 Chronicles 21:27, and a body, Daniel 7:15, for both are repositiories, the former of the sword, the latter of the soul; now, רוּחִי, my spirit, is used of the spirit that God placed in man, Genesis 2:7, which is…a particle of divine breath.  The sense is, therefore, that in man shall not longer remain my spirit, which lies hidden in them as in a sheath, useless for my worship, and immersed in carnalities; that is, I shall no longer allow those men to live, as he properly speaks in Genesis 6:7, 13.  This he accommodates here to unbelieving Jews, and Gnostics soon to be destroyed (Hammond).  But to this interpretation many things are objected, 1.  that flesh and spirit here are opposed as two parts pertaining to the nature and constitution of Christ, to whom, as to one person, they are attributed; 2.  that Scripture, although it sometimes calls living and whole men souls (Placæus), never calls them spirits (Placæus, thus Gerhard); 3.  that men rebellious and unbelieving, concerning which it is evident that he treats here, Scripture nowhere calls spirits; neither does it call men spiritual, except in contrast to the flesh, Romans 8:7; Galatians 5:17, and natural men, 1 Corinthians 2:14, 15.  4.  What men then does he here call spirits?  Believers? why then does he not describe them except by prison and rebellion?  Infidels persevering in unbelief?  Did the Apostles then preach to those alone?  And why does he say that they were formerly rebellious, who were at that time such (Placæus)?  5.  Those, to whom the gospel is preached, were rebels ποτε/formerly, in the time of Noah[30] (Placæus, similarly Gerhard, Hammond):  whence it is manifest that those were not the nations in the time of Christ (Hammond).  Objection:  Peter here understand the nations as one people, or a body compounded from a long series of many generation, to which he attributes those things which were proper to some of its members; even rebellion, by reason of those parties that perished in the flood, but also conversion, by reason of those parties whom the preaching of the Apostles convert to God.  Just as in Romans 11, it is said that to the same Jews, who were at that time rebels, it is granted that mercy would pass upon them after so many ages (certain interpreters in Placæus).  Response:  Before the flood there was no distinction between Jews and gentiles; at that time there was no people of the gentiles over against the people of the Jews:  then all those disobeying were destroyed, and not from any of those has anyone derived the origin of the gentiles.  How then were those able to come together into one with the gentiles of the Apostolic age, which, no less than the Jews, were descended from those eight souls which were saved on the ark, and are in this place set over against those disobeying?  Finally, Peter does not so join those disobedient into one body with the faithful of his own age, that he teaches that they constituted not now a different people, but a different world, 2 Peter 2:5; 3:6 (Placæus).  [These things concerning the fourth opinion.]  5.  By spirits he here understands the unbelieving in the time of Noah (Beza, similarly Junius, Gomar, Gerhard, Piscator, Placæus, Hammond), whom he calls spirits because, when he was writing, they were not whole men, but souls separated from their bodies; which Scripture is wont to call spirits, as in Psalm 31:5; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Matthew 27:50; John 19:30; Acts 7:59; etc., but not souls:  For by that name rather it signifies either the men themselves, as in Genesis 46:15, 26; Acts 7:14; 1 Peter 3:20; or even their corpses, as in Leviticus 19:28;[31] 21:1,[32] 11;[33] Numbers 6:6,[34] 11;[35] 9:6[36] (Placæus).  He he used spirits rather than souls because of Antanaclasis[37] (Piscator, Gerhard), because he had made mention of the Spirit in the preceding verse.  Concerning these he says τοῖς ἐν φυλακῇ, who in prison, indefinitely and indeterminately (Gerhard); where is to be supplied, not were, as if they were in prison at the time of the preaching (Beza), but are, that is, at this time in which Peter is writing (Beza, thus Placæus, similarly Scaliger,[38] Piscator).  For that ποτε/formerly/sometime[39] Peter joins, not with the words ἐν φυλακῇ, in prison, but with ἀπειθήσασί, having been disobedient, in this manner, τοῖς ἐν φυλακῇ πνεύμασι, ἀπειθήσασί ποτε, to the spirits in prison, having been formerly disobedient, not obscurely distinguishing the times in which they are in prison, and had been rebels; and teaching that their rebellion preceded, and that their casting into prison followed (Placæus).  The sense:  a part of whom is now in prison, namely, as many as did not repent, for it is gathered out of 1 Peter 4:6 that some repented (Piscator):  the rest are said to be kept, shut up in prison, just like the Devils are said to be kept, bound in chains of darkness, 2 Peter 2:4, unto judgment, with horror expecting the final sentence of judge (Beza).  Prison in this place signifies hell, as in Revelation 20:7 (Gomar, thus Piscator, Gerhard, Beza), whence the Syriac rendered it by Sheol[40] (Gerhard out of Beza), by which word is signified sometimes the grave, sometimes hell, as in Luke 16:23;[41] Acts 2:27[42] (Beza).  Compare Matthew 5:25; 18:30; Luke 12:58 (Gerhard).  Christ is said to have proceeded unto these, not by a change of place, but by a certain singular testimony of His presence by His revelation and operation (Junius); just as יְהוָה/Jehovah, God, which was Christ there, is said to have descended, Genesis 18:21; Exodus 3:8.  He is said also to have preached to these, even indeed by His Spirit, that is, by that very one, through which He was vivified in the preceding verse (Beza), that is, by His Divine nature (Gomar, Estius, Junius, Beza, Piscator, Gerhard); by that Spirit who is said to have preached in the Prophets, 1 Peter 1:11 (Beza); and here He preached, that is, through Noah, etc. (Junius, Beza, etc.).  This going forth and preaching Peter attributes to Christ, as to the principium which produced that action; but to the Spirit as the principium by which, or through which, He produced that action (Placæus).  For Christ at that time was not yet man, when He preached to those spirits through Noah (Piscator).  This interpretation is confirmed by the scope of the passage (Gomar, Estius, similarly Beza, Placæus):  which is to confirm the exhortation unto holiness of life, both in matter prosperous, and also (even indeed especially [Beza]) in matters adverse (Gomar, similarly Beza), or in those most grievous afflictions, which at that time were very much threatening the faithful (Beza).  Now, he exhorts unto the sanctification of the name of God and patience, by the model and example which Christ displayed; both, 1.  immediately in His own person (Junius), or when He was made flesh,[43] and in it suffered, the just for the unjust, verse 18 (Junius, similarly Beza, Gomar); and, 2.  mediately (Junius), before the incarnation (Gomar), thence from the beginning of the world (Gomar, thus Junius); in Noah and His other servants, whom He instructed by His Spirit, that is, He directed by His divine power, that they might furnished an example of holiness and patience no matter how depraved the age (Junius); at which time Christ taught holiness, both in speech, and in action, when He patiently endured the disobedient for a long time, and at last severely punished them, and on the other hand protected the obedient (Gomar).  He wished to show that the same is the nature and condition of Christ, head and members, and has been so perpetually, and that Christ was the head of the Church, as today, even so in those most ancient and difficult times; and by an eminent miracle He liberated that Church entire, having been most grievously tried; which was also a type of our salvation (Beza).  The Scope of the Apostle is to persuade the faithful to be willing for Christ’s sake to suffer persecutions however grievous, and that according to the example of Christ, who, says he, suffered, that is, death, the just for the unjust, the guilt, the enemies of God, so that He might lead us to God.  Now, since the fewness of believers and the multitude of rebels was able to trouble the faithful, and since it was unbecoming that the obedient should appear to suffer from the disobedient, the Apostle goes to meet this, and teaches that there was formerly a prelude to this matter, even indeed from Christ Himself; who, by which Spirit He was vivified having going forth, even to those spirits who are now detained in prison, preached, although formerly they were disobedient, etc.  In which He exhibited to us an illustrious type of that which is done in this time, etc.  To the rebels in the time of Noah overwhelmed by the flood on account of the despised preaching of Noah answer the rebels in this entire time in which the Gospel is preached, whom the flood of divine anger overwhelms and destroys.  On the other hand, to those few preserved in the water answer the faithful, who compared to the unbelieving are few, to be preserved through the death and resurrection of Christ.  From this passage it is gathered that Christ was in the time of Noah, for He is said to have preached then (Placæus).

By which also; by which Spirit, mentioned in the end of the former verse, i.e. by, or in, his Divine nature, the same by which he was quickened.  He; Christ.  This notes the person that went and preached, as the former doth the nature in which, and so shows that what is here spoken of the person of Christ, is to be understood of him according to his Divine nature.  Went; or, came, viz. from heaven, by an anthropopathy, by which figure God is often in Scripture said to go forth, Isaiah 26:21, to come down, Micah 1:3, and go down, Genesis 18:21; Exodus 3:8; which two latter places are best understood of the Second Person.  This therefore here notes in Christ not a change of place, but a special operation, and testification of his presence.  And preached; viz. by Noah, inspired by him, that he might be a preacher of righteousness, to warn a wicked generation of approaching judgment, and exhort them to repentance.  Unto the spirits; souls of men departed, which are frequently called spirits, Ecclesiastes 12:7; Acts 7:59; Hebrews 12:23.  In prison; i.e. in hell, so it is taken, Proverbs 27:20; compare with Matthew 5:25; Luke 12:58, where prison is mentioned as a type or representation of hell; and the Syriac renders the word by Sheol, which signifies sometimes the grave and sometimes hell.  See the like expression, 2 Peter 2:4, 5; Jude 6.



[1] Romans 8:3:  “For what the law could not do, in that (ἐν ᾧ) it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh…”

[2] Romans 5:12:  “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that (ἐφ᾽ ᾧ) all have sinned…”

[3] 2 Corinthians 5:4:  “For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened:  not for that (ἐφ᾽ ᾧ οὐ) we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.”

[4] Ruffinus was a fourth century churchman, a friend of Jerome turned foe, a commentator, and a monastery builder.

[5] Mark 3:13:  “And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would:  and they came (ἀπῆλθον, they departed) unto him.”

[6] Mark 16:13:  “And they, going (ἀπελθόντες/departing), told it unto the residue:  neither believed they them.”

[7] Luke 14:10a:  “But when thou art bidden, going (πορευθεὶς/proceeding), sit down in the lowest room…”

[8] Luke 23:33:  “And when they were come (ἀπῆλθον, they departed) to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.”

[9] Matthew 4:3:  “And, coming (προσελθὼν) to him, the tempter said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”

[10] Mark 8:11:  “And the Pharisees came forth (ἐξῆλθον), and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.”

[11] The profound erudition of Epiphanius (c. 310-403) led to his installation as Bishop of Salamis.  He was something of a heresy hunter, combating Apollinaris, the disciples of Origen, and even at one point Chrysostom.

[12] See, for example, Hebrews 9:27; 2 Corinthians 5; Luke 16:19-31.

[13] Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) entered the Order of the Jesuits in his late teens.  Bellarmine became one of the great theologians of his era, a Cardinal, and, after his death, a Doctor of the Church.

[14] 1 Peter 3:18b:  “…being put to death in the flesh (σαρκὶ), but quickened by the Spirit (τῷ πνεύματι)…”

[15] 1 Samuel 27:9:  “And David smote the land, and did not preserve alive (וְלֹא יְחַיֶּה; חָיָה, in the Piel conjugation, signifies to preserve alive) man or woman, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish.”

[16] 2 Samuel 8:2a:  “And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive (לְהַחֲיוֹת; חָיָה, in the Hiphil conjugation, signifies to preserve alive).”

[17] 1 Peter 3:20a:  “Which sometime were disobedient (ἀπειθήσασί), when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah…”

[18] That is, a grammatical filler.

[19] Ephesians 2:17:  “And, having come (ἐλθὼν), He preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.”

[20] Wisdom of Solomon 12: 1:  “For thine incorruptible Spirit is in all things.”

[21] Genesis 40:3, 4, 7:  “And he put them in ward (ἐν φυλακῇ, in the Septuagint) in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.  And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them:  and they continued a season in ward (ἐν τῇ φυλακῇ, in the Septuagint)….  And he asked Pharaoh’s officers that were with him in the ward (ἐν τῇ φυλακῇ, in the Septuagint) of his lord’s house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?”

[22] Genesis 41:10:  “Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward (ἐν φυλακῇ, in the Septuagint) in the captain of the guard’s house, both me and the chief baker…”

[23] Isaiah 42:7:  “To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house (ἐξ οἴκου φυλακῆς, in the Septuagint).”

[24] Jeremiah 32:2, 8a, 12:  “For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem:  and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison (ἐν αὐλῇ τῆς φυλακῆς, in the Septuagint), which was in the king of Judah’s house….  So Hanameel mine uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison (εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν τῆς φυλακῆς, in the Septuagint) according to the word of the Lord…  And I gave the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel mine uncle’s son, and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison (ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ τῆς φυλακῆς, in the Septuagint).”

[25] Jeremiah 33:1:  “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison (ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ τῆς φυλακῆς, in the Septuagint), saying…”

[26] Ezekiel 19:9:  “And they put him in ward in chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon:  they brought him into holds (εἰς φυλακήν, in the Septuagint), that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel.”

[27] Daniel 7:15:  “I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body (נִדְנֶה/ sheath), and the visions of my head troubled me.”

[28] For example, Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 108a, and Genesis Rabbah 26.

[29] De Resurrectione Carnis.

[30] 1 Peter 3:20a:  “Which sometime (ποτε) were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing …”

[31] Leviticus 19:29:  “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead (לָנֶפֶשׁ, for a soul), nor print any marks upon you:  I am the Lord.”

[32] Leviticus 21:1:  “And the Lord said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead (לָנֶפֶשׁ, for a soul) among his people…”

[33] Leviticus 21:11:  “Neither shall he go in to any dead body (כָּל־נַפְשֹׁת מֵת, all dead souls), nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother…”

[34] Numbers 6:6:  “All the days that he separateth himself unto the Lord he shall come at no dead body (נֶפֶשׁ מֵת, dead soul).”

[35] Numbers 6:11:  “And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead (הַנָּפֶשׁ, the soul), and shall hallow his head that same day.”

[36] Numbers 9:6a:  “And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body (לְנֶפֶשׁ, for a soul) of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day…”

[37] That is, the stylistic repetition of a word, but with different meanings.

[38] Joseph Scaliger (1540-1609) was a skilled linguist and developed into one of the most learned men of his age.  During the course of his studies and travels, he became a Protestant and suffered exile with the Huguenots.  He was offered a professorship at Leiden (1593), a position which he eventually accepted and in which he remained until his death.

[39] Verse 20.

[40] Ἅιδης/Hades is the most common Septuagint rendering of שְׁאוֹל/Sheol.

[41] Luke 16:23:  “And in hell (τῷ ᾅδῃ, Hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”

[42] Acts 2:27:  “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (ᾅδου), neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”

[43] John 1:14.

Deuteronomy 2:4-7: Rehearsal of the Forty Years’ History: Israel Charged not to Meddle with Edom

Verse 4:  And command thou the people, saying, (Num. 20:14) Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you:  take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore…

[Ye shall pass through their borders, etc.]  You will say, But the Edomites by force prevented the passage.  Responses:  1.  That was at another time, Numbers 20:20.  This occurred after that most lengthy circuit of mount Seir, when at that time that people, terrified by miracles, etc., needed the help of God (Vatablus on verse 13).  2.  They denied passage through the interior of the kingdom, but they passed through the borders, that is, the outer coasts and boundaries (Tirinus out of Bonfrerius).  3.  In the beginning, they denied passage, but afterwards they appear to have conceded.  Consult verse 6 and 28 (Menochius out of Lapide[1]).

Through the coast, or, by or near the coast or border; for they did not pass through their borders, as it is said, Numbers 20:21.  And the particle ב/beth doth oft signify by or near, as Genesis 37:13;[2] Joshua 5:13;[3] Judges 8:5;[4] Jeremiah 32:7.[5]  Thus that difference may be reconciled, which others reconcile thus, that they at first denied it, but afterwards granted it.  Which dwell in Seir:  these words restrain the prohibition to these particular children of Esau, for there were another sort or branch of Esau’s children, which were to be meddled with and destroyed, even the Amalekites, Exodus 17:14; Deuteronomy 25:17, who were Esau’s posterity, Genesis 36:12.  They shall be afraid of you; but I charge you take no advantage of their fears, which you will be very apt to do.

 

Verse 5:  Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth (Heb. even to the treading of the sole of the foot[6]); (Gen. 36:8; Josh. 24:4) because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession.

[Look ye[7]Ye shall take heed to yourselves (Vatablus).  The sense is twofold:  Take heed, either, 1.  lest ye provoke them; or, 2.  lest perchance they rush upon you because of fear (Fagius, Vatablus).

[Lest ye be moved against them, Mbf  w@rgF@t;ti@-l)a]  [They vary.]  Stir not yourselves with them, namely, in a quarrel (Vatablus, similarly Montanus, Oleaster) (as it is added in Proverbs 28:25, he shall stir up a quarrel[8]); that is, Provoke them not to war (Vatablus).  That word is used only of contention and war.  As the Latins say, to stir up battles, to stir up contentions (certain interpreters in Malvenda).  Others:  Provoke ye not them (Pagnine, similarly Munster, Arabic).  Be ye not stirred up against them (Syriac).  Fight ye not with them (Chaldean, similarly the Septuagint, Samaritan Text).  Others:  Ye shall not cause yourselves to draw into them, that is, chariots in battle, as was the custom (Malvenda).  Show not yourselves fierce against them (Tigurinus).

Meddle not with them, to wit, in battle at this time.

[For a possession I have given]  Thus God shows a distinction between the portion of Jacob and of Esau (Ainsworth).  The measure of the sins of the Idumean nation was not yet complete (Grotius).  But the Amalekites, although they were Idumeans, were excepted by name, Exodus 17:14; Deuteronomy 25:17 (Malvenda out of Junius).

 

Verse 6:  Ye shall buy meat of them for money, that ye may eat; and ye shall also buy water of them for money, that ye may drink.

[Ye shall buy food]  Therefore, although Manna was raining upon them, it was not forbidden to eat other foods, if from some source they could be had (Menochius out of Bonfrerius).  Others read it interrogatively, Will ye buy food from the Idumeans? that is to say, it is not necessary; for God has blessed you, etc. (Drusius).

[אֹכֶל תִּשְׁבְּרוּ[9]Food ye shall break (Montanus, Malvenda), that is, ye shall buy (Ainsworth, Malvenda, Bonfrerius).  See the notes on Genesis 41:56[10] (Ainsworth, Malvenda).  One eating is said to break up, that is, to receive a thing to be broken up; and one selling is said to break up, that is, to give a thing to be broken up, verse 28 (Bonfrerius).

Buy meat of them; for though the manna did yet rain upon them, they were not forbidden to buy other meats when they had opportunity, but only were forbidden greedily to hunger after them when they could not obtain them.

[Water purchased, etc., מַיִם תִּכְרוּ[11]Waters ye shall dig (Montanus, Menochius), that is, ye shall buy (Menochius, Bonfrerius, Junius).  Perhaps the possession of fields, etc., was wont to be entered into by some digging of the land, as today by the placing of the feet, etc. (Bonfrerius).  Or, they were purchasing wells dug in their land, in accordance with custom.  See Genesis 26:18; Numbers 21:18.  Or כרה in Arabic signifies to buy (Ainsworth).

Buy water of them; for water in those parts was scarce, and therefore private persons did severally dig pits for their particular use.  See Genesis 26:18; Numbers 21:18.

 

Verse 7:  For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand:  he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness:  (Deut. 8:2-4) these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.

[He hath blessed thee]  That is to say, although ye need not other food, for He hath blessed thee, etc., nevertheless, if the desire to eat other edibles should come over you, it is not necessary to seize provisions from the Edomites, for by the blessing of God that is abundantly sufficient by which it shall be permitted buy (Hebrews in Vatablus out of Fagius).  It is a confirmation for the future from the experience of the forty years of the grace of God (Malvenda).

[In the work of thy hands]  That is, in cattle, etc., which God multiplied between the hands of those caring for them (Fagius, Vatablus).

[He knoweth thy way, etc., יָדַע לֶכְתְּךָ אֶת־הַמִּדְבָּר]  He knew, or discerned, thy way (or, that thou hast wandered about [certain interpreters in Vatablus]) in the desert (Junius and Tremellius, Ainsworth, Tigurinus, Samaritan Text, Oleaster).  The word אֶת[12] here means in, which is unusual (Piscator).  He knew to guide you in that wilderness (Syriac).  Recognize how thou didst cross the desert (Septuagint).  To know here is to favor, to wish well, to confer benefit upon, as in Psalm 1:6 (Fagius, Vatablus, thus the Chaldean in Fagius), to provide for (Castalio, Malvenda, Piscator), to keep (thus, the sons of Eli did not know the Lord,[13] that is, they did not attend to, they despised [Castalio]), to direct, and to make prosperous (Bonfrerius, Menochius).

God hath blessed thee:  By God’s blessing thou art able to buy thy conveniences, and therefore thy theft and rapine will be inexcusable, because without any pretence of necessity.  He knoweth, Heb. he hath known, i.e. observed, or regarded with care and kindness, which that word oft notes, as Psalm 1:6; 31:7; which experience of God’s singular goodness to thee, should make thee trust him still, and not use any indirect and unjust practices to procure what thou wantest or desirest.

[Nothing was lacking to thee]  That is, in the end.  For, although many things were wanting to them, God was providing without delay (Oleaster).



[1] Cornelius à Lapide (1567-1637) was a Flemish Jesuit scholar.  His talents were employed in the professorship of Hebrew at Louvain, then at Rome.  Although his commentaries (covering the entire Roman Catholic canon, excepting only Job and the Psalms) develop the four-fold sense of Scripture, he emphasizes the literal.  His knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, and the commentators that preceded him is remarkable.

[2] Genesis 37:13a:  “And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem (בִּשְׁכֶם, or, near Shechem)?”

[3] Joshua 5:13a:  “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho (בִּירִיחוֹ)…”

[4] Judges 8:5a:  “And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me (בְּרַגְלָי, or, are by my feet)…”

[5] Jeremiah 32:7b:  “Buy thee my field that is by Anathoth (בַּעֲנָתוֹת):  for the right of redemption is thine to buy it.”

[6] Hebrew:  עַד מִדְרַךְ כַּף־רָגֶל.

[7] Deuteronomy 2:5a:  “Meddle not with them (אַל־תִּתְגָּרוּ בָם)…”  גָּרָה, in the Hithpael conjugation, signifies to excite oneself.  The Vulgate reads:  Videte ergo diligenter ne moveamini contra eos, Look ye, therefore, diligently, lest ye be moved against them.

[8] Proverbs 28:25a:  “He that is of a proud heart stirreth up (יְגָרֶה) strife…”

[9] שָׁבַר is able to signify either to break, or to buy.

[10] Genesis 41:56, 57:  “And the famine was over all the face of the earth:  And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold (וַיִּשְׁבֹּר) unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.  And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy (לִשְׁבֹּר) corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.”

[11] כָּרָה is able to signify either to dig, or to get by trade.

[12] Normally the Direct Object marker.

[13] 1 Samuel 2:12.

Deuteronomy 2:1-3: Rehearsal of the Forty Years’ History: Israel’s Journey to Kadesh-Barnea

Verse 1:  Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, (Num. 14:25; Deut. 1:40) as the LORD spake unto me:  and we compassed mount Seir many days.

[We compassed]  That circuit was from the second year to the fortieth year (Bonfrerius).

[Mount Seir]  That is, the mountainous region of Seir (Ainsworth).

Mount Seir:  The mountainous country of Seir or Edom.

[For a long time]  This is not to be referred to the nearest member, we compassed mount Seir, but to an earlier member, we went into the wilderness, where they wandered for thirty-eight years (Malvenda).

Many days, or, many years, even for thirty-eight years.

 

Verse 2:  And the LORD spake unto me, saying…

 

Verse 3:  Ye have compassed this mountain (Deut. 2:7, 14) long enough:  turn you northward.

[Go towards the North]  It was Canaan’s direction to those coming from Egypt (Menochius); between the Edomites on their left, and the Moabites and Ammonites on their right; so that they might by a straight course head for the North, for the Amorites, and there cross over Jordan (Vatablus, Malvenda, Ainsworth).

Northward:  Towards the land of the Amorites and Canaanites.