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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Deuteronomy 2

 

 

Verse 1

Deuteronomy 2:1 Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days.

Ver. 1. Then we turned,] viz., When we had bought our wit, and had paid for our learning, by our late discomfiture.


Verse 3

Deuteronomy 2:3 Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.

Ver. 3. Turn you northward.] Thus God’s word was their director unto all places, and in all actions. In which respect these histories of holy Scripture excel all human histories in the world, as is well observed. That which they tell us of their Dea vibilia, guiding passengers, &c., is a mere fiction.


Verse 4

Deuteronomy 2:4 And command thou the people, saying, 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:

Ver. 4. Which dwell in Seir.] To distinguish them from the Amalekites, Esau’s seed too, but devoted to destruction.

And they shall be afraid of you.] Though worse afraid than hurt.

Hic rogo, non furor est, ne moriare, mori?

We read of some Jews, that at the sack of Jerusalem killed themselves lest they should be taken by the enemy.


Verse 5

Deuteronomy 2:5 Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau [for] a possession.

Ver. 5. Because I have given mount Seir.] Thus the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance. [Deuteronomy 32:8] And a man must needs have some right to his inheritance, to his portion. [Psalms 17:14] What Ananias had was his own whilst he had it, as Peter tells him; [Acts 5:4] yet Satan had filled his heart. It is therefore a rigour to say, the wicked are usurpers of what they have, and shall be called to account for it. When the king gives a traitor his life, he gives him meat and drink that may maintain his life. That Duke of Alva is worthily taxed for a tyrant, that starved his prisoners, even after quarter; saying, though he promised to give them their lives, he did not promise to find them meat. (a) Wicked men have both a civil title to that they have, and a title before God, who will call them to account indeed at the last day, not for possessing what they had, but for abusing that possession.


Verse 6

Deuteronomy 2:6 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.

Ver. 6. Buy meat of them for money.] "Money answereth all things," saith Solomon. [Ecclesiastes 10:19] Money is the monarch of the world, saith another, and bears most mastery. But that covetous Caliph of Babylon, taken by Haalon, brother to Mango the great Cham of Tartary, and commanded to eat his fill of that great wealth that he had heaped up together, found ere he died, that one mouthful of meat was more worth than a whole houseful of money. (a)


Verse 7

Deuteronomy 2:7 For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God [hath been] with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.

Ver. 7. For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee,] viz., With money, to fetch thee in other commodities. It is the blessing of God, when all is done, that maketh rich; without this men do but labour in the fire, labour all night and take nothing, trouble themselves to no purpose; all their endeavours are but Arena sine calce, sand without lime, they will not hold together, but, like untempered mortar, fall asunder; there being a curse upon unlawful practices, though men be never so industrious: as you may see in Jehoiachim. [Jeremiah 22:18-19]


Verse 9

Deuteronomy 2:9 And the LORD said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land [for] a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot [for] a possession.

Ver. 9. Because I have given Ar.] The royal city, set upon a hill. [Numbers 21:15; Numbers 21:28] God, as a liberal Lord, gives not some small cottage or annuity, for life, to his elder servants, as great men use to do, but bountifully provides for them and theirs to many generations. Who would not serve thee then, O king of nations!


Verse 10

Deuteronomy 2:10 The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims;

Ver. 10. Many and tall are the Anakims.] And if God cast out those Emims, or terrible ones, before the Moabites, will he not much more cast out these Anakims before the Israelites? Nihil unquam ei negasse credendum est, quem ad vituli hortatur esum. (a)


Verse 12

Deuteronomy 2:12 The Horims also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their stead; as Israel did unto the land of his possession, which the LORD gave unto them.

Ver. 12. As Israel did unto the land.] This and some other parcels, scattered here and there, seem to have been added to Moses’s words, whether by Joshua or Ezra, or some other prophet, it much matters not, after the conquest of the land of Canaan.


Verse 14

Deuteronomy 2:14 And the space in which we came from Kadeshbarnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, [was] thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the LORD sware unto them.

Ver. 14. As the Lord sware.] His menaces also, as well as his promises, are confirmed by oath. Let no man, therefore, think that they are spoken in terrorem only; but read Zephaniah 3:5.


Verse 19

Deuteronomy 2:19 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 the children of Lot [for] a possession.

Ver. 19. Because I have given it.] {See Trapp on "Deuteronomy 2:5"}


Verse 20

Deuteronomy 2:20 (That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims;

Ver. 20. Zamzummims.] Big and boisterous, bearing down all before them; presumptuous wicked ones they were, and yet they called themselves Rephaims, that is, physicians or preservers: such, indeed, rulers ought to be. [Isaiah 3:7] The Greeks, therefore, call a king Aναξ, ab ακος, medela, because he is to be ligator vulnerum, chirurgus, et Reip. medicus - the commonwealth’s surgeon and physician. (a) But such were not these Zamzummims, more than in name: το μεν ονομα βιος, &c., as he said of his bow, Thy name is life, but thy use is present death.


Verse 23

Deuteronomy 2:23 And the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, [even] unto Azzah, the Caphtorims, which came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in their stead.)

Ver. 23. And the Avims, which dwelt in Hazeroth.] These are ancient things, as it is said in another case, [1 Chronicles 4:22] such, as whereof there is no record but this extant in the world. Well might that Egyptian priest say to Solon, that wise man of Greece, You Greeks are very babies - γερων δε ελλην ουκ εστι - neither is there an ancient writer amongst you. (a)


Verse 26

Deuteronomy 2:26 And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying,

Ver. 26. With words of peace.] So the Romans, by their heralds, sent to those that opposed or wronged them, caduceum et hastam, a proffer of peace first: For if we princes, said our Henry VII, should take every occasion that is offered, the world should never be quiet, but wearied with continual wars.

Cuncta prius tentanda, etc.

Truncatur et artus, -

Ut liceat reliquis securum vivere membris. ”


Verse 30

Deuteronomy 2:30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as [appeareth] this day.

Ver. 30. Had hardened his spirit.] Deus quem destruit, dementat. God makes fools of those whom he intends to destroy.


Verse 37

Deuteronomy 2:37 Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, [nor] unto any place of the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains, nor unto whatsoever the LORD our God forbad us.

Ver. 37. Only unto the land.] This kindness these Ammonites, in after ages, very evil requited, [Amos 1:13 Jeremiah 49:1] dealing by them as that monster Michael Balbus dealt by the Emperor Leo Armenius, whom he slew the same night that this prince had pardoned and released him.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 2:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/deuteronomy-2.html. 1865-1868.

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