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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Deuteronomy 3:11

 

 

(For only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bedstead was an iron bedstead; it is in Rabbah of the sons of Ammon. Its length was nine cubits and its width four cubits by ordinary cubit.)

Adam Clarke Commentary

Og king of Bashan remained - Og was the last king of the Amorites; his kingdom appears to have taken its name from the hill of Bashan; the country has been since called Batanaea.

Remnant of giants - Of the Rephaim. See on Deuteronomy 2:10; (note), Deuteronomy 2:11; (note).

His bedstead was - of iron - Iron was probably used partly for its strength and durability, and partly to prevent noxious vermin from harbouring in it.

Is it not in Rabbath, of the children of Ammon? - The bedstead was probably taken in some battle between the Ammonites and Amorites, in which the former had gained the victory. The bedstead was carried a trophy and placed in Rabbath, which appears, from 2 Samuel 12:26, to have been the royal city of the children of Ammon.

Nine cubits was the length - four cubits the breadth - Allowing the bedstead to have been one cubit longer than Og, which is certainly sufficient, and allowing the cubit to be about eighteen inches long, for this is perhaps the average of the cubit of a man, then Og was twelve feet high. This may be deemed extraordinary, and perhaps almost incredible, and therefore many commentators have, according to their fancy, lengthened the bedstead and shortened the man, making the former one-third longer than the person who lay on it, that they might reduce Og to six cubits; but even in this way they make him at least nine feet high.

On this subject the rabbins have trifled most sinfully. I shall give one specimen. In the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel on Numbers 21:33-35, it is said that "Og having observed that the camp of the Israelites extended six miles, he went and tore up a mountain six miles in its base, and put it on his head, and carried it towards the camp, that he might throw it on the Israelites and destroy them; but the word of the Lord prepared a worm, which bored a hole in the mountain over his head, so that it fell down upon his shoulders: at the same time his teeth growing out in all directions, stuck into the mountain, so that he could not cast it off his head. Moses, (who was himself ten cubits high), seeing Og thus entangled, took an axe ten cubits long, and having leaped ten cubits in height, struck Og on the ankle bone, so that he fell and was slain."

From this account the distance from the sole of Og's foot to his ankle was thirty cubits in length! I give this as a very slight specimen of rabbinical comment. I could quote places in the Talmud in which Og is stated to be several miles high! This relation about Og I suppose to be also an historical note added by a subsequent hand.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/deuteronomy-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Giants - Or Rephaim: see the marginal reference note.

A bedstead of iron - The “iron” was probably the black basalt of the country, which not only contains a large proportion, about 20 percent, of iron, but was actually called “iron,” and is still so regarded by the Arabians. Iron was indeed both known and used, principally for tools (see e. g. Deuteronomy 19:5 and compare Genesis 4:22 note), at the date in question by the Semitic people of Palestine and the adjoining countries; but bronze was the ordinary metal of which weapons, articles of furniture, etc., were made.

The word translated “bedstead” is derived from a root signifying “to unite” or “bind together,” and so “to arch” or “cover with a vault.” The word may then certainly mean “bier,” and perhaps does so in this passage. Modern travelers have discovered in the territories of Og sarcophagi as well as many other articles made of the black basalt of the country.

Is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? - Probably after the defeat and death of Og at Edrei the remnant of his army fled into the territory of the friendly Ammonites, and carried with them the corpse of the giant king.

After the cubit of a man - i. e. after the usual and ordinary cubit, counted as people are accustomed to count. Taking 18 inches to the cubit, the bedstead or sarcophagus would thus be from thirteen to fourteen feet long.


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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/deuteronomy-3.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants,.... The meaning seems to be, either that he was the only one that was left of the race of the giants the Ammonites found when they took possession of this country, Deuteronomy 2:20 or that was left when the Amorites took it from the Ammonites; and who having by some means or other ingratiated himself into their affections, because of his stature, strength, and courage, and other qualifications they might discern in him, made him their king:

behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron: his body being so large and bulky, he might think it most proper and safest for him to have a bedstead made of iron to lie upon, or to prevent noxious insects harbouring in it; nor was it unusual to have bedsteads made of other materials than wood, as of gold, silver, and ivory; See Gill on Amos 6:4. Some learned menF18Vid. Dickinson. Delph. Phaenieizant. c. 2. p. 12. have been of opinion, that the beds of Typho in Syria, made mention of by HomerF19Iliad. z. , refer to this bedstead of Og:

is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? which was the royal city of the Ammonites, in the times of David, 2 Samuel 12:26, now called Philadelphia, as Jerom saysF20De loc. Heb. fol. 94. C. . This bedstead might be either sent thither by Og, before the battle at Edrei, for safety, or rather might be sold by the Israelites to the inhabitants of Rabbath, who kept it, as a great curiosity:

nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man; a common cubit, so that it was four yards and a half long, and two yards broad. Onkelos renders it, after the king's cubit; and the king's cubit at Babylon, according to HerodotusF21Clio, sive, l. 1. c. 175. , was larger by three fingers than the common one; such as the cubit in Ezekiel 40:5, which was a cubit and an hand's breadth; and this makes the dimensions of the bedstead yet larger. And by this judgment may be made of the tallness of Og's stature, though this is not always a sure rule to go by; for Alexander, when in India, ordered his soldiers to make beds of five cubits long, to be left behind them, that they might be thought to be larger men than they were, as Diodorus SiculusF23Bibliothec. l. 17. p. 563. and CurtiusF24Hist. l. 9. c. 3. relate; but there is little reason to believe that Og's bedstead was made with such a view. Maimonides observesF25Moreh Nevochim, par. 2. c. 47. p. 325. , that a bed in common is a third part larger than a man; so that Og, according to this way of reckoning, was six cubits high, and his stature doubly larger than a common man's; but less than a third part may well be allowed to a bed, which will make him taller still; the height of Og is reckoned by WolfiusF26Apud Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 3. p. 401. to be about thirteen feet eleven inches of Paris measure.


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/deuteronomy-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his d bedstead [was] a bedstead of iron; [is] it not in 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.

(d) The more terrible this giant was, the greater reason they had to glorify God for the victory.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/deuteronomy-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants — literally, “of Rephaim.” He was not the last giant, but the only living remnant in the trans-jordanic country (Joshua 15:14), of a certain gigantic race, supposed to be the most ancient inhabitants of Palestine.

behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron — Although beds in the East are with the common people nothing more than a simple mattress, bedsteads are not unknown. They are in use among the great, who prefer them of iron or other metals, not only for strength and durability, but for the prevention of the troublesome insects which in warm climates commonly infest wood. Taking the cubit at half a yard, the bedstead of Og would measure thirteen and a half feet, so that as beds are usually a little larger than the persons who occupy them, the stature of the Amorite king may be estimated at about eleven or twelve feet; or he might have caused his bed to be made much larger than was necessary, as Alexander the Great did for each of his foot soldiers, to impress the Indians with an idea of the extraordinary strength and stature of his men [Le Clerc]. But how did Og‘s bedstead come to be in Rabbath, of the children of Ammon? In answer to this question, it has been said, that Og had, on the eve of engagement, conveyed it to Rabbath for safety. Or it may be that Moses, after capturing it, may have sold it to the Ammonites, who had kept it as an antiquarian curiosity till their capital was sacked in the time of David. This is a most unlikely supposition, and besides renders it necessary to consider the latter clause of this verse as an interpolation inserted long after the time of Moses. To avoid this, some eminent critics take the Hebrew word rendered “bedstead” to mean “coffin.” They think that the king of Bashan having been wounded in battle, fled to Rabbath, where he died and was buried; hence the dimensions of his “coffin” are given [Dathe, Roos].


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/deuteronomy-3.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Even in Abraham's time, the giant tribe of Rephaim was living in Bashan (Genesis 14:5). But out of the remnant of these, king Og, whom the Israelites defeated and slew, was the only one left. For the purpose of recalling the greatness of the grace of God that had been manifested in that victory, and not merely to establish the credibility of the statements concerning the size of Og (“just as things belonging to an age that has long passed away are shown to be credible by their remains,” Spinoza , etc.), Moses points to the iron bed of this king, which was still in Rabbath-Ammon, and was nine cubits long and four broad, “after the cubit of a man,” i.e., the ordinary cubit in common use (see the analogous expression, “a man's pen,” Isaiah 8:1). הלה , for הלא , synonymous with הנּה . There is nothing to amaze is in the size of the bed or bedstead given here. The ordinary Hebrew cubit was only a foot and a half, probably only eighteen Dresden inches (see my Archäologie , ii. p. 126, Anm. 4). Now a bed is always larger than the man who sleeps in it. But in this case Clericus fancies that Og “intentionally exceeded the necessary size, in order that posterity might be led to draw more magnificent conclusions from the size of the bed, as to the stature of the man who was accustomed to sleep in it.” He also refers to the analogous case of Alexander the Great, of whom Diod. Sic. (xvii. 95) affirms, that whenever he was obliged to halt on his march to India, he made colossal arrangements of all kinds, causing, among other things, two couches to be prepared in the tents for every foot-soldier, each five cubits long, and two stalls for every horseman, twice as large as the ordinary size, “to represent a camp of heroes, and leave striking memorials behind for the inhabitants of the land, of gigantic men and their supernatural strength.” With a similar intention Og may also have left behind him a gigantic bed as a memorial of his superhuman greatness, on the occasion of some expedition of his against the Ammonites; and this bed may have been preserved in their capital as a proof of the greatness of their foe.

(Note: “It will often be found, that very tall people are disposed to make themselves appear even taller than they actually are” (Hengstenberg, Diss. ii. p. 201). Moreover, there are still giants who are eight feet high and upwards. “According to the N. Preuss. Zeit. of 1857, there came a man to Berlin 8 feet 4 inches high, and possibly still growing, as he was only twenty years old; and he was said to have a great-uncle who was nine inches taller” ( Schultz ).)

Moses might then refer to this gigantic bed of Og, which was known to the Israelites; and there is no reason for resorting to the improbable conjecture, that the Ammonites had taken possession of a bed of king Og upon some expedition against the Amorites, and had carried it off as a trophy to their capital.

(Note: There is still less probability in the conjecture of J. D. Michaelis, Vater, Winer, and others, that Og's iron bed was a sarcophagus of basalt, such as are still frequently met with in those regions, as much as 9 feet long and 3 1/2 feet broad, or even as much as 12 feet long and 6 feet in breadth and height (vid., Burckhardt , pp. 220, 246; Robinson, iii. p. 385; Seetzen , i. pp. 355, 360); and the still further assumption, that the corpse of the fallen king was taken to Rabbah, and there interred in a royal way, is altogether improbable.)

Rabbath of the sons of Ammon,” or briefly Rabbah , i.e., the great (Joshua 13:25; 2 Samuel 11:1), was the capital of the Ammonites, afterwards called Philadelphia , probably from Ptolemaeus Philadelphus; by Polybius , Ῥαββατάμανα ; by Abulfeda , Ammân , which is the name still given to the uninhabited ruins on the Nahr Ammân , i.e., the upper Jabbok (see Burckhardt , pp. 612ff. and v. Raumer , Pal. p. 268).


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Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/deuteronomy-3.html. 1854-1889.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

The extraordinary stature and size of this man deserves the Reader's attention. Supposing a cubit to be about half a yard, then it will follow that this giant's bedstead was four yards and a half long, and two yards in breadth; and as if wood was not sufficiently strong to support him, the whole was made of iron. But, Reader, remark how alike strength and weakness are when opposed by the arm of GOD. Oh! that every, poor, timid believer, would keep in remembrance at all times his Almighty strength, which is ever engaged on the side of his people, and which is not unfrequently perfected in his people's weakness. Pray read that sweet scripture, Isaiah 41:14-16, etc.


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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/deuteronomy-3.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in 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.

In Rabbath — 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 — So his bed was four yards and an half long, and two yards broad.


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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/deuteronomy-3.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Deuteronomy 3:11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead [was] a bedstead of iron; [is] it not in 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.

Ver. 11. Og, (a) king of Bashan, remained,] sc., In Bashan; and he seems to have been of the remnant of those Rephaims, whom Chedorlaomer and his company smote in Ashteroth. [Genesis 14:5 Joshua 13:12]

Is it not in Rabbath?] Kept for a monument of so mighty and massy a man.


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/deuteronomy-3.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 11. Only Og—remained of the remnant of the giants רפאים Rephaim, who were the ancient inhabitants of the country, and of a gigantic size, descended from Rapha; as the Anakims were descended from Anak, of the race of the giants also. Og was the last of the Rephaim of the country of Bashan: His bedstead was a bedstead of iron, to support his gigantic body: bedsteads of iron, brass, and other metals, as Scheuchzer remarks, are not unusual in the warm countries, as a defence against the multitude of insects. In heathen writers, we have frequent mention of beds of silver and gold; as also in Scripture, Esther 1:6. Proverbs 25:11. See Calmet. This bed of Og's was nine cubits in length, and four in breadth, after the cubit of a man; i.e. not according to the exact geometrical cubit, but somewhat less, such as the cubits of men commonly are. This is mentioned to shew of what an enormous size Og was, whom Maimonides computes to have been six cubits high, reckoning the bedstead to have been made, according to common custom, a third part longer than the person who lay in it. Now six cubits answer to ten feet and a half of our measure. So Goliath is said to have been six cubits and a span in height. 1 Samuel 17:4. Le Clerc, however, conjectures, that Og might order his bed to be made longer than was sufficient, to give posterity a higher idea of the gigantic personage who lay in it. The same is said to have been done by Alexander the Great, before his return from India. "He ordered each of his foot-soldiers," says Diodorus, "to erect two beds of the length of five cubits;" the reason whereof he subjoins, "in order to leave with the inhabitants signs of the enormous size and strength of his men." Agreeable hereto, Sir John Chardin tells us, in his "Travels," that the people of the East are extremely fond of corporeal greatness; and always consider it as a sign of the greatness of the soul, of courage, strength, and virtue: "We found in Bactriana mummies of eight feet; but it is most likely that the people of this country bound up their dead at the greatest length possible, that posterity, discovering their bodies, might conceive a very high opinion of their persons and actions." See Chardin's Travels, vol. 9: p. 162. Concerning the giants, see the learned Huet,

Demonstr. Evang. prop. 4: cap. 8 and Theod. Ryckii, Dissert. de Gigantibus.

Is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon Rabbath was the capital city of the Ammonites, and, according to Eusebius, was afterwards called Philadelphia, being repaired and very much embellished by Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt. But how came this bedstead into the hands of the children of Ammon? The very learned Bishop Huet answers, that Og, fearing the worst, might send his bed and the best of his effects to the Ammonites; or Moses might sell this and other parts of the spoil to the children of Ammon; or, which is full as probable, Og might be one of those giants whom the Ammonites dispossessed, chap. Deuteronomy 2:21 and whose palace they had plundered, preserving this bedstead as a monument of their victories. See Masius upon Joshua 12. An anonymous author pretends, that Virgil, AEneid, 9: ver. 715 alludes to this bed of Og, when speaking of that of Typhaeus, the famous Inarime, that is to say, Inaramea or Syria; and he thinks that the passage of the Latin poet is taken from the Iliad 2: ver. 783 which, according to Dickenson, has an undoubted reference to this extraordinary bed. See Delphi Phoenis. cap. 2: p. 14 and Bibliotheque Britannique, tom. 15: p. 187.

REFLECTIONS.—Moses continues a relation of their conquest. Og and his people fell like Sihon before them. Though his own stature and strength were wonderful, as may be judged by his bedstead of iron, and his courage equal to it, (for he came out to meet Israel,) yet he himself fell by their sword, and all his subjects perished with him; whilst his country and goods became a prey, according to God's promise and power, who delivered them into Israel's hand. Note; (1.) There is no might nor wisdom against the Lord. (2.) They who refuse to be warned by the fall of others and continue to provoke their judgments, will perish with them.


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/deuteronomy-3.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

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

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.

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.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/deuteronomy-3.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11. Only Og… remained of the… giants — In Abraham’s time the Rephaim were living in Bashan. Genesis 14:5.

His bedstead was… of iron — It has been suggested that this was a sarcophagus of basalt. The black basalt of that region contains a large proportion of iron.

Is it not in Rabbath… Ammon — Afterward called Philadelphia, now identified with

Amman — about twenty-two miles from the Jordan.

After the cubit of a man — That is, the ordinary cubit, usually reckoned as eighteen inches. That there was more than one cubit is clear. It has been supposed that Og, in preparing his sarcophagus, intentionally exceeded the necessary size, so as to convey an exaggerated impression of his extraordinary stature. In like manner Diodorus Siculus (xvii, 95) says that Alexander, in his march to India, caused two couches to be prepared for every footsoldier, each five cubits long.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/deuteronomy-3.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Deuteronomy 3:11. Only Og remained of the remnant of giants — Namely, in those parts; for there were other giants among the Philistines, and elsewhere. When the Ammonites drove out the Zamzummims, mentioned Deuteronomy 2:20, Og might escape, and so be said to be left of the remnant of the giants, and afterward, fleeing to the Amorites, perhaps was made their king, because of his gigantic stature. His bedstead was a bedstead of iron — Bedsteads of iron, brass, and other metals, are not unusual in the warm countries, as a defence against vermin. In Rabbath — 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 —

So his bed was four yards and a half long, and two yards broad.


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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/deuteronomy-3.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Giants. Hebrew, "Raphaim." Og was the only survivor of this family in Basan, though there were other giants dispersed throughout the land, 1 Paralipomenon xx. 6. (Tirinus) --- Some of the stock of Rapha were also seen afterwards at Geth, but they did not reign in the country of their fathers, as Og alone did at this time, Josue xv. 14., and xvii. 15. Hebrew may be, "Now Og, king of Basan, was a remnant of the Raphaim." (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "for, moreover, Og....was left of the Raphaim." --- His bed was 13½ feet long, and 6½ feet broad, taking the cubit at least 18 inches, with Arbuthnot; though Calmet allows 20½ French inches, which are greater than ours. As beds are commonly made larger than the person who lies in them, he concludes that Og might be 14 or 15 feet high, unless he was possessed with the same vanity as Alexander the Great, who caused beds five cubits long to be left in his camp, when he returned from his Indian expedition, in order that the people might think that his soldiers were of a gigantic stature. Allowances must here be made for a royal bed; and, at any rate, it will not easily be proved that a human body might not exceed 12 or 15 feet in height, without injuring the just proportions, as Thomas Paine would have us believe. We know that the difference in size between the inhabitants of Shetland and of Patagonia is still very great; and the people of the former island would act very irrationally, if they would not credit the existence of the Lincolnshire ox, or of the large dray horses in London, because their own oxen are not bigger than mastiffs. See Watson, p. 26. --- Iron. Bedsteads are frequently made of iron, brass, silver, or gold, in hot countries, for the sake of cleanliness and grandeur, Proverbs xxv. 11., Esther i. 6. The Parthian kings reserved to themselves the privilege of lying on golden beds. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] xx. 20.) The Thebans made beds of iron and brass out of the spoils of Platea, and consecrated them to Juno. (Thucydides, iii.) --- Ammon. Hebrew, "Behold his bedstead was of iron; is it not in Rabbath?" &c . This town is called Rabbatamana, by Polybius; and Ammana, by Eusebius, who says it had afterwards the name of Astarte, till Ptolemy Philadelphus gave it the title of Philadelphia. It lay to the east of Jazer, not far from the Arnon. (Cellarius, iii. 14.) It is probable that the bed of Og continued in this city till it was taken by David, 2 Kings xxii. 30. How the Ammonites got possession of it we do not know. It seems that the account of it, and of Jair, (ver. 15,) have been given by some one who lived a long time after these events had taken place. (Calmet) --- This conjecture, however, is not well founded, for though Moses was addressing those who had been witnesses to these transactions not many months before, his appeal to them gives the strongest authority to a narration, which was to be handed down to the latest posterity. They could attest the surprising stature of that giant, whom they had slain, and their neighbours kept his bed as a proof of his having existed, the terror of all that country. Until this present day, (ver. 14,) is an expression often used in Scripture to denote an event which had taken place at no very great distance of time, chap. xi. 4. Thus St. Matthew, (xxvii. 8,) writing about eight years after the ascension of our Saviour, says, the field was called Haceldama....even to this day. See Josue viii. 29. (Haydock) --- It is sufficient if the thing be still in the same state as it was before. (Menochius) --- Hand. Hebrew, "according to the cubit of a man." from the elbow to the finger ends. (Calmet) --- Syriac, "of giants." Chaldean, "of the king;" whence some have imagined, that the bed was nine times as long as the cubit of Og, which is very improbable. (Haydock) --- The Rabbins, who delight in fables, say that this bed was used by Og only while he was in his infancy: for he grew to be 120 cubits high; and some say his foot along was this length. He would have hurled a mountain to overwhelm all the Hebrews at once, only a bird, or some ants, made a hole in it, and the mountain falling upon his shoulders, he could not extricate his head, God causing his teeth to grow ten cubits, and in this condition he was taken and killed by Moses. (Lyranus, &c.) --- Noble discovery of these blind guides! (Calmet) --- The poets have not been more extravagant in their descriptions of Typheus, or Typho, whose name signifies burning, as well as that of Og, (or hog, he burnt) with whom he has probably been confounded. (Vossius on Idolat.) (Haydock)


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/deuteronomy-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

giants. Hebrew "Rephaim", descendants of one Rapha, a branch of the Nephilim. See App-25.

behold. A special various reading called Sevir (see App-34) reads "and behold".

bedstead = bed or couch, but not the usual word which is mishkab. It is "eres, and is exactly the same measurement as the tomb of Marduk in Babylon. The mythological significance of "eres (Bab. irsu) is nuptial bed, or funeral couch. Probably = tomb.

iron. Probably basalt.

is it not. ? Figure of speech Erotesis (App-6), f"or emphasis.

Rabbath was the capital of Ammon, where the temple of Milchom was: and where Og"s tomb would naturally be.

children = sons.

cubits. See App-51.

cubit of a man = a common cubit = a man"s forearm.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/deuteronomy-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in 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 ... remained of the remnant of giants - literally, of Rephaim. He was not the last giant, but the only living remnant in the Transjordanic country (Joshua 15:14) of a certain gigantic race (the Rephaim), supposed to be the most ancient inhabitants of Palestine.

Behold, his bedstead ... of iron - [ `eres (Hebrew #6210) barzel (Hebrew #1270)]. Although beds in the East are, with the common people, nothing more than a simple mattress, bedsteads are not unknown: they are in use among the great, who prefer them of iron or other metals, not only for strength and durability; but for the prevention of the troublesome insects which, in warm climates, commonly infest wood. Some writers, however, suppose that black basalt is meant-a species of stone with which the Hauran abounds, and which contains a large proportion of iron ore.

Taking the cubit at half a yard ("after the cubit of a man" - i:e., the common cubit = 18 inches, the Memphis measure; as Sir Isaac, Newton calls it, 'the profane and adventitious cubit'-a mode of reckoning used by the Jews only in coarse operations and inferior things), the bedstead of Og would measure 13 1/2 feet, so that, as beds are usually a little larger than the persons who occupy them, the stature of the Amorite king maybe estimated about 11 or 12 feet; or he might have caused his bed to be made much larger than was necessary, as Alexander the Great did for each of his foot soldiers, to impress the Indians with an idea of the extraordinary strength and stature of his men, (see other instances of gigantic stature, Josephus, 'Antiquities,' b. 18:, ch.

iv., sec. 5; 'Herodotus,' b. 1:, ch. 68:)

But how did Og's bedstead come to be in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? In answer to this question a variety of conjectures have been suggested-namely, that the Ammonites had carried it off as a trophy in some victory over Og; that Og had, on the eve of engagement, conveyed it to Rabbath for safety; or, upon his defeat, had fled to Rabbath, where he died and was buried in this coffin; or finally, that Moses, after capturing it, may have sold it to the Ammonites, who had kept it as an antiquarian curiosity, until their capital was sacked in the time of David (2 Samuel 12:26-31). This is a most unlikely supposition, and, besides, renders it necessary to consider the latter clause of this verse as an interpolation inserted long after the time of Moses.

To avoid this some eminent critics take the Hebrew word rendered "bedstead" to mean 'coffin,' 'bier,' or 'sarcophagus.' They think that the king of Bashan, having been wounded in battle, fled to Rabbath, where he died and was buried; hence, the dimensions of his 'coffin' are given (Dathe, Ros).

Rabbath of the children of Ammon. Rabbah, signifying 'multitude,' 'greatness,' was a name given to several Canaanite towns both in the east and west of Jordan. But it is chiefly applied in Scripture to the capitals of the Moabites and Ammonites. The metropolis of the latter is sometimes called by the simple designation of Rabbath, at other times as here, 'Rabbath of beni-Ammon.' It was originally in the possession of the Zuzim, a branch of the Rephaim; and on the extinction of that ancient race the Ammonites extended their territory to that eastern frontier. It stood embosomed amid hills, on a small stream, which is now known as Moiet-Amman (the Ammon Water), a small tributary of the Jabbok (Wady Zerka). Since Og's iron bedstead was in that city, the presumption is that it was included within his dominions, and, being but a recent acquisition, retained its former name, as "the plains of Moab" did, after it had fallen, by right of conquest, to Sihon.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/deuteronomy-3.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) Of the remnant of giants—i.e., of the nation of Rephaim in these parts. (See Note on Genesis 14:5.)

His bedstead.—The word may mean either bedstead or coffin. Both the word for “bedstead” and the word for “iron” have given rise to some discussion and difficulty. An iron bedstead and an iron coffin are almost equally improbable. Basalt has been suggested as an alternative. But though there is basalt in Argob, there is none in Rabbath-Ammon. Conder, who has recently explored Rabbath, has discovered a remarkable throne of stone on the side of a hill there, and he suggests that the Hebrew word rendered “bedstead,” which properly signifies a couch with a canopy, may apply to this. The word for “iron” (barzîl) in Talmudical language means also “a prince,” and this meaning has been suggested for the name Barzillai, which we find in the same district in later times. “His canopied throne was a princely one, and yet remains in Rabbath of the Ammonites,” would be the meaning of the passage, on this hypothesis. The dimensions of the throne recently discovered are said to be nearly those given in this verse.

After the cubit of a man-Ish (not adam) the distinctive and emphatic word for a man. Some think that the cubit of any man is meant; others that the man himself for whom it was made, viz., Og, is intended. (Comp. Revelation 21:17, “according to the measure of a man—i.e., of an angel.”)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/deuteronomy-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in 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.
giants
Genesis 14:5
Rabbath
2 Samuel 12:26; Jeremiah 49:2; Ezekiel 21:20; Amos 1:14
Rabbah
nine cubits.
1 Samuel 17:4; Amos 2:9

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/deuteronomy-3.html.

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