corner graphic

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Deuteronomy 3:4

 

 

"We captured all his cities at that time; there was not a city which we did not take from them: sixty cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan.

Adam Clarke Commentary

All the region of Argob - ארגב חבל כל col chebel Argob, all the cable or cord of Argob; this expression, which is used in various other parts of Scripture, (see, in the original, Amos 7:17; Micah 2:5; Deuteronomy 32:9; Psalm 16:6;), shows that anciently land was measured by lines or cords of a certain length, in a similar way to that by the chain among us, and the schoenus or cord among the Egyptians. Some think that it was the region of Argob that was afterwards called the region of Trachonites.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/deuteronomy-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Threescore cities - Probably the cities of Jair in Bashan described in Deuteronomy 3:14 as Bashan-havoth-jair.

All the region of Argob - The Hebrew word here rendered “region,” means literally “rope” or “cable”; and though undoubtedly used elsewhere in a general topographical sense for portion or district (e. g. Joshua 17:5), has a special propriety in reference to Argob (mod. Lejah). The name Argob means “stone-heap,” and is paraphrased by the Targums, Trachonitis Luke 3:1, or “the rough country;” titles designating the more striking features of the district. Its borders are compared to a rugged shore-line; hence, its description in the text as “the girdle of the stony country,” would seem especially appropriate. (Others identify Argob with the east quarter of the Hauran.)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/deuteronomy-3.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And we took all his cities at that time,.... Not only Edrei where the battle was fought, and Ashteroth his capital city, but all the rest in his kingdom:

there was not a city which we took not from them; not one stood out, but all surrendered on summons; the number of which follows:

three score cities; which was a large number for so small a country, and shows it to be well inhabited:

all the region of Argob; which was a small province of

the kingdom of Og in Bashan: Aben Ezra and Jarchi observe, that it was called after a man, i.e. whose name was Argob; the Targum of Onkelos names it Tracona, and the Targum of Jonathan Targona, the same with Trachonitis in Josephus and other authors; see Luke 3:1, Jerom relatesF8De loc. Heb. fol. 87. M. that in his time, about Gerasa, a city of Arabia, fifteen miles from it to the west, there was a village which was called Arga, which seems to carry in it some remains of the ancient name of this country; and the Samaritan version, in all places where Argob is, calls it Rigobaah; and in the MisnahF9Misn. Menachot, c. 8. sect. 3. mention is made of a place called Ragab, beyond Jordan, famous for its being the second place for the best oil.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/deuteronomy-3.html. 1999.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

4.And we took all the cities. He here more fully relates what He had brieflytouched upon in Numbers. He says that sixty, well-fortified cities were taken, besides the villages. Hence we infer both the extent of the country, and also the special power of God in the aid He afforded them, in that they took, in so short a time, so many cities well closed in, and begirt with high walls; as if they were merely travelling, through a peaceful land in security, and with nothing to do.

After the eighth verse, lie repeats connectedly what he had separately related respecting the two kingdoms; and in order that the places might be more certainly identified, he mentions two other names for mount Hermon, stating that it was called Sirion by the Sidonians, and Shenir by the Amorites. Finally, he adds that Og, king of Bashan, was a giant, and the only survivorof that race. As a memorialof his lofty stature, he alleges his iron bedstead, the length of which was as much as nine cubits, according to the common measure of that period. By this circumstance he again magnifies the marvellous help of God, in that he was overcome by the children of Israel, who might, by his stature, have singly terrified a whole army.

The enormous stature of the giants is apparent from this passage. Herodotus records, (136) that the body of Orestes, disinterred by command of the oracle, was seven cubits in length. Pliny, (137) although he does not cite his authority, subscribes to this testimony. Gellius (138) thinks that this was fabulous, as also what Homer (139) writes with respect to the diminution of men’s height in process of time; but his erroneous view is confuted by almost universal consent. What Pliny (140) himself relates is indeed incredible, that in Crete a body was discovered, by an opening of the earth, forty-six cubits long, which some thought to be the body of Orion, and others of Etion. But if we believe that there were giants, (which is not only affirmd by the sacred Scriptures, but also recorded by almost all ancient writers,) we need not be surprised if they were more than eight cubits in height. Although, however, the race of giants began to disappear in the time of Moses, still, in after ages, there existed persons who approached to this ancient stature, (141) as in the time of Augustus and Claudius there was one man about ten feet in height, and another nine feet nine inches. Moses, therefore, intimates nothing more than that this monstrous race of men gradually died out, so that the enormous height of Og, king of Bashan, was an unusual sight.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:4". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/deuteronomy-3.html. 1840-57.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 4. All the region of Argob In the Hebrew, all the line, or cord, such as lands were measured by: an allusion frequent in the Holy Scriptures, Amos 7:17. Micah 2:5. Psalms 16:6. Argob was a small province, lying between Jordan and the mountains of Gilead, a little above the sea of Tiberias; which region was afterwards called Trachonitis. See ver. 13, 14, 15.


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

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:4". 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

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.


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

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:4". 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

4. Threescore cities, all the region of Argob — In every instance in which Argob is mentioned there is accompanying it the descriptive word חבל, rope. Our translators have rendered it “region” in one place and “country” in another. It evidently means a sharply defined border, as if measured by a line or rope. Porter’s Giant Cities of Bashan says: “It thus describes with singular accuracy and minuteness the rocky rampart which encircles the Lejah,” the modern name of Argob . The Argob is a vast field of basalt placed in the midst of a fertile plain. Its surface has an elevation of about thirty feet, and its border is clearly defined by a bank of broken cliffs. In this region were the sixty cities mentioned in the text.


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

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/deuteronomy-3.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Country. Hebrew, "the line" with which lands were measured, chap. xxxii. 9. --- Argob may signify rich and fertile; "all that fertile region, the kingdom of Og." Vatable thinks that Basan, Argob, and Trachonitis, denote the same country. But Cellarius observes, that the last mentioned country was ill cultivated and very poor, the inhabitants living mostly in the caverns of rocks, whereas Argob or Basan was adorned with 60 cities.


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

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/deuteronomy-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

threescore cities. They can all be seen, and counted today. (See Dr. Porter"s Giant Cities of Bashan.)

region. Hebrew = "cord". Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for the region marked out by it.

Argob. Compare 1 Kings 4:13. Psalms 136:18-22


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

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:4". "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

And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan.

We took all his cities - not 'captured,' as Colenso renders it, assuming that this result followed a close and protracted siege, but entered into the possession of them.

Threescore cities. 'These cities were of stone, with high walls, bars, and gates; and these very cities are still standing, and bearing testimony to the truth of God's word. Suppose that no one had ever yet traveled in the Hauran, on reading the different passages in the Old Testament which refer to that country, should we not, when we read the account of such prodigious numbers of stone have expected to find at least some remnant of them now? And when we read in this chapter of "threescore walled towns, and unwalled towns a great number," and we see how small a space Og's kingdom occupies on the map, we might almost feel tempted to think that some mistake with regard to the numbers of these places had crept into the text. But when we go to the very country, and find one after another great stone cities, walled and unwalled, with stone gates, and so crowded together that it becomes a matter of wonder how all the people could have lived in so small a tract of country; when we see houses built of such huge and massive stones, that no force that could ever have been brought against them would have been sufficient to batter them down; when we find rooms in these houses so large and so lofty, that many of them would be considered fine rooms in a large house in Europe; and lastly, when we find some of these towns bearing the very names that cities in that country bore before the Israelites came out of Egypt, I think we cannot help feeling the strongest conviction that we have before us the cities of the giant Rephaim. These cities have become gradually deserted as the Arabs of the desert have increased in number; and now, south and east of Salkhad (the ancient Salcah, which marked the southeast ern coast of Bashan) not one of these many towns is inhabited' (Cyril Graham, 'Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, 1858').

(See, for a further account of the monolithic habitations and cyclopean fortresses of the extinct Rephaim, the walls of whose houses and cities were composed of enormous polygonal blocks, Porter's 'Damascus,' 2:, 219-222; also p. 196, where he says, 'The huge doors and gates of stone, some of which are nearly 18 inches in thickness, and the ponderous bars, the places for which can still be seen, are in every way characteristic of a period when architecture was in its infancy, when manual labour was of little comparative value, and when strength and security were the great requisites. Time produces but little effect on such buildings as these. The heavy stone flags of the roofs, resting on the massive walls, render the whole structure as firm as if built of solid masonry; and the black basalt rock of which they are constructed is almost as hard as iron. I had sometimes turned to my atlas, where I found the whole of Bashan delineated, and not larger than an ordinary English county.

I was surprised; and though my faith in the divine record was not shaken, yet I thought some strange statistical mystery hung over the passage. That 60 walled cities, besides unwalled towns a great many, should be found at such a remote age, far from the sea, with no rivers, and little commerce, appeared quite inexplicable. Inexplicable and mysterious though it appeared, it was strictly true. On the spot, with my own eyes, I had now verified it. More than 30 of these I had myself either visited or observed, so as to fix their positions on the map. The Arabic lists of Eli Smith include about 500 names of inhabited places, either actually occupied or in ruins-tels or mounds, the relics of the fortified cities of the Rephaim. Of the high antiquity of these ruins scarcely a doubt can be entertained. Here, then, we have a venerable record, more than 3,000 years old, containing incidental statements and statistics which few would be inclined to receive on trust, and not a few to cast aside as glaring absurdities; yet which close examination shows to be minutely accurate,' (See further, Porter, 'The Giant Cities of Bashan,' p. 24; also 'Historico-Geographical Sketch of Bashan,' by the same author; 'Journal of Sacred Literature,' No. 12:, July, 1854; Trail's 'Josephus,' vol. 1:, p. 38, note on the sources whence those cities obtained supplies.)

All the region of Argob - or "country" (Deuteronomy 3:14) - [ chebel (Hebrew #2256), a rope, or cord, alluding to the Cyclopean wall of basaltic rocks which, like a cordon, encompasses and defines the Lejjah]. Some writers suppose that what is meant is rather a line of frontier cities extending northwards from Argob all along the borders. [Septuagint, panta ta perichoora Argob.] Argob (stony) was a district in Bashan whose cities were conspicuous for their lofty and fortified walls.


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

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/deuteronomy-3.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan.
all his cities
Numbers 32:33-42; Joshua 12:4; 13:30,31
all the region
1 Kings 4:13

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

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 3:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/deuteronomy-3.html.

To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology