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Deuteronomy 1:1-4

Context
The Covenant Setting

1:1 This is what 1  Moses said to the assembly of Israel 2  in the Transjordanian 3  wastelands, the arid country opposite 4  Suph, 5  between 6  Paran 7  and Tophel, 8  Laban, 9  Hazeroth, 10  and Di Zahab 11  1:2 Now it is ordinarily an eleven-day journey 12  from Horeb 13  to Kadesh Barnea 14  by way of Mount Seir. 15  1:3 However, it was not until 16  the first day of the eleventh month 17  of the fortieth year 18  that Moses addressed the Israelites just as 19  the Lord had instructed him to do. 1:4 This took place after the defeat 20  of King Sihon 21  of the Amorites, whose capital was 22  in Heshbon, 23  and King Og of Bashan, whose capital was 24  in Ashtaroth, 25  specifically in Edrei. 26 

1 tn Heb “These are the words.”

2 tn Heb “to all Israel.”

3 tn Heb “on the other side of the Jordan.” This would appear to favor authorship by someone living on the west side of the Jordan, that is, in Canaan, whereas the biblical tradition locates Moses on the east side (cf. v. 5). However the Hebrew phrase בְּעֵבֶר הַיּרְדֵּן (bÿever hayyrÿden) is a frozen form meaning “Transjordan,” a name appropriate from any geographical vantage point. To this day, one standing east of the Jordan can describe himself as being in Transjordan.

4 tn The Hebrew term מוֹל (mol) may also mean “in front of” or “near” (cf. NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).

5 sn This place is otherwise unattested and its location is unknown. Perhaps it is Khirbet Sufah, 4 mi (6 km) SSE of Madaba, Jordan.

6 tn The Hebrew term בֵּין (ben) may suggest “in the area of.”

7 sn Paran is the well-known desert area between Mount Sinai and Kadesh Barnea (cf. Num 10:12; 12:16).

8 sn Tophel refers possibly to et£-T£afîleh, 15 mi (25 km) SE of the Dead Sea, or to Da‚bîlu, another name for Paran. See H. Cazelles, “Tophel (Deut. 1:1),” VT 9 (1959): 412-15.

9 sn Laban. Perhaps this refers to Libnah (Num 33:20).

10 sn Hazeroth. This probably refers to àAin Khadra. See Y. Aharoni, The Land of the Bible, 199-200.

11 sn Di Zahab. Perhaps this refers to Mina al-Dhahab on the eastern Sinai coast.

12 sn An eleven-day journey was about 140 mi (233 km).

13 sn Horeb is another name for Sinai. “Horeb” occurs 9 times in the Book of Deuteronomy and “Sinai” only once (33:2). “Sinai” occurs 13 times in the Book of Exodus and “Horeb” only 3 times.

14 sn Kadesh Barnea. Possibly this refers to àAin Qudeis, about 50 mi (80 km) southwest of Beer Sheba, but more likely to àAin Qudeirat, 5 mi (8 km) NW of àAin Qudeis. See R. Cohen, “Did I Excavate Kadesh-Barnea?” BAR 7 (1981): 20-33.

15 sn Mount Seir is synonymous with Edom. “By way of Mount Seir” refers to the route from Horeb that ended up in Edom Cf. CEV “by way of the Mount Seir Road”; TEV “by way of the hill country of Edom.”

16 tn Heb “in” or “on.” Here there is a contrast between the ordinary time of eleven days (v. 2) and the actual time of forty years, so “not until” brings out that vast disparity.

17 sn The eleventh month is Shebat in the Hebrew calendar, January/February in the modern (Gregorian) calendar.

18 sn The fortieth year would be 1406 b.c. according to the “early” date of the exodus. See E. H. Merrill, Kingdom of Priests, 66-75.

19 tn Heb “according to all which.”

20 tn Heb “when he struck [or “smote”].”

21 sn See Deut 2:263:22.

22 tn Heb “who lived.”

23 sn Heshbon is probably modern Tell Hesban, about 7.5 mi (12 km) south southwest of Amman, Jordan.

24 tn Heb “who lived.”

25 sn Ashtaroth is probably Tell àAshtarah, about 22 mi (35 km) due east of the Sea of Galilee.

26 sn Edrei is probably modern Deràa, 60 mi (95 km) south of Damascus (see Num 21:33; Josh 12:4; 13:12, 31).



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