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Deuteronomy 2:1-8

Context
The Journey from Kadesh Barnea to Moab

2:1 Then we turned and set out toward the desert land on the way to the Red Sea 1  just as the Lord told me to do, detouring around Mount Seir for a long time. 2:2 At this point the Lord said to me, 2:3 “You have circled around this mountain long enough; now turn north. 2:4 Instruct 2  these people as follows: ‘You are about to cross the border of your relatives 3  the descendants of Esau, 4  who inhabit Seir. They will be afraid of you, so watch yourselves carefully. 2:5 Do not be hostile toward them, because I am not giving you any of their land, not even a footprint, for I have given Mount Seir 5  as an inheritance for Esau. 2:6 You may purchase 6  food to eat and water to drink from them. 2:7 All along the way I, the Lord your God, 7  have blessed your every effort. 8  I have 9  been attentive to 10  your travels through this great wasteland. These forty years I have 11  been with you; you have lacked for nothing.’”

2:8 So we turned away from our relatives 12  the descendants of Esau, the inhabitants of Seir, turning from the desert route, 13  from Elat 14  and Ezion Geber, 15  and traveling the way of the Moab wastelands.

1 tn Heb “Reed Sea.” See note on the term “Red Sea” in Deut 1:40.

2 tn Heb “command” (so KJV, NASB); NRSV “charge the people as follows.”

3 tn Heb “brothers”; NAB “your kinsmen.”

4 sn The descendants of Esau (Heb “sons of Esau”; the phrase also occurs in 2:8, 12, 22, 29). These are the inhabitants of the land otherwise known as Edom, south and east of the Dead Sea. Jacob’s brother Esau had settled there after his bitter strife with Jacob (Gen 36:1-8). “Edom” means “reddish,” probably because of the red sandstone of the region, but also by popular etymology because Esau, at birth, was reddish (Gen 25:25).

5 sn Mount Seir is synonymous with Edom.

6 tn Heb includes “with silver.”

7 tn The Hebrew text does not have the first person pronoun; it has been supplied for purposes of English style (the Lord is speaking here).

8 tn Heb “all the work of your hands.”

9 tn Heb “he has.” This has been converted to first person in the translation in keeping with English style.

10 tn Heb “known” (so ASV, NASB); NAB “been concerned about.”

11 tn Heb “the Lord your God has.” This has been replaced in the translation by the first person pronoun (“I”) in keeping with English style.

12 tn Or “brothers”; NRSV “our kin.”

13 tn Heb “the way of the Arabah” (so ASV); NASB, NIV “the Arabah road.”

14 sn Elat was a port city at the head of the eastern arm of the Red Sea, that is, the Gulf of Aqaba (or Gulf of Eilat). Solomon (1 Kgs 9:28), Uzziah (2 Kgs 14:22), and Ahaz (2 Kgs 16:5-6) used it as a port but eventually it became permanently part of Edom. It may be what is known today as Tell el-Kheleifeh. Modern Eilat is located further west along the northern coast. See G. Pratico, “Nelson Glueck’s 1938-1940 Excavations at Tell el-Kheleifeh: A Reappraisal,” BASOR 259 (1985): 1-32.

15 sn Ezion Geber. A place near the Gulf of Aqaba, Ezion-geber must be distinguished from Elat (cf. 1 Kgs 9:26-28; 2 Chr 8:17-18). It was, however, also a port city (1 Kgs 22:48-49). It may be the same as the modern site Gezirat al-Fauran, 15 mi (24 km) south-southwest from Tell el-Kheleifah.



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