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Deuteronomy 2:24-35

Context

2:24 Get up, make your way across Wadi Arnon. Look! I have already delivered over to you Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, 1  and his land. Go ahead! Take it! Engage him in war! 2:25 This very day I will begin to fill all the people of the earth 2  with dread and to terrify them when they hear about you. They will shiver and shake in anticipation of your approach.” 3 

Defeat of Sihon, King of Heshbon

2:26 Then I sent messengers from the Kedemoth 4  Desert to King Sihon of Heshbon with an offer of peace: 2:27 “Let me pass through your land; I will keep strictly to the roadway. 5  I will not turn aside to the right or the left. 2:28 Sell me food for cash 6  so that I can eat and sell me water to drink. 7  Just allow me to go through on foot, 2:29 just as the descendants of Esau who live at Seir and the Moabites who live in Ar did for me, until I cross the Jordan to the land the Lord our God is giving us.” 2:30 But King Sihon of Heshbon was unwilling to allow us to pass near him because the Lord our 8  God had made him obstinate 9  and stubborn 10  so that he might deliver him over to you 11  this very day. 2:31 The Lord said to me, “Look! I have already begun to give over Sihon and his land to you. Start right now to take his land as your possession.” 2:32 When Sihon and all his troops 12  emerged to encounter us in battle at Jahaz, 13  2:33 the Lord our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, along with his sons 14  and everyone else. 15  2:34 At that time we seized all his cities and put every one of them 16  under divine judgment, 17  including even the women and children; we left no survivors. 2:35 We kept only the livestock and plunder from the cities for ourselves.

1 sn Heshbon is the name of a prominent site (now Tell Hesba„n, about 7.5 mi [12 km] south southwest of Amman, Jordan). Sihon made it his capital after having driven Moab from the area and forced them south to the Arnon (Num 21:26-30). Heshbon is also mentioned in Deut 1:4.

2 tn Heb “under heaven” (so NIV, NRSV).

3 tn Heb “from before you.”

4 sn Kedemoth. This is probably Aleiyan, about 8 mi (13 km) north of the Arnon and between Dibon and Mattanah.

5 tn Heb “in the way in the way” (בַּדֶּרֶךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ, baderekh baderekh). The repetition lays great stress on the idea of resolute determination to stick to the path. IBHS 116 §7.2.3c.

6 tn Heb “silver.”

7 tn Heb “and water for silver give to me so that I may drink.”

8 tc The translation follows the LXX in reading the first person pronoun. The MT, followed by many English versions, has a second person masculine singular pronoun, “your.”

9 tn Heb “hardened his spirit” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); NIV “made his spirit stubborn.”

10 tn Heb “made his heart obstinate” (so KJV, NASB); NRSV “made his heart defiant.”

11 tn Heb “into your hand.”

12 tn Heb “people.”

13 sn Jahaz. This is probably Khirbet el-Medeiyineh. See J. Dearman, “The Levitical Cities of Reuben and Moabite Toponymy,” BASOR 276 (1984): 55-57.

14 tc The translation follows the Qere or marginal reading; the Kethib (consonantal text) has the singular, “his son.”

15 tn Heb “all his people.”

16 tn Heb “every city of men.” This apparently identifies the cities as inhabited.

17 tn Heb “under the ban” (נַחֲרֵם, nakharem). The verb employed is חָרַם (kharam, usually in the Hiphil) and the associated noun is חֵרֶם (kherem). See J. Naudé, NIDOTTE, 2:276-77, and, for a more thorough discussion, Susan Niditch, War in the Hebrew Bible, 28-77.

sn Divine judgment refers to God’s designation of certain persons, places, and things as objects of his special wrath and judgment because, in his omniscience, he knows them to be impure and hopelessly unrepentant.



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