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Deuteronomy 3:1-12

Context
Defeat of King Og of Bashan

3:1 Next we set out on 1  the route to Bashan, 2  but King Og of Bashan and his whole army 3  came out to meet us in battle at Edrei. 4  3:2 The Lord, however, said to me, “Don’t be afraid of him because I have already given him, his whole army, 5  and his land to you. You will do to him exactly what you did to King Sihon of the Amorites who lived in Heshbon.” 3:3 So the Lord our God did indeed give over to us King Og of Bashan and his whole army and we struck them down until not a single survivor was left. 6  3:4 We captured all his cities at that time – there was not a town we did not take from them – sixty cities, all the region of Argob, 7  the dominion of Og in Bashan. 3:5 All of these cities were fortified by high walls, gates, and locking bars; 8  in addition there were a great many open villages. 9  3:6 We put all of these under divine judgment 10  just as we had done to King Sihon of Heshbon – every occupied city, 11  including women and children. 3:7 But all the livestock and plunder from the cities we kept for ourselves. 3:8 So at that time we took the land of the two Amorite kings in the Transjordan from Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon 12  3:9 (the Sidonians 13  call Hermon Sirion 14  and the Amorites call it Senir), 15  3:10 all the cities of the plateau, all of Gilead and Bashan as far as Salecah 16  and Edrei, 17  cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 3:11 Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaites. (It is noteworthy 18  that his sarcophagus 19  was made of iron. 20  Does it not, indeed, still remain in Rabbath 21  of the Ammonites? It is thirteen and a half feet 22  long and six feet 23  wide according to standard measure.) 24 

Distribution of the Transjordanian Allotments

3:12 This is the land we brought under our control at that time: The territory extending from Aroer 25  by the Wadi Arnon and half the Gilead hill country with its cities I gave to the Reubenites and Gadites. 26 

1 tn Heb “turned and went up.”

2 sn Bashan. This plateau country, famous for its oaks (Isa 2:13) and cattle (Deut 32:14; Amos 4:1), was north of Gilead along the Yarmuk River.

3 tn Heb “people.”

4 sn Edrei is probably modern Deràa, 60 mi (95 km) south of Damascus (see Num 21:33; Josh 12:4; 13:12, 31; also mentioned in Deut 1:4).

5 tn Heb “people.”

6 tn Heb “was left to him.” The final phrase “to him” is redundant in English and has been left untranslated.

7 sn Argob. This is a subdistrict of Bashan, perhaps north of the Yarmuk River. See Y. Aharoni, Land of the Bible, 314.

8 tn Or “high walls and barred gates” (NLT); Heb “high walls, gates, and bars.” Since “bars” could be understood to mean “saloons,” the qualifying adjective “locking” has been supplied in the translation.

9 tn The Hebrew term פְּרָזִי (pÿraziy) refers to rural areas, at the most “unwalled villages” (KJV, NASB “unwalled towns”).

10 tn Heb “we put them under the ban” (נַחֲרֵם, nakharem). See note at 2:34.

sn The divine curse. See note on this phrase in Deut 2:34.

11 tn Heb “city of men.”

12 sn Mount Hermon. This is the famous peak at the southern end of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range known today as Jebel es-Sheik.

13 sn Sidonians were Phoenician inhabitants of the city of Sidon (now in Lebanon), about 47 mi (75 km) north of Mount Carmel.

14 sn Sirion. This name is attested in the Ugaritic texts as sryn. See UT 495.

15 sn Senir. Probably this was actually one of the peaks of Hermon and not the main mountain (Song of Songs 4:8; 1 Chr 5:23). It is mentioned in a royal inscription of Shalmaneser III of Assyria (saniru; see ANET 280).

16 sn Salecah. Today this is known as Salkhad, in Jordan, about 31 mi (50 km) east of the Jordan River in the Hauran Desert.

17 sn Edrei. See note on this term in 3:1.

18 tn Heb “Behold” (הִנֵּה, hinneh).

19 tn The Hebrew term עֶרֶשׂ (’eres), traditionally translated “bed” (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT) is likely a basaltic (volcanic) stone sarcophagus of suitable size to contain the coffin of the giant Rephaite king. Its iron-like color and texture caused it to be described as an iron container. See A. Millard, “King Og’s Iron Bed: Fact or Fancy?” BR 6 (1990): 16-21, 44; cf. also NEB “his sarcophagus of basalt”; TEV, CEV “his coffin.”

20 tn Or “of iron-colored basalt.” See note on the word “sarcophagus” earlier in this verse.

21 sn Rabbath. This place name (usually occurring as Rabbah; 2 Sam 11:11; 12:27; Jer 49:3) refers to the ancient capital of the Ammonite kingdom, now the modern city of Amman, Jordan. The word means “great [one],” probably because of its political importance. The fact that the sarcophagus “still remain[ed]” there suggests this part of the verse is post-Mosaic, having been added as a matter of explanation for the existence of the artifact and also to verify the claim as to its size.

22 tn Heb “nine cubits.” Assuming a length of 18 in (45 cm) for the standard cubit, this would be 13.5 ft (4.1 m) long.

23 tn Heb “four cubits.” This would be 6 ft (1.8 m) wide.

24 tn Heb “by the cubit of man.” This probably refers to the “short” or “regular” cubit of approximately 18 in (45 cm).

25 tn The words “the territory extending” are not in the Hebrew text; they are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

sn Aroer. See note on this term in Deut 2:36.

26 sn Reubenites and Gadites. By the time of Moses’ address the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh had already been granted permission to settle in the Transjordan, provided they helped the other tribes subdue the occupants of Canaan (cf. Num 32:28-42).



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