Deuteronomy Chapter 2

The prophet Moses, taught the Israelites those things which the Lord wanted them to know and remember. As a people, they had traveled for many years and had many experiences to learn from. These sermons were being given to the younger generation, who had not made the original covenants at Mount Sinai, because the older generation had already passed away as promised by the Lord. In the last chapter, Moses began to recount the journey of the children of Israel from when they left Egypt, until they had rebelled and fought against the Amorites against the word of the Lord. This had been in response to the promise that the adults would not live to see the promised land. The teachings of Moses continue as follows:

1 Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the Lord spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days.
2 And the Lord spake unto me, saying,
3 Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.
4 And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you: take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore:
5 Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession.
6 Ye shall buy meat of them for money, that ye may eat; and ye shall also buy water of them for money, that ye may drink.
7 For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.
8 And when we passed by from our brethren the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, through the way of the plain from Elath, and from Ezion-gaber, we turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.
9 And the Lord said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession.
10 The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims;
11 Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites call them Emims.
12 The Horims also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their stead; as Israel did unto the land of his possession, which the Lord gave unto them.
13 Now rise up, said I, and get you over the brook Zered. And we went over the brook Zered.
14 And the space in which we came from Kadesh-barnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the Lord sware unto them.
15 For indeed the hand of the Lord was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed.

The Israelites began their journey into the wilderness, going around mount Seir and then when they had gone far enough, they were led to the North. They were warned of the Lord, about the people of Seir, who would fear them. The Lord told them to pass through without issue, because the land of the children of Esau, the posterity of the brother of Jacob (Israel), was not the land for them. They were only to buy food and drink from them. Moses teaches them, that the Lord provided for them all the years of their journey, because He knew them and had been with them the entire time. The Israelites went through the land of Seir, passing part of the land of the Moabites, which belonged to the posterity of Lot. Again they were told not to take issue with the Moabites in the wilderness, because it was not the land for the Israelites. They were led over the brook Zered. By this time, thirty-eight years had passed and all of the older generation had passed away.

16 So it came to pass, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people,
17 That the Lord spake unto me, saying,
18 Thou art to pass over through Ar, the coast of Moab, this day:
19 And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession.
20 (That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims;
21 A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the Lord destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead:
22 As he did to the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, when he destroyed the Horims from before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead even unto this day:
23 And the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto Azzah, the Caphtorims, which came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in their stead.)

At that time, the Lord led them into the land of Moab, with a warning that they should not fight with the people of Ammon who dwelt there. The people of Ammon were also their extended family, as more of the posterity of Lot, and were not in the land of promise for the Israelites. I find it interesting that each of these lands, were the land of some other children of those we learn about in the scriptures. The Lord had given some of the land for the children of Esau and some for the children of Lot. This to me, is an example, that the Lord is there for all of his children, guiding all to the places best for them. Then, according to His will, they may remain there, or be removed based on their choices and the order of the plan of the Lord. I think that this may have all been because of the righteousness of Abraham, who cared for Lot and his posterity, as well as the righteousness of Isaac, who cared deeply for Esau as well. I believe that later in the bible, we see destruction and scattering come to these nations due to wickedness, just as it comes to the children of Israel. They will then loose the land, but this was not the time for that, because the Israelites had their own promised land to gain.

24 Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon: behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land: begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle.
25 This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.

When they came to the land of the Amorites, they were instructed to fight them and take their land, which was prepared for them by the Lord. The Lord caused that the nations around, would be able to learn of the Israelite army, and fear them. This is probably why rulers, such as Balak, who had attempted to hire Balaam to curse Isreal, and caused their blessing instead, were afraid of their power and what they would do to their land.

26 And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying,
27 Let me pass through thy land: I will go along by the high way, I will neither turn unto the right hand nor to the left.
28 Thou shalt sell me meat for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink: only I will pass through on my feet;
29 (As the children of Esau which dwell in Seir, and the Moabites which dwell in Ar, did unto me;) until I shall pass over Jordan into the land which the Lord our God giveth us.
30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the Lord thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.
31 And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land.
32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz.
33 And the Lord our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people.
34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain:
35 Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took.
36 From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us: the Lord our God delivered all unto us:
37 Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any place of the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains, nor unto whatsoever the Lord our God forbad us.

Men of Israel were sent to request peaceful passage through the land, planning to pay for all the food and drink they used both for themselves and for their herds. I think the Lord knew that the Amorites would be stubborn and not allow this because of the hardness of his heart, so the Lord allowed his heart to remain hard. The Amorites fought against them, beginning at Jahaz, and the Lord helped the Israelites to smite and defeat them in all their lands, except where He had forbidden it. Part of these lands they gained was the area that was later given to the tribes of Reuben, Gad and part of the tribe of Manasseh. All this was done, with the help of the Lord, and not on the part of the Israelites alone.

It was important for Moses to remind the Israelites that they had been continually blessed by the Lord. I am a firm believer in gratitude being an important trait to any who desire to follow the Lord. When we are grateful, especially to the Lord for his countless blessings, we become more devoted and loving because of increased humility. If the Israelites had been led to believe that they had done these things by their own strength and wisdom, they would have fallen away from the Lord because of pride. When I remember the blessings and tender mercies of the Lord in my life, I remember that I owe all that I have and all that I am, to Him. This gives me the desire to do all that I am able to further His work, and show my gratitude to Him in all that I do.

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