Moses was commanded to teach the Israelites before he left them and they continued on to gain the land of promise. These were the younger generation, who had not experienced much, if any life at all, in the land of Egypt. As a group, they had traveled through the wilderness for about forty years. Through it all, they had been guided and directed by the Lord, and Moses, who was his chosen prophet. Moses continues his teachings in this chapter.
1 Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.
2 And the Lord said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.
3 So the Lord our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining.
4 And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan.
5 All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many.
6 And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city.
7 But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities, we took for a prey to ourselves.
8 And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land that was on this side Jordan, from the river of Arnon unto mount Hermon;
9 (Which Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion; and the Amorites call it Shenir;)
10 All the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, unto Salchah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.
11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.
12 And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites.
13 And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.
14 Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi; and called them after his own name, Bashan-havoth-jair, unto this day.
15 And I gave Gilead unto Machir.
16 And unto the Reubenites and unto the Gadites I gave from Gilead even unto the river Arnon half the valley, and the border even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon;
17 The plain also, and Jordan, and the coast thereof, from Chinnereth even unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, under Ashdoth-pisgah eastward.
The children of Israel were guided to Bashan, where they fought against the people and King Og. The Lord was once again, on their side, and promised them victory. The Israelites destroyed that people completely and took all their fortified lands, the land between, and all their possessions. They had gained a large area of land, with the help of the Lord. It sounds like, this was the last people that had been considered giants. (I think they are describing this man as around 13 feet tall.) A portion of the land gained, was given to the tribe of Reuben and the tribe of Gad. The rest, which had been called the land of giants, was given to part of the tribe of Manasseh. The villages in the land of the tribe of Manasseh, were called Bashan-havoth-jair.
18 And I commanded you at that time, saying, The Lord your God hath given you this land to possess it: ye shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all that are meet for the war.
19 But your wives, and your little ones, and your cattle, (for I know that ye have much cattle,) shall abide in your cities which I have given you;
20 Until the Lord have given rest unto your brethren, as well as unto you, and until they also possess the land which the Lord your God hath given them beyond Jordan: and then shall ye return every man unto his possession, which I have given you.
Moses reminded these tribes that they were given the land of the Lord, with their covenant to send their armies with the remaining Israelites, to gain the promised land. Their covenant would be fulfilled when the host of Israel had succeeded in claiming Canaan for themselves. Then, these tribes would be able to return to their families and the land the Lord gave to them.
21 And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all that the Lord your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall the Lord do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest.
22 Ye shall not fear them: for the Lord your God he shall fight for you.
23 And I besought the Lord at that time, saying,
24 O Lord God, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?
25 I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.
26 But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the Lord said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.
27 Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
28 But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.
29 So we abode in the valley over against Beth-peor.
Joshua, was called to continue the leadership of the host of Israel, and was told that all the nations who inhabited canaan at that time, would be delivered into their hands, just as the two nations they had just conquered. He was promised that the Lord would be with them and would fight for them. Moses pleaded with the Lord at that point, to see the promised land by entering it. Moses was not to see it that way, but was told to go up into the mountain, and there he could view the land from a distance. Moses was commanded to give counsel and encouragement to Joshua, so that he would be better prepared to lead the people to their inheritance. The Lord was not going to call Joshua to lead the people into battles, without the support and guidance he needed.
The thing that stands out the most to me in this chapter, is the Lord’s promise to be with the people and to fight for them. I believe that this promise remains true for the saints today. All those who choose to make covenants with God, choose to be in the ranks of His army. When we are faithful and righteous, he will help us to have victory over our enemies. One of our greatest enemies is temptation. I have felt the empowering strength that the Lord can give us through his Atonement, and I know that through righteous living, the Lord will make us so much stronger than those temptations. I believe that as long as I choose the right, the Lord is on my side and I cannot fail. No matter how strong or great an enemy is, the Lord is always stronger and greater.