וַנֵּפֶן וַנִּסַּע הַמִּדְבָּרָה דֶּרֶךְ יַם־סוּף כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה אֵלָי וַנָּסָב אֶת־הַר־שֵׂעִיר יָמִים רַבִּים 2:1
Deut. 2:1 “Then we had to turn and journey to the wilderness by way of the Reed Sea, as the Lord had spoken to me, and we had to compass Mount Seir many days.”
In this verse there are three first-person imperfect verbs with non-inverting vav prefixes. The first and second words, translated as Then we had to turn and journey, and the eleventh word, translated as and we had to compass, all continue the implied blaming I acknowledged in the previous chapter.
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר 2:2
Deut. 2:2 “And the Lord spoke to me saying,
רַב־לָכֶם סֹב אֶת־הָהָר הַזֶּה פְּנוּ לָכֶם צָפֹנָה 2:3
Deut. 2:3 ‘It is long enough for you to compass this mountain; turn yourselves northward.’
וְאֶת־הָעָם צַו לֵאמֹר אַתֶּם עֹבְרִים בִּגְבוּל אֲחֵיכֶם בְּנֵי־עֵשָׂו הַיֹּשְׁבִים בְּשֵׂעִיר וְיִירְאוּ םִכֶּם וְנִשְׁמַרְתֶּם 2:4
Deut. 2:4 ‘So command the people saying, ‘You will be crossing into the territory of your brethren, the children of Esau, the dwellers in Seir, and they will be afraid of you. But you should take careful heed;
אַל־תִּתְגָּרוּ בָם כִּי לֹא־אֶתֵּן לָכֶם מֵאַרְצָם עַד מִדְרַךְ כַּף־רָגֶל כִּי־יְרֻשָּׁה לְעֵשָׂו נָתַתִּי אֶת־הַר שֵׂעִיר 2:5
Deut. 2:5 you must not contend with them,’ for I will not give you even the breadth of the sole of a foot from their land, because I have designated Mount Seir Esau’s inheritance.’
אֹכֶל תִּשְׁבְּרוּ מֵאִתָּם בַּכֶּסֶף וַאֲכַלְתֶּם וְגַם־מַיִם תִּכְרוּ מֵאִתָּם בַּכֶּסֶף וּשְׁתִיתֶם 2:6
Deut. 2:6 ‘You may buy food from them with money that you may eat, and you may also buy water from them with money that you may drink.’”
We see that in here in Deuteronomy new information is introduced that has not been mentioned before. This verse provides some interesting new insight. Not only did the Israelites eat manna and quail. They also may have bought food and water from their cousins, the children of Esau. [Return to Exod. 12:25]
כִּי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בֵּרַכְך בְּכֹל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶךָ יָדַע לֶכְתְּךָ אֶת־הַמִּדְבָּר הַגָּדֹל הַזֶּה זֶה אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה יְהוָהָ 2:7
אֱלֹהֶיךָ עִמָּךְ לֹא חָסַרְתָּ דָּבָר
Deut. 2:7 “For the Lord, your God, has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He has known of your walking this great wilderness; these forty years the Lord, your God, has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.”
The singular second-person pronouns in this verse, of which there are seven, indicate that the Lord had blessed the people as a whole. As a result of my theory, this means to me that some of the people may not have been equally blessed. And we know that this is true, as most of them had died by now, and their lives while they lived were not too blessed. At least some of them occasionally complained that they lacked food and water.
וַנַּעֲבֹר מֵאֵת אַחֵינוּ בְנֵי־עֵשָׂו הַיֹּשְׁבִים בְּשֵׂעִיר מִדֶּרֶךְ הָעֲרָבָה מֵאֵילַת וּמֵעֶצְיֹן גָּבֶר וַנֵּפֶן וַנַּעֲבֹר 2:8
דֶּרֶךְ מִדְבַּר מֹואָב
Deut. 2:8 “Then we had to pass from our brethren, the children of Esau, the dwellers in Seir, from the way of the Arabah, from Elath and from Ezion-geber, and turn and go over by way of the wilderness of Moab.”
This verse has three more first-person imperfect verbs with non-inverting vav prefixes. They are in the first word in the verse and the last two on the top line, translated respectively as Then we had to pass, and and turn and go over.
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלַי אַל־תָּצַר אֶת־מֹואָב וְאַל־תִּתְגָּר בָּם מִלְחָמָה כִּי לֹא־אֶתֵּן לְךָ מֵאַרְצֹו יְרֻשָּׁה כִּי 2:9
לִבְנֵי־לֹוט נָתַתִּי אֶת־עָר יְרֻשָּׁה
Deut. 2:9 “And the Lord said to me, ‘You will not assault Moab and you will not stir up a battle with them, for I will not give you a possession from its land, for I have given Ar to the children of Lot, a possession.’”
The singular second-person pronouns in this verse refer to Moses.
הָאֵמִים לְפָנִים יָשְׁבוּ בָהּ עַם גָּדֹול וְרַב וָרָם כָּעֲנָקִים 2:10
Deut. 2:10 The Emim dwelled in it before them, a great and numerous people, and tall, like the Anakim.
רְפָאִים יֵחָשְׁבוּ אַף־הֵם כָּעֲנָקִים וְהַמֹּאָבִים יִקְרְאוּ לָהֶם אֵמִים 2:11
Deut. 2:11 These are also considered Raphaim, like the Anakim, but the Moabites called them Emim.
וּבְשֵׂעִיר יָשְׁבוּ הַחֹרִים לְפָנִים וּבְנֵי עֵשָׂו יִירָשׁוּם וַיַּשְׁמִידוּם מִפְּנֵיהֶם וַיֵּשְׁבוּ תַּחְתָּם כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה 2:12
יִשְׂרָאֵל לְאֶרֶץ יְרֻשָּׁתֹו אֲשֶׁר־נָתַן יְהוָה לָהֶם
Deut. 2:12 And the Horites dwelled in Seir before them, so the children of Esau had to dispossess them, and they destroyed them before them, and they dwelled in their stead, as did Israel for the land of his possession which the Lord had given them.
Because of the last phrase in this verse, I have assumed that the last three verses, vss. 2:10 to 2:12, are historical commentary interposed by the scribe. This same phrase also demonstrates once more that the scribe wrote this some time after the Israelites took possession of their inheritance.
עַתָּה קֻמוּ וְעִבְרוּ לָכֶם אֶת־נַחַל זָרֶד וַנַּעֲבֹר אֶת־נַחַל זָרֶד 2:13
Deut. 2:13 “’Now rise up and pass over the brook Zered yourselves.’ So we had to pass over the brook Zered.”
The fourth-from-last word in this verse is composed of a first-person imperfect verb with a non-inverting vav prefix, and is translated by me as So we had to pass over. More of what I have been identifying as Moses’ subtle blaming language.
וְהַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר־הָלַכְנוּ מִקָּדֵשׁ בַּרְנֵעַ עַד אֲשֶׁר־עָבַרְנוּ אֶת־נַחַל זֶרֶד שְׁלֹשִׁים וּשְׁמֹנֶה שָׁנָה עַד־תֹּם 2:14
כָּל־הַדֹּור אַנְשֵׁי הַמִּלְחָמָה מִקֶּרֶב הַמַּחֲנֶה כַּאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָה לָהֶם
Deut. 2:14 “And the time from which we went from Kadesh-barnea until we passed over the brook Zered was thirty-eight years, up to the end of the entire generation of warriors from the midst of the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them.”
וְגַם יַד־יְהוָה הָיְתָה בָּם לְהֻםָּם מִקֶּרֶב הַמַּחֲנֶה עַד תֻּםָּם 2:15
Deut. 2:15 “And also the hand of the Lord was among them to drive them from the midst of the camp until they were all gone.”
וַיְהִי כַאֲשֶׁר־תַּמּוּ כָּל־אַנְשֵׁי הַמִּלְחָמָה לָמוּת מִקֶּרֶב הָעָם 2:16
Deut. 2:16 “Then it happened after all the warriors had gone to die from the midst of the people,
וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר 2:17
Deut. 2:17 that the Lord spoke to me saying,
אַתָּה עֹבֵר הַיֹּום אֶת־גְּבוּל מֹואָב אֶת־עָר 2:18
Deut. 2:18 ‘You are crossing Ar, the border of Moab today.’
This verse and the next one contain singular second-person pronouns, but the Lord is speaking directly to Moses (as quoted by Moses).
וְקָרַבְתָּ מוּל בְּנֵי עַמֹּון אַל־תְּצֻרֵם וְאַל־תִּתְגָּר בָּם כִּי לֹא־אֶתֵּן מֵאֶרֶץ בְּנֵי־עַמֹּון לְךָ יְרֻשָּׁה כִּי לִבְנֵי־ 2:19
לֹוט נְתַתִּיהָ יְרֻשָּׁה
Deut. 2:19 ‘When you come near opposite the children of Ammon, you will not harass them or contend with them, for I will not give you a possession from the land of the children of Ammon, because I have given possession of it to the children of Lot.’”
אֶרֶץ־רְפָאִים תֵּחָשֵׁב אַף־הִוא רְפָאִים יָשְׁבוּ־בָהּ לְפָנִים וְהָעַמֹּנִים יִקְרְאוּ לָהֶם זַמְזֻמִּים 2:20
Deut. 2:20 It also was regarded a land of Rephaim -- Rephaim dwelled in it before them but the Ammonites will have called them Zamzummim,
עַם גָּדֹול וְרַב וָרָם כָּעֲנָקִים וַיַּשְׁמִידֵם יְהוָה מִפְּנֵיהֶם וַיִּירָשֻׁם וַיֵּשְׁבוּ תַחְתָּם 2:21
Deut. 2:21 a great people and many and tall, like the Anakim; the Lord destroyed them from before them and they succeeded them and dwelled in their stead,
כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לִבְנֵי עֵשָׂו הַיֹּשְׁבִים בְּשֵׂעִיר אֲשֶׁר הִשְׁמִיד אֶת־הַחֹרִי מִפְּנֵיהֶם וַיִּירָשֻׁם וַיֵּשְׁבוּ תַחְתָּם 2:22
עַד הַיֹּום הַזֶּה
Deut. 2:22 as He did for the children of Esau, the dwellers in Seir, when He destroyed the Horite from before them, and they succeeded them and have dwelled in their stead until this day.
וְהָעַוִּים הַיֹּשְׁבִים בַּחֲצֵרִים עַד־עַזָּה כַּפְתֹּרִים הַיֹּצְאִים מִכַּפְתֹּור הִשְׁמִידֻם וַיֵּשְׁבוּ תַחְתָּם 2:23
Deut. 2:23 And the Avvim were dwelling in villages as far as Gaza; the Caphtorim, coming out of Caphtor, destroyed them and dwelled in their stead.
Once more, I have assumed that the scribe interposed historical information in the last four verses, vss. 2:20 to 2:23, from his own later time.
קוּמוּ סְּעוּ וְעִבְרוּ אֶת־נַחַל אַרְןֹן רְאֵה נָתַתִּי בְיָדְךָ אֶת־סִיחֹן מֶלֶךְ־חֶשְׁבֹּון הָאֱמֹרִי וְאֶת־אַרְצֹו הָחֵל 2:24
רָשׁ וְהִתְגָּר בֹּו מִלְחָמָה
Deut. 2:24 “’Arise, journey, and pass over the valley of Arnon. See, I have given Sihon, king of Heshbon, the Amorite, and his land, into your hand. Begin to take possession and incite a battle with him.’
הַיֹּום הַזֶּה אָחֵל תֵּת פַּחְדְּךָ וְיִרְאָתְךָ עַל־פְּנֵי הָעַמִּים תַּחַת כָּל־הַשָּׁמָיִם אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁמְעוּן שִׁמְעֲךָ וְרָגְזוּ 2:25
Deut. 2:25 ‘This day I will begin to put the dread of you and the fear of you on the persons of the peoples under all the heavens. When they will hear the report of you, then they will tremble and be in anguish because of your presence.’”
More singular second-person pronouns! The Lord, as quoted by Moses, is referring to the people.
וָאֶשְׁלַח מַלְאָכִים מִמִּדְבַּר קְדֵמֹות אֶל־סִיחֹון מֶלֶךְ חֶשְׁבֹּון דִּבְרֵי שָׁלֹום לֵאמֹר 2:26
Deut. 2:26 “So I had to send messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon, king of Heshbon, with words of peace saying,
One more first-person imperfect verb with a non-inverting vav prefix in the first word, translated by me as So I had to send!
אֶעְבְּרָה בְאַרְצֶךָ בַּדֶּרֶךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ אֵלֵךְ לֹא אָסוּר יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאול 2:27
Deut. 2:27 ‘Let me pass through your land; I will walk only along the highway; I will not turn right or left.’
Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Moses alter the command that the Lord gave him in v. 2:24? He was told there to incite a battle with Sihon. This sounds like he’s not only avoiding a battle, but also ignoring the command to possess Heshbon. In Numbers 21 (Numb. 21:21f.), we were told of this episode, and there is no mention there of the Lord’s command to incite a battle.
אֶעְבְּרָה בְאַרְצֶךָ בַּדֶּרֶךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ אֵלֵךְ לֹא אָסוּר יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאול 2:28
Deut. 2:28 ‘You can sell me food for money, that I may eat, and you can give me water for money, that I may drink; only let me pass through on my feet,
כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ־לִי בְּנֵי עֵשָׂו הַיֹּשְׁבִים בְּשֵׂעִיר וְהַמֹּואָבִים הַיֹּשְׁבִים בְּעָר עַד אֲשֶׁר־אֶעֱבֹר אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן 2:29
אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ נֹתֵן לָנוּ
Deut. 2:29 as the children of Esau, the dwellers in Seir, and the Moabites the dwellers in Ar, did for me, until I will have passed over the Jordan to the land that the Lord, our God, has given to us.’”
Ah! So the Israelites did buy food and water from both Esau and Moab!
וְלֹא אָבָה סִיחֹן מֶלֶךְ חֶשְׁבֹּון הַעֲבִרֵנוּ בֹּו כִּי־הִקְשָׁה יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת־רוּחֹו וְאִמֵּץ אֶת־לְבָבֹו לְמַעַן 2:30
תִּתֹּו בְיָדְךָ כַּיֹּום הַזֶּה
Deut. 2:30 “But Sihon, king of Heshbon, was not willing to let us pass by him, for the Lord, your God, hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate so that He might deliver him into your hand, like it is this day.”
The two second-person pronouns in this verse are both singular.
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלַי רְאֵה הַחִלֹּתִי תֵּת לְפָנֶיךָ אֶת־סִיחֹן וְאֶת־אַרְצֹו הָחֵל רָשׁ לָרֶשֶׁת אֶת־אַרְצֹו 2:31
Deut. 2:31 “And the Lord said to me, ‘See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his land before you. Begin to possess his land without fail.’”
וַיֵּצֵא סִיחֹן לִקְרָאתֵנוּ הוּא וְכָל־עַמֹּו לַמִּלְחָמָה יָהְצָה 2:32
Deut. 2:32 “Then Sihon came out to meet us, he and all his people, for the battle of Jahaz.”
וַיִּתְּנֵהוּ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ לְפָנֵינוּ וַנַּךְ אֹתֹו וְאֶת־בְּנֹו וְאֶת־כָּל־עַמֹּו 2:33
Deut. 2:33 “And the Lord, our God, delivered him before us so we could smite him and his son and all his people.”
The fourth from last Hebrew word, AnB, his son, is flagged as an error in many bibles. It is thought to be correctly in the plural, his sons. Now I don’t know where the idea that Sihon had more than one son comes from, but I can’t find any reference to the son or sons of Sihon anywhere else in the bible itself. So I have assumed that the word is not in error, and have translated it in the singular.
Also there is another first-person imperfect verb with a non-inverting vav prefix in the fifth word, translated by me as so we could smite him. Here Moses seems to be trying to remind the people of God’s power, guidance, and intervention.
וַנִּלְכֹּד אֶת־כָּל־עָרָיו בָּעֵת הַהִוא וַנַּחֲרֵם אֶת־כָּל־עִיר מְתִם וְהַנָּשִׁים וְהַטָּף לֹא הִשְׁאַרְנוּ שָׂרִיד 2:34
Deut. 2:34 “So we could take all his cities at that time and utterly destroy every city, the men and the women and the little ones. We left nothing remaining.”
There is still one more first-person imperfect verb with a non-inverting vav prefix in the first word, translated by me as so we could take.
רַק הַבְּהֵמָה בָּזַזְנוּ לָנוּ וּשְׁלַל הֶעָרִים אֲשֶׁר לָכָדְנוּ 2:35
Deut. 2:35 “Only the cattle we seized for ourselves, and the spoil of the cities that we took.”
מֵעֲרֹעֵר אֲשֶׁר עַל־שְׂפַת־נַחַל אַרְןֹן וְהָעִיר אֲשֶׁר בַּנַּחַל וְעַד־הַגִּלְעָד לֹא הָיְתָה קִרְיָה אֲשֶׁר שָׂגְבָה 2:36
מִמֶּנּוּ אֶת־הַכֹּל נָתַן יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ לְפָנֵינוּ
Deut. 2:36 “From Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of Arnon, and the city that is in the valley, and as far as the Gilead, there was not a city that was stronger than us. The Lord, our God, delivered everything before us.”
רַק אֶל־אֶרֶץ בְּנֵי־עַמֹּון לֹא קָרָבְתָּ כָּל־יַד נַחַל יַבֹּק וְעָרֵי הָהָר וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ 2:37
Deut. 2:37 “Only you did not come near to the land of the children of Ammon, all the side of the river Jabbok and the cities of the hill country and everywhere that the Lord, our God, forbade.”
The one second-person pronoun in this verse is singular.
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