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Judges 11:16-18: Jephthah Answers Ammon, Part 2

Verse 16:[1] But when Israel came up from Egypt, and (Num. 14:25; Deut. 1:40; Josh. 5:6) walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and (Num. 13:26; 20:1; Deut. 1:46) came to Kadesh…

[Unto the red sea] Understand this not of the coming unto the Red Sea before their crossing of it, nor of that other shortly after crossing, Numbers 33:10, but of that other during their station at Ezion-gaber (which was at the mouth of the Red Sea, 1 Kings 9:26; 2 Chronicles 8:17), from which they came directly to Kadesh, Numbers 33:35, 36. And Kadesh here is not Kadesh-Barnea, but Kadesh on the coasts of Edom, Numbers 20 (Bonfrerius).

Unto the Red Sea; unto which they came three times; once, Exodus 13:18; again, a little after their passage over it, Exod 15:22; and a third time, long after, when they came to Ezion-gaber, Numbers 33:35; Deuteronomy 2:8, which was upon the shore of the Red Sea, 1 Kings 9:26; 2 Chronicles 8:17, from whence they went to Kadesh, Numbers 20: of this time he speaks here.

Verse 17:[2] Then (Num. 20:14) Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land: (Num. 20:18, 21) but the king of Edom would not hearken thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel (Num. 20:1) abode in Kadesh.

[Unto the king of Moab] This legation is nowhere mentioned (Bonfrerius); but from this place it is gathered, and from this, that he also denied passage to the Israelites (Drusius).

[He dwelt in Kadesh] His own path, as he had determined, not proceeding along the borders of the Idumeans and Moabites, and not undertaking anything hostile against them (Bonfrerius).

Israel abode in Kadesh: Peaceably, and did not revenge their unkindness and inhumanity, as they could have done.

Verse 18:[3] Then they went along through the wilderness, and (Num. 21:4; Deut. 2:1-8) compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and (Num. 21:11) came by the east side of the land of Moab, (Num. 21:13; 22:36) and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab.

[And he pitched] Hebrew: and they encamped;[4] although hitherto the singular number was used: but the word Israel is collective, in words of which sort there is an easy transition from one number to the other (Bonfrerius).

[1] Hebrew: כִּ֖י בַּעֲלוֹתָ֣ם מִמִּצְרָ֑יִם וַיֵּ֙לֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵ֤ל בַּמִּדְבָּר֙ עַד־יַם־ס֔וּף וַיָּבֹ֖א קָדֵֽשָׁה׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיִּשְׁלַ֣ח יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל מַלְאָכִ֣ים׀ אֶל־מֶלֶךְ֩ אֱד֙וֹם׀ לֵאמֹ֜ר אֶעְבְּרָה־נָּ֣א בְאַרְצֶ֗ךָ וְלֹ֤א שָׁמַע֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ אֱד֔וֹם וְגַ֙ם אֶל־מֶ֧לֶךְ מוֹאָ֛ב שָׁלַ֖ח וְלֹ֣א אָבָ֑ה וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בְּקָדֵֽשׁ׃

[3] Hebrew: וַיֵּ֣לֶךְ בַּמִּדְבָּ֗ר וַיָּ֜סָב אֶת־אֶ֤רֶץ אֱדוֹם֙ וְאֶת־אֶ֣רֶץ מוֹאָ֔ב וַיָּבֹ֤א מִמִּזְרַח־שֶׁ֙מֶשׁ֙ לְאֶ֣רֶץ מוֹאָ֔ב וַֽיַּחֲנ֖וּן בְּעֵ֣בֶר אַרְנ֑וֹן וְלֹא־בָ֙אוּ֙ בִּגְב֣וּל מוֹאָ֔ב כִּ֥י אַרְנ֖וֹן גְּב֥וּל מוֹאָֽב׃

[4] Hebrew: וַיַּחֲנוּן.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Oct 02, 2018

Matthew Henry: 'Jephthah gives in a very full and satisfactory answer to this demand, showing it to be altogether unjust and unreasonable, and that the Ammonites had no title to this country that lay between the rivers Arnon and Jabbok, now in the possession of the tribes of Reuben and Gad. As one very well versed in the history of his country, he shows...

That they were so far from invading the property of any other nations than the devoted posterity of cursed Canaan (one of the branches of which the Amorites were, Genesis 10:16) that they would not so much as force a passage through the country either of the Edomites, the seed of Esau, or of the Moabites,…

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