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. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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