1643.) Deuteronomy 3

Moses commissions Joshua in this fesco in the Sistine chapel painted in 1481 by Luigi Signorelli.  (See verse 28.)

Deuteronomy 3 (English Standard Version)

The Defeat of King Og

King Og was a giant.

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. 2But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have given him and all his people and his land into your hand. And you shall do to him as you did to Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.’

3So the LORD our God gave into our hand Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people, and we struck him down until he had no survivor left. 4And we took all his cities at that time—there was not a city that we did not take from them—sixty cities, the whole region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides very many unwalled villages. 6And we devoted them to destruction, as we did to Sihon the king of Heshbon, devoting to destruction every city, men, women, and children. 7But all the livestock and the spoil of the cities we took as our plunder.

Psalm 135:5, 10-12 (NIV)

I know that the LORD is great,
that our Lord is greater than all gods.

He struck down many nations
and killed mighty kings-

Sihon king of the Amorites,
Og king of Bashan
and all the kings of Canaan-

and he gave their land as an inheritance,
an inheritance to his people Israel.

8So we took the land at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, from the Valley of the Arnon to Mount Hermon 9(the Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, while the Amorites call it Senir), 10all the cities of the tableland and all Gilead and all Bashan, as far as Salecah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11(For only Og the king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bed was a bed of iron. Is it not in Rabbah of the Ammonites? Nine cubits was its length, and four cubits its breadth, according to the common cubit.)

Some scholars suggest that King Og’s ‘bed’ was really his  sarcophagus, and was made not of ‘iron’ but of ironstone.  It measured 13 and a half feet long, and 6 feet wide.  His burial place, it seems, became widely renown, and may have looked something like the picture above.

Division of the Land

(This land is all on the east side of the Jordan River; two-and-a-half tribes will eventually settle here.)

12“When we took possession of this land at that time, I gave to the Reubenites and the Gadites the territory beginning at Aroer, which is on the edge of the Valley of the Arnon, and half the hill country of Gilead with its cities. 13 The rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, that is, all the region of Argob, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh. (All that portion of Bashan is called the land of Rephaim. 14 Jair the Manassite took all the region of Argob, that is, Bashan, as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and called the villages after his own name, Havvoth-jair, as it is to this day.) 15To Machir I gave Gilead, 16and to the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the territory from Gilead as far as the Valley of the Arnon, with the middle of the valley as a border, as far over as the river Jabbok, the border of the Ammonites; 17the Arabah also, with the Jordan as the border, from Chinnereth as far as the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, under the slopes of Pisgah on the east.

18“And I commanded you at that time, saying, ‘The LORD your God has given you this land to possess. All your men of valor shall cross over armed before your brothers, the people of Israel. 19Only your wives, your little ones, and your livestock (I know that you have much livestock) shall remain in the cities that I have given you, 20 until the LORD gives rest to your brothers, as to you, and they also occupy the land that the LORD your God gives them beyond the Jordan. Then each of you may return to his possession which I have given you.’

21And I commanded Joshua at that time, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings. So will the LORD do to all the kingdoms into which you are crossing. 22You shall not fear them, for it is the LORD your God who fights for you.’

Joshua had a huge job to do — to bring a whole nation into a land where they would not be welcome, and where they would have to fight to possess what God had rightfully given to them. With this huge challenge in front of him, Joshua is encouraged to remember all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings (Sihon and Og). Remembering God’s past faithfulness is key to present and future victory.

–David Guzik

Moses Forbidden to Enter the Land

23“And I pleaded with the LORD at that time, saying, 24‘O Lord GOD, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (Amplified Bible)

And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.

For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours?



HERE  is “What a Mighty God We Serve” sung with spirit by the Metropolitan Baptist Church Cherub choir!


25Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’

26But the LORD was angry with me because of you and would not listen to me. And the LORD said to me, ‘Enough from you; do not speak to me of this matter again. 27 Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes westward and northward and southward and eastward, and look at it with your eyes, for you shall not go over this Jordan.

View from Mt. Nebo/Pisgah, across the Jordan Valley and into the Promised Land. This was the place where Moses would be able to see the Promised Land from a distance, and then die. This is where the book of Deuteronomy will end.

28But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he shall go over at the head of this people, and he shall put them in possession of the land that you shall see.’ 29So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.

from New International Biblical Commentary,
by Christopher Wright

So Moses will die, and the people will live.  Judgment and grace are interwoven. In some sense Moses was bearing more of the suffering of his people than was his personal due. He foreshadows that future servant of Yahweh who would indeed offer a blameless life for the sin of us all (Isaiah 53:4-6).  Would it have eased Moses’ pain and disappointment, we might wonder, if he could have known that one day he would stand in the land on another mountaintop and have a conversation with that very servant about the sacrifice he was about to accomplish?


English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Signorelli.    http://oneyearbibleimages.com/joshua_moses.jpg
King Og.     http://bibeltemplet.net/Bilder/goljat.GIF
burial stones.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/3-og-stones.jpg
Do Not Enter sign.    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/dd/Do_Not_Enter_sign.svg/600px-Do_Not_Enter_sign.svg.png
view from Mt. Nebo.    http://s3.amazonaws.com/churchplantmedia-cms/thejourneyhouston/mt-nebo-view-1.jpg

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