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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

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Commentary on Deuteronomy

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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

1.6–3.29:

Historical review. Moses rehearses the exodus, revelation at Horeb, and rebellion in the desert for the generation who arose after these events and did not directly witness them, so that they may understand what brought them to the present moment. At a number of points, this narrative diverges from that of Exodus‐Numbers.

6 :

The original of the divine command quoted has not been preserved (cf. Num. ch 10 ).

7:

Amorites, as at Gen. 15.16, seems to be used generically for the family of nations who are the original inhabitants of Canaan, rather than technically to designate one of those nations (contrast Gen. 15.19–21; Exod. 3.8, 17 ). The Shephelah is the region of foothills between the hill country on the east and the seacoast on the west. The Negeb is the semi‐arid region south of the hill country. Great River: The ideal borders of the Israelite empire extended to the Euphrates (Gen. 15.18 ), the northern limit of David's conquests (2 Sam. 8.3 ).

8 :

See…at your disposal: With this binding oral proclamation, God symbolically displays the land and transfers its legal title to Israel (similarly, Gen. 13.14–15 ).

3.1–11:

The victory over Bashan (Num. 21.33–35 ).

1:

Edrei, on the extreme south border of Bashan; see Num. 21.33.

11 :

The oversized bed of Og, one of the legendary Rephaim ( 2.10–11 ), was a “museum piece” in Rabbah, a city on the Ammonite border. The emphasis that this bed is now there places the historical perspective of the narrator, and thus of Deuteronomy's composition, long after the events here recounted ( 1.1 n.; 2.12 n. ). A cubit was about 44 cm (17.5 in.).

12–22:

The allotment of tribal territories in Transjordan (Num. ch 32; Josh. ch 13 ).

14:

Num. 32.41.

17:

The territory included the eastern part of the Jordan Valley or Arabah.

22:

The whole story of the exodus, wilderness journey, and invasion of Canaan is governed by the conventions of holy war, whereby God is a divine warrior who engages in battle on behalf of Israel.

23–29:

Num. 27.12–23.

24:

No godʾcan equal: The assertion of God's superior power, relative to other gods in heaven, assumes the existence of other gods ( 5.7 n; 6.4 n.; 32.8 n.; Exod. 15.11; Ps. 89.5–8 ). For the later perspective of monotheism, see 4.35 n.

26:

On the vicarious suffering of Moses, see 1.37 n.

27:

Mount Pisgah, see 34.1n.

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