The establishment of the Transjordan area (Deut 3:1-3:17)

“When we headed up the road to Bashan, King Og of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people for battle at Edrei. Yahweh said to me, ‘Do not fear him. I have handed him over to you, along with his people and his land. Do to him as you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.’ Yahweh our God also handed over to us King Og of Bashan and all his people. We struck him down until not a single survivor was left. At that time, we captured all his towns. There was no citadel that we did not take from them, sixty towns, the whole region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these were fortress towns with high walls, double gates, and bars, besides a great many villages. We utterly destroyed them, as we had done to King Sihon of Heshbon. In each city we utterly destroyed men, women, and children. But all the livestock and the plunder of the towns we kept as spoil for ourselves.”

This is a more detailed account of Numbers, chapter 21, where both King Sihon and King Og are defeated. They did exactly the same thing to Og as they had done to Sihon. They captured over 60 towns and villages. Not a single survivor remained. All the men, women, and children were wiped out. The Israelites took over the kingdom of Bashan and keep the spoils for themselves.

“So at that time we took from the two kings of the Amorites the land beyond the Jordan, from the Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon. The Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, while the Amorites call it Senir. We took all the towns of the tableland, the whole of Gilead, and all Bashan, as far as Salecah and Edrei, towns of Og’s kingdom in Bashan. Now only King Og of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. In fact his bed, an iron bed, can still be seen at Rabbah of the Ammonites. By the common cubit it is nine cubits long and four cubits wide.”

The two kings of the Amorites were defeated. The Israelites now possessed all the eastern land along the Jordan River form the Arnon River near the middle of the Dead Sea to Mount Hermon, near Lebanon. There was some dispute about the name of this mountain. King Og’s bed was about 13’ long and about 6’ wide, as he was one of the last of the giants.

“As for the land that we took possession of at that time, I gave to the Reubenites and the Gadites the territory north of Aroer that is on the edge of the Wadi Arnon, as well as half the hill country of Gilead with its towns. I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, Og’s kingdom. The whole region of Argob, all that portion of Bashan had been called a land of Rephaim. Jair the Manassite acquired the whole region of Argob, as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites. He named them, Bashan, after himself, Havvoth-jair, as it is to this day. To Machir I gave Gilead. To the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the territory from Gilead as far as the Wadi Arnon, with the middle of the Wadi as a boundary, up to the Jabbok River, the Wadi being the boundary of the Ammonites. They had the Arabah also, with the Jordan and its banks, from Chinnereth down to the sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea, with the lower slopes of Pisgah on the east.”

This was a big area about 100 miles long and about 30 miles wide. Chinnereth was the name for the current Sea of Galilee. This is an explicit explanation of how Moses split up the territory of the east bank of the Jordan, between the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, where they had just crushed everyone and everything.   This was first mentioned in Numbers, chapter 32.

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