Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 4:41 - 4:41

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 4:41 - 4:41


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Selection of Three Cities of Refuge for Unintentional Manslayers on the East of the Jordan. - The account of this appointment of the cities of refuge in the conquered land on the east of the Jordan is inserted between the first and second addresses of Moses, in all probability for no other reason than because Moses set apart the cities at that time according to the command of God in Num 35:6, Num 35:14, not only to give the land on that side its full consecration, and thoroughly confirm the possession of the two Amoritish kingdoms on the other side of the Jordan, but also to give the people in this punctual observance of the duty devolving upon it an example for their imitation in the conscientious observance of the commandments of the Lord, which he was now about to lay before the nation. The assertion that this section neither stood after Num, nor really belongs there, has a little foundation as the statement that its contents are at variance with the precepts in Deut 19. “Toward the sunrising” is introduced as a more precise definition; הַיַּרְדֵּן עֵבֶר, like מִזְרָחָה in Num 32:19 and Num 34:15. On the contents of Deu 4:42, comp. Num 35:15. The three towns that were set apart were Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan. “Bezer in the steppe, (namely) in the land of the level” (The Amoritish table-land: Deu 3:10). The situation of this Levitical town and city of refuge, which is only mentioned again in Jos 20:8; Jos 21:36, and 1Ch 6:63, has not yet been discovered. Bezer was probably the same as Bosor (1 Macc. 5:36), and is possibly to be seen in the Berza mentioned by Robinson (Pal. App. p. 170). Ramoth in Gilead, i.e., Ramoth-Mizpeh (comp. Jos 20:8 with Jos 13:26), was situated, according to the Onom., fifteen Roman miles, or six hours, to the west of Philadelphia (Rabbath-Ammon); probably, therefore, on the site of the modern Salt, which is six hours' journey from Ammân (cf. v. Raumer, Pal. pp. 265, 266). - Golan, in Bashan, according to Eusebius (s. v. Gaulon or Golan), was still a very large village in Batanaea even in his day, from which the district generally received the name of Gaulonitis or Joan; but it has not yet been discovered again.