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Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 6: Harmony of the Law, Part IV, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at

A Repitition of the same History

Deuteronomy 3

Deuteronomy 3:12-20

12. And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites, and to the Gadites

12. Et hanc terram possedimus eo tempore ab Aroer, qum sita erat ad torrentem Arnon: et dimidium montis Galaad, et urbes ejus dedi Rubenitis et Gadiris.

13. And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half-tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.

13. Residuum vero Galaad, et universam Basan regni Og dedi dimidiae tribui Manasse, et omnem regionem Argob, totam Basan qum vocabatur terra gigantum.

14. Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob, unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi, and called them after his own name, Bashan-havoth-jair, unto this day.

14. Jair filius Manasse cepit omnem regionem Argob usque ad terminum Gesuri et Maachathi: et vocavit eas secundum nomen suum Basan Havoth Jair usque ad diem istam.

15. And I gave Gilead unto Machir.

15. Porro ipsi Machir dedi Galaad:

16. And unto the Reubenites, and unto the Gadites, I gave from Gilead even unto the river Arnon, half the valley, and the border, even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon;

16. Rubenitis vero et Gaditis dedi Galaad, usque ad torrentem Arnon, medium torrentis, et terminum: et usque ad Jabboc torrentem terminum filiorum Ammon:

17. The plain also, and Jordan, and the coast thereof, from Chinnereth even unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, under Ashdoth-pisgah eastward.

17. Et planitiem, et Jordanem, et terminum a Chinnereth usque ad mare planitiei, mare salis, sub effusionibus aquarum collis ad orientem.

18. And I commanded you at that time, saying, The Lord your God hath given you this land to possess it: ye shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all that are meet for the war.

18. Pracepique vobis co tempore dicendo, Jehova Deus vester dedit vobis terram istam, ut possideatis eam, accineti armis transibitis ante fratres vestros filios Israel, quotquot robusti estis.

19. But your wives, and your little ones, and your cattle, (for I know that ye have much cattle,) shall abide in your cities which I have given you;

19. Tantummodo uxores vestrae, et parvuli vestri, et pecudes vestrae (novi quod pecora multa sint vobis) remanebunt in urbibus vestris quas dedi vobis:

20. Until the Lord have given rest unto your brethren, as well as unto you, and until they also possess the land which the Lord your God hath given them beyond Jordan: and then shall ye return every man unto his possession, which I have given you.

20. Donec requiem dederit Jehova fratribus vestris sicut vobis, et possideant ipsi etiam terram, quam Jehova Deus vester dat eis trans Jordanem: tunc revertemini singuli ad possessionem suam quam dedi vobis.


12. And this land, which we possessed at that time. In this passage Moses confirms his decision, that the possession of the country beyond Jordan should be insured to the Reubenites and Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh. For, since it had fallen to them exceptionally, the matter might be brought into controversy with posterity. Lest, then, any should disturb them, he again declares that they were the rightful possessors of that district. Moreover, inasmuch as the very gift of it might be called in question, since it was situated outside the bounds of the inheritance promised by God, Moses anticipates this objection also, asserting that God had not in vain given it to be possessed by His people. Hence it follows that the right of inhabiting it was conferred upon them. Lest, then, so unequal a partition should be made a subject of contention, he marks out their boundaries on every side, as though he set up the authority of God as a wall and rampart against any who should presume to invade it.

With reference to the names of the places, the Dead Sea is called the Sea of Salt, and the Lake of Genesera or Gennesareth, Chinnereth. As to the “outpourings of the hill,” translators are not agreed; for some consider Ashdoth-Pisgah to be the proper name of a city.  220 I prefer, however, to take the word “outpourings” (effusionum) appellatively, not for fountains and streams, but for the root (of the hill) where the ground by a gentle descent seems in a manner to pour itself forth. We shall presently see that Pisgah was one of the summits of Mount Abarim.

18. And I commanded you at that time. This address is directed only to those to whom an inheritance was given on the other side of Jordan; but Moses declares that he had introduced an agreement that the two tribes and a half should not enjoy their possession until they had accommpanied their brethren in the subjugation of the land of Canaan. He says, therefore, that he had given them a place, not where they were at once to settle themselves, but where they might deposit their wives and cattle, until the whole people were peaceably established in their land.



אשדת הפסגה A.V. “Ashdoth-Pisgah;” marg., “The springs of Pisgah, or, of the hill.” The LXX. in like manner only substitutes Greek letters for the Hebrew, treating both words as proper names. But when the same words occur at the close of the next chapter, our translators have placed their previous marginal translation in their text, and the LXX. instead of Φασγὰ have τὴν λαξευτήν, as though פסגה were an appellative, from פסג to cut. In construing אשדת as a noun, from אשד and rendering it effusions, C. followed S.M., as also in putting the hill for Pisgah. Our translators and Luther have agreed in rendering the former word springs, when it occurs in Jos 10:40, and 12:8; whilst the LXX. and Diodati have treated it as a proper name in both those texts. — W

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