Deuteronomy 2:3 MEANING

Deuteronomy 2:3
(3) Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.--Apparently this command must have been issued when they were in Kadesh the second time, at the commencement of the fortieth year (Numbers 20:1). It was from this encampment that Moses sent messengers to the king of Edom asking permission to pass through his territory. It would be interesting to know when it was decided that Israel should enter the land of promise by passing over Jordan, instead of going through the Negeb. Did Mount Seir, or the territory of Edom, lie wholly on the east, or partly on the west of Israel when they were encamped in Kadesh? If Edom had acquired any territorial rights to the westward during the thirty-eight years' wandering, it might have been necessary for Israel to ask his permission to go by the way of the spies, and in that case the decision to pass Jordan may have been taken in consequence of Edom's refusal. But if, as Conder (Bible Handbook, p. 250) appears to think, the permission asked was to go eastward between the mountains by the W. el Ghaweir to the north of Mount Hor, or the W. Ghurundel to the south of it (see Stanley's Map in Sinai and Palestine for these), then the decision to pass the Jordan must have been taken before this period. The reason for the step would then be similar to what we find in Exodus 13:17, that the people might not have to fight their way into the country through the land of the Amorites. The miraculous eisodus across Jordan would thus become still more analogous to the miraculous exodus from Egypt.

2:1-7 Only a short account of the long stay of Israel in the wilderness is given. God not only chastised them for their murmuring and unbelief, but prepared them for Canaan; by humbling them for sin, teaching them to mortify their lusts, to follow God, and to comfort themselves in him. Though Israel may be long kept waiting for deliverance and enlargement, it will come at last. Before God brought Israel to destroy their enemies in Canaan, he taught them to forgive their enemies in Edom. They must not, under pretence of God's covenant and conduct, think to seize all they could lay hands on. Dominion is not founded in grace. God's Israel shall be well placed, but must not expect to be placed alone in the midst of the earth. Religion must never be made a cloak for injustice. Scorn to be beholden to Edomites, when thou hast an all-sufficient God to depend upon. Use what thou hast, use it cheerfully. Thou hast experienced the care of the Divine providence, never use any crooked methods for thy supply. All this is equally to be applied to the experience of the believer.Ye have compassed this mountain long enough,.... It was time to be gone from thence, as from Horeb, Deuteronomy 1:6,

turn you northward; from the southern border of Edom towards the land of Canaan, which lay north. It was from Eziongeber in the land of Edom, from whence the Israelites came to Kadesh, where they sent messengers to the king of Edom, to desire a passage through his land; see Numbers 33:36.

Courtesy of Open Bible