Chapter 3: People of Bashan are Destroyed
The congregation of Israel heads up to Bashan, where the king of Bashan (king Og) opposes them in a great battle, at Edrei. The Israelites start to fear a little, but the Lord delivered King Og and his people, just like the Lord delivered Sihon and his people into their hands.
They do just like they did with Sihon and his people, killing every single one of them, until no men, women or children are left alive. The children of Israel take the livestock and goods for their plunder. They conquered threescore (or 3 x 20=60), they conquered sixty cities, that were under the rule of King Og, in Bashan. All the cities were fenced, with walls, gates and bars. Essentially they were heavily fortified.
An interesting passage in verse 11, states that King Og was the last of the “giants”, mentioning that his bed was 13.5 long and 6 feet wide! Did you know that an average twin bed is.. 3.5 feet wide by 6.25 feet long! Almost double the size of a twin mattress, making me believe that these “giants” of the Old Testament were probably about double the size of an average man today.
The regions of Gilead and all of Bashan were given to the half tribe of Manasseh which was known as the land of the giants.
Moses sees Canaan from Pisgah, but is denied entrance into this land. He however, counsels and gives charge of Joshua.
Chapter 4: Scattering and Gathering of Israel
Moses speaks to the congregation of Israel and commands them to not add to the word, neither should they fall from it.
“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it…” (Deuteronomy 4:2)
This verse really gets me, because some skeptics of the Book of Mormon will read from the book of Revelations, where it says: “…If any man add unto these things (speaking of the Book of Revelations, but often misunderstood as the “Bible as a whole”), God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:” (Revelations 22:18)
So essentially we have two scriptures that say “do not add”, if Revelations was true, then why was Deuteronomy 4:2 written? The answer… Moses and John the Revelator were speaking of their words, in their books! Think about the way the books of the Bible were written… Revelations wasn’t even the last book written of the Bible!
Just thought I would mention that verse in Deuteronomy, Moses after telling his people to neither add, nor diminish from his words; continues to teach and preach to his people. Moses tells his people to be wise and an understanding people, without this they will not become a great nation. He reminds them to remember of the times when they were able to see the Lord’s hands in their lives and more specifically when they were wondering in the desert for forty years. They are to be a witness of the great power and wisdom of God.
Moses reminds his people of the covenant that they made with the Lord to follow the Ten Commandments and to follow all of the statutes and judgments. Moses tells the Israelites to not worship false gods, or get the idea of worshiping the stars, the moon or the sun.
Moses explains that if they chose to not follow the commandments and statutes that the Lord has placed upon them, then they will be destroyed. He exhorts them (or suggests to them) that they follow the commandments and do everything in their power to “extend” or “prolong” their days upon the land, having more time to be favorable in the eyes of God. Because he says that God is a “jealous” God, but a merciful God. If they do this faithfully, Israel will be once again gathered in the “latter” days.
One thing that I found to be interesting is in verse 28; Moses is speaking to the Israelites about how they will be punished if they serve other gods, which he mentions; “…ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood, stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell” (Deuteronomy 4:28)
What is verse 4:28 telling us? I believe it has two meanings. One is that often times we worship things that are made by men, like (in modern days), a cell phone, computer, car, money…etc. We focus on those things (we worship them), when we should be worshiping God. The other meaning, is a little more disputed among scholars… but I believe this verse tells us about the nature of God.
So my question is, who is God? What does he look like? Does he have a body, or is he a spirit?
Here is the answer:
God said; “…Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness…so God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)
So God created man in his own image, which means that He looks like us! God has a body of flesh and bones! This scripture in Deuteronomy 4:28 clearly says that God can see, hear, eat and smell.