We must understand the paragraph divisions in Torah, which are inspired by the Spirit and preserved by Moses and the Jewish scribes (but discarded by the English translators), are key to help us understand what God is trying to tell us. He wants to be understood, and has provided these helps to aid us! We must also understand how the Spirit teaches through Torah by common theme.
Outlining this torah portion:
Deu 2:1-8 – passing by the possession of Esau; stumah (after Ezion Geber in vs. 8);
Deu 2:9 – pass by the possession of Moab;
Deu 2:10-12 – their former giants defeated by Esau and Moab;
Deu 2:13-16 – the unbelieving generation perished for YHVH’s hand was against them; stumah;
Deu 2:17-19 – pass by the possession of Ammon;
Deu 2:20-23 – their former giants defeated by Ammon and the Caphtorim;
Deu 2:24-30 – the Amorites will perish for YHVH’s hand is against them; stumah.
Notice the repeating pattern in the two paragraph stumahs that end this parashah. A common way the Spirit teaches through Torah is by repetition! There is another greater repeating pattern in this parashah:
pass by the possession of Esau;
pass by the possession of Moab;
pass by the possession of Ammon;
possess the possession of Sihon.
God has infused the Torah with repeating patterns, and then often breaks them, in order to make a point or teach a lesson. In this section, the pattern is that it is the Lord who had given Esau, Moab, and Ammon their land, so that even though giants formerly lived there, the giants were not able to withstand – not Esau, not Moab, not Ammon – but the Lord. Giants may be able to withstand Esau, Moab, or Ammon, and even you, but giants are not able to withstand YHVH!
This portion ends with the command to possess the land of the Amorites. The pattern of do not possess is broken. The lesson is that no one can withstand the Lord. He gives possessions to whom He gives possessions, and then those things are theirs, and they cannot be dispossessed unless the Lord Himself dispossesses them. Do not fear, Israel, as the unbelieving generation did, but be believing! YHVH is able to bring you in!
10/11/09 Update: As I went back through this parashah, to study out the greater paragraph from Deu 1:1-3:29, I discovered that this parashah forms a chiastic structure.
1A 2:2-5 – pass by the possession of Esau, YHVH will not give Israel their land;
1B 2:6 – Israel bought food and water of Esau with money;
1C 2:7-8a – YHVH has blessed Israel so that they lack nothing; stumah;
1D 2:8b-9 – turn to Moab, pass by the possession of Moab;
1E 2:10-12a – the giants formerly in Moab were destroyed before them;
1F 2:12b – YHVH gave Israel the Land of their possession;
1G 2:13 – cross over the Zered;
–> X 2:14-16 – the hand of YHVH was against the unbelieving generation so that they perished; stumah;
2G 2:17-18 – cross over the boundary of Moab;
2F 2:19 – YHVH gave the descendants of Lot the land of their possession;
2E 2:20-23 – the giants formerly in Ammon were destroyed before them;
2D 2:24 – cross over the Arnon, go in and possess Sihon;
2C 2:25 – YHVH will bless Israel so that the nations will be in dread of them;
2B 2:26-29 – Israel will buy food and water of Sihon with money:
2A 2:30 – posses the possession of Sihon, YHVH will give Israel his land; stumah.