Deuteronomy 2:1 Commentary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
1. Then we turned, etc.] See on Deu 1:7.
by the way to the Red Sea ] Rather, in the direction of the Red Sea.
as the Lord spake unto me ] Deu 1:40.
many days ] As in Deu 1:46, indefinite; that a long time is intended is clear from Deu 2:14, which states that Israel spent 38 years between Ḳadesh and the Zered; while Deu 2:7, whether from the same hand or not, implies that the 40 years from Egypt had practically all passed when the people turned N.
Spoken in the land of Moab (Deu 1:5) in the gai or glen, over against Beth Pe‘or (Deu 3:29), a review of Israel’s experiences since they left Ḥoreb. In the Plur. form of address except for the following fragments Deu 1:8; Deu 1:21; Deu 1:31 a, Deu 2:7; Deu 2:24 b, Deu 2:25; Deu 2:30 b, Deu 2:37  . We shall see how far these are detachable from the context, or give evidence of their later intrusion. There are, too, a number of parentheses, dealing with matters beyond Israel’s experience and therefore beyond the aim of the discourse: archaeological notes on the peoples who preceded Moab, Edom, Ammon, the Philistines and Israel, and on Ḥermon; Deu 2:10-12; Deu 2:10-23, Deu 3:9; Deu 3:11; Deu 3:13 b, 14. The contents of these notes are suitable neither to the voice of the Deity, to whose words some of them are attached, Deu 2:10-12; Deu 2:20-23, nor in the mouth of Moses whose purpose is to recall to Israel their own experience. They are notes or glosses, either by the author or an editor. All the rest (except perhaps Deu 3:15-17, which see) forms a unity, complete in itself.
The following are the divisions: (1) Deu 1:6-8, order to depart from Horeb; (2) Deu 1:9-18, institution of Judges; (3) Deu 1:19, journey to Ḳadesh-Barnea‘, to which probably belong Deu 1:1 b, Deu 1:2 (see above); (4) Deu 1:20-25, mission of the spies; (5) Deu 1:26-43, consequent disaffection of the people; (6) Deu 1:34-40, wrath and judgement of God; (7) Deu 1:41-46, defeat of the attempt to enter the land from the south, and residence at Ḳadesh; (8) Deu 2:1-8 a, departure from Ḳadesh and circuit of Mt Se‘îr; (9) Deu 2:8-15, further march to Wâdy-Zered, which they cross 38 years after leaving Ḳadesh, when all the adult generation have died; (10) Deu 2:16-25, command to cross Arnon, the border of Moab, to avoid ‘Ammon and to fight Sîḥôn; (11) Deu 2:26-37, defeat of Sîḥôn; (12) Deu 3:1-7, defeat of ‘Ôg; (13) Deu 3:8-17, division of the conquered lands; (14) Deu 3:18-22, directions to the tribes left there and to Joshua; (15) Deu 3:23-29, Moses’ Prayer to cross Jordan and its rejection.
The same stretch of history from Ḥoreb to the Jordan is treated by JE, Exo 33:1-17, and Num 10:29 onwards; and by P from Numbers 12 onwards. JE seems the basis of this deuteronomic review, even to the extent of supplying verbal details. But the review is not only written in a style peculiar to the deuteronomic writings; it adds some facts not found in JE and differs from JE in its presentation of others. On P the review shows no dependence, and P differs from it considerably both in the language used for the same events and in several matters of substance. On these see below.
Consult other comments:
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges is a biblical commentary set published in parts by Cambridge University Press from 1882 onwards. Anglican bishop John Perowne was the general editor. The first section published was written by theologian Thomas Kelly Cheyne and covered the Book of Micah.
Perowne exercised limited editorial control over the writers of individual commentaries: his aim was "to leave each contributor to the unfettered exercise of his own judgment".