Moshe was threatened by Og, the King of Bashan, and his army and was successful in conquering. Before this happened, though, Hashem reassured Moshe: “Do not fear for I have given him over to your hand …” (Bamidbar 21:34). Considering all of the great challenges that Moshe overcame before this, why did Moshe require such emotional support? We will take a look at the historical phenomenon of which Og was a part, from the time of Avraham until the time of David.
We have discussed in the past Bnei Yisrael’s relationship with the nation of Edom. Now we will take a look at Moav’s relationship with Edom, as portrayed by Amos: “For the three sins of Moav, and for the fourth I will not let them be – on the fact that they burned the bones of the King of Edom into lime” (Amos 2:1).
The significance of the passing of Aharon’s clothes to Elazar, before the former’s death, of which we read this week, represents passing on his job and the authority of the Kohen Gadol from father to son. We have explained in the past that when Melachim begins with David’s lack of benefit from the warming powers of his clothes, it means that he had a problem passing on his kingdom to his heir apparent. That is why Chazal understood that David was criticized for cutting off the edge of Shaul’s garment when hiding in a cave as Shaul pursued him (Shmuel I, 24:4-5). It is not simple that he should be criticized, considering that he could have killed Shaul instead. According to what we have said, the matter is clear. Kingdom is something that one needs to receive, not take. By cutting off the piece of the garment, he was demonstrating taking it by force from Shaul, and this was wrong even as a symbolic act.
Moshe did not merit to enter and capture Eretz Yisrael on behalf of the nation. His disciple, Yehoshua, about whom it is said, “the lad did not abandon the tent” (Shemot 33:11) did so instead. While Moshe’s sin caused this outcome, certainly it was set from beforehand that it would be Yehoshua who would bring the people in. (We will not get into the solution to the paradox of bechira and yediah (human choice and divine foreknowledge)).