Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, , at sacred-texts.com
Deu 2:1 seems to refer in general terms to the long years of wandering, the details of which were not for Moses' present purpose. The command of Deu 2:2-3 relates to their journey from Kadesh to Mount Hor Num 20:22; Num 33:37, and directs their march around to the southern extremity of Mount Seir, so as to "compass the land of Edom" Jdg 11:18; Num 21:4, and so northward toward the Arnon, i. e., "by the way of the wilderness of Moab," Deu 2:8. This circuitous path was followed because of the refusal of the Edomites to allow the people to pass through their territory.
Compare the marginal reference. Though the Edomites resisted the passage through the midst of their land, they did not, and probably could not, oppose the "passing through the coast" or along their eastern frontier.
I have given mount Seir to Esau - Though the descendants of Esau were conquered by David Sa2 8:14, yet they were not dispossessed of their land, and in the reign of Jehoshaphat they regained their independence Kg2 8:20-22.
Elath (Akaba) is at the northern extremity of the eastern arm of the Red Sea, and gives to that arm the name of the Elanitic Gulf. The name means "trees;" and is still justified by the grove of palm-trees at Akaba.
The Moabites and the Ammonites Deu 2:19 being descended from Lot, the nephew of Abraham Gen 19:30-38, were, like the Edomites, kinsmen of the Israelites.
For the Emims, Horims, and Anakims, see the marginal references. These verses are either parenthetical or the insertion of a later hand.
The words, "said I," are not in the Hebrew. The words "rise up, and get you over the brook Zered" (Num 21:12 note) connect themselves with Deu 2:9, and form the conclusion of what God said to Moses.
These verses, like Deu 2:10-12, are in all likelihood an addition made by a later reviser.
Zamzummims - A giant race usually identified with the Zuzims of Gen 14:5.
The Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto Azzah - Read (Gaza, of which Azzah is the Hebrew form. "Hazerim" is not strictly a proper name, but means "villages," or "enclosures," probably such as are still common in the East. The Avims are no doubt identical with the Avites of Jos 13:3, and were doubtless a scattered remnant of a people conquered by the Caphtorim (Gen 10:14 note) and living in their "enclosures" in the neighborhood of Gerar. The word, which means "ruins," seems itself expressive of their fallen state.
Kedemoth - literally, "Easternmost parts;" the name of a town afterward assigned to the Reubenites, and given out of that tribe to the Levites. Compare Jos 13:18; Ch1 6:79.
Utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city - Render, laid under ban (compare Lev 27:28 note) every inhabited city, both women and children: these last words being added by way of fuller explanation.
Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon - Aroer stood on the north bank of the river, and was assigned Jos 13:9, Jos 13:16 to the tribe of Reuben, of which it formed the most southerly city. The valley of the Arnon is here deep, and the descent to it abrupt. In Roman times it was spanned by a viaduct, the ruins of which still remain, and which was probably built on the lines of the original structure of Mesha Kg2 3:5. Aroer here must not be confounded with "Aroer, which is before Rabbah" Jos 13:25. This latter place was "built," "i. e." rebuilt, by the Gadites Num 32:34; it belonged to that tribe, and was consequently far to the north of the Arnon. A third Aroer in the tribe of Judah is mentioned in Sa1 30:28.
"The city that is by the river," literally, "in the midst of the river" (compare Jos 13:9, Jos 13:16) is Ar Moab (compare Num 21:15 note).