Jair the Manassite took all the region of Argob, that is, Bashan, as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and called the villages after his own name, Havvoth-Jair, as it is to this day. – Deut. 3:14
Scripture reading: Deut. 3:12-22
Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh saw that the land Israel had taken from Og and Sihon was good and asked Moses for it. God heard their request. In this way, God gave Israel assurances that they would enter the land. This teaches us that God is a God Who moves us from glory to glory. Our cup overflows and He continues to add to it. God assured Abraham of his place in the Promised Land by allowing him to purchase some of it. Now Israel receives the area next to the Promised Land as a down payment.
The syntax of the passage teaches us something of God’s goodness. Moses arranges verses 12-17 in a chiastic structure, or a verbal sandwich. Verses 12 and 16-17 give us the inheritance of the Reubenites and the Gadites. Verses 13 and 15 tell us the land that is given to the half tribe of Manasseh. That points us to the centre, to a seemingly random story of a future leader named Jair, who conquers an area next to Manasseh. He takes a number of villages and calls them Havvoth-Jair, meaning “the villages of Jair.” God shows His blessing on these tribes and their faith by relating this little story in the middle of this section.
The name Jair means “splendid.” God is adding splendor to what He has done in giving these lands to the half tribe of Manasseh, reminding us again of God’s goodness. He is the One Who overflows with good things for the man who walks faithfully before Him.
Suggestions for prayer
Remember God’s goodness. Be reminded that even as Israel was promised a good land, you too are promised a far better land.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. James Zekveld is the pastor of the Ambassador Canadian Reformed Church In Niverville, MB.