אחרי הכתו. אָמַר מֹשֶׁה אִם אֲנִי מוֹכִיחָם קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּכָּנְסוּ לִקְצֵה הָאָרֶץ, יֹאמְרוּ מַה לָּזֶה עָלֵינוּ? מַה הֵיטִיב לָנוּ? אֵינוֹ בָא אֶלָּא לְקַנְתֵּר וְלִמְצֹא עִלָּה, שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ כֹחַ לְהַכְנִיסֵנוּ לָאָרֶץ, לְפִיכָךְ הִמְתִּין עַד שֶׁהִפִּיל סִיחוֹן וְעוֹג לִפְנֵיהֶם וְהוֹרִישָׁם אֶת אַרְצָם וְאַחַר כָּךְ הוֹכִיחָן (ספרי): אחרי הכתו AFTER HE HAD SMITTEN [SIHON] — Moses said: If I reprove them before they enter at least a part of the land, they will say, “What claim has this man upon us? What good has he ever conferred upon us? He only comes (his purpose is only) to vex us and to discover some pretext for leaving us in the wilderness, for he really has not the power to bring us into the land” On this account he waited until he had defeated Sihon and Og before them and had given them possession of their land — and only after that did he reprove them (Sifrei Devarim 3:2).
סיחן אשר יושב בחשבון. אִלּוּ לֹא הָיָה סִיחוֹן קָשֶׁה וְהָיָה שָׁרוּי בְּחֶשְׁבּוֹן, הָיָה קָשָׁה, שֶׁהַמְּדִינָה קָשָׁה, וְאִלּוּ הָיְתָה עִיר אַחֶרֶת וְסִיחוֹן שָׁרוּי בְּתוֹכָהּ, הָיְתָה קָשָׁה, שֶׁהַמֶּלֶךְ קָשֶׁה, עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה שֶׁהַמֶּלֶךְ קָשֶׁה וְהַמְּדִינָה קָשָׁה (שם): סיחן … אשר יושב בחשבון [AFTER HE HAD SMITTEN] SIHON … WHO DWELT IN HESHBON — Even if Sihon himself had not been difficult to defeat, but had resided at Heshbon, he would have been difficult to defeat, because the city was a difficult one to capture: and if it had been a matter of some other city, but Sihon had resided in it, it would have been difficult to capture, because its king, at least, would have been difficult to defeat. How much more was this so now when the king was difficult to defeat and the land difficult to capture (Sifrei Devarim 3:3; cf. Rashi on Numbers 21:23).
אשר יושב בעשתרת. הַמֶּלֶךְ קָשֶׁה וְהַמְּדִינָה קָשָׁה: אשר יושב בעשתרת [AND OG] WHO DWELT AT ASHTAROTH — here, too, the king was difficult to defeat and the city difficult to capture (Sifrei Devarim 3:4).
עשתרת. הוּא לְשׁוֹן צוּקִין וְקֹשִׁי, כְּמוֹ "עַשְׁתְּרֹת קַרְנַיִם" (בראשית י"ד) וְעַשְׁתָּרוֹת זֶה הוּא עַשְׁתְּרֹת קַרְנַיִם, שֶׁהָיוּ שָׁם רְפָאִים שֶׁהִכָּה אַמְרָפֶל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שם) "וַיַּכּוּ אֶת רְפָאִים בְּעַשְׁתְּרֹת קַרְנַיִם". וְעוֹג נִמְלַט מֵהֶם, וְהוּא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שם) "וַיָּבֹא הַפָּלִיט", וְאוֹמֵר (דברים ג') "כִּי רַק עוֹג מֶלֶךְ הַבָּשָׁן נִשְׁאַר מִיֶּתֶר הָרְפָאִים": עשתרת — This is an expression denoting rocks and anything hard, just as (Genesis 14:5) “Ashtaroth Karnaim”, (i.e. the hard rocks of Karnaim) (Sifrei Devarim 3:5)). And indeed this Ashtaroth is identical with Ashtaroth Karnaim where the Rephaim (the giants) were, whom Amraphel smote, as it is said, (Genesis 14:5) “And they smote the Rephaim in Ashtaroth Karnaim". Og, alone, escaped of them, and that is the meaning of what is stated, (Genesis 14:13; cf. Rashi) "And the one who escaped (הפליט) came", for it further states, (Deuteronomy 3:11) "For only Og, king of Bashan, remained of the remnant of the Rephaim",
באדרעי. שֵׁם הַמַּלְכוּת: באדרעי IN EDREI — the name of the royal city.