The Talelei Oros (Bamidbar 31:23) quotes the Satmar Rav (Kuntros Chiddushei Torah on Avos) who says the war of Sichon & Og took place on Erev Shabbos and ended just before Shabbos in order to answer why nothing was mentioned about the utensils until Midyan. Where is this Midrash?


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In the book Divrei Yoel, also by the Satmar Rav, the same idea is brought, and it seems the editors were also perplexed as to the source of this idea. They tracked down one book which says something similar, but in the name of unnamed commentators (Edut Beyosef, Matot-Masei, pg. 41):

"ולי נראה דמפרשים פירשו גבי סיחון ועוג היה בערב שבת לכן העמיד משה החמה כדי שלא יחללו שבת..."

Translation: "And it seems to me that the commentators explained about Sichon and Og that was on Erev Shabbat and that's why Moshe stopped the sun so they wouldn't desecrate the Shabbat..."

Further digging showed that in the book Beit Shmuel (Vayikra), published just a couple of years before Edut Beyosef, the idea that these wars took place on Erev Shabbat seems to be taken for granted:

"...משום לפי דעת משה לא היה צריך לעמוד החמה במלחמת סיחון ועוג שלא יחללו השבת דאיתא בפסוק ואתחנן אל ה' בעת ההיא פי' רש"י בחומש קסבר הותר הנדר לאחר שכבש ארץ סיחון ועוג וצ"ל דמשה היה סבר דארץ סיחון ועוג מארץ ישראל הוא והוי מלחמות חובה ומותר עד רדתה אפי' בשבת ולא היה צריך לדבר לחמה דום והא דתני שעמד' חמה בימי משנ היינו דהקב"ה אמר לה שידום דהקב"ה אמר למשה כי לא תעבור את הירדן דלא הותר הנדר משום דארץ סיחון ועוג אינה מארץ ישראל ולא הותר מקצתו וא"כ הוי מלחמת רשות ואסר לחלל שבת במחמה זו אמר הקב"ה לחמה שידום אבל לא משה..."

Translation: "...for according to Moshe's view, it was not necessary for the sun to stand still during the wars of Sichon and Og so that they wouldn't desecrate the Shabbat as it says in the verse "I pleaded with the LORD at that time" etc explains Rashi in the Chumash that he thought that the vow was released after he conquered the land of Sichon and Og and it must be said that Moshe thought that the land of Sichon and Og is part of Eretz Yisrael and therefore the wars were required wars and were allowed until the end of the battle, even during Shabbat, and therefore didn't need to tell the sun [to] stop and that which was taught that the sun stood still in the days of Moshe, this really means that Hashem told it to stand still, for Hashem told Moshe that he would not cross the Jordan and the vow was not released for the land of Sichon and Og is not part of Eretz Yisrael and not even a little [part of the vow] was released, and if so, this was an unrequired war and it was not allowed to desecrate the Shabbat in this war, so Hashem told the sun to stand still, but not Moshe..."

This same idea was concluded over 150 years later in the book Shnei Hame'orot (Devarim) possibly (though perhaps I misunderstood) from the gezerah shavah in the gemara which taught that the sun also stopped for Moshe and connecting the midrash (Yalkut Shimoni on Nach 22:3) that says that the sun stopped for Yehoshua on Erev Shabbat. Perhaps this was how the other sources concluded this?

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