What does it mean that Sichon didn’t trust Yisrael?

In last week’s Haftara, we find a discussion between Yiftach and the king of Amon.  The king tells Yiftach that he is determined to take back the land that the Jewish people took from him when they left Mitzrayim.  Yiftach responds that it wasn’t the Jews’ fault that Amon lost its land – Yisrael had asked to pass through the land of several nations peacefully, but instead Sichon the King of the Emori waged war on the nation of Israel.  God granted Yisrael victory, and it was because of their victory in that unwanted war that Yisrael conquered the lands of Amon.

שופטים פרק יא

(יז) וַיִּשְׁלַ֣ח יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל מַלְאָכִ֣ים׀ אֶל־מֶלֶךְ֩ אֱד֨וֹם׀ לֵאמֹ֜ר אֶעְבְּרָה־נָּ֣א בְאַרְצֶ֗ךָ וְלֹ֤א שָׁמַע֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ אֱד֔וֹם וְגַ֨ם אֶל־מֶ֧לֶךְ מוֹאָ֛ב שָׁלַ֖ח וְלֹ֣א אָבָ֑ה וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בְּקָדֵֽשׁ:

(יח) וַיֵּ֣לֶךְ בַּמִּדְבָּ֗ר וַיָּ֜סָב אֶת־אֶ֤רֶץ אֱדוֹם֙ וְאֶת־אֶ֣רֶץ מוֹאָ֔ב וַיָּבֹ֤א מִמִּזְרַח־שֶׁ֙מֶשׁ֙ לְאֶ֣רֶץ מוֹאָ֔ב וַֽיַּחֲנ֖וּן בְּעֵ֣בֶר אַרְנ֑וֹן וְלֹא־בָ֙אוּ֙ בִּגְב֣וּל מוֹאָ֔ב כִּ֥י אַרְנ֖וֹן גְּב֥וּל מוֹאָֽב:

(יט) וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מַלְאָכִ֔ים אֶל־סִיח֥וֹן מֶֽלֶךְ־הָאֱמֹרִ֖י מֶ֣לֶךְ חֶשְׁבּ֑וֹן וַיֹּ֤אמֶר לוֹ֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל נַעְבְּרָה־נָּ֥א בְאַרְצְךָ֖ עַד־מְקוֹמִֽי:

(כ) וְלֹא־הֶאֱמִ֨ין סִיח֤וֹן אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ עֲבֹ֣ר בִּגְבֻל֔וֹ וַיֶּאֱסֹ֤ף סִיחוֹן֙ אֶת־כָּל־עַמּ֔וֹ וַֽיַּחֲנ֖וּ בְּיָ֑הְצָה וַיִּלָּ֖חֶם עִם־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:

(כא) וַ֠יִּתֵּן יְקֹוָ֨ק אֱלֹהֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל אֶת־סִיח֧וֹן וְאֶת־כָּל־עַמּ֛וֹ בְּיַ֥ד יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל וַיַּכּ֑וּם וַיִּירַשׁ֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֵ֚ת כָּל־אֶ֣רֶץ הָאֱמֹרִ֔י יוֹשֵׁ֖ב הָאָ֥רֶץ הַהִֽיא:

(כב) וַיִּ֣ירְשׁ֔וּ אֵ֖ת כָּל־גְּב֣וּל הָאֱמֹרִ֑י מֵֽאַרְנוֹן֙ וְעַד־הַיַּבֹּ֔ק וּמִן־הַמִּדְבָּ֖ר וְעַד־הַיַּרְדֵּֽן:

(כג) וְעַתָּ֞ה יְקֹוָ֣ק׀ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל הוֹרִישׁ֙ אֶת־הָ֣אֱמֹרִ֔י מִפְּנֵ֖י עַמּ֣וֹ יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וְאַתָּ֖ה תִּירָשֶֽׁנּוּ:

(כד) הֲלֹ֞א אֵ֣ת אֲשֶׁ֧ר יוֹרִֽישְׁךָ֛ כְּמ֥וֹשׁ אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ אוֹת֥וֹ תִירָ֑שׁ וְאֵת֩ כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֨ר הוֹרִ֜ישׁ יְקֹוָ֧ק אֱלֹהֵ֛ינוּ מִפָּנֵ֖ינוּ אוֹת֥וֹ נִירָֽשׁ:

(כה) וְעַתָּ֗ה הֲט֥וֹב טוֹב֙ אַתָּ֔ה מִבָּלָ֥ק בֶּן־צִפּ֖וֹר מֶ֣לֶךְ מוֹאָ֑ב הֲר֥וֹב רָב֙ עִם־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אִם־נִלְחֹ֥ם נִלְחַ֖ם בָּֽם:

(כו) בְּשֶׁ֣בֶת יִ֠שְׂרָאֵל בְּחֶשְׁבּ֨וֹן וּבִבְנוֹתֶ֜יהָ וּבְעַרְע֣וֹר וּבִבְנוֹתֶ֗יהָ וּבְכָל־הֶֽעָרִים֙ אֲשֶׁר֙ עַל־יְדֵ֣י אַרְנ֔וֹן שְׁלֹ֥שׁ מֵא֖וֹת שָׁנָ֑ה וּמַדּ֥וּעַ לֹֽא־הִצַּלְתֶּ֖ם בָּעֵ֥ת הַהִֽיא:

(כז) וְאָֽנֹכִי֙ לֹֽא־חָטָ֣אתִי לָ֔ךְ וְאַתָּ֞ה עֹשֶׂ֥ה אִתִּ֛י רָעָ֖ה לְהִלָּ֣חֶם בִּ֑י יִשְׁפֹּ֨ט יְקֹוָ֤ק הַשֹּׁפֵט֙ הַיּ֔וֹם בֵּ֚ין בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וּבֵ֖ין בְּנֵ֥י עַמּֽוֹן:

(כח) וְלֹ֣א שָׁמַ֔ע מֶ֖לֶךְ בְּנֵ֣י עַמּ֑וֹן אֶל־דִּבְרֵ֣י יִפְתָּ֔ח אֲשֶׁ֥ר שָׁלַ֖ח אֵלָֽיו: פ

I assume that at least one of the reasons that this Haftara was chosen was to highlight how history continues to influence people’s lives (or is used as a pretense), and in this case the varying perspectives of the war of Yisrael and Amon animates their positions in this subsequent war.

I want to focus on one strange turn of phrase.  In possuk 20, Yiftach says ולא האמין סיחון את ישראל עבר בגבולו.  It is not exactly clear what it means that Sichon did not believe/trust Yisrael.  Presumably, as some Meforshim note, there are some implied words.  For example, Sichon didn’t trust Yisrael to not take water as they said; therefore he didn’t let them through.  Still, the phrase is odd.

I wonder whether this phrase is meant to allude to another phrase.  In Parshat Chukat, the story that precedes Yisrael’s run in with Edom, Moav, Og, and Sichon is the story of Moshe hitting the rock.  In that anecdote, Hashem says that Moshe will be punished because לא האמנתם בי.  Is it possible that there is a connection between Moshe’s sin and the subsequent refusal of the nations to allow Yisrael to pass through the lands?  Is their refusal a punishment for Moshe?  Is that what Yiftach’s choice of phrase hints at?  Is there some other connection between the two incidents, not just that one followed the other?  I found no one who discussed this allusion and its meaning.  If anyone has ideas, please let me know.

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