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Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea, as the Lord directed me; and for many days we journeyed around Mount Seir.

And the Lord spoke to me [Moses], saying,

You have roamed around this mountain country long enough; turn northward.

And command the Israelites, You are to pass through the territory of your kinsmen the sons of Esau, who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. So watch yourselves carefully.

Do not provoke or stir them up, for I will not give you of their land, no, not enough for the sole of your foot to tread on, for I have given Mount Seir to Esau for a possession.

You shall buy food from them for money, that you may eat, and you shall also buy water from them for money, that you may drink.

For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your walking through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.

So we passed on from our brethren the sons of Esau, who dwelt in Seir, away from the Arabah (wilderness), and from Elath and from Ezion-geber. We turned and went by the way of the wilderness of Moab.

And the Lord said to me, Do not trouble or assault Moab or contend with them in battle, for I will not give you any of their land for a possession, because I have given Ar to the sons of Lot for a possession.

10 (The Emim dwelt there in times past, a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim.

11 These also are known as Rephaim [of giant stature], as are the Anakim, but the Moabites call them Emim.

12 The Horites also formerly lived in Seir, but the sons of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them from before them and dwelt in their stead, as Israel did to the land of their possession which the Lord gave to them.)

13 Now rise up and go over the brook Zered. So we went over the brook Zered.

14 And the time from our leaving Kadesh-barnea until we had come over the brook Zered was thirty-eight years, until the whole generation of the men of war had perished from the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them.

15 Moreover the hand of the Lord was against them to exterminate them from the midst of the camp, until they were all gone.

16 So when all the men of war had died from among the people,

17 The Lord spoke to me [Moses], saying,

18 You are this day to pass through Ar, the border of Moab.

19 But when you come near the territory of the sons of Ammon, do not trouble or assault them or provoke or stir them up, for I will not give you any of the land of the Ammonites for a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot for a possession.

20 (That also is known as a land of Rephaim [of giant stature]; Rephaim dwelt there formerly, but the Ammonites call them Zamzummim,

21 A people great and many, and tall as the Anakim. But the Lord destroyed them before [Ammon], and they dispossessed them and settled in their stead,

22 As He did for the sons of Esau, who dwell in Seir, when He destroyed the Horites from before them, and they dispossessed them and settled in their stead even to this day.

23 As for the Avvim who dwelt in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorim who came from Caphtor destroyed them and dwelt in their stead.)

24 Rise up, take your journey, and pass over the Valley of the Arnon. Behold, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land; begin to possess it and contend with him in battle.

25 This day will I begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples who are under the whole heavens, who shall hear the report of you and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you.

26 So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying,

27 Let me pass through your land. I will go only by the road, turning aside neither to the right nor to the left.

28 You shall sell me food to eat and sell me water to drink; only let me walk through,

29 As the sons of Esau, who dwell in Seir, and the Moabites, who dwell in Ar, [a]did for me, until I go over the Jordan into the land which the Lord our God gives us.

30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him; for the Lord your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, that He might give him into your hand, as at this day.

31 And the Lord said to me [Moses], Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to take possession, that you may succeed him and occupy his land.

32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz.

33 And the Lord our God gave him over to us, and we defeated him and his sons and all his people.

34 At the same time we took all his cities and utterly destroyed every city—men, women, and children. We left none to remain.

35 Only the cattle we took as booty for ourselves and the spoil of the cities which we had captured.

36 From Aroer, which is on the edge of the Arnon Valley, and from the city that is in the valley, as far as Gilead, there was no city too high and strong for us; the Lord our God delivered all to us.

37 Only you did not go near the land of the Ammonites, that is, to any bank of the river Jabbok and the cities of the hill country, and wherever the Lord our God had forbidden us.

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 2:29 All that is said here is that the Edomites and Moabites sold Israel bread and water. There is no denial, expressed or implied, of their hostility to Israel and their desire for her destruction. The passage is in entire harmony with Num. 20:17, 21, and Deut. 23:3, 4 (J.P. Lange, A Commentary).

Wanderings in the Wilderness

Then we turned back and set out toward the wilderness along the route to the Red Sea,[a](A) as the Lord had directed me. For a long time we made our way around the hill country of Seir.(B)

Then the Lord said to me, “You have made your way around this hill country long enough;(C) now turn north. Give the people these orders:(D) ‘You are about to pass through the territory of your relatives the descendants of Esau,(E) who live in Seir.(F) They will be afraid(G) of you, but be very careful. Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on. I have given Esau the hill country of Seir as his own.(H) You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.’”

The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched(I) over your journey through this vast wilderness.(J) These forty years(K) the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.(L)

So we went on past our relatives the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. We turned from(M) the Arabah(N) road, which comes up from Elath and Ezion Geber,(O) and traveled along the desert road of Moab.(P)

Then the Lord said to me, “Do not harass the Moabites or provoke them to war, for I will not give you any part of their land. I have given Ar(Q) to the descendants of Lot(R) as a possession.”

10 (The Emites(S) used to live there—a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites.(T) 11 Like the Anakites, they too were considered Rephaites,(U) but the Moabites called them Emites. 12 Horites(V) used to live in Seir, but the descendants of Esau drove them out. They destroyed the Horites from before them and settled in their place, just as Israel did(W) in the land the Lord gave them as their possession.)

13 And the Lord said, “Now get up and cross the Zered Valley.(X)” So we crossed the valley.

14 Thirty-eight years(Y) passed from the time we left Kadesh Barnea(Z) until we crossed the Zered Valley. By then, that entire generation(AA) of fighting men had perished from the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them.(AB) 15 The Lord’s hand was against them until he had completely eliminated(AC) them from the camp.

16 Now when the last of these fighting men among the people had died, 17 the Lord said to me, 18 “Today you are to pass by the region of Moab at Ar.(AD) 19 When you come to the Ammonites,(AE) do not harass them or provoke them to war,(AF) for I will not give you possession of any land belonging to the Ammonites. I have given it as a possession to the descendants of Lot.(AG)

20 (That too was considered a land of the Rephaites,(AH) who used to live there; but the Ammonites called them Zamzummites. 21 They were a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites.(AI) The Lord destroyed them from before the Ammonites, who drove them out and settled in their place. 22 The Lord had done the same for the descendants of Esau, who lived in Seir,(AJ) when he destroyed the Horites from before them. They drove them out and have lived in their place to this day. 23 And as for the Avvites(AK) who lived in villages as far as Gaza,(AL) the Caphtorites(AM) coming out from Caphtor[b](AN) destroyed them and settled in their place.)

Defeat of Sihon King of Heshbon

24 “Set out now and cross the Arnon Gorge.(AO) See, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite,(AP) king of Heshbon, and his country. Begin to take possession of it and engage(AQ) him in battle. 25 This very day I will begin to put the terror(AR) and fear(AS) of you on all the nations under heaven. They will hear reports of you and will tremble(AT) and be in anguish because of you.”

26 From the Desert of Kedemoth(AU) I sent messengers to Sihon(AV) king of Heshbon offering peace(AW) and saying, 27 “Let us pass through your country. We will stay on the main road; we will not turn aside to the right or to the left.(AX) 28 Sell us food to eat(AY) and water to drink for their price in silver. Only let us pass through on foot(AZ) 29 as the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir, and the Moabites, who live in Ar, did for us—until we cross the Jordan into the land the Lord our God is giving us.” 30 But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the Lord(BA) your God had made his spirit stubborn(BB) and his heart obstinate(BC) in order to give him into your hands,(BD) as he has now done.

31 The Lord said to me, “See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his country over to you. Now begin to conquer and possess his land.”(BE)

32 When Sihon and all his army came out to meet us in battle(BF) at Jahaz, 33 the Lord our God delivered(BG) him over to us and we struck him down,(BH) together with his sons and his whole army. 34 At that time we took all his towns and completely destroyed[c](BI) them—men, women and children. We left no survivors. 35 But the livestock(BJ) and the plunder(BK) from the towns we had captured we carried off for ourselves. 36 From Aroer(BL) on the rim of the Arnon Gorge, and from the town in the gorge, even as far as Gilead,(BM) not one town was too strong for us. The Lord our God gave(BN) us all of them. 37 But in accordance with the command of the Lord our God,(BO) you did not encroach on any of the land of the Ammonites,(BP) neither the land along the course of the Jabbok(BQ) nor that around the towns in the hills.

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 2:1 Or the Sea of Reeds
  2. Deuteronomy 2:23 That is, Crete
  3. Deuteronomy 2:34 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.

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