Canaanite King Defeated

21 When the Canaanite king of Arad,(A) who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming on the Atharim road, he fought against Israel and captured some prisoners. Then Israel made a vow to the Lord, “If you will hand this people over to us, we will completely destroy their cities.”(B) The Lord listened to Israel’s request and handed the Canaanites over to them, and Israel completely destroyed them and their cities. So they named the place Hormah.[a](C)

The Bronze Snake

Then they set out from Mount Hor by way of the Red Sea to bypass the land of Edom, but the people became impatient because of the journey. The people spoke against God and Moses: “Why have you led us up from Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread or water, and we detest this wretched food!” Then the Lord sent poisonous[b] snakes among the people, and they bit them so that many Israelites died.(D)

The people then came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede with the Lord so that he will take the snakes away from us.” And Moses interceded for the people.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake image and mount it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will recover.”(E) So Moses made a bronze snake and mounted it on a pole. Whenever someone was bitten, and he looked at the bronze snake, he recovered.

Journey around Moab

10 The Israelites set out and camped at Oboth.(F) 11 They set out from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim in the wilderness that borders Moab on the east. 12 From there they went and camped at Zered Valley. 13 They set out from there and camped on the other side of the Arnon River, in the wilderness that extends from the Amorite border, because the Arnon was the Moabite border between Moab and the Amorites. 14 Therefore it is stated in the Book of the Lord’s Wars:

Waheb in Suphah
and the ravines of the Arnon,
15 even the slopes of the ravines
that extend to the site of Ar(G)
and lie along the border of Moab.

16 From there they went to Beer,[c] the well the Lord told Moses about, “Gather the people so I may give them water.” 17 Then Israel sang this song:

Spring up, well—sing to it!
18 The princes dug the well;
the nobles of the people hollowed it out
with a scepter and with their staffs.

They went from the wilderness to Mattanah, 19 from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20 from Bamoth to the valley in the territory of Moab near the Pisgah highlands(H) that overlook the wasteland.[d](I)

Amorite Kings Defeated

21 Israel sent messengers to say to King Sihon(J) of the Amorites: 22 “Let us travel through your land. We won’t go into the fields or vineyards. We won’t drink any well water. We will travel the King’s Highway until we have traveled through your territory.”(K) 23 But Sihon would not let Israel travel through his territory. Instead, he gathered his whole army and went out to confront Israel in the wilderness. When he came to Jahaz,(L) he fought against Israel. 24 Israel struck him with the sword and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok,(M) but only up to the Ammonite border, because it was fortified.[e]

25 Israel took all the cities and lived in all these Amorite cities, including Heshbon and all its surrounding villages. 26 Heshbon was the city of King Sihon of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken control of all his land as far as the Arnon. 27 Therefore the poets[f] say:

Come to Heshbon, let it be rebuilt;
let the city of Sihon be restored.[g]
28 For fire came out of Heshbon,
a flame from the city of Sihon.
It consumed Ar of Moab,
the citizens of Arnon’s heights.
29 Woe to you, Moab!
You have been destroyed, people of Chemosh!(N)
He gave up his sons as refugees,
and his daughters into captivity
to Sihon the Amorite king.
30 We threw them down;
Heshbon has been destroyed as far as Dibon.(O)
We caused desolation as far as Nophah,
which reaches as far as Medeba.(P)

31 So Israel lived in the Amorites’ land. 32 After Moses sent spies to Jazer, Israel captured its surrounding villages and drove out the Amorites who were there.

33 Then they turned and went up the road to Bashan, and King Og of Bashan(Q) came out against them with his whole army to do battle at Edrei.(R) 34 But the Lord said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have handed him over to you along with his whole army and his land. Do to him as you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.”(S) 35 So they struck him, his sons, and his whole army until no one was left,[h] and they took possession of his land.(T)

Footnotes

  1. 21:3 = Destruction
  2. 21:6 Lit Burning
  3. 21:16 = Well
  4. 21:20 Or overlook Jeshimon
  5. 21:24 LXX reads because the Ammonite border was Jazer
  6. 21:27 Lit ones who speak proverbs
  7. 21:27 Or firmly founded
  8. 21:35 Lit left to him

Arad Destroyed

21 When the Canaanite king of Arad,(A) who lived in the Negev,(B) heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captured some of them. Then Israel made this vow(C) to the Lord: “If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy[a](D) their cities.” The Lord listened to Israel’s plea and gave the Canaanites(E) over to them. They completely destroyed them(F) and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.[b](G)

The Bronze Snake

They traveled from Mount Hor(H) along the route to the Red Sea,[c](I) to go around Edom.(J) But the people grew impatient on the way;(K) they spoke against God(L) and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt(M) to die in the wilderness?(N) There is no bread! There is no water!(O) And we detest this miserable food!”(P)

Then the Lord sent venomous snakes(Q) among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.(R) The people came to Moses(S) and said, “We sinned(T) when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord(U) will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed(V) for the people.

The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole;(W) anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake(X) and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.(Y)

The Journey to Moab

10 The Israelites moved on and camped at Oboth.(Z) 11 Then they set out from Oboth and camped in Iye Abarim, in the wilderness that faces Moab(AA) toward the sunrise. 12 From there they moved on and camped in the Zered Valley.(AB) 13 They set out from there and camped alongside the Arnon(AC), which is in the wilderness extending into Amorite territory. The Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.(AD) 14 That is why the Book of the Wars(AE) of the Lord says:

“. . . Zahab[d] in Suphah and the ravines,
    the Arnon 15 and[e] the slopes of the ravines
that lead to the settlement of Ar(AF)
    and lie along the border of Moab.”

16 From there they continued on to Beer,(AG) the well where the Lord said to Moses, “Gather the people together and I will give them water.”

17 Then Israel sang this song:(AH)

“Spring up, O well!
    Sing about it,
18 about the well that the princes dug,
    that the nobles of the people sank—
    the nobles with scepters and staffs.”

Then they went from the wilderness to Mattanah, 19 from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20 and from Bamoth to the valley in Moab where the top of Pisgah(AI) overlooks the wasteland.

Defeat of Sihon and Og

21 Israel sent messengers(AJ) to say to Sihon(AK) king of the Amorites:(AL)

22 “Let us pass through your country. We will not turn aside into any field or vineyard, or drink water from any well. We will travel along the King’s Highway until we have passed through your territory.(AM)

23 But Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory.(AN) He mustered his entire army and marched out into the wilderness against Israel. When he reached Jahaz,(AO) he fought with Israel.(AP) 24 Israel, however, put him to the sword(AQ) and took over his land(AR) from the Arnon to the Jabbok,(AS) but only as far as the Ammonites,(AT) because their border was fortified. 25 Israel captured all the cities of the Amorites(AU) and occupied them,(AV) including Heshbon(AW) and all its surrounding settlements. 26 Heshbon was the city of Sihon(AX) king of the Amorites,(AY) who had fought against the former king of Moab(AZ) and had taken from him all his land as far as the Arnon.(BA)

27 That is why the poets say:

“Come to Heshbon and let it be rebuilt;
    let Sihon’s city be restored.

28 “Fire went out from Heshbon,
    a blaze from the city of Sihon.(BB)
It consumed(BC) Ar(BD) of Moab,
    the citizens of Arnon’s heights.(BE)
29 Woe to you, Moab!(BF)
    You are destroyed, people of Chemosh!(BG)
He has given up his sons as fugitives(BH)
    and his daughters as captives(BI)
    to Sihon king of the Amorites.

30 “But we have overthrown them;
    Heshbon’s dominion has been destroyed all the way to Dibon.(BJ)
We have demolished them as far as Nophah,
    which extends to Medeba.(BK)

31 So Israel settled in the land of the Amorites.(BL)

32 After Moses had sent spies(BM) to Jazer,(BN) the Israelites captured its surrounding settlements and drove out the Amorites who were there. 33 Then they turned and went up along the road toward Bashan(BO),(BP) and Og king of Bashan and his whole army marched out to meet them in battle at Edrei.(BQ)

34 The Lord said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands, along with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.(BR)

35 So they struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army, leaving them no survivors.(BS) And they took possession of his land.(BT)

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 21:2 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 3.
  2. Numbers 21:3 Hormah means destruction.
  3. Numbers 21:4 Or the Sea of Reeds
  4. Numbers 21:14 Septuagint; Hebrew Waheb
  5. Numbers 21:15 Or “I have been given from Suphah and the ravines / of the Arnon 15 to

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