English Standard Version Anglicised
21 When (A)the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in (B)the Negeb, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive. 2 (C)And Israel vowed a vow to the Lord and said, “If you will indeed give this people into my hand, then I will devote their cities to destruction.”[a] 3 And the Lord heeded the voice of Israel and gave over the Canaanites, and they devoted them and their cities to destruction. So the name of the place was called (D)Hormah.[b]
The Bronze Serpent
4 From Mount Hor (E)they set out by the way to the Red Sea, (F)to go round the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. 5 And the people (G)spoke against God and against Moses, (H)“Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and (I)we loathe this worthless food.” 6 (J)Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and (K)they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7 (L)And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. (M)Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9 So (N)Moses made a bronze[c] serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
The Song of the Well
10 And the people of Israel set out and (O)camped in Oboth. 11 (P)And they set out from Oboth and (Q)camped at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness that is opposite Moab, towards the sunrise. 12 From there they set out and camped in (R)the Valley of Zered. 13 From there they set out and camped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness that extends from the border of the Amorites, for the (S)Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 14 Therefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of the Lord,
“Waheb in Suphah, and the valleys of the Arnon,
15 and the slope of the valleys
that extends to the seat of (T)Ar,
and leans to the border of Moab.”
“Spring up, O well!—Sing to it!—
18 the well that the princes made,
that the nobles of the people dug,
with (W)the sceptre and with their staffs.”
And from the wilderness they went on to Mattanah, 19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20 and from Bamoth to the valley lying in the region of Moab by the top of Pisgah (X)that looks down on the desert.[e]
King Sihon Defeated
21 Then (Y)Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, 22 (Z)“Let me pass through your land. We will not turn aside into field or vineyard. We will not drink the water of a well. We will go by the King's Highway until we have passed through your territory.” 23 (AA)But Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his territory. He gathered all his people together and went out against Israel to the wilderness and (AB)came to Jahaz and fought against Israel. 24 (AC)And Israel defeated him with the edge of the sword and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the (AD)Jabbok, as far as to the Ammonites, for the border of the Ammonites was strong. 25 And Israel took all these cities, and Israel settled in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its villages. 26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and taken all his land out of his hand, as far as the Arnon. 27 Therefore the (AE)ballad singers say,
“Come to (AF)Heshbon, let it be built;
let the city of Sihon be established.
28 For (AG)fire came out from (AH)Heshbon,
flame from the city of Sihon.
It devoured (AI)Ar of Moab,
and swallowed[f] the heights of the Arnon.
29 (AJ)Woe to you, O Moab!
You are undone, O people of (AK)Chemosh!
He has made his sons fugitives,
and his daughters captives,
to an Amorite king, Sihon.
30 So we overthrew them;
Heshbon, as far as (AL)Dibon, perished;
and we laid waste as far as Nophah;
fire spread as far as (AM)Medeba.”[g]
King Og Defeated
31 Thus Israel lived in the land of the Amorites. 32 And Moses sent to spy out (AN)Jazer, and they captured its villages and dispossessed the Amorites who were there. 33 Then they turned and went up by the way to Bashan. And Og the king of Bashan came out against them, he and all his people, to battle (AO)at Edrei. 34 (AP)But the Lord said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have given him into your hand, and all his people, and his land. And (AQ)you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.” 35 So they defeated him and his sons and all his people, until he had no survivor left. And they possessed his land.
- Numbers 21:2 That is, set apart (devote) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction); also verse 3
- Numbers 21:3 Hormah means destruction
- Numbers 21:9 Or copper
- Numbers 21:16 Beer means well
- Numbers 21:20 Or Jeshimon
- Numbers 21:28 Septuagint; Hebrew the lords of
- Numbers 21:30 Compare Samaritan and Septuagint; Hebrew and we laid waste as far as Nophah, which is as far as Medeba
New International Version
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. 2 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.” 3 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
4 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) 5 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)
6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes(Q) among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.(R) 7 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.
8 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.” 9 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:
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
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.
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)”
- 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.
- Numbers 21:3 Hormah means destruction.
- Numbers 21:4 Or the Sea of Reeds
- Numbers 21:14 Septuagint; Hebrew Waheb
- Numbers 21:15 Or “I have been given from Suphah and the ravines / of the Arnon 15 to