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Numbers 21:1–35

Arad Destroyed

21 When the Canaanite king of Arad,u who lived in the Negev,v heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captured some of them. Then Israel made this voww to the Lord: “If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroya x their cities.” The Lord listened to Israel’s plea and gave the Canaanitesy over to them. They completely destroyed themz and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.b a

The Bronze Snake

They traveled from Mount Horb along the route to the Red Sea,c c to go around Edom.d But the people grew impatient on the way;e they spoke against Godf and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egyptg to die in the wilderness?h There is no bread! There is no water!i And we detest this miserable food!”j

Then the Lord sent venomous snakesk among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.l The people came to Mosesm and said, “We sinnedn when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lordo will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayedp for the people.

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

The Journey to Moab

10 The Israelites moved on and camped at Oboth.t 11 Then they set out from Oboth and camped in Iye Abarim, in the wilderness that faces Moabu toward the sunrise. 12 From there they moved on and camped in the Zered Valley.v 13 They set out from there and camped alongside the Arnonw, which is in the wilderness extending into Amorite territory. The Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.x 14 That is why the Book of the Warsy of the Lord says:

“… Zahabd in Suphah and the ravines,

the Arnon 15 ande the slopes of the ravines

that lead to the settlement of Arz

and lie along the border of Moab.”

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

17 Then Israel sang this song:b

“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 Pisgahc overlooks the wasteland.

Defeat of Sihon and Og

21 Israel sent messengersd to say to Sihone king of the Amorites:f

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.g

23 But Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory.h He mustered his entire army and marched out into the wilderness against Israel. When he reached Jahaz,i he fought with Israel.j 24 Israel, however, put him to the swordk and took over his landl from the Arnon to the Jabbok,m but only as far as the Ammonites,n because their border was fortified. 25 Israel captured all the cities of the Amoriteso and occupied them,p including Heshbonq and all its surrounding settlements. 26 Heshbon was the city of Sihonr king of the Amorites,s who had fought against the former king of Moabt and had taken from him all his land as far as the Arnon.u

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.v

It consumedw Arx of Moab,

the citizens of Arnon’s heights.y

29 Woe to you, Moab!z

You are destroyed, people of Chemosh!a

He has given up his sons as fugitivesb

and his daughters as captivesc

to Sihon king of the Amorites.

30 “But we have overthrown them;

Heshbon’s dominion has been destroyed all the way to Dibon.d

We have demolished them as far as Nophah,

which extends to Medeba.e

31 So Israel settled in the land of the Amorites.f

32 After Moses had sent spiesg to Jazer,h 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 Bashani,j and Og king of Bashan and his whole army marched out to meet them in battle at Edrei.k

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.l

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

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