Numbers 21
NET Bible

Victory at Hormah

1When the Canaanite king of Arad who lived in the Negev heard that Israel was approaching along the road to Atharim, he fought against Israel and took some of them prisoner.

2So Israel made a vow to the Lord and said, “If you will indeed deliver this people into our hand, then we will utterly destroy their cities.” 3The Lord listened to the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites, and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. So the name of the place was called Hormah.

Fiery Serpents

4Then they traveled from Mount Hor by the road to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom, but the people became impatient along the way. 5And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness, for there is no bread or water, and we detest this worthless food.”

6So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and they bit the people; many people of Israel died. 7Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord that he would take away the snakes from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

8The Lord said to Moses, “Make a poisonous snake and set it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will live.” 9So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole, so that if a snake had bitten someone, when he looked at the bronze snake he lived.

The Approach to Moab

10The Israelites traveled on and camped in Oboth. 11Then they traveled on from Oboth and camped at Iye Abarim, in the wilderness that is before Moab, on the eastern side. 12From there they moved on and camped in the valley of Zered. 13From there they moved on and camped on the other side of the Arnon, in the wilderness that extends from the regions of the Amorites, for Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 14This is why it is said in the Book of the Wars of the Lord,

“Waheb in Suphah and the wadis,

the Arnon 15and the slope of the valleys

that extends to the dwelling of Ar,

and falls off at the border of Moab.”

16And from there they traveled to Beer; that is the well where the Lord spoke to Moses, “Gather the people and I will give them water.” 17Then Israel sang this song:

“Spring up, O well, sing to it!

18The well which the princes dug,

which the leaders of the people opened

with their scepters and their staffs.”

And from the wilderness they traveled to Mattanah; 19and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth; 20and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the country of Moab, near the top of Pisgah, which overlooks the wilderness.

The Victory over Sihon and Og

21Then Israel sent messengers to King Sihon of the Amorites, saying,

22“Let us pass through your land; we will not turn aside into the fields or into the vineyards, nor will we drink water from any well, but we will go along the King’s Highway until we pass your borders.” 23But Sihon did not permit Israel to pass through his border; he gathered all his forces together and went out against Israel into the wilderness. When he came to Jahaz, he fought against Israel. 24But the Israelites defeated him in battle and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as the Ammonites, for the border of the Ammonites was strongly defended. 25So Israel took all these cities; and Israel settled in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its villages. 26For Heshbon was the city of King Sihon of the Amorites. Now he had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken all of his land from his control, as far as the Arnon. 27That is why those who speak in proverbs say,

“Come to Heshbon, let it be built.

Let the city of Sihon be established!

28For fire went out from Heshbon,

a flame from the city of Sihon.

It has consumed Ar of Moab

and the lords of the high places of Arnon.

29Woe to you, Moab.

You are ruined, O people of Chemosh!

He has made his sons fugitives,

and his daughters the prisoners of King Sihon of the Amorites.

30We have overpowered them;

Heshbon has perished as far as Dibon.

We have shattered them as far as Nophah,

which reaches to Medeba.”

31So the Israelites lived in the land of the Amorites. 32Moses sent spies to reconnoiter Jaazer, and they captured its villages and dispossessed the Amorites who were there.

33Then they turned and went up by the road to Bashan. And King Og of Bashan and all his forces marched out against them to do battle at Edrei. 34And the Lord said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have delivered him and all his people and his land into your hand. You will do to him what you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon. 35So they defeated Og, his sons, and all his people, until there were no survivors, and they possessed his land.

Numbers 20
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