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Defeat of Sihon. 24 (A)Advance now across the Wadi Arnon. I now deliver into your power Sihon, the Amorite king of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to take possession; engage him in battle.(B) 25 This day I will begin to put a fear and dread of you into the peoples everywhere under heaven, so that at the mention of your name they will quake and tremble before you.

26 So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon, king of Heshbon, with this offer of peace: 27 “Let me pass through your country. I will travel only on the road. I will not turn aside either to the right or to the left. 28 The food I eat you will sell me for money, and the water I drink, you will give me for money. Only let me march through, 29 as the descendants of Esau who dwell in Seir and the Moabites who dwell in Ar have done, until I cross the Jordan into the land the Lord, our God, is about to give us.”(C) 30 But Sihon, king of Heshbon, refused to let us pass through his land, because the Lord, your God, made him stubborn in mind and obstinate in heart that he might deliver him into your power, as indeed he has now done.

31 Then the Lord said to me, Now that I have already begun to give over to you Sihon and his land, begin to take possession. 32 So Sihon and all his people advanced against us to join battle at Jahaz; 33 but since the Lord, our God, had given him over to us, we defeated him and his sons and all his people. 34 (D)At that time we captured all his cities and put every city under the ban,[a] men, women and children; we left no survivor. 35 Our only plunder was the livestock and the spoils of the captured cities. 36 From Aroer on the edge of the Wadi Arnon and from the town in the wadi itself, as far as Gilead,(E) no city was too well fortified for us. All of them the Lord, our God, gave over to us. 37 However, just as the Lord, our God, commanded us, you did not encroach upon any of the Ammonite land, neither the region bordering on the Wadi Jabbok, nor the cities of the highlands.(F)

Chapter 3

Defeat of Og. Then we turned and proceeded up the road to Bashan. But Og, king of Bashan,(G) came out against us with all his people to give battle at Edrei. The Lord said to me, Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your power with all his people and his land. Do to him as you did to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon. And thus the Lord, our God, delivered into our power also Og, king of Bashan, with all his people. We defeated him so completely that we left him no survivor. At that time we captured all his cities; there was no town we did not take: sixty cities in all, the whole region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan— all these cities were fortified with high walls and gates and bars—besides a great number of unwalled towns. (H)As we had done to Sihon, king of Heshbon, so also here we put all the towns under the ban, men, women and children; but all the livestock and the spoils of each city we took as plunder for ourselves.

And so at that time we took from the two kings of the Amorites beyond the Jordan the territory from the Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon (the Sidonians call Hermon Sirion and the Amorites call it Senir), 10 all the towns of the plateau, all of Gilead, and all of Bashan as far as Salecah and Edrei, towns of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11 (Og, king of Bashan, was the last remaining survivor of the Rephaim. He had a bed of iron,[b] nine regular cubits long and four wide, which is still preserved in Rabbah of the Ammonites.)(I)


  1. 2:34 Under the ban: in Hebrew, herem, which means to devote to the Lord (cf. 7:1–5; 20:10–18). The biblical text often presents herem as the total extermination of a population as a manifestation of the will of the Lord. It is historically doubtful that Israel ever literally carried out this theological program.
  2. 3:11 Bed of iron: some translate, “a sarcophagus of basalt”; its dimensions would be approximately thirteen and a half feet by six feet.

Victory over Sihon. 21 Now Israel sent messengers to Sihon, king of the Amorites, with the message, 22 “Let us pass through your land. We will not turn aside into any field or vineyard, nor will we drink any well water, but we will go straight along the King’s Highway until we have passed through your territory.” 23 Sihon,(A) however, would not permit Israel to pass through his territory, but mustered all his forces and advanced against Israel into the wilderness. When he reached Jahaz, he engaged Israel in battle. 24 But Israel put him to the sword, and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok and as far as Jazer of the Ammonites, for Jazer is the boundary of the Ammonites. 25 (B)Israel seized all the towns here, and Israel settled in all the towns of the Amorites, in Heshbon and all its dependencies. 26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken all his land from him as far as the Arnon. 27 That is why the poets say:

“Come to Heshbon, let it be rebuilt,
    let Sihon’s city be firmly constructed.
28 For fire went forth from Heshbon
    and a blaze from the city of Sihon;
It consumed Ar of Moab
    and swallowed up the high places of the Arnon.
29 Woe to you, Moab!
    You are no more, people of Chemosh![a]
He let his sons become fugitives
    and his daughters be taken captive by the Amorite king Sihon.
30 From Heshbon to Dibon their dominion is no more;
    Ar is laid waste; fires blaze as far as Medeba.”

31 So Israel settled in the land of the Amorites. 32 Moses sent spies to Jazer; and the Israelites captured it with its dependencies and dispossessed the Amorites who were there.

Victory over Og. 33 (C)Then they turned and went up along the road to Bashan. But Og, king of Bashan, advanced against them with all his forces to give battle at Edrei. 34 The Lord, however, said to Moses: Do not fear him; for into your hand I deliver him with all his forces and his land. You will do to him as you did to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.(D) 35 So they struck him down with his sons and all his forces, until not a survivor was left to him, and they took possession of his land.

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  1. 21:29 Chemosh: the chief god of the Moabites, mentioned in the famous inscription of Mesha, king of Moab, who ruled at the same time as the Omrides in Israel. Cf. 1 Kgs 11:7, 33; 2 Kgs 23:13; Jer 48:7, 13.