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Israel Wanders in the Desert

Then we turned around. And we traveled on the desert road toward the Gulf of Aqaba. That is what the Lord had told me to do. We traveled through the mountains of Edom for many days.

Then the Lord said to me, “You have traveled through these mountains long enough. Turn north. Tell the people this: ‘You will soon go through the land of Edom. This land belongs to your relatives, the descendants of Esau. They will be afraid of you. But be very careful. Don’t go to war against them. I am not giving you any of their land—not even a foot of it. I have given the mountains of Edom to Esau as his own. You must pay them in silver for any food you eat or water you drink.’”

The Lord your God has blessed everything you have done. He has protected you while you traveled through this large desert. The Lord your God has been with you for these 40 years. You have had everything you needed.

So we passed by our relatives, the people of Esau who lived in Edom. We turned off the Jordan Valley road. It comes from the towns of Elath and Ezion Geber. And we traveled along the desert road of Moab.

The Land of Ar

Then the Lord said to me, “Don’t bother the people of Moab. Don’t go to war against them. I am not giving you any of their land. I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot.” 10 (The Emites lived in Ar before. They were strong people, and there were many of them. They were very tall, like the Anakites. 11 The Emites were thought to be Rephaites, like the Anakites. But the Moabite people called them Emites. 12 The Horites also lived in Edom before. But the people of Esau forced them out. They destroyed the Horites and took their place. That is also what Israel did in the land the Lord gave them as their own.)

13 And the Lord said to me, “Now get up and cross the Zered Valley.” So we crossed the valley. 14 It had been 38 years since we left Kadesh Barnea until we crossed the Zered Valley. By then, all the fighting men from that time had died. This is what the Lord had promised would happen. 15 The Lord had continued to destroy them until they were all gone from the camp. 16 Now the last of those fighting men had died.

17 Then the Lord said to me, 18 “Today you must go by Ar, on the border of Moab. 19 When you come near the people of Ammon, don’t bother them. Don’t go to war against them. I am not giving you their land. I have given that land to the descendants of Lot.”

20 (That land was also thought to be a land of Rephaites. Those people used to live there. But the Ammonites called them Zamzummites. 21 They were strong people, and there were many of them. They were very tall, like the Anakites. The Lord went before the Ammonites and destroyed the Zamzummites. The Ammonites forced them out of the land and took their place. 22 The Lord did the same thing for the descendants of Esau. They lived in Edom. He destroyed the Horites. The Edomites forced them out of the land and took their place. And they live there to this day. 23 The Caphtorite people came from Crete. They destroyed the Avvites. The Avvites lived in towns all the way to Gaza. But the Caphtorites destroyed them and took their place.)

Fighting the Amorites

24 The Lord said, “Get up. Cross the Arnon Ravine. See, I am giving you the power to defeat Sihon the Amorite. He is king of Heshbon. I am giving you his land. So fight against him and begin taking his land. 25 Today I will begin to make all the people in the world afraid of you. They will hear reports about you. And they will shake with fear. They will be terrified of you.”

26 I sent messengers from the desert of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon. They offered him peace. They said, 27 “Let us pass through your country. We will stay on the road. We will not turn right or left. 28 We will pay you in silver for any food we eat or water we drink. We only want to walk through your country. 29 The descendants of Esau in Edom let us go through their land. So did the Moabites in Ar. We want to cross the Jordan River into the land the Lord our God has given us.” 30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass. The Lord your God had made him stubborn. The Lord wanted you to defeat Sihon. And now this has happened.

31 The Lord said to me, “See, I have begun to give Sihon and his country to you. Begin taking the land as your own.”

32 Then Sihon and all his army came out. And they fought us at Jahaz. 33 But the Lord our God gave Sihon to us. We defeated him, his sons and all his army. 34 We captured all his cities. We completely destroyed them, the men, women and children. We left no one alive. 35 But we kept the cattle and valuable things from the cities for ourselves. 36 We defeated Aroer on the edge of the Arnon Ravine. And we defeated the town in the ravine, and even Gilead. No town was too strong for us. The Lord our God gave us all of them. 37 But you did not go near the land of the Ammonites. You did not go near the shores of the Jabbok River. You did not go near the towns in the mountains. This was what the Lord our God had commanded.

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