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Numbers 21Amplified Bible (AMP)

Arad Conquered

21 When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negev (the South country) heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim [the route traveled by the spies sent out by Moses], he fought against Israel and took some of them captive. So Israel made a vow to the Lord, and said, “If You will indeed hand over these people to me, then I will utterly destroy their cities.” The Lord heard the voice of Israel and handed over the Canaanites; then they utterly destroyed them and their cities. So the name of the place was called Hormah (dedicate to destruction).

Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the [branch of the] Red Sea [called the Gulf of Aqabah], to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient, because [of the challenges] of the journey. So the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, nor is there any water, and we loathe this miserable food.”

The Bronze Serpent

Then the Lord sent fiery (burning) serpents among the people; and they bit the people, and many Israelites died. So the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord, so that He will remove the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent [of bronze] and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten will live when he looks at it.” So Moses made a serpent of bronze and put it on the pole, and it happened that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.

10 Now the sons of Israel moved out and camped at Oboth. 11 They journeyed on from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness facing Moab, toward the sunrise. 12 From there they set out and camped in the [a]Wadi Zered. 13 From there they journeyed on and camped on the other side of [the river] Arnon, which is in the wilderness that extends from the boundary of the Amorites; for [the river] Arnon is the boundary of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 14 That is why it is said in the [b]Book of the Wars of the Lord:

[c]Waheb in [d]Suphah,
And the [e]wadis of the Arnon [River],
15 
And the slope of the wadis
That stretches toward the site of Ar
And leans to the border of Moab.”

16 From there the Israelites went on to Beer, that is the well where the Lord said to Moses, “Gather the people together and I will give them water.”

17 Then Israel sang this song,

“Spring up, O well! Sing to it,
18 
The well which the leaders dug,
Which the nobles of the people hollowed out
With the scepter and with their staffs.”

And from the wilderness Israel journeyed to Mattanah, 19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20 and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the field of Moab, to the top of Pisgah which looks down on the wasteland.

Two Victories

21 Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon, king of the Amorites, saying, 22 “Let me pass through your land; we will not turn away [from the road] into field or vineyard; we will not drink the water of the wells. We will go by the king’s highway until we have crossed your border.” 23 But Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his border. Instead Sihon gathered all his people together and went out against Israel into the wilderness, and came to Jahaz, and he fought against Israel. 24 Then Israel struck the king of the Amorites with the edge of the sword and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as the Ammonites, for the boundary of the Ammonites was [f]strong. 25 Israel took all these cities, and settled in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon and in all its towns. 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 out of his hand, as far as the Arnon. 27 That is why those who use proverbs say,

“Come to Heshbon,
Let the city of Sihon be built and established.
28 
“For fire has gone out of Heshbon,
A flame from the city of Sihon;
It devoured Ar of Moab
And the lords of the heights of the Arnon.
29 
“Woe (judgment is coming) to you, Moab!
You are destroyed, O people of [the god] Chemosh!
Moab has given his sons as fugitives [that is, survivors of battle],
And his daughters into captivity
To Sihon king of the Amorites.
30 
“We have shot them down [with arrows];
Heshbon is destroyed as far as Dibon,
And we have laid them waste as far as Nophah,
Which reaches to Medeba.”

31 Thus Israel settled in the land of the Amorites. 32 Now Moses sent men to spy out Jazer, and they overthrew its villages and dispossessed the Amorites who were there.

33 Then they turned and went up by the way of Bashan; and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. 34 But the Lord said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have handed over him and all his people and his land to you; and you shall do to him just as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.” 35 So the sons of Israel killed Og and his sons and all his people, until there was no survivor left to him; and they took possession of his land.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 21:12 The dry river valley carved by the seasonal Zered River.
  2. Numbers 21:14 A non-canonical work which, unfortunately, has been lost.
  3. Numbers 21:14 Possibly a well that is the source of the Arnon river.
  4. Numbers 21:14 Probably a place in Moab. However some of the rabbis took Suphah to be a reference to the Red Sea (Yam Suph in Hebrew) and maintained that these words imply God performed miracles for Israel in the valleys of Arnon such as He did at the Red Sea.
  5. Numbers 21:14 Dry valleys of seasonal rivers.
  6. Numbers 21:24 LXX reads Jazer.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

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Numbers 21New International Version (NIV)

Arad Destroyed

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

The Bronze Snake

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

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

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

The Journey to Moab

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

“. . . Zahab[d] in Suphah and the ravines,
    the Arnon 15 and[e] the slopes of the ravines
that lead to the settlement of Ar
    and lie along the border of Moab.”

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

17 Then Israel sang this song:

“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 overlooks the wasteland.

Defeat of Sihon and Og

21 Israel sent messengers to say to Sihon king of the Amorites:

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.

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

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.
It consumed Ar of Moab,
    the citizens of Arnon’s heights.
29 Woe to you, Moab!
    You are destroyed, people of Chemosh!
He has given up his sons as fugitives
    and his daughters as captives
    to Sihon king of the Amorites.

30 “But we have overthrown them;
    Heshbon’s dominion has been destroyed all the way to Dibon.
We have demolished them as far as Nophah,
    which extends to Medeba.

31 So Israel settled in the land of the Amorites.

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

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.

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

Footnotes:

  1. 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.
  2. Numbers 21:3 Hormah means destruction.
  3. Numbers 21:4 Or the Sea of Reeds
  4. Numbers 21:14 Septuagint; Hebrew Waheb
  5. Numbers 21:15 Or “I have been given from Suphah and the ravines / of the Arnon 15 to
New International Version (NIV)

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