14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom. They said, “This message is from your kinsmen, the tribes of Israel. You know the hardships we have suffered, 15 how our ancestors went to Egypt, where we lived many years. The Egyptians mistreated our ancestors and us, 16 and we cried to the Lord for help. He heard our cry and sent an angel, who led us out of Egypt. Now we are at Kadesh, a town at the border of your territory. 17 Please permit us to pass through your land. We and our cattle will not leave the road or go into your fields or vineyards, and we will not drink from your wells. We will stay on the main road[a] until we are out of your territory.”
18 But the Edomites answered, “We refuse to let you pass through our country! If you try, we will march out and attack you.”
19 The people of Israel said, “We will stay on the main road, and if we or our animals drink any of your water, we will pay for it—all we want is to pass through.”
20 The Edomites repeated, “We refuse!” and they marched out with a powerful army to attack the people of Israel. 21 Because the Edomites would not let the Israelites pass through their territory, the Israelites turned and went another way.
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