21 When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negeb, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive.2 And Israel vowed a vow to the Lord and said, “If you will indeed give this people into my hand, then I will devote their cities to destruction.”[a]3 And the Lord heeded the voice of Israel and gave over the Canaanites, and they devoted them and their cities to destruction. So the name of the place was called Hormah.[b]
The Bronze Serpent
4 From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way.5 And 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 food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.”6 Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.7 And 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 take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.8 And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.”9 So Moses made a bronze[c] serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
The Song of the Well
10 And the people of Israel set out and camped in Oboth.11 And they set out from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness that is opposite Moab, toward the sunrise.12 From there they set out and camped in the Valley of Zered.13 From there they set out and camped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness that extends from the border of the Amorites, for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.14 Therefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of the Lord,
“Waheb in Suphah, and the valleys of the Arnon, 15 and the slope of the valleys that extends to the seat of Ar, and leans to the border of Moab.”
Numbers 21:2That is, set apart (devote) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction); also verse 3
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