Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
21 When the Canaanite king of Arad, who dwelt in the South (the Negeb), 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.
2 And Israel vowed a vow to the Lord, and said, If You will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.
3 And the Lord hearkened to Israel and gave over the Canaanites. And they utterly destroyed them and their cities; and the name of the place was called Hormah [a banned or devoted thing].
4 And they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom, and the people became impatient (depressed, much discouraged), because [of the trials] of the way.
5 And 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, neither is there any water, and we loathe this light (contemptible, unsubstantial) manna.
6 Then the Lord sent fiery (burning) serpents among the people; and they bit the people, and many Israelites 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 may take away the serpents from us. So Moses prayed for the people.
8 And the Lord said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent [of bronze] and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.
9 And Moses made a serpent of bronze and put it on a pole, and if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the serpent of bronze [[a]attentively, expectantly, with a steady and absorbing gaze], he lived.
10 And the Israelites journeyed on and encamped at Oboth.
11 They journeyed from Oboth and encamped at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness opposite Moab, toward the sunrise.
12 From there they journeyed and encamped in the Valley of Zared.
13 From there they journeyed and encamped on the other side of [the river] Arnon, which is in the desert or wilderness that extends from the frontier 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 Book of the Wars of the Lord: Waheb in Suphah, and the valleys of [the branches of] the Arnon [River],
15 And the slope of the valleys that stretch toward the site of Ar and find support on the border of Moab.
16 From there the Israelites went on to Beer [a well], the well of which the Lord had said to Moses, Assemble the people together and I will give them water.(A)
17 Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well! Let all sing to it,(B)
18 The fountain that the princes opened, that the nobles of the people hollowed out from their staves. And from the wilderness or desert [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 upon Jeshimon and the desert.
21 And Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, saying,
22 Let me pass through your land. We will not turn aside into field or vineyard; we will not drink the water of the wells. We will go by the king’s highway until we have passed 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 And Israel smote the king of the Amorites with the edge of the sword and possessed his land from the river Arnon to the river Jabbok, as far as the Ammonites, for the boundary of the Ammonites was strong.
25 And Israel took all these cities and dwelt 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 taken all his land out of his hand, as far as [the river] Arnon.
27 That is why those who sing ballads 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 has devoured Ar of Moab and the lords of the heights of the Arnon.
29 Woe to you, Moab! You are undone, O people of [the god] Chemosh! Moab has given his sons as fugitives and his daughters into captivity to Sihon king of the Amorites.
30 We have shot them down; Heshbon has perished as far as Dibon, and we have laid them waste as far as Nophah, which reaches to Medeba.
31 Thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites.
32 And Moses sent to spy out Jazer, and they took 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 delivered him and all his people and his land into your hand; and you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon.
35 So the Israelites slew Og and his sons and all his people until there was not one left alive, And they possessed his land.
- Numbers 21:9 Jesus said that as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, “that everyone who believes in Him [who cleaves to Him, trusts Him and relies on Him] may not perish, but have eternal life and [actually] live forever!” (John 3:14, 15). Obviously this implies that the look that caused the victim of a fiery serpent to be healed was something far more than a casual glance. A “look” would save, but what kind of a look? The Hebrew text here means “look attentively, expectantly, with a steady and absorbing gaze.” Or, as Jesus said in the last verse of the chapter quoted above (John 3:36), “He who believes in (has faith in, clings to, relies on) the Son has (now possesses) eternal life.” But whoever does not so believe in, cling to, and rely on the Son “will never see... life.” The look that saves is not just a fleeting glance; it is a God-honoring, God-answered, fixed, and absorbing gaze!