War with the Canaanites
21 The Canaanite king of Arad lived in the ·southern area [Negev]. When he heard that the Israelites were coming on the road to Atharim, he attacked them and captured some of them. 2 Then the Israelites made ·this promise [a vow] to the Lord: “If you will ·help us defeat these people [L give this people into our hands], we will ·completely destroy [devote to the Lord] their cities.” 3 The Lord listened to the Israelites, and he let them defeat the Canaanites. The Israelites ·completely destroyed [devoted to the Lord] the Canaanites and their cities, so the place was named Hormah [C “Completely Destroyed”; “Devoted to the Lord”].
The Bronze Snake
4 The Israelites left Mount Hor and went on the road toward the ·Red [or Reed] Sea, in order to go around the country of Edom. But the people became impatient on the way 5 and ·grumbled at [L spoke against] God and Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this ·desert [wilderness]? There is no bread and no water, and we hate this terrible food!”
6 So the Lord sent them ·poisonous [L burning] snakes; they bit the people, and many of the ·Israelites [L people from Israel] died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we ·grumbled at [spoke against] you and the Lord. Pray that the Lord will take away these snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people.
8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a bronze snake, and put it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, that person will live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Then when a snake bit anyone, that person looked at the bronze snake and lived [2 Kin. 18:4; John 3:14].
The Journey to Moab
10 The ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] went and camped at Oboth. 11 They went from Oboth to Iye Abarim, in the ·desert [wilderness] east of Moab. 12 From there they went and camped in the Zered ·Valley [Wadi]. 13 From there they went and camped across the Arnon, in the ·desert [wilderness] just inside the Amorite country. The Arnon is the border between the Moabites and the Amorites. 14 That is why the Book of the Wars of the Lord [C a source now lost] says:
“ … and Waheb in Suphah, and the ·ravines [wadis],
the Arnon, 15 and the slopes of the ·ravines [wadis]
that lead to the settlement of Ar.
These places are at the border of Moab.”
16 The Israelites went from there to Beer; a well is there where the Lord said to Moses, “Gather the people and I will give them water.”
17 Then the Israelites sang this song:
“·Pour out water [Spring up], well!
Sing ·about [or to] it.
18 Princes dug this well.
·Important men [Leaders of the people] made it.
With their scepters and poles, they dug it.”
The people went from the ·desert [wilderness] to Mattanah. 19 From Mattanah they went to Nahaliel and on to Bamoth. 20 From Bamoth they went to the valley of Moab where the top of Mount Pisgah looks over the ·desert [wilderness].
Israel Kills Sihon and Og
21 The Israelites sent messengers to Sihon, king of the Amorites, saying, 22 “Let ·us [L me] pass through your country. We will not go through any fields of grain or vineyards, or drink water from the wells. We will travel only along the ·king’s road [King’s Highway; 20:17] until we have passed through your ·country [boundaries].”
23 But King Sihon would not let the Israelites pass through his ·country [boundaries]. He gathered his whole army together, and they marched out to meet Israel in the ·desert [wilderness]. At Jahaz they fought the Israelites. 24 Israel ·killed [L struck with the sword] the king and captured his land from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River. They took the land as far as the ·Ammonite border [L border of the sons of Ammon], which was strongly defended. 25 Israel captured all the Amorite cities and lived in them, taking Heshbon and all the towns around it. 26 Heshbon was the city where Sihon, the Amorite king, lived. In the past he had fought with the king of Moab and had taken all the land from his hand as far as the Arnon.
27 That is why the poets say:
“Come to Heshbon
and rebuild it;
·rebuild [establish] Sihon’s city.
28 A fire ·began in [L went out from] Heshbon;
flames came from Sihon’s city.
It destroyed Ar in Moab,
and it ·burned [or swallowed] the Arnon highlands.
29 ·How terrible for [T Woe to] you, Moab!
The people of Chemosh are ruined.
His sons ran away
and his daughters were captured
by Sihon, king of the Amorites.
30 But we defeated those Amorites.
We ruined their towns from Heshbon to Dibon,
and we destroyed them as far as Nophah, near Medeba.”
31 So Israel lived in the land of the Amorites.
32 After Moses sent spies to the town of Jazer, they captured ·the towns around it [its villages], forcing out the Amorites who lived there.
33 Then the Israelites went up the road toward Bashan. Og king of Bashan and his whole army marched out to meet the Israelites, and they fought at Edrei.
34 The Lord said to Moses, “Don’t be afraid of him. I will hand him, his whole army, and his land over to you. Do to him what you did to Sihon, the Amorite king who lived in Heshbon.”