Numbers 21 International Standard Version (ISV)
The Destruction of Hormah
21 When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev,[a] heard that Israel was coming along the Atharim caravan route, he fought against Israel and took some of them captive. 2 Then Israel[b] made this vow in the Lord’s presence: “If you give these people into our control,[c] we intend to devote their cities to total destruction.” 3 When the Lord heard what Israel had decided to do,[d] he delivered the Canaanites to them, and Israel[e] exterminated them and their cities. They named the place Hormah.[f]
The Bronze Serpent
4 After this, they traveled from Mount Hor along the caravan route by way of the Sea of Reeds and went around the land of Edom. But when the people got impatient because it was a long route, 5 the people complained against the Lord and Moses. “Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” they asked. “There’s no food[g] and water, and we’re tired of this worthless bread.”[h]
6 In response, the Lord sent poisonous[i] serpents among the people to bite them. As a result, many people of Israel died. 7 Then the people approached Moses and admitted, “We’ve sinned by speaking against the Lord and you. Pray to the Lord, that he’ll remove[j] the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed in behalf of the people.
8 Then the Lord instructed Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent out of brass and fasten it to a pole. Anyone who has been bitten and who looks at it will live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent and fastened it to a pole. If a person who had been bitten by a poisonous serpent looked to the serpent,[k] he lived.
Travels in the Wilderness
10 After this, the Israelis traveled and encamped at Oboth. 11 Then they traveled from Oboth and encamped at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness that is in the vicinity of Moab’s eastern border. 12 From there, they traveled and encamped in the valley of Zered. 13 Then they traveled to the other side of Arnon and camped in the wilderness that borders the territory of the Amorites. (Arnon borders Moab between Moab and the Amorites, 14 which is why the Book of the Wars of the Lord[l] reads, “Waheb and Suphah and the wadis[m] of the Arnon, 15 and the slope of the valleys, that extends to the dwelling places of Ar and the borders of Moab.”)
16 From there they traveled[n] to the Well of Beer, where the Lord had instructed Moses, “Gather the people together and I’ll give you water.” 17 That’s also where Israel sang this song:
Rise up, well!
Then they moved on in the wilderness from there to Mattanah, 19 then from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20 and from Bamoth to the valley of Moab where their fields are, and from there to the top of Mount Pisgah, that looks down toward the open desert.
Israel Conquers the Amorites
21 Later, Israel sent messengers to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who conveyed this request:[o] 22 “Permit us to pass through your land. We won’t trespass in your fields or vineyards. We won’t drink water from any well, and we’ll only travel along the King’s Highway until we’ve passed through your territory.”
23 Instead of letting Israel pass through his territory, Sihon mustered his entire army and marched out to meet them in the wilderness. He arrived at Jahaz and attacked Israel. 24 But Israel defeated[p] him in battle[q] and took possession of all his lands from Arnon to Jabbok, including the Ammonites, even though the border of the Ammonites was strong. 25 So Israel captured all of those cities, occupied[r] all the Amorite cities in Heshbon, and all its towns.[s] 26 Heshbon was the capital city of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who fought against the previous king of Moab and captured all his land from his capital city[t] to Arnon. 27 Therefore the ones who speak in proverbs say:
Come to Heshbon
31 So Israel lived in Amorite territory.
Israel Conquers Bashan
32 Then Moses sent out explorers to scout Jazer. They captured its towns[u] and drove out the Amorites who were there. 33 Then they turned toward Bashan. However, Og, the king of Bashan, mustered his army and went out to attack them at Edrei. 34 The Lord told Moses, “You are not to fear him, because I’m going to deliver him, his entire army, and his land into your control. Do to him just what you’ve done to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who used to live in Heshbon.” 35 So they attacked him, his sons, and his entire army, until there wasn’t even a single survivor left. Then they took possession of his land.
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