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Numbers 21New English Translation (NET Bible)

Victory at Hormah

21 When the Canaanite king of Arad who lived in the Negev heard that Israel was approaching along the road to Atharim, he fought against Israel and took some of them prisoner.

So Israel made a vow to the Lord and said, “If you will indeed deliver this people into our hand, then we will utterly destroy their cities.” The Lord listened to the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites, and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. So the name of the place was called Hormah.

Fiery Serpents

Then they traveled from Mount Hor by the road to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom, but the people became impatient along the way. 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 bread or water, and we detest this worthless food.”

So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and they bit the people; many people of Israel died. Then 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 would take away the snakes from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

The Lord said to Moses, “Make a poisonous snake and set it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole, so that if a snake had bitten someone, when he looked at the bronze snake he lived.

The Approach to Moab

10 The Israelites traveled on and camped in Oboth. 11 Then they traveled on from Oboth and camped at Iye Abarim, in the wilderness that is before Moab, on the eastern side. 12 From there they moved on and camped in the valley of Zered. 13 From there they moved on and camped on the other side of the Arnon, in the wilderness that extends from the regions of the Amorites, for Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 14 This is why it is said in the Book of the Wars of the Lord,

“Waheb in Suphah and the wadis,
the Arnon 15 and the slope of the valleys
that extends to the dwelling of Ar,
and falls off at the border of Moab.”

16 And from there they traveled to Beer; that is the well where the Lord spoke to Moses, “Gather the people and I will give them water.” 17 Then Israel sang this song:

“Spring up, O well, sing to it!
18 The well which the princes dug,
which the leaders of the people opened
with their scepters and their staffs.”

And from the wilderness they traveled to Mattanah; 19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth; 20 and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the country of Moab, near the top of Pisgah, which overlooks the wilderness.

The Victory over Sihon and Og

21 Then Israel sent messengers to King Sihon of the Amorites, saying,

22 “Let us pass through your land; we will not turn aside into the fields or into the vineyards, nor will we drink water from any well, but we will go along the King’s Highway until we pass your borders.” 23 But Sihon did not permit Israel to pass through his border; he gathered all his forces together and went out against Israel into the wilderness. When he came to Jahaz, he fought against Israel. 24 But the Israelites defeated him in battle and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as the Ammonites, for the border of the Ammonites was strongly defended. 25 So Israel took all these cities; and Israel settled in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its villages. 26 For Heshbon was the city of King Sihon of the Amorites. Now he had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken all of his land from his control, as far as the Arnon. 27 That is why those who speak in proverbs say,

“Come to Heshbon, let it be built.
Let the city of Sihon be established!
28 For fire went out from Heshbon,
a flame from the city of Sihon.
It has consumed Ar of Moab
and the lords of the high places of Arnon.
29 Woe to you, Moab.
You are ruined, O people of Chemosh!
He has made his sons fugitives,
and his daughters the prisoners of King Sihon of the Amorites.
30 We have overpowered them;
Heshbon has perished as far as Dibon.
We have shattered them as far as Nophah,
which reaches to Medeba.”

31 So the Israelites lived in the land of the Amorites. 32 Moses sent spies to reconnoiter Jaazer, and they captured its villages and dispossessed the Amorites who were there.

33 Then they turned and went up by the road to Bashan. And King Og of Bashan and all his forces marched out against them to do battle at Edrei. 34 And the Lord said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have delivered him and all his people and his land into your hand. You will do to him what you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.” 35 So they defeated Og, his sons, and all his people, until there were no survivors, and they possessed his land.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

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