The ancient poets had referred to King Sihon in this poem: Come to Heshbon, King Sihon’s capital, For a fire has flamed forth And devoured The city of Ar in Moab, On the heights of the Arnon River. Woe to Moab! You are finished, O people of Chemosh; Your sons have fled, And your daughters are captured By King Sihon of the Amorites. He has destroyed The little children And the men and women As far as Dibon, Nophah, and Medeba.
But Sihon wouldn’t let Israel go through. Instead he got his army together and marched into the wilderness to fight Israel. At Jahaz he attacked Israel. But Israel fought hard, beat him soundly, and took possession of his land from the Arnon all the way to the Jabbok right up to the Ammonite border. They stopped there because the Ammonite border was fortified. Israel took and occupied all the Amorite cities, including Heshbon and all its surrounding villages. Heshbon was the capital city of Sihon king of the Amorites. He had attacked the former king of Moab and captured all his land as far north as the river Arnon. That is why the folk singers sing, Come to Heshbon to rebuild the city, restore Sihon’s town.
Therefore it is said in proverb, Come ye into Heshbon, be it builded (again), and (re)made, the city of Sihon; (And so it is said in a proverb, Come ye into Heshbon, let Sihon’s city be rebuilt, and be remade;)
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