Numbers 21

1The Canaanite king of Arad lived in the Negev. He heard that the people of Israel were coming on the road to Atharim. So the king went out and attacked the people of Israel. Arad captured some of the people and made them prisoners. 2Then the people of Israel made a special promise to the Lord: “Lord, please help us defeat these people. If you do this, then we will give their cities to you. We will totally destroy them.” 3The Lord listened to the people of Israel. And the Lord helped the people of Israel to defeat the Canaanite people. The people of Israel completely destroyed the Canaanite people and their cities. So that place was named Hormah. 4The people of Israel left Mount Hor and traveled on the road that goes to the Red Sea. They did this to go around the country of Edom. But the people became impatient. 5They began complaining against God and Moses. The people said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? We will die here in the desert! There is no bread! There is no water! And we hate this terrible food!” 6So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people. The snakes bit the people, and many of the people of Israel died. 7The people came to Moses and said, “We know that we sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord. Ask him to take away these snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8The Lord said to Moses, “Make a bronze snake and put it on a pole. If any person is bitten by a snake, then that person should look at the bronze snake on the pole. Then that person will not die.” 9So Moses obeyed the Lord. He made a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Then when a snake bit any person, that person looked at the bronze snake on the pole and lived. 10The people of Israel left that place and camped at Oboth. 11Then they left Oboth and camped at Iye Abarim in the desert east of Moab. 12They left that place and camped in Zered Valley. 13Then they moved and camped across from the Arnon River in the desert. This river started at the Ammonite border. The valley was the border between Moab and the Amorites. 14That is why these words are written in the Book of the Wars of the Lord: “ ... and Waheb in Suphah, and the Valleys of the Arnon, 15and the hills by the valleys that lead to the town of Ar. These places are at the border of Moab.” 16The people of Israel left that place and traveled to Beer. This was the place with the well. This was the place where the Lord said to Moses, “Bring the people together here and I will give them water.” 17Then the people of Israel sang this song: “Well, flow with water! Sing about it! 18Great men dug this well. Important leaders dug this well. They dug this well with their staffs and walking sticks. It is a gift in the desert.” ˻So the people called that well “Mattanah.”˼ 19The people traveled from Mattanah to Nahaliel. Then they traveled from Nahaliel to Bamoth. 20The people traveled from Bamoth to the Valley of Moab. In this place the top of the Pisgah Mountain looks over the desert. 21The people of Israel sent some men to Sihon, the king of the Amorite people. The men said to the king, 22“Allow us to travel through your country. We will not go through any field or vineyard. We will not drink water from any of your wells. We will travel only along King’s Road. We will stay on that road until we have traveled through your country.” 23But King Sihon would not allow the people of Israel to travel through his country. The king gathered together his army and marched out to the desert. He was marching to fight against the people of Israel. At Jahaz, the king’s army fought against the people of Israel. 24But the people of Israel killed the king. Then they took his land from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River. The people of Israel took the land as far as the Ammonite border. They stopped at that border because it was strongly defended by the Ammonite people. 25Israel took all the Amorite cities and began living in them. They even defeated the city of Heshbon and all the small towns around it. 26Heshbon was the city where Sihon, the Amorite king, lived. In the past, Sihon had fought with the king of Moab. Sihon had taken the land as far as the Arnon River. 27That is why the singers sing this song: Go in and build Heshbon again! Make Sihon’s city strong. 28A fire began in Heshbon. That fire began in Sihon’s city. The fire destroyed Ar, Moab. It burned the hills above Arnon River. 29It is bad for you, Moab. You lost Chemosh’s people. His sons ran away. His daughters were taken prisoners by Sihon, king of the Amorites. 30But we defeated those Amorites. We destroyed their towns from Heshbon to Dibon, from Nashim to Nophah, near Medeba. 31So the people of Israel made their camp in the land of the Amorite people. 32Moses sent some men to look at the town of Jazer. After Moses did this, the people of Israel captured that town. They captured the small towns that were around it. The people of Israel forced the Amorite people who were living there to leave. 33Then the people of Israel traveled on the road toward Bashan. Og, the king of Bashan, got his army and marched out to meet the people of Israel. He fought against them at Edrei. 34But the Lord said to Moses, “Don’t be afraid of that king. I will allow you to defeat him. You will take his whole army and all his land. Do the same to him as you did to Sihon, the Amorite king that lived in Heshbon.” 35So the people of Israel defeated Og and his army. They killed him and his sons and all his army. Then the people of Israel took all his land.

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