B'midbar (Num) 21
1Then the king of ‘Arad, a Kena‘ani who lived in the Negev, heard that Isra’el was approaching by way of Atarim, so he attacked Isra’el and took some of them captive. 2Isra’el made a vow to Adonai, “If you will hand this people over to me, I will completely destroy their cities.” 3Adonai listened to what Isra’el said and handed over the Kena‘anim, so they completely destroyed them and their cities and named the place Hormah [complete destruction].
4Then they traveled from Mount Hor on the road toward the Sea of Suf in order to go around the land of Edom; but the people’s tempers grew short because of the detour. 5The people spoke against God and against Moshe: “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt? To die in the desert? There’s no real food, there’s no water, and we’re sick of this miserable stuff we’re eating!”
(LY: vi) 6In response, Adonai sent poisonous snakes among the people; they bit the people, and many of Isra’el’s people died. 7The people came to Moshe and said, “We sinned by speaking against Adonai and against you. Pray to Adonai that he rid us of these snakes.” Moshe prayed for the people, 8and Adonai answered Moshe: “Make a poisonous snake and put it on a pole. When anyone who has been bitten sees it, he will live.” 9Moshe made a bronze snake and put it on the pole; if a snake had bitten someone, then, when he looked toward the bronze snake, he stayed alive.
10The people of Isra’el traveled on and camped at Ovot. 11From Ovot they traveled and camped at ‘Iyei-Ha‘avarim, in the desert fronting Mo’av on the east. 12From there they traveled and camped in Vadi Zered. 13From there they traveled and camped on the other side of the Arnon, in the desert; this river comes out of the territory of the Emori; for the Arnon is the boundary between Mo’av and the Emori. 14This is why it says, in the Book of the Wars of Adonai, “. . . Vahev at Sufah, the vadis of Arnon, 15and the slope of the vadis extending as far as the site of ‘Ar, which lie next to the territory of Mo’av.”
16From there they went on to Be’er [well]; that is the well about which Adonai said to Moshe, “Assemble the people, and I will give them water.” 17Then Isra’el sang this song:
“Spring up, oh well!
Sing to the well
18sunk by the princes,
dug by the people’s leaders
with the scepter,
with their staffs!”
From the desert they went to Mattanah, 19from Mattanah to Nachali’el, from Nachali’el to Bamot, 20and from Bamot to the valley by the plain of Mo’av at the start of the Pisgah range, where it overlooks the desert.
(RY: iv, LY: vii) 21Isra’el sent messengers to Sichon, king of the Emori, with this message: 22“Let me pass through your land. We won’t turn aside into fields or vineyards, and we won’t drink any water from the wells. We will go along the King’s Highway until we have left your territory.” 23But Sichon would not allow Isra’el to pass through his territory. Instead, Sichon mustered all his people and went out into the desert to fight Isra’el. On reaching Yachatz, he fought Isra’el. 24Isra’el defeated him by force of arms and took control of his land from the Arnon to the Yabok River, but only as far as the people of ‘Amon, because the territory of the people of ‘Amon was well defended. 25Isra’el took all these cities — Isra’el lived in all the cities of the Emori, in Heshbon and all its surrounding towns. 26Heshbon was the city of Sichon, the king of the Emori, who had fought against the former king of Mo’av and conquered all his land up to the Arnon. 27This is why the storytellers say,
“Come to Heshbon! Let it be rebuilt!
Let Sichon’s city be restored!
28“For fire burst out of Heshbon,
a flame from the city of Sichon.
It consumed ‘Ar of Mo’av,
the lords of Arnon’s high places.
29“Woe to you, Mo’av!
You are destroyed, people of K’mosh!
He let his sons be fugitives and his daughters captives
of Sichon, king of the Emori.
30“We shot them down; Heshbon is destroyed,
all the way to Divon.
We even laid waste to Nofach,
which extends as far as Meidva.”
31Thus Isra’el lived in the land of the Emori.
32Moshe sent men to reconnoiter Ya‘zer; they captured its towns and drove out the Emori who were there.
33Then they turned and went up along the road to Bashan; and ‘Og, the king of Bashan, marched out against them, he with all his people, to fight at Edre‘i. (LY: Maftir) 34Adonai said to Moshe, “Don’t be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you with all his people and his land. You will treat him just as you did Sichon, king of the Emori, who lived at Heshbon.” 35So they struck him down, with his sons and all his people, until there was no one left alive; and then they took control of his land.
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