1The Canaanite king of Arad, who was dwelling in the Negev,#An arid region south of the Judean hills heard that Israel came along the way of Atharim; he fought against Israel and took some of them captive. 2Israel made a vow to Yahweh, and they said, “If you will surely give this people into our#Hebrew “my” hand, then we#Hebrew “I” will destroy#Literally “devote to God” their cities.” 3Yahweh heard the voice of Israel; he gave to them the Canaanites, and they destroyed them#Literally “they devoted to God” and their cities. They called the name of the place Hormah.
4They set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea#Literally “sea of reed” to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient#Literally “the life of the people became short” along the way. 5The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us from Egypt to die in the desert? There is no food and no water, and our hearts detest this miserable food.”
The Bronze Serpent
6And Yahweh sent among the people poisonous snakes; they bit the people, and many people from Israel died. 7The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned because we have spoken against Yahweh and against you. Pray to Yahweh and let him remove the snakes#Hebrew “snake” from among us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8And Yahweh said to Moses, “Make for yourself a snake and place it on a pole. When#Hebrew “And it will happen” anyone is bitten and looks at it, that person will live.” 9So Moses made a snake of bronze, and he placed it on the pole; whenever#Hebrew “And it will happen” a snake bit someone, and that person looked at the snake of bronze, he lived.
10The Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” set out and encamped at Oboth. 11They set out from Oboth and encamped at Iye Abarim in the desert, which was in front of Moab toward the sunrise.#Literally “from the east of the sun” 12From there they set out and encamped at the valley of Zered. 13From there they set out and encamped beyond Arnon, which is in the desert that goes out from the boundary of the Amorites,#Hebrew “Amorite” because Arnon is the boundary of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.#Hebrew “Amorite” 14Therefore thus it is said in the scroll of the Wars of Yahweh,
“Waheb in Suphah,
and the wadis of Arnon,
15and the slope of the wadis
that spreads out to the dwelling of Ar
and lies at the boundary of Moab.”
16From there they went to Beer, which is the water well where Yahweh spoke to Moses, “Gather the people, that I may give them water.” 17Then Israel sang this song, “Arise, well water! Sing to it! 18Well water that the princes dug, that the leaders of the people dug, with a staff and with their rods.” And from the desert they continued to Mattanah, 19and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth; 20and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the territory of Moab, by the top of Pisgah, which overlooks the surface of the wasteland.
Sihon and Og Defeated
21Israel sent messengers to Sihon, the king of the Amorites,#Hebrew “Amorite” saying, 22“Let us go through your land; we will not turn aside into a field or vineyard; we will not drink well water along the way of the king until we have gone through your territory.” 23But Sihon did not allow Israel to go through his territory. Sihon gathered all his people and went out to meet Israel; he came to the desert, to Jahaz, and he fought against Israel. 24But Israel struck him with the edge of the sword, and they took possession of his land from Arnon to Jabbok, until the Ammonites,#Literally “sons of Ammon” because the boundary of the Ammonites#Literally “sons of Ammon” was strong. 25Israel took all these cities, and Israel inhabited all the cities of the Amorites,#Hebrew “Amorite” in Heshbon, and in all its environs.#Hebrew “her daughters;” other modern versions translate “its villages” 26Because Heshbon was the city of Sihon king of the Amorites,#Hebrew “Amorite” who had fought against the former king of Moab and taken all his land from his hand until Arnon. 27Thus the ones who quote proverbs say,
“Come to Heshbon! Let it be built!
And let the city of Sihon be established.
28Because fire went out from Heshbon,
a flame from the city of Sihon;
it consumed Ar of Moab,
the lords of the#Or “the dominant” high places of Arnon.
29Woe to you, Moab!
You have perished, people of Chemosh.
He has given his sons as fugitives,
and his daughters into captivity,
to the king of the Amorites,#Hebrew “Amorite” Sihon.
30We destroyed them;
Heshbon has perished up to Dibon;
we laid waste up to Nophah,
which reaches#Literally “is up to” Medeba.”
31Thus Israel lived in the land of the Amorites.#Hebrew “Amorite” 32Moses sent to explore Jaazer; they captured its environs#Hebrew “her daughters;” other modern versions translate “its villages” and dispossessed the Amorites#Hebrew “Amorite” who were there.
33Then they turned and went up by the way of the Bashan, and Og king of the Bashan and all his people went out to meet them for battle at Edrei. 34And Yahweh said to Moses, “Do not fear him because I will give him and all his people and all his land into your hand. You will do to him just as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites,#Hebrew “Amorite” who was living in Heshbon.” 35And so they destroyed him and his sons, and all his people until they had not spared a survivor; and they took possession of his land.