Números 21

1 The Canaanite king of Arad in the southern part of Canaan heard that the Israelites were coming by way of Atharim. So he attacked them and captured some of them.

2 Then the Israelites made a vow to Jehovah: »If you will let us conquer these people, we will unconditionally dedicate them and their cities to you and will destroy them.«

3 Jehovah heard them and helped them conquer the Canaanites. The Israelites completely destroyed them and their cities, and named the place Hormah.

4 They moved from Mount Hor following the road that goes to the Red Sea. That way they could go around Edom. The people became impatient on the trip

5 and criticized God and Moses. They said: »Why did you make us leave Egypt only to let us die in the desert? There is no bread or water, and we cannot stand this awful food!«

6 Jehovah sent poisonous snakes among the people. They bit the people, and many of the Israelites died.

7 The people came to Moses and said: »We sinned when we criticized Jehovah and you. Pray to Jehovah so that he will take the snakes away from us. So Moses prayed for the people.«

8 Jehovah said to Moses: »Make a snake and put it on a pole. Anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.«

9 Moses made a copper snake and put it on a pole. People looked at the copper snake after they were bitten and lived.

10 The Israelites moved and set up camp at Oboth.

11 After leaving that place, they camped at the ruins of Abarim in the wilderness east of Moabite territory.

12 Then they camped in Zered Valley.

13 They moved again and camped on the north side of the Arnon River, in the desert that extends into Amorite territory. The Arnon was the border between the Moabites and the Amorites.

14 That is why The Book of Jehovah’s Battles speaks of the town of Waheb in the area of Suphah, and the valleys; the Arnon River,

15 and the slope of the valleys that extend to the town of Ar and toward the border of Moab.

16 From there they went on to a place called Wells, where Jehovah said to Moses: Bring the people together, and I will give them water.

17 The people of Israel sang this song: »Wells, produce your water; And we will greet it with a song.

18 »The well dug by princes and by leaders of the people, dug with a royal scepter and with their walking sticks. They moved from the wilderness to Mattanah,

19 and from there they went on to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth,

20 and from Bamoth to the valley in the territory of the Moabites, below the top of Mount Pisgah, looking out over the desert.

21 »The people of Israel sent messengers to the Amorite king Sihon to say:

22 »Let us go through your country. We will not go through any of your fields or vineyards or drink any of the water from your wells. We will stay on the king’s highway until we have passed through your territory.«

23 Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory. Sihon gathered all his troops and came out into the desert to attack Israel. When Sihon’s troops came to Jahaz, they fought against Israel.

24 Israel defeated them in battle and took possession of their land from the Arnon Valley to the Jabbok River. They stopped at the border of the Ammon because it was fortified.

25 The Israelites settled in the Amorite towns. They settled in the capital city of Heshbon with its surrounding villages.

26 King Sihon ruled from Heshbon after defeating the Moabites and taking over their land north of the Arnon River gorge.

27 That is why the Amorites had written this poem about Heshbon: »Come and rebuild Heshbon, King Sihon’s capital city!

28 »His armies marched out like fiery flames, burning down the town of Ar and destroying the hills along the Arnon River.

29 »You Moabites are done for! Your god Chemosh deserted your people. They were captured, taken away by King Sihon the Amorite.

30 »We completely defeated Moab. The towns of Heshbon and Dibon, of Nophah and Medeba are ruined and gone.«

31 After the Israelites settled in the Amorite territory,

32 Moses sent some men to explore the town of Jazer. Some time later, the Israelites captured the villages surrounding it and forced out the Amorites who lived there.

33 They turned around and went by the way of Bashan. Og the king of Bashan went out with all his people for battle at Edrei.

34 Jehovah said to Moses: »Do not fear him for I have given him into your hand, and all his people and his land. You will do to him as you did to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.«

35 The Israelites defeated him, his sons, and all his troops, leaving no survivors. They took possession of his land.