The Bible in Its Traditions

Numbers 21:1–35

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And the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the South, heard tell that Israel came by the way of Atharim; and he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive.

And when king Arad the Canaanite, who was living toward the south, had heard this, namely, that Israel had arrived by the way of spies, he fought against them. And proving to be the victor, he led away prey from them.

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And Israel vowed a vow unto YHWH, and said: 'If Thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.'

But Israel, obliging himself by a vow to the Lord, said: “If you deliver this people into my hand, I will wipe away their cities.”

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And YHWH hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities; and the name of the place was called Hormah.

And the Lord hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered the Chananite into his power; and Israel devoted him and his cities, and they called the name of that place Anathema.

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And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became impatient because of the way.

And having departed from mount Or by the way leading to the Red Sea, they compassed the land of Edom, and the people lost courage by the way.

Then they set out from mount Hor, by the way that leads to the Red Sea, to circle around the land of Edom. And the people began to tire of their journey and hardships.

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And the people spoke against God, and against Moses: 'Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, and there is no water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.'

And speaking against God and Moses, they said: “Why did you lead us away from Egypt, so as to die in the wilderness? Bread is lacking; there are no waters. Our soul is now nauseous over this very light food.”

And the people murmured against God and against Moses, saying, Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For neither is there bread, nor water; and our soul is wearied with this inferior bread (manna).

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And YHWH sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

And the Lord sent among the people deadly serpents, and they bit the people, and much people of the children of Israel died.

For this reason, the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, which wounded or killed many of them.

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And the people came to Moses, and said: 'We have sinned, because we have spoken against YHWH, and against thee; pray unto the YHWH, that He take away the serpents from us.' And Moses prayed for the people.

And so they went to Moses, and they said: “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray, so that he may take away these serpents from us.” And Moses prayed for the people.

Therefore the people came to Moses and said to him, We have sinned, for we have murmured against the LORD and against you; pray before the LORD, that he take the serpents away from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

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And YHWH said unto Moses: 'Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he seeth it, shall live.'

And Moses prayed to the Lord for the people; and the Lord said to Moses, Make thee a serpent, and put it on a signal-staff; and it shall come to pass that whenever a serpent shall bite a man, every one so bitten that looks upon it shall live.

And the Lord said to him: “Make a bronze serpent, and place it as a sign. Whoever, having been struck, gazes upon it, shall live.”

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And Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it upon the pole; and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked unto the serpent of brass, he lived.

Therefore, Moses made a bronze serpent, and he placed it as a sign. When those who had been struck gazed upon it, they were healed.

10  And the children of Israel journeyed, and pitched in Oboth.

10  And the sons of Israel, setting out, made camp at Oboth.

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11  And they journeyed from Oboth, and pitched at Ije-abarim, in the wilderness which is in front of Moab, toward the sun-rising.

11  And having departed from Oboth, they encamped in Achalgai, on the farther side in the wilderness, which is opposite Moab, toward the east.

11  Having departed from there, they pitched their tents at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness, which looks out toward Moab, opposite the eastern region.

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12  From thence they journeyed, and pitched in the valley of Zered.

12  And moving from there, they arrived at the Torrent of Zared.

12  And the LORD said to Moses: Don't besiege Moab and don't anger them, as I will not give you his land for a possession. Because I gave Ar to the sons of Lot for a possession. From thence they removed, and pitched in the valley of Zared.

13  From thence they journeyed, and pitched on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness, that cometh out of the border of the Amorites.--For Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites;

13  Having left that place behind, they then made camp opposite Arnon, which is in the desert, and which juts out at the borders of the Amorite. For certainly Arnon is at the limit of Moab, dividing the Moabites and the Amorites.

13  And the LORD said to Moses to say: You are today before the boundary of Moab. Be watchful when you come near the sons of Ammon. And not besiege and anger them as I will not give you from the land of sons of Ammon for a possession, because to the sons of Lot I gave it for a possession. From thence they removed, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, which is over in the wilderness that cometh out of the coasts of the Amorites: for Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.

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14  wherefore it is said in the book of the Wars of YHWH: Vaheb in Suphah, and the valleys of Arnon,

14  Therefore it is said in a book, A war of the Lord has set on fire Zoob, and the brooks of Arnon.

14  About this place, it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord: “As he did at the Red Sea, so will he do at the Torrents of Arnon.”

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15  And the slope of the valleys that inclineth toward the seat of Ar, and leaneth upon the border of Moab.--

15  The stones of the torrents were bent, so that they might rest in Ar and lie back within the borders of the Moabites.

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16  And from thence to Beer; that is the well whereof YHWH said unto Moses: 'Gather the people together, and I will give them water.'

16  And thence they came to the well; this is the well of which the Lord said to Moses, Gather the people, and I will give them water to drink.

16  Beyond that place appeared a well, about which the Lord said to Moses: “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.”

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17  Then sang Israel this song: Spring up, O well--sing ye unto it--

17  Then Israel sang this song at the well, Begin to sing of the well;

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18  The well, which the princes digged, which the nobles of the people delved, with the sceptre, and with their staves. And from the wilderness to Mattanah;

18  the princes digged it, the kings of the nations in their kingdom, in their lordship sank it in the rock: and they went from the well to Manthanain,

18  “The well, the leaders dug it, and the commanders of the multitude prepared it, at the direction of the lawgiver, and with their staffs.”

19  and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth;

19  and from Manthanain to Naaliel, and from Naaliel to Bamoth, and from Bamoth to Janen, which is in the plain of Moab as seen from the top of the quarried rock that looks toward the wilderness.

19  They went from the wilderness to Mattanah, from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth,

20  and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the field of Moab, by the top of Pisgah, which looketh down upon the desert.

20  And Moses sent ambassadors to Seon king of the Amorites, with peaceable words, saying,

20  from Bamoth, a valley in the region of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looks out opposite the desert.

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21  And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, saying

21  We will pass through thy land, we will go by the road; we will not turn aside to the field or to the vineyard.

21  And the LORD said to Moses: Arise and jorney and pass the stream of Arnon. And see that I give in your hand Sihon king of Heshbon of Amorites. And begin to possess his land and anger him in war. As today I begin to give awe and fears before the faces of the people under all heavens. And when they will hear you, they will quiver and writhe from your face. And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites with sayings of peace, saying

22  'Let me pass through thy land; we will not turn aside into field, or into vineyard; we will not drink of the water of the wells; we will go by the king's highway, until we have passed thy border.'

22  We will not drink water out of thy well; we will go by the king’s highway, until we have past thy boundaries.

22  Let me pass through thy land: in way of the king I shall go and not stray right or left. We will not turn into the fields, or into the vineyards; food with silver we shall buy to eat, and water with silver we shall purchase from you to drink. Only allow me to cross over as they allowed us sons of Esau, the ones dwelling in Seir, and Moabites that dwell in Ar, until we cross your boundary.

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23  And Sihon would not suffer Israel to pass through his border; but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness, and came to Jahaz; and he fought against Israel.

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24  And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from the Arnon unto the Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon; for the border of the children of Ammon was strong.

24  And he was struck down by them with the edge of the sword, and they possessed his land from Arnon, even to Jabbok and the sons of Ammon. For the borders of the Ammonites were held by a strong fortress.

25  And Israel took all these cities; and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the towns thereof.

25  Therefore, Israel took all his cities and lived in the cities of the Amorite, namely, in Heshbon and its villages.

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26  For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto the Arnon.

26  For Esebon is the city of Seon king of the Amorites; and he before fought against the king of Moab, and they took all his land, from Aroer to Arnon.

26  Heshbon was the city of Sihon, the king of the Amorites, who fought against the king of Moab. And he took all the land, which had been under his sovereignty, as far as Arnon.

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27  Wherefore they that speak in parables say: Come ye to Heshbon! let the city of Sihon be built and established!

27  Therefore say they who deal in dark speeches, Come to Esebon, that the city of Seon may be built and prepared.

27  About this, it is said in the proverb: “Enter into Heshbon. Let the city of Sihon be established and built.

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28  For a fire is gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon; it hath devoured Ar of Moab, the lords of the high places of Arnon.

28  For a fire has gone forth from Esebon, a flame from the city of Seon, and has consumed as far as Moab, and devoured the pillars of Arnon.

28  A fire has gone forth from Heshbon, a flame from the town of Sihon, and it has devoured Ar of the Moabites, and the inhabitants of the heights of Arnon.

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29  Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone, O people of Chemosh; he hath given his sons as fugitives, and his daughters into captivity, unto Sihon king of the Amorites.

29  Woe to thee, Moab; thou art lost, thou people of Chamos: their sons are sold for preservation, and their daughters are captives to Seon king of the Amorites.

29  Woe to you, O Arnon! Woe to you, O Moab! You are destroyed, O people of Chemosh; he has given his sons hostages, and his daughters into captivity to Sihon king of the Amorites.

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30  We have shot at them--Heshbon is perished--even unto Dibon, and we have laid waste even unto Nophah, which reacheth unto Medeba.

30  And their seed shall perish from Esebon to Daebon; and their women have yet farther kindled a fire against Moab.

30  The fields of Heshbon have perished as far as Ribon, and have been laid waste as far as Lanhakh, which is in the wilderness.

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31  Thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites.

31  And Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites.

31  And so Israel lived in the land of the Amorite.

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32  And Moses sent to spy out Jazer, and they took the towns thereof, and drove out the Amorites that were there.

32  And Moses sent some to explore Jazer. These captured its villages and possessed its inhabitants.

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33  And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan; and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.

33  And having returned, they went up the road that leads to Basan; and Og the king of Basan went forth to meet them, and all his people to war to Edrain.

33  And they turned themselves and ascended, along the way of Bashan. And Og, the king of Bashan, met them with all his people, to fight at Edrei.

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34  And YHWH said unto Moses: 'Fear him not; for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon.'

34  And the Lord said to Moses: “Do not be afraid of him. For I have delivered him, and all his people, as well as his land, into your hand. And you shall do to him just as you did to Sihon, the king of the Amorites, the inhabitant of Heshbon.”

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35  So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him remaining; and they possessed his land.

35  And he smote him and his sons, and all his people, until he left none of his to be taken alive; and they inherited his land.

35  Therefore, they struck him down also, with his sons, and all his people, even to utter destruction, and they possessed his land.