Numbers 21 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
War with the Canaanites
21 The Canaanite king of Arad lived in the southern area. He heard that the Israelites were coming on the road to Atharim. So he attacked them and captured some of them. 2 Then the Israelites made this promise to the Lord: “If you will help us defeat these people, we will completely destroy their cities.” 3 The Lord listened to the Israelites. And he let them defeat the Canaanites. The Israelites completely destroyed the Canaanites and their cities. So the place was named Hormah.[a]
The Bronze Snake
4 The Israelites left Mount Hor and went on the road toward the Gulf of Aqaba. They did this to go around the country of Edom. But the people became impatient on the way. 5 They grumbled at God and Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? We will die in this desert! There is no bread! There is no water! And we hate this terrible food!”
6 So the Lord sent them poisonous snakes. They bit the people, and many of the Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we grumbled at you and the Lord. Pray that the Lord will take away these snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people.
8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a bronze snake. And put it on a pole. If anyone is bitten, he should look at it. Then he will live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake. And he put it on a pole. Then when a snake bit anyone, he looked at the bronze snake and lived.
The Journey to Moab
10 The Israelites went and camped at Oboth. 11 They went from Oboth to Iye Abarim. This was in the desert east of Moab. 12 From there they went and camped in the Zered Valley. 13 From there they went and camped across the Arnon. This was in the desert just inside the Amorite country. The Arnon is the border between the Moabites and the Amorites. 14 That is why the Book of the Wars of the Lord says:
“. . . and Waheb in Suphah, and the ravines,
16 The Israelites went from there to Beer. A well is there where the Lord said to Moses, “Gather the people. I will give them water.”
17 Then the Israelites sang this song:
“Pour out water, well!
The people went from the desert to Mattanah. 19 From Mattanah they went to Nahaliel and on to Bamoth. 20 From Bamoth they went to the valley of Moab. There the top of Mount Pisgah looks over the desert.
Sihon and Og
21 The people of Israel sent messengers to Sihon, king of the Amorites. They said to him, 22 “Let us pass through your country. We will not go through any fields of grain or vineyards. We will not drink water from the wells. We will travel only along the king’s road. We will stay on it until we have passed through your country.”
23 But King Sihon would not let the Israelites pass through his country. He gathered his army together. They marched out to meet Israel in the desert. At Jahaz they fought the Israelites. 24 Israel killed the king. Then they captured his land from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River. They took the land as far as the Ammonite border. That border was strongly defended. 25 Israel captured all the Amorite cities and lived in them. They took Heshbon and all the towns around it. 26 Heshbon was the city where Sihon, the Amorite king, lived. In the past he had fought with the king of Moab. Sihon had taken all the land as far as the Arnon.
27 That is why the poets say:
“Come to Heshbon
31 So Israel lived in the land of the Amorites.
32 Moses sent spies to the town of Jazer. Then they captured the towns around it. They forced out the Amorites who lived there.
33 Then the Israelites went up the road toward Bashan. Og, the king of Bashan, and his army marched out to meet the Israelites. They fought at Edrei.
34 The Lord said to Moses, “Don’t be afraid of him. I will hand him, his whole army and his land over to you. Do to him what you did to Sihon, the Amorite king who lived in Heshbon.”
35 So the Israelites killed Og and his sons and all his army. No one was left alive. And they took his land.
Numbers 21 New International Version (NIV)
21 When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captured some of them. 2 Then Israel made this vow to the Lord: “If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy[a] their cities.” 3 The Lord listened to Israel’s plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.[b]
The Bronze Snake
4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea,[c] to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.
The Journey to Moab
10 The Israelites moved on and camped at Oboth. 11 Then they set out from Oboth and camped in Iye Abarim, in the wilderness that faces Moab toward the sunrise. 12 From there they moved on and camped in the Zered Valley. 13 They set out from there and camped alongside the Arnon, which is in the wilderness extending into Amorite territory. The Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 14 That is why the Book of the Wars of the Lord says:
16 From there they continued on to Beer, the well where the Lord said to Moses, “Gather the people together and I will give them water.”
17 Then Israel sang this song:
“Spring up, O well!
Then they went from the wilderness to Mattanah, 19 from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20 and from Bamoth to the valley in Moab where the top of Pisgah overlooks the wasteland.
Defeat of Sihon and Og
21 Israel sent messengers to say to Sihon king of the Amorites:
22 “Let us pass through your country. We will not turn aside into any field or vineyard, or drink water from any well. We will travel along the King’s Highway until we have passed through your territory.”
23 But Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory. He mustered his entire army and marched out into the wilderness against Israel. When he reached Jahaz, he fought with Israel. 24 Israel, however, put him to the sword and took over his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, but only as far as the Ammonites, because their border was fortified. 25 Israel captured all the cities of the Amorites and occupied them, including Heshbon and all its surrounding settlements. 26 Heshbon was the city of Sihon king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken from him all his land as far as the Arnon.
27 That is why the poets say:
“Come to Heshbon and let it be rebuilt;
28 “Fire went out from Heshbon,
30 “But we have overthrown them;
31 So Israel settled in the land of the Amorites.
32 After Moses had sent spies to Jazer, the Israelites captured its surrounding settlements and drove out the Amorites who were there. 33 Then they turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan and his whole army marched out to meet them in battle at Edrei.
34 The Lord said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands, along with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”
35 So they struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army, leaving them no survivors. And they took possession of his land.