Numbers 21
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The Defeat of Arad

1And 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. 2But Israel, obliging himself by a vow to the Lord, said: “If you deliver this people into my hand, I will wipe away their cities.” 3And the Lord heard the prayers of Israel, and he delivered the Canaanite, who they put to death, overthrowing his cities. And they called the name of that place Hormah, that is, Anathema.

The Bronze Serpent

4Then 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. 5And 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.”

6For this reason, the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, which wounded or killed many of them. 7And 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. 8And the Lord said to him: “Make a bronze serpent, and place it as a sign. Whoever, having been struck, gazes upon it, shall live.” 9Therefore, Moses made a bronze serpent, and he placed it as a sign. When those who had been struck gazed upon it, they were healed.

The Journey to Moab

10And the sons of Israel, setting out, made camp at Oboth. 11Having departed from there, they pitched their tents at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness, which looks out toward Moab, opposite the eastern region. 12And moving from there, they arrived at the Torrent of Zared. 13Having 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.

14About 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.”

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

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

17Then Israel sang this verse: “Let the well rise up.” They sang:

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.”

19They went from the wilderness to Mattanah, from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20from Bamoth, a valley in the region of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looks out opposite the desert.

The Defeat of Sihon
(Deuteronomy 2:24–37)

21Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon, the king of the Amorites, saying: 22“I beg you to permit me to cross through your land. We will not turn aside into the fields or the vineyards. We will not drink waters from the wells. We will travel by the royal way, until we have passed your borders.” 23And he was not willing to allow Israel to cross through his borders. But instead, gathering an army, he went out to meet them in the desert, and he arrived at Jahaz and fought against them. 24And 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. 25Therefore, Israel took all his cities and lived in the cities of the Amorite, namely, in Heshbon and its villages. 26Heshbon 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.

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

28A 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.

29Woe to you, Moab! You are perishing, O people of Chemosh. He gave flight to his sons, and he gave the daughters into captivity, to the king of the Amorites, Sihon.

30Their yoke has been scattered from Heshbon even to Dibon. They have passed through, wearily, into Nophah, and as far as Medeba.”

The Defeat of Og
(Deuteronomy 3:1–11)

31And so Israel lived in the land of the Amorite. 32And Moses sent some to explore Jazer. These captured its villages and possessed its inhabitants.

33And 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. 34And 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.” 35Therefore, they struck him down also, with his sons, and all his people, even to utter destruction, and they possessed his land.

Catholic Public Domain Version

Section Headings Courtesy Berean Bible

Numbers 20
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