Moses Describes Wandering in the Wilderness

1 Then we turned and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea, as the Lord spoke to me, and we encircled Mount Seir for many days.

2 The Lord spoke to me, saying, 3 “You have been circling this mountain long enough. Turn northward. 4 Command the people, saying, ‘You are to pass through the border of your brothers, the descendants of Esau, who are living in Seir, and they will be afraid of you. Therefore be careful. 5 Do not contend with them, for I will not give you any of their land; no, not so much as for the sole of your foot to tread on, because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession. 6 You shall purchase food from them with money, so that you may eat. You shall also buy water from them with money, that you may drink.’ ”

7 For the Lord your God has blessed the work of your hands. He has known of your walking through this great wilderness. These 40 years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.

8 So we passed by from our brothers, Esau’s descendants, who live in Seir, from the way of the Arabah from Elath and from Ezion Geber. We turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.

9 The Lord said to me, “Do not bother Moab and do not contend with them in battle, for I will not give you any of their land as a possession, because I have given Ar to Lot’s descendants for a possession.”

10 The Emim lived there before, a great and numerous people and tall as the Anakim. 11 These also are considered to be Rephaim, as the Anakim, but the Moabites call them Emim. 12 The Horites also lived in Seir in the past, but Essau’s descendants succeeded them. They destroyed the Horites from before them and lived in their place, as Israel did to the land of his possession, which the Lord gave to them.

13 “Now rise up and cross over the brook Zered.” We went over the brook Zered.

14 It was 38 years from the time we came from Kadesh Barnea until we had come over the brook Zered, until the entire generation of the men of war were consumed from the midst of the camp, as the Lord swore to them. 15 Moreover the Lord’s hand was against them, to destroy them from the midst of the camp, until they were consumed.

16 So, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people, 17 the Lord spoke to me, saying, 18 “You are to pass over Ar, the border of Moab, today. 19 When you come near the border of the Ammonites, do not bother them, nor contend with them, for I will not give you any of the land of Ammon’s descendants as a possession, because I have given it to Lot’s descendants as a possession.”

20 That also is considered a land of Rephaim. Rephaim lived there in the past, but the Ammonites called them Zamzummim,21 a mighty people, numerous and tall, as the Anakim. The Lord destroyed the Rephaim from before Israel, and they succeeded them and lived in their place, 22 as he did for the descendants of Esau who dwell in Seir, when he destroyed the Horites from before them. They succeeded them and lived in their place even to this day. 23 Then the Caphtorites, who came from Caphtor, destroyed the Avvites, who lived in villages as far as Gaza, and dwelt in their place.

King Sihon Defeated

24 “Rise up, take your journey, and cross over the valley of the Arnon. I have given into your hand, Sihon the Amorite, King of Heshbon, and his land. Confront him in battle and begin taking possession of it. 25 Today I will begin to put the fear and dread of you on everyone under the heavens. They will hear the report of you, and will tremble in fear because of you.”

26 I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, 27 “Let me pass through your land. I will go along by the highway. I will turn neither to the right hand nor to the left. 28 You shall sell food to me with money, that I may eat, and give water to me with money, that I may drink. Just let me pass through on foot, 29 as the descendants of Esau who dwell in Seir, and the Moabites who dwell in Ar, did to me; until I pass over the Jordan into the land which the Lord your God gives us.” 30 But Sihon, King of Heshbon would not let us pass by him, for the Lord your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into your hand, as he is doing today.

31 The Lord said to me, “I have begun to deliver up Sihon and his land before you. Begin taking possession, that you may inherit his land.”

32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Jahaz. 33 The Lord our God delivered him up before us, and we struck him, his sons, and all his people. 34 We took all his cities at that time and utterly destroyed every inhabited city, with the women and the little ones. We left no one remaining. 35 We took only the livestock as plunder for ourselves, along with the plunder of the cities which we had taken. 36 From Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, and the city that is in the valley, to Gilead, there was not a city too high for us. The Lord our God delivered up everyone before us. 37 Only to the land of the Ammonites you did not come near–all the banks of the river Jabbok, and the cities of the hill country, and wherever the Lord our God forbade us.

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