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Jehovah’s Witnesses


Online Bible


Numbers 21:1-35

21  Now the Ca′naan·ite the king of A′rad,+ who dwelt in the Neg′eb,*+ got to hear that Israel had come by the way of Ath′a·rim, and he began to fight with Israel and carry away some of them as captives.  Consequently Israel made a vow to Jehovah and said:+ “If you will without fail give this people into my hand, I shall also certainly devote their cities to destruction.”+  So Jehovah listened to Israel’s voice and gave the Ca′naan·ites over; and they devoted them and their cities to destruction. Hence they called the name of the place Hor′mah.*+  While they continued trekking from Mount Hor+ by the way of the Red Sea to go around the land of E′dom,+ the soul of the people began tiring out because of the way.  And the people kept speaking against God+ and Moses:+ “Why have YOU brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?+ For there is no bread and no water,+ and our soul has come to abhor the contemptible bread.”+  So Jehovah sent poisonous serpents*+ among the people, and they kept biting the people, so that many people of Israel died.+  Finally the people came to Moses and said: “We have sinned,+ because we have spoken against Jehovah and against you. Intercede with Jehovah that he may remove the serpents from upon us.”+ And Moses went interceding in behalf of the people.+  Then Jehovah said to Moses: “Make for yourself a fiery snake* and place it upon a signal pole. And it must occur that when anyone has been bitten, he then has to look at it and so must keep alive.”+  Moses at once made a serpent of copper+ and placed it upon the signal pole;+ and it did occur that if a serpent had bitten a man and he gazed+ at the copper serpent, he then kept alive.+ 10  After that the sons of Israel pulled away and encamped in O′both.+ 11  Then they pulled away from O′both and encamped in I′ye-ab′a·rim,*+ in the wilderness that is toward the front of Mo′ab, toward the rising of the sun. 12  From there they pulled away and took up camping by the torrent valley of Ze′red.+ 13  From there they pulled away and went camping in the region of the Ar′non,+ which is in the wilderness that extends from the border of the Am′or·ites; for the Ar′non is the boundary of Mo′ab, between Mo′ab and the Am′or·ites. 14  That is why it is said in the book of the Wars of Jehovah: “Va′heb* in Su′phah and the torrent valleys of Ar′non,* 15  and the mouth of the torrent valleys, which has bent itself toward the seat of Ar+ and has leaned against the border of Mo′ab.” 16  Next from there on to Be′er.*+ This is the well about which Jehovah said to Moses: “Gather the people, and let me give them water.”+ 17  At that time Israel proceeded to sing this song:+ “Spring up, O well! Respond to it, YOU people! 18  A well, princes dug it. The nobles* of the people excavated it, With a commander’s staff,+ with their own staffs.”* Then from the wilderness on to Mat′ta·nah. 19  And from Mat′ta·nah on to Na·hal′i·el, and from Na·hal′i·el on to Ba′moth.+ 20  And from Ba′moth on to the valley that is in the field of Mo′ab,+ at the head of Pis′gah,+ and it projects over toward the face of Je·shi′mon.*+ 21  Israel now sent messengers to Si′hon+ the king of the Am′or·ites, saying: 22  “Let me pass through your land. We shall not turn off into a field or a vineyard. We shall drink water of no well. On the king’s road we shall march until we pass through your territory.”+ 23  And Si′hon did not allow Israel to pass through his territory,+ but Si′hon gathered all his people and went out to meet Israel in the wilderness, and came to Ja′haz+ and began fighting with Israel. 24  At that Israel struck him with the edge of the sword+ and took possession of his land+ from the Ar′non+ to the Jab′bok,+ near the sons of Am′mon; because Ja′zer*+ is the border of the sons of Am′mon.+ 25  So Israel took all these cities, and Israel began dwelling in all the cities of the Am′or·ites,+ in Hesh′bon+ and all its dependent towns.* 26  For Hesh′bon was the city of Si′hon.+ He was the king of the Am′or·ites,+ and it was he who fought with the king of Mo′ab formerly and went taking all his land out of his hand as far as the Ar′non.+ 27  That is why the sayers of mock verses* would say: “Come to Hesh′bon. Let the city of Si′hon be built and be proved firmly set up. 28  For a fire has come out of Hesh′bon,+ a flame from the town of Si′hon. It has consumed Ar+ of Mo′ab,* the owners of the high places of the Ar′non. 29  Woe to you, Mo′ab! You will certainly perish, O people of Che′mosh!+ He will certainly give his sons as escaped ones and his daughters in the captivity to the king of the Am′or·ites, Si′hon. 30  So let us shoot at them. Hesh′bon will certainly perish up to Di′bon,+ And the women* up to No′phah, the men up to Med′e·ba.”*+ 31  And Israel began to dwell in the land of the Am′or·ites.+ 32  Then Moses sent some to spy on Ja′zer.+ So they captured its dependent towns and dispossessed the Am′or·ites who were there.+ 33  After that they turned and went up by the way of Ba′shan.+ At this Og+ the king of Ba′shan came out to meet them, he and all his people, to the battle of Ed′re·i.+ 34  Jehovah now said to Moses: “Do not be afraid of him,+ for into your hand I shall certainly give him and all his people and his land;+ and you must do to him just as you did to Si′hon, the king of the Am′or·ites, who used to dwell in Hesh′bon.”+ 35  So they went striking him and his sons and all his people, until there was no survivor remaining to him;+ and they went taking possession of his land.+


Or, “the south,” that is, the southern part of the Promised Land.
Meaning “A Devoting to Destruction.” Heb., Chor·mah′; Gr., A·na′the·ma; Vg, “Horma, that is, anathema.”
Or, “fiery (inflammation-causing) serpents.” LXX, “death-dealing serpents”; Vg, “fiery serpents.” See vs 8.
Lit., “a fiery [snake].” Heb., sa·raph′, “poisonous” in vs 6; here M omits “snake”; Gr., o′phin, “serpent”; Lat., ser·pen′tem.
Meaning “Ruins of the Fords (Crossings); Ruins of the Borderland (Regions Beyond).” Its exact location is uncertain, but it was near the torrent valley of Zered.
Apparently an unknown place near the torrent valley of Arnon.
“As he did in the Red Sea, so he will do in the torrents of Arnon,” Vg.
Meaning “Well; Pit.”
Or, “generous givers.”
Or, “with a commander, with their rulers.”
“The desert (wilderness),” LXXVg.
“Jazer,” LXX, probably reflecting the original text. (Compare vs 32.) Lit., “strong.” Heb., ʽaz; Vg, “held by a strong garrison.”
Lit., “all its daughters.”
Or, “sayers of proverbs; rhapsodists.”
“Consumed Ar of the Moabites,” Vg; LXX, “consumed as far as Moab.”
“The women,” LXX.
“And the . . . Medeba,” according to a textual criticism of the Sopherim who marked this line with an extraordinary point. Ignoring the extraordinary point, the text would read: “so let us lay it desolate to Nophah, which is near Medeba.” See App 2A.