Moses Recounts the LORD's Promise to Israel at Horeb
1 1 These are the words which Moses said to all Israel on the far side of Jordan, in the waste land in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran on the one side, and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab on the other. 2 It is eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea. 3 Now in the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses gave to the children of Israel all the orders which the Lord had given him for them; 4 After he had overcome Sihon, king of the Amorites, ruling in Heshbon, and Og, king of Bashan, ruling in Ashtaroth, at Edrei: 5 On the far side of Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses gave the people this law, saying, 6 The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, You have been long enough in this mountain: 7 Make a move now, and go on your way into the hill-country of the Amorites and the places near it, in the Arabah and the hill-country and in the lowlands and in the South and by the seaside, all the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. 8 See, all the land is before you: go in and take for yourselves the land which the Lord gave by an oath to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to their seed after them.
The Appointment of Judges
9 At that time I said to you, I am not able to undertake the care of you by myself; 10 The Lord your God has given you increase, and now you are like the stars of heaven in number. 11 May the Lord, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times greater in number than you are, and give you his blessing as he has said! 12 How is it possible for me by myself to be responsible for you, and undertake the weight of all your troubles and your arguments? 13 Take for yourselves men who are wise, far-seeing, and respected among you, from your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you. 14 And you made answer and said to me, It is good for us to do as you say. 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, wise men and respected, and made them rulers over you, captains of thousands and captains of hundreds and captains of fifties and captains of tens, and overseers of your tribes. 16 And at that time I gave orders to your judges, saying, Let all questions between your brothers come before you for hearing, and give decisions uprightly between a man and his brother or one from another nation who is with him. 17 In judging, do not let a man's position have any weight with you; give hearing equally to small and great; have no fear of any man, for it is God who is judge: and any cause in which you are not able to give a decision, you are to put before me and I will give it a hearing. 18 And at that time I gave you all the orders which you were to do.
The Spies Sent Out at Kadesh-barnea
19 Then we went on from Horeb, through all that great and cruel waste which you saw, on our way to the hill-country of the Amorites, as the Lord gave us orders; and we came to Kadesh-barnea. 20 And I said to you, You have come to the hill-country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us. 21 See now, the Lord your God has put the land into your hands: go up and take it, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has said to you; have no fear and do not be troubled. 22 And you came near to me, every one of you, and said, Let us send men before us to go through the land with care and give us an account of the way we are to go and the towns to which we will come. 23 And what you said seemed good to me, and I took twelve men from among you, one from every tribe; 24 And they went up into the hill-country and came to the valley of Eshcol, and saw what was there. 25 And taking in their hands some of the fruit of the land, they came down again to us, and gave us their account, saying, It is a good land which the Lord our God is giving us. 26 But going against the order of the Lord your God, you would not go up: 27 And you made an angry outcry in your tents, and said, In his hate for us the Lord has taken us out of the land of Egypt, to give us up into the hands of the Amorites for our destruction. 28 Where are we going up? Our brothers have made our hearts feeble with fear by saying, The people are greater and taller than we are, and the towns are great and walled up to heaven; and more than this, we have seen the sons of the Anakim there. 29 Then I said to you, Have no fear of them. 30 The Lord your God who goes before you will be fighting for you, and will do such wonders as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes; 31 And in the waste land, where you have seen how the Lord was supporting you, as a man does his son, in all your journeying till you came to this place. 32 But for all this, you had no faith in the Lord your God, 33 Who goes before you on your way, looking for a place where you may put up your tents, in fire by night, lighting up the way you are to go, and in a cloud by day.
God's Punishment on Israel
34 And the Lord, hearing your words, was angry, and said with an oath, 35 Truly, not one of this evil generation will see that good land which I said I would give to your fathers, 36 But only Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, he will see it; and to him and to his children I will give the land over which his feet have gone, because he has been true to the Lord with all his heart. 37 And, in addition, the Lord was angry with me because of you, saying, You yourself will not go into it: 38 Joshua, the son of Nun, your servant, he will go into the land: say to him that he is to be strong, for he will be Israel's guide into their heritage. 39 And your little ones, who, you said, would come into strange hands, your children, who now have no knowledge of good or evil, they will go into that land, and to them I will give it and it will be theirs. 40 But as for you, go back, journeying into the waste land by the way of the Red Sea.
The Defeat of Israel at Hormah
41 Then you said to me, We have done evil against the Lord, we will go up to the attack, as the Lord our God has given us orders. And arming yourselves every one, you made ready to go up without care into the hill-country. 42 And the Lord said to me, Say to them, Do not go up to the attack; for I am not among you, and you will be overcome by those who are against you. 43 This I said to you, but you gave no attention and went against the orders of the Lord, and in your pride went up into the hill-country. 44 And the Amorites who were in the hill-country came out against you and put you to flight, rushing after you like bees, and overcame you in Seir, driving you even as far as Hormah. 45 And you came back, weeping before the Lord; but the Lord gave no attention to your cries and did not give ear to you. 46 So you were kept waiting in Kadesh for a long time.
The Years in the Wilderness
2 1 Then we went back, journeying into the waste land by the way to the Red Sea, as the Lord had said to me: and we were a long time going round Mount Seir. 2 And the Lord said to me, 3 You have been journeying round this mountain long enough: now go to the north; 4 And give the people orders, saying, You are about to go through the land of your brothers, the children of Esau, who are living in Seir; and they will have fear of you; so take care what you do: 5 Make no attack on them, for I will not give you any of their land, not even space enough for a man's foot: because I have given Mount Seir to Esau for his heritage. 6 You may get food for your needs from them for a price, and water for drinking. 7 For the blessing of the Lord your God has been on you in all the work of your hands: he has knowledge of your wanderings through this great waste: these forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have been short of nothing.
8 So we went on past our brothers, the children of Esau, living in Seir, by the road through the Arabah, from Elath and Ezion-geber. And turning, we went by the road through the waste land of Moab. 9 And the Lord said to me, Make no attack on Moab and do not go to war with them, for I will not give you any of his land: because I have given Ar to the children of Lot for their heritage. 10 (In the past the Emim were living there; a great people, equal in numbers to the Anakim and as tall; 11 They are numbered among the Rephaim, like the Anakim; but are named Emim by the Moabites. 12 And the Horites in earlier times were living in Seir, but the children of Esau took their place; they sent destruction on them and took their land for themselves, as Israel did to the land of his heritage which the Lord gave them.) 13 Get up now, and go over the stream Zered. So we went over the stream Zered. 14 Thirty-eight years had gone by from the time when we came away from Kadesh-barnea till we went over the stream Zered; by that time all the generation of the men of war among us were dead, as the Lord had said. 15 For the hand of the Lord was against them, working their destruction, till all were dead. 16 So when death had overtaken all the men of war among the people, 17 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 18 You are about to go by Ar, the limit of the country of Moab; 19 And when you come near the land of the children of Ammon, give them no cause of trouble and do not make war on them, for I will not give you any of the land of the children of Ammon for your heritage: because I have given it to the children of Lot. 20 (That land is said to have been a land of the Rephaim, for Rephaim had been living there in earlier times, but they were named Zamzummim by the Ammonites; 21 They were a great people, tall as the Anakim, and equal to them in number; but the Lord sent destruction on them and the children of Ammon took their place, living in their land; 22 As he did for the children of Esau living in Seir, when he sent destruction on the Horites before them, and they took their land where they are living to this day: 23 And the Avvim, living in the small towns as far as Gaza, came to destruction by the hands of the Caphtorim who came out from Caphtor and took their land.)
24 Get up now, and go on your journey, crossing over the valley of the Arnon: see, I have given into your hands Sihon, the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and all his land: go forward to make it yours, and make war on him, 25 From now on I will put the fear of you in all peoples under heaven, who, hearing of you, will be shaking with fear and grief of heart because of you.
Israel Conquers Sihon
26 Then from the waste land of Kedemoth I sent representatives to Sihon, king of Heshbon, with words of peace, saying, 27 Let me go through your land: I will keep to the highway, not turning to the right or to the left; 28 Let me have food, at a price, for my needs, and water for drinking: only let me go through on foot; 29 As the children of Esau did for me in Seir and the Moabites in Ar; till I have gone over Jordan into the land which the Lord our God is giving us. 30 But Sihon, king of Heshbon, would not let us go through; for the Lord your God made his spirit hard and his heart strong, so that he might give him up into your hands as at this day. 31 And the Lord said to me, See, from now on I have given Sihon and his land into your hands: go forward now to take his land and make it yours. 32 Then Sihon came out against us with all his people, to make an attack on us at Jahaz. 33 And the Lord our God gave him into our hands; and we overcame him and his sons and all his people. 34 At that time we took all his towns, and gave them over to complete destruction, together with men, women, and children; we had no mercy on any: 35 Only the cattle we took for ourselves, with the goods from the towns we had taken. 36 From Aroer on the edge of the valley of the Arnon and from the town in the valley as far as Gilead, no town was strong enough to keep us out; the Lord our God gave them all into our hands: 37 But you did not go near the land of the children of Ammon, that is, all the side of the river Jabbok or the towns of the hill-country, wherever the Lord our God had said we were not to go.