Moses Recounts the LORD's Promise to Israel at Horeb
1 1 These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah over against Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Haze'roth, and Di' -zahab. 2 It is eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Se'ir to Ka'desh-bar'nea. 3 And in the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the people of Israel according to all that the Lord had given him in commandment to them, 4 after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ash'taroth and in Ed're-i. 5 Beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to explain this law, saying, 6 "The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, 'You have stayed long enough at this mountain; 7 turn and take your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland, and in the Negeb, and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphra'tes. 8 Behold, I have set the land before you; go in and take possession of the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their descendants after them.'
The Appointment of Judges
9 "At that time I said to you, 'I am not able alone to bear you; 10 the Lord your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude. 11 May the Lord, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times as many as you are, and bless you, as he has promised you! 12 How can I bear alone the weight and burden of you and your strife? 13 Choose wise, understanding, and experienced men, according to your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.' 14 And you answered me, 'The thing that you have spoken is good for us to do.' 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and set them as heads over you, commanders of thousands, commanders of hundreds, commanders of fifties, commanders of tens, and officers, throughout your tribes. 16 And I charged your judges at that time, 'Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien that is with him. 17 You shall not be partial in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike; you shall not be afraid of the face of man, for the judgment is God's; and the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.' 18 And I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do.
The Spies Sent Out at Kadesh-barnea
19 "And we set out from Horeb, and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw, on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, as the Lord our God commanded us; and we came to Ka'desh-bar'nea. 20 And I said to you, 'You have come to the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God gives us. 21 Behold, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up, take possession, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has told you; do not fear or be dismayed.' 22 Then all of you came near me, and said, 'Let us send men before us, that they may explore the land for us, and bring us word again of the way by which we must go up and the cities into which we shall come.' 23 The thing seemed good to me, and I took twelve men of you, one man for each tribe; 24 and they turned and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshcol and spied it out. 25 And they took in their hands some of the fruit of the land and brought it down to us, and brought us word again, and said, 'It is a good land which the Lord our God gives us.' 26 "Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God; 27 and you murmured in your tents, and said, 'Because the Lord hated us he has brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to give us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. 28 Whither are we going up? Our brethren have made our hearts melt, saying, "The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there."' 29 Then I said to you, 'Do not be in dread or afraid of them. 30 The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31 and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God bore you, as a man bears his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.' 32 Yet in spite of this word you did not believe the Lord your God, 33 who went before you in the way to seek you out a place to pitch your tents, in fire by night, to show you by what way you should go, and in the cloud by day.
God's Punishment on Israel
34 "And the Lord heard your words, and was angered, and he swore, 35 'Not one of these men of this evil generation shall see the good land which I swore to give to your fathers, 36 except Caleb the son of Jephun'neh; he shall see it, and to him and to his children I will give the land upon which he has trodden, because he has wholly followed the Lord!' 37 The Lord was angry with me also on your account, and said, 'You also shall not go in there; 38 Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter; encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. 39 Moreover your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall go in there, and to them I will give it, and they shall possess it. 40 But as for you, turn, and journey into the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.'
The Defeat of Israel at Hormah
41 "Then you answered me, 'We have sinned against the Lord; we will go up and fight, just as the Lord our God commanded us.' And every man of you girded on his weapons of war, and thought it easy to go up into the hill country. 42 And the Lord said to me, 'Say to them, Do not go up or fight, for I am not in the midst of you; lest you be defeated before your enemies.' 43 So I spoke to you, and you would not hearken; but you rebelled against the command of the Lord, and were presumptuous and went up into the hill country. 44 Then the Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you as bees do and beat you down in Se'ir as far as Hormah. 45 And you returned and wept before the Lord; but the Lord did not hearken to your voice or give ear to you. 46 So you remained at Kadesh many days, the days that you remained there.
The Years in the Wilderness
2 1 "Then we turned, and journeyed into the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea, as the Lord told me; and for many days we went about Mount Se'ir. 2 Then the Lord said to me, 3 'You have been going about this mountain country long enough; turn northward. 4 And command the people, You are about to pass through the territory of your brethren the sons of Esau, who live in Se'ir; and they will be afraid of you. So take good heed; 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 the foot to tread on, because I have given Mount Se'ir to Esau as a possession. 6 You shall purchase food from them for money, that you may eat; and you shall also buy water of them for money, that you may drink. 7 For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands; he knows your going through this great wilderness; these forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.'
8 So we went on, away from our brethren the sons of Esau who live in Se'ir, away from the Arabah road from Elath and E'zion-ge'ber. "And we turned and went in the direction of the wilderness of Moab. 9 And the Lord said to me, 'Do not harass Moab or contend with them in battle, for I will not give you any of their land for a possession, because I have given Ar to the sons of Lot for a possession.' 10 (The Emim formerly lived there, a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim; 11 like the Anakim they are also known as Reph'aim, but the Moabites call them Emim. 12 The Horites also lived in Se'ir formerly, but the sons of Esau dispossessed them, and destroyed them from before them, and settled in their stead; as Israel did to the land of their possession, which the Lord gave to them.) 13 'Now rise up, and go over the brook Zered.' So we went over the brook Zered. 14 And the time from our leaving Ka'desh-bar'nea until we crossed the brook Zered was thirty-eight years, until the entire generation, that is, the men of war, had perished from the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them. 15 For indeed the hand of the Lord was against them, to destroy them from the camp, until they had perished. 16 "So when all the men of war had perished and were dead from among the people, 17 the Lord said to me, 18 'This day you are to pass over the boundary of Moab at Ar; 19 and when you approach the frontier of the sons of Ammon, do not harass them or contend with them, for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot for a possession.' 20 (That also is known as a land of Reph'aim; Reph'aim formerly lived there, but the Ammonites call them Zamzum'mim, 21 a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim; but the Lord destroyed them before them; and they dispossessed them, and settled in their stead; 22 as he did for the sons of Esau, who live in Se'ir, when he destroyed the Horites before them, and they dispossessed them, and settled in their stead even to this day. 23 As for the Avvim, who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caph'torim, who came from Caphtor, destroyed them and settled in their stead.)
24 'Rise up, take your journey, and go over the valley of the Arnon; behold, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land; begin to take possession, and contend with him in battle. 25 This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you.'
Israel Conquers Sihon
26 "So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Ked'emoth to Sihon the king of Heshbon, with words of peace, saying, 27 'Let me pass through your land; I will go only by the road, I will turn aside neither to the right nor to the left. 28 You shall sell me food for money, that I may eat, and give me water for money, that I may drink; only let me pass through on foot, 29 as the sons of Esau who live in Se'ir and the Moabites who live in Ar did for me, until I go over the Jordan into the land which the Lord our God gives to us.' 30 But Sihon the 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 give him into your hand, as at this day. 31 And the Lord said to me, 'Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you; begin to take possession, that you may occupy his land.' 32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Jahaz. 33 And the Lord our God gave him over to us; and we defeated him and his sons and all his people. 34 And we captured all his cities at that time and utterly destroyed every city, men, women, and children; we left none remaining; 35 only the cattle we took as spoil for ourselves, with the booty of the cities which we captured. 36 From Aro'er, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, and from the city that is in the valley, as far as Gilead, there was not a city too high for us; the Lord our God gave all into our hands. 37 Only to the land of the sons of Ammon you did not draw near, that is, to all the banks of the river Jabbok and the cities of the hill country, and wherever the Lord our God forbade us.