Moses Recounts the LORD's Promise to Israel at Horeb
1 1 These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah over against Suph, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab. 2 It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea. 3 It happened in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that Yahweh had given him in commandment to them; 4 after he had struck Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth, at Edrei. 5 Beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying, 6 “Yahweh our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying, You have lived long enough in this mountain: 7 turn, and take your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all the places near there, in the Arabah, in the hill country, and in the lowland, and in the South, and by the seashore, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. 8 Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which Yahweh swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their seed after them.”
The Appointment of Judges
9 I spoke to you at that time, saying, “I am not able to bear you myself alone: 10 Yahweh your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are this day as the stars of the sky for multitude. 11 Yahweh, 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 myself alone bear your encumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? 13 Take wise men of understanding and well known according to your tribes, and I will make them heads over you.” 14 You answered me, and said, “The thing which you have spoken is good for us to do.” 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, and captains of fifties, and captains of tens, and officers, according to your tribes. 16 I commanded your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother, and the foreigner who is living with him. 17 You shall not show partiality 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 cause that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it. 18 I commanded you at that time all the things which you should do.
The Spies Sent Out at Kadesh-barnea
19 We traveled from Horeb, and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw, by the way to the hill country of the Amorites, as Yahweh our God commanded us; and we came to Kadesh Barnea. 20 I said to you, “You have come to the hill country of the Amorites, which Yahweh our God gives to us. 21 Behold, Yahweh your God has set the land before you: go up, take possession, as Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you; don’t be afraid, neither be dismayed.” 22 You came near to me everyone of you, and said, “Let us send men before us, that they may search the land for us, and bring us word again of the way by which we must go up, and the cities to which we shall come.” 23 The thing pleased me well; and I took twelve men of you, one man for every tribe: 24 and they turned and went up into the hill country, and came to the valley of Eshcol, and spied it out. 25 They took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down to us, and brought us word again, and said, “It is a good land which Yahweh our God gives to us.” 26 Yet you wouldn’t go up, but rebelled against the commandment of Yahweh your God: 27 and you murmured in your tents, and said, “Because Yahweh hated us, he has brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. 28 Where are we going up? our brothers have made our heart to melt, saying, ‘The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to the sky; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.’” 29 Then I said to you, “Don’t dread, neither be afraid of them. 30 Yahweh your God who goes before you, he will fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31 and in the wilderness, where you have seen how that Yahweh your God bore you, as a man does bear his son, in all the way that you went, until you came to this place.” 32 Yet in this thing you didn’t believe Yahweh your God, 33 who went before you in the way, to seek you out a place to pitch your tents in, 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 Yahweh heard the voice of your words, and was angry, and swore, saying, 35 “Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see the good land, which I swore to give to your fathers, 36 save Caleb the son of Jephunneh: he shall see it; and to him will I give the land that he has trodden on, and to his children, because he has wholly followed Yahweh.” 37 Also Yahweh was angry with me for your sakes, saying, “You also shall not go in there: 38 Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there: encourage you him; for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. 39 Moreover your little ones, whom you said should be a prey, and your children, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there, and to them will I give it, and they shall possess it. 40 But as for you, turn, and take your journey into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea .”
The Defeat of Israel at Hormah
41 Then you answered and said to me, “We have sinned against Yahweh, we will go up and fight, according to all that Yahweh our God commanded us.” You girded on every man his weapons of war, and were forward to go up into the hill country. 42 Yahweh said to me, “Tell them, ‘Don’t go up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest you be struck before your enemies.’” 43 So I spoke to you, and you didn’t listen; but you rebelled against the commandment of Yahweh, and were presumptuous, and went up into the hill country. 44 The Amorites, who lived in that hill country, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and beat you down in Seir, even to Hormah. 45 You returned and wept before Yahweh; but Yahweh didn’t listen to your voice, nor gave ear to you. 46 So you abode in Kadesh many days, according to the days that you abode there.
The Years in the Wilderness
2 1 Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea , as Yahweh spoke to me; and we encircled Mount Seir many days. 2 Yahweh spoke to me, saying, 3 “You have encircled this mountain long enough. Turn northward. 4 Command the people, saying, ‘You are to pass through the border of your brothers the children of Esau, who dwell in Seir; and they will be afraid of you: take good heed to yourselves therefore; 5 don’t contend with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as for the sole of the foot to tread on; because I have given Mount Seir to Esau for a possession. 6 You shall purchase food of them for money, that you may eat; and you shall also buy water of them for money, that you may drink.’” 7 For Yahweh your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand; he has known your walking through this great wilderness: these forty years Yahweh your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.
8 So we passed by from our brothers the children of Esau, who dwell 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 Yahweh said to me, “Don’t bother Moab, neither contend with them in battle; for I will not give you of his land for a possession; because I have given Ar to the children of Lot for a possession.” 10 (The Emim lived therein before, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakim: 11 these also are accounted Rephaim, as the Anakim; but the Moabites call them Emim. 12 The Horites also lived in Seir before, but the children of Esau succeeded them; and they destroyed them from before them, and lived in their place; as Israel did to the land of his possession, which Yahweh gave to them.) 13 “Now rise up, and cross over the brook Zered.” We went over the brook Zered. 14 The days in which we came from Kadesh Barnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, were thirty-eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were consumed from the midst of the camp, as Yahweh swore to them. 15 Moreover the hand of Yahweh was against them, to destroy them from the midst of the camp, until they were consumed. 16 So it happened, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people, 17 that Yahweh spoke to me, saying, 18 “You are this day to pass over Ar, the border of Moab: 19 and when you come near over against the children of Ammon, don’t bother them, nor contend with them; for I will not give you of the land of the children of Ammon for a possession; because I have given it to the children of Lot for a possession.” 20 (That also is accounted a land of Rephaim: Rephaim lived therein before; but the Ammonites call them Zamzummim, 21 a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakim; but Yahweh destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and lived in their place; 22 as he did for the children of Esau, who dwell in Seir, when he destroyed the Horites from before them; and they succeeded them, and lived in their place even to this day: 23 and the Avvim, who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorim, who came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and lived in their place.)
24 “Rise up, take your journey, and pass over the valley of the Arnon: behold, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land; begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle. 25 This day will I begin to put the dread of you and the fear of you on the peoples who are under the whole sky, who shall hear the report of you, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of you.”
Israel Conquers Sihon
26 I sent messengers out of 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 me food for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink: only let me pass through on my feet, 29 as the children of Esau who dwell in Seir, and the Moabites who dwell in Ar, did to me; until I shall pass over the Jordan into the land which Yahweh our God gives us.” 30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him; for Yahweh your God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into your hand, as at this day. 31 Yahweh said to me, “Behold, I have begun to deliver up Sihon and his land before you: begin to possess, that you may inherit his land.” 32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Jahaz. 33 Yahweh our God delivered him up before us; and we struck him, and 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 none remaining: 35 only the livestock we took for a prey to ourselves, with the spoil of the cities which we had taken. 36 From Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, and from the city that is in the valley, even to Gilead, there was not a city too high for us; Yahweh our God delivered up all before us: 37 only to the land of the children of Ammon you didn’t come near; all the side of the river Jabbok, and the cities of the hill country, and wherever Yahweh our God forbade us.
1:40 or, Sea of Reeds
2:1 or, Sea of Reeds