Then Jephthah sent messengers to the Ammonite king with the question: "What do you have against us that you have attacked our country?"
The king of the Ammonites answered Jephthah's messengers, "When Israel came up out of Egypt, they took away my land from the Arnon1 to the Jabbok,2 all the way to the Jordan. Now give it back peaceably."
Jephthah sent back messengers to the Ammonite king,
saying: "This is what Jephthah says: Israel did not take the land of Moab3 or the land of the Ammonites.416
But when they came up out of Egypt, Israel went through the desert to the Red Seaa5 and on to Kadesh.617
Then Israel sent messengers7 to the king of Edom, saying, 'Give us permission to go through your country,'8 but the king of Edom would not listen. They sent also to the king of Moab,9 and he refused.10 So Israel stayed at Kadesh.
"Next they traveled through the desert, skirted the lands of Edom11 and Moab, passed along the eastern side12 of the country of Moab, and camped on the other side of the Arnon.13 They did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was its border.
"Then Israel sent messengers14 to Sihon king of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon,15 and said to him, 'Let us pass through your country to our own place.'1620
Sihon, however, did not trust Israelb to pass through his territory. He mustered all his men and encamped at Jahaz and fought with Israel.1721
"Then the LORD, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and all his men into Israel's hands, and they defeated them. Israel took over all the land of the Amorites who lived in that country,
capturing all of it from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the desert to the Jordan.1823
"Now since the LORD, the God of Israel, has driven the Amorites out before his people Israel, what right have you to take it over?
Will you not take what your god Chemosh19 gives you? Likewise, whatever the LORD our God has given us,20 we will possess.
Are you better than Balak son of Zippor,21 king of Moab? Did he ever quarrel with Israel or fight with them?2226
For three hundred years Israel occupied23 Heshbon, Aroer,24 the surrounding settlements and all the towns along the Arnon. Why didn't you retake them during that time?
I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me. Let the LORD, the Judge,c25 decide26 the dispute this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites.27"
The king of Ammon, however, paid no attention to the message Jephthah sent him.