While Moses was at Kadesh, he sent ambassadors to the king of Edom with this message: "This message is from your relatives, the people of Israel: You know all the hardships we have been through,
and that our ancestors went down to Egypt. We lived there a long time and suffered as slaves to the Egyptians.
But when we cried out to the LORD, he heard us and sent an angel who brought us out of Egypt. Now we are camped at Kadesh, a town on the border of your land.
Please let us pass through your country. We will be careful not to go through your fields and vineyards. We won't even drink water from your wells. We will stay on the king's road and never leave it until we have crossed the opposite border."
But the king of Edom said, "Stay out of my land or I will meet you with an army!"
The Israelites answered, "We will stay on the main road. If any of our livestock drinks your water, we will pay for it. We only want to pass through your country and nothing else."
But the king of Edom replied, "Stay out! You may not pass through our land." With that he mobilized his army and marched out to meet them with an imposing force.
Because Edom refused to allow Israel to pass through their country, Israel was forced to turn around.