Then they set out from Oboth and camped in Iye Abarim, in the desert that faces Moab toward the sunrise.
From there they moved on and camped in the Zered Valley.
They set out from there and camped alongside the Arnon, which is in the desert extending into Amorite territory. The Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.
That is why the Book of the Wars of the LORD says: ". . . Waheb in Suphah and the ravines, the Arnon
and the slopes of the ravines that lead to the site of Ar and lie along the border of Moab."
From there they continued on to Beer, the well where the LORD said to Moses, "Gather the people together and I will give them water."
Then Israel sang this song: "Spring up, O well! Sing about it,
about the well that the princes dug, that the nobles of the people sank-- the nobles with scepters and staffs." Then they went from the desert to Mattanah,
from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth,
and from Bamoth to the valley in Moab where the top of Pisgah overlooks the wasteland.
Israel sent messengers to say to Sihon king of the Amorites:
"Let us pass through your country. We will not turn aside into any field or vineyard, or drink water from any well. We will travel along the king's highway until we have passed through your territory."
But Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory. He mustered his entire army and marched out into the desert against Israel. When he reached Jahaz, he fought with Israel.
Israel, however, put him to the sword and took over his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, but only as far as the Ammonites, because their border was fortified.
Israel captured all the cities of the Amorites and occupied them, including Heshbon and all its surrounding settlements.
Heshbon was the city of Sihon king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken from him all his land as far as the Arnon.
That is why the poets say: "Come to Heshbon and let it be rebuilt; let Sihon's city be restored.
"Fire went out from Heshbon, a blaze from the city of Sihon. It consumed Ar of Moab, the citizens of Arnon's heights.
Woe to you, O Moab! You are destroyed, O people of Chemosh! He has given up his sons as fugitives and his daughters as captives to Sihon king of the Amorites.
"But we have overthrown them; Heshbon is destroyed all the way to Dibon. We have demolished them as far as Nophah, which extends to Medeba."
So Israel settled in the land of the Amorites.
After Moses had sent spies to Jazer, the Israelites captured its surrounding settlements and drove out the Amorites who were there.
Then they turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan and his whole army marched out to meet them in battle at Edrei.
The LORD said to Moses, "Do not be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you, with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon."
So they struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army, leaving them no survivors. And they took possession of his land.
Then the Israelites traveled to the plains of Moab and camped along the Jordan across from Jericho.
Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites,
and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites.
The Moabites said to the elders of Midian, "This horde is going to lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field." So Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time,
sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the River, in his native land. Balak said: "A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me.
Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the country. For I know that those you bless are blessed, and those you curse are cursed."
The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.
"Spend the night here," Balaam said to them, "and I will bring you back the answer the LORD gives me." So the Moabite princes stayed with him.
God came to Balaam and asked, "Who are these men with you?"
Balaam said to God, "Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent me this message:
'A people that has come out of Egypt covers the face of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. Perhaps then I will be able to fight them and drive them away.' "
But God said to Balaam, "Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed."
The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak's princes, "Go back to your own country, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you."
So the Moabite princes returned to Balak and said, "Balaam refused to come with us."
Then Balak sent other princes, more numerous and more distinguished than the first.
They came to Balaam and said: "This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Do not let anything keep you from coming to me,
because I will reward you handsomely and do whatever you say. Come and put a curse on these people for me."
But Balaam answered them, "Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the LORD my God.