Numbers 20:14

Edom Refuses Passage

14 1Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to 2the king of Edom: "Thus says 3your brother Israel: You know all the hardship that we have met:

Numbers 20:14 Meaning and Commentary

Numbers 20:14

And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom,
&c.] This country was sometimes governed by kings, and sometimes by "dukes", see ( Genesis 36:14-43 ) . At the time of the passage of the Israelites through the Red sea, we read of the dukes of Edom, ( Exodus 15:15 ) , and here, thirty nine years after, of a king of Edom, but who he was is not certain. Bishop Usher takes him to be the same with Hadar, the last of the race of kings mentioned in ( Genesis 36:39 ) , to him Moses sent messengers with a request, which follows after a preamble to it; who were the messengers is not said; the place from whence they were sent is Kadesh, a city on the borders of the land of Edom; but not Kadeshbarnea, Aben Ezra says, though some are of opinion it is the same, see ( Numbers 20:1 ) :

thus saith thy brother Israel;
the Israelites and Edomites springing from two men, Jacob and Esau, who were twin brothers, and is observed to ingratiate themselves to the Edomites, and gain their request, pleading relation to them:

thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us;
what an uncomfortable condition they had been in for many years, which was well known to Edom, a neighbouring country, as is reasonable to suppose; since the fame of the children of Israel coming out of Egypt, passing through the Red sea, and being so long in the wilderness, was spread everywhere; this was said to move their pity.

Numbers 20:14 In-Context

12 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them."
13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the LORD, and through them he showed himself holy.
14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom: "Thus says your brother Israel: You know all the hardship that we have met:
15 how our fathers went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time. And the Egyptians dealt harshly with us and our fathers.
16 And when we cried to the LORD, he heard our voice and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt. And here we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your territory.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Judges 11:16, 17
  • 2. See Genesis 36:31-39
  • 3. Deuteronomy 2:4, 8; Deuteronomy 23:7; Obad. 10, 12