Numbers 21; Numbers 22

1 The Canaanite king of the city of Arad lived in the Negev Desert. He heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim. So he attacked the people of Israel. He captured some of them. 2 Then Israel made a promise to the Lord. They said, "Hand these people over to us. If you do, we will set their cities apart to you in a special way to be destroyed." 3 The LORD gave Israel what they asked for. He handed the Canaanites over to them. Israel completely destroyed them. They also destroyed their towns. So that place was named Hormah. 4 The people of Israel traveled from Mount Hor along the way to the Red Sea. They wanted to go around Edom. But they grew tired on the way. 5 So they spoke against God. They also spoke against Moses. They said to them, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt? Do you want us to die here in the desert? We don't have any bread! We don't have any water! And we hate this awful food!" 6 Then the LORD sent poisonous snakes among the people of Israel. The snakes bit them. Many of the people died. 7 The others came to Moses. They said, "We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us." So Moses prayed for the people. 8 The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake. Put it up on a pole. Then anyone who is bitten can look at it and remain alive." 9 So Moses made a bronze snake. He put it up on a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake remained alive. 10 The people of Israel moved on. They camped at Oboth. 11 Then they started out from Oboth. They camped in Iye Abarim. It's in the desert on the eastern border of Moab. 12 From there they moved on. They camped in the Zered Valley. 13 They started out from there and camped by the Arnon River. It's in the desert that spreads out into the territory of the Amorites. The Arnon is the border of Moab. It's between Moab and the Amorites. 14 Here is what the Book of the Wars of the LORD says about it. It says, "Sing about Waheb in Suphah and the valleys. Sing about the Arnon 15 and the slopes of the valleys. They lead to the place called Ar. They lie along the border of Moab." 16 From there the people of Israel continued on to Beer. That was the well where the LORD spoke to Moses. He said, "Gather the people together. I will give them water to drink." 17 Then Israel sang a song. They said, "Spring up, you well! Sing about it. 18 Sing about the well the princes dug. Sing about the well the nobles of the people dug. All of their rulers were holding their rods and staffs." Then the people of Israel went from the desert to Mattanah. 19 They went from Mattanah to Nahaliel. They went from Nahaliel to Bamoth. 20 And they went from Bamoth to a valley in Moab. It's the valley where the highest slopes of Pisgah look out over a dry and empty land. 21 The people of Israel sent messengers to speak to Sihon. He was the king of the Amorites. The messengers said to him, 22 "Let us pass through your country. We won't go off the road into any field or vineyard. We won't drink water from any well. We'll travel along the king's highway. We'll just go straight through your territory." 23 But Sihon wouldn't let Israel pass through his territory. He gathered his whole army together. Then he marched out into the desert against Israel. When he reached Jahaz, he fought against Israel. 24 But Israel put him to death with their swords. They took over his land. They took everything from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River. But they didn't take over any of the land of the Ammonites. That's because the Ammonites had built strong forts along their border. 25 The people of Israel captured all of the cities of the Amorites. Then they settled down in them. They captured the city of Heshbon. They also captured all of the settlements that were around it. 26 Sihon, the king of the Amorites, ruled in Heshbon. He had fought against an earlier king of Moab. Sihon had taken from him all of his land all the way to the Arnon River. 27 That's why the poets say, "Come to Heshbon. Let it be built again. Let Sihon's city be made as good as new. 28 "Fire went out from Heshbon. A blaze went out from the city of Sihon. It burned up Ar in Moab. It burned up the citizens who lived on Arnon's hills. 29 Moab, how terrible it is for you! People of Chemosh, you are destroyed! Chemosh has deserted his sons and daughters. His sons have run away from the battle. His daughters have become prisoners. He has handed all of them over to Sihon, the king of the Amorites. 30 "But we have taken them over. Heshbon is destroyed all the way to Dibon. We have destroyed them as far as Nophah. Nophah goes all the way to Medeba." 31 So Israel settled in the land of the Amorites. 32 Moses sent spies to the city of Jazer. The people of Israel captured the settlements that were around it. They drove out the Amorites who were there. 33 Then they turned and went up along the road toward Bashan. Og was the king of Bashan. He and his whole army marched out. They went to fight against Israel at Edrei. 34 The LORD said to Moses, "Do not be afraid of Og. I have handed him over to you. I have given you his whole army. I have also given you his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon, the king of the Amorites. He ruled in Heshbon." 35 So the people of Israel struck Og down. They struck his sons down. And they wiped out his whole army. They didn't leave anyone alive. They took over his land for themselves.
1 Then the people of Israel traveled to the flatlands of Moab. They camped along the Jordan River across from Jericho. 2 Balak saw everything that Israel had done to the Amorites. Balak was the son of Zippor. 3 The people of Moab were terrified because there were so many Israelites. In fact, Moab was filled with panic because of the people of Israel. 4 The Moabites spoke to the elders of Midian. They said, "This huge mob is going to lick up everything around us. They'll lick it up as an ox licks up all of the grass in the fields." Balak, the son of Zippor, was the king of Moab at that time. 5 He sent messengers to get Balaam. Balaam was the son of Beor. Balaam was at the city of Pethor near the Euphrates River. Pethor was in the land where Balaam had been born. Balak told the messengers to say to Balaam, "A nation has come out of Egypt. They are covering the face of the land. They've settled down next to me. 6 So come and put a curse on those people. They are too powerful for me. Maybe I'll be able to win the battle over them. Maybe I'll be able to drive them out of the country. I know that those you bless will be blessed. And I know that those you put a curse on will be cursed." 7 The elders of Moab and Midian left. They took with them the money they knew Balaam would ask for. They wanted him to use magic and figure things out for them. They came to where Balaam was. And they told him what Balak had said. 8 "Spend the night here," Balaam said to them. "I'll bring you back the answer the LORD gives me." So the princes of Moab stayed with him. 9 God came to Balaam. He asked, "Who are these men who are with you?" 10 Balaam said to God, "Balak king of Moab, the son of Zippor, sent me a message. 11 He said, 'A nation has come out of Egypt. They are covering the whole surface of the land. So come. Put a curse on them for me. Maybe I'll be able to fight them. Maybe I'll be able to drive them away.' " 12 But God said to Balaam, "Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people. I have blessed them." 13 The next morning Balaam got up. He said to Balak's princes, "Go back to your own country. The LORD won't let me go with you." 14 So the princes of Moab returned to Balak. They said, "Balaam wouldn't come with us." 15 Then Balak sent other princes. They were more important than the first ones. And there were more of them. 16 They came to Balaam. They said, "Balak, the son of Zippor, says, 'Don't let anything keep you from coming to me. 17 I'll make you very rich. I'll do anything you say. Come. Put a curse on those people for me.' " 18 But Balaam gave them his answer. He said, "Balak could give me his palace filled with silver and gold. Even then, I still couldn't do anything at all that goes beyond what the LORD my God commands. 19 Stay here tonight, just as the others did. I'll find out what else the LORD will tell me." 20 That night God came to Balaam. He said, "These men have come to get you. So go with them. But do only what I tell you to do." 21 Balaam got up in the morning. He put a saddle on his donkey. Then he went with the princes of Moab. 22 But God was very angry when Balaam went. So the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey. His two servants were with him. 23 The donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road. The angel was holding a sword. He was ready for battle. So the donkey left the road and went into a field. Balaam hit the donkey. He wanted to get it back on the road. 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path. The path went between two vineyards. There were walls on both sides. 25 The donkey saw the angel of the Lord. So it moved close to the wall. It crushed Balaam's foot against the wall. He hit the donkey again. 26 Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead. He stood in a narrow place. There was no room to turn, either right or left. 27 The donkey saw the angel of the Lord. So it lay down under Balaam. That made him angry. He hit the donkey with his walking stick. 28 Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth. It said to Balaam, "What have I done to you? Why did you hit me those three times?" 29 Balaam answered the donkey. He said, "You have made me look foolish! I wish I had a sword in my hand. If I did, I'd kill you right now." 30 The donkey said to Balaam, "I'm your own donkey. I'm the one you have always ridden. Haven't you been riding me to this very day? Have I ever made you look foolish before?" "No," he said. 31 Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes. He saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road. He saw that the angel was holding a sword. The angel was ready for battle. So Balaam bowed down. He fell with his face to the ground. 32 The angel of the LORD spoke to him. He asked him, "Why have you hit your donkey three times? I have come here to oppose you. What you are doing is foolish. 33 The donkey saw me. It turned away from me three times. Suppose it had not turned away. Then I would certainly have killed you by now. But I would have spared the donkey." 34 Balaam spoke to the angel of the Lord. He said, "I have sinned. I didn't realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Tell me whether you are pleased with me. If you aren't, I'll go back." 35 The angel of the LORD spoke to Balaam. He said, "Go with the men. But say only what I tell you to say." So Balaam went with the princes of Balak. 36 Balak heard that Balaam was coming. So he went out to meet him. They met at a Moabite town near the Arnon River. The town was on the border of Balak's territory. 37 Balak spoke to Balaam. He said, "Didn't I send messengers to you? I wanted you to come quickly. So why didn't you come? I can make you very rich." 38 "Well, I've come to you now," Balaam replied. "But I can't say just anything. I can only speak the words God puts in my mouth." 39 Then Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath Huzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep. He gave some to Balaam. He also gave some to the princes who were with him. 41 The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth Baal. From there he saw part of the people of Israel.
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