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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 21

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Victory over Arad. 1When the Canaanite king of Arad,* who lived in the Negeb, d Nm 33, 40 . heard that the Israelites were coming along the way of Atharim, he engaged them in battle and took some of them captive. 2Israel then made this vow to the LORD: “If you deliver this people into my hand, I will doom their cities.” e Jos 6, 17; Jgs 1, 17 . 3Later, when the LORD heeded Israel's prayer and delivered up the Canaanites, f Nm 14, 45 . they doomed them and their cities. Hence that place was named Hormah.*

The Bronze Serpent. 4From Mount Hor they set out on the Red Sea road, to bypass the land of Edom. But with their patience worn out by the journey, 5the people complained g Nm 11, 6; Ex 16, 3 . against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!”*

6In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph* serpents, which bit h Dt 8, 15; Wis 16, 5; 1 Cor 10, 9 . the people so that many of them died. 7Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you. Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people, 8and the LORD said to Moses, “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he will recover.”* 9Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent* and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he recovered. i Wis 16, 6f. 10; Jn 3, 14f .

Journey around Moab. 10The Israelites moved on and encamped in Oboth. j Nm 33, 43f . 11Setting out from Oboth, they encamped in Iye‐abarim* in the desert fronting Moab on the east. 12Setting out from there, they encamped in the Wadi Zered. 13Setting out from there, they encamped on the other side of the Arnon, in the desert that extends from the territory of the Amorites; for the Arnon forms Moab's boundary with the Amorites. 14Hence it is said in the “Book of the Wars of the LORD”*

Waheb in Suphah and the wadies, 15Arnon and the wadi gorges That reach back toward the site of Ar and slant to the border of Moab.”

16From there they went to Beer,* where there was the well of which the LORD said to Moses, “Bring the people together, and I will give them water.” 17Then it was that Israel sang this song:

Spring up, O well!—so sing to it— 18The well that the princes sank, that the nobles of the people dug, with their scepters and their staffs.”

From Beer they went to Mattanah, 19from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20from Bamoth to the cleft in the plateau of Moab at the headland of Pisgah that overlooks Jeshimon.*

Victory over Sihon. 21Now Israel sent men to Sihon, king of the Amorites, with the message, 22“Let us pass through your country. We will not turn aside into any field or vineyard, nor will we drink any well water, but we will go straight along the royal road until we have passed through your territory.” 23Sihon, k Dt 2, 32; Jgs 11, 20 . however, would not let Israel pass through his territory, but mustered all his forces and advanced into the desert against Israel. When he reached Jahaz, he engaged Israel in battle. 24But Israel defeated him at the point of the sword, and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok and as far as the country of the Ammonites, whose boundary was at Jazer. 25 l 25f: Jos 21, 39; Jgs 11, 26 . Israel seized all the towns here and settled in these towns of the Amorites, in Heshbon and all its dependencies. 26Now Heshbon was the capital of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had seized all his land from Jazer to the Arnon. 27That is why the poets say:

“Come to Heshbon, let it be rebuilt, let Sihon's capital be firmly constructed. 28For fire went forth from Heshbon and a blaze from the city of Sihon; It consumed the cities of Moab and swallowed up the high places of the Arnon. 29Woe to you, O Moab! You are ruined, O people of Chemosh!* He let his sons become fugitives and his daughters be taken captive by the Amorite king Sihon. 30Their plowland is ruined from Heshbon to Dibon; Ar is laid waste; fires blaze as far as Medeba.”

31When Israel had settled in the land of the Amorites, 32Moses sent spies to Jazer; Israel then captured it with its dependencies and dispossessed the Amorites who were there.

Victory over Og. 33 m Dt 3, 1ff . Then they turned and went up along the road to Bashan. But Og, king of Bashan, advanced against them with all his people to give battle at Edrei. 34The LORD, however, said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him; for into your hand I will deliver him with all his people and his land. Do to him as you did to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.” n Ps 136, 17ff . 35So they struck him down with his sons and all his people, until not a survivor was left to him, and they took possession of his land.

Notes:

d: Nm 33, 40 .

e: Jos 6, 17; Jgs 1, 17 .

f: Nm 14, 45 .

g: Nm 11, 6; Ex 16, 3 .

h: Dt 8, 15; Wis 16, 5; 1 Cor 10, 9 .

i: Wis 16, 6f. 10; Jn 3, 14f .

j: Nm 33, 43f .

k: Dt 2, 32; Jgs 11, 20 .

l: 25f: Jos 21, 39; Jgs 11, 26 .

m: Dt 3, 1ff .

n: Ps 136, 17ff .

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