The Fourth Book of Moses, Called Numbers

Chapter 21

Israel destroys the Canaanites at Hormah, 1-3. The people murmuring are plagued with fiery serpents, 4-6. Those repenting are healed by a brazen serpent, 7-9. Various journeys of the Israelites, 10-20. Sihon is overcome, 21-32, and Og, 33-35.

1 And when king Arad the Canaanite, who dwelt in the south, heard that Israel came by the way of the spies, he fought against Israel and took some of them prisoners. 2 And Israel vowed a vow to the LORD and said, "If you will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities." 3 And the LORD listened to the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites, and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. And he called the name of the place Hormah.

4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea to compass the land of Edom. And the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. 5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, "Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water, and our soul loathes this light bread."

6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, and many people of Israel died. 7 Therefore, the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD that he take away the serpents from us." And Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said to Moses, "Make for yourself a fiery serpent and set it upon a pole. And it shall come to pass, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks upon it, shall live." 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

10 And the children of Israel moved forward and pitched in Oboth. 11 And they journeyed from Oboth and pitched at Ije-abarim in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrise. 12 From there they departed and pitched in the valley of Zared. 13 From there they departed and pitched on the other side of Arnon, which is in the wilderness that comes out of the border of the Amorites, for Arnon is the border of Moab between Moab and the Amorites. 14 Therefore, it is said in the Book of the Wars of the LORD,

"At Vaheb in Suphah and in the brooks of Arnon,

15 And at the stream of the brooks/
that goes down to the dwelling of Ar,/
and lies upon the border of Moab."

16 And from there they went to Beer. This is the well where the LORD spoke to Moses, "Assemble the people and I will give them water." 17 Then Israel sang this song:

"Spring up, O well. Sing to it.

18 The princes dug the well./
The nobles of the people dug it,/
by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staffs."

And from the wilderness they went to Mattanah, 19 From Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20 And from Bamoth in the valley, which is in the country of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looks toward Jeshimon.

21 And Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, 22 "Let me pass through your land. We will not turn into the fields or into the vineyards. We will not drink of the waters of the well. But we will go along by the king's highway until we have passed your borders." 23 And Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his border. But Sihon collected all his people and went out against Israel into the wilderness, and he came to Jahaz and fought against Israel. 24 And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword and possessed his land from Arnon to Jabbok, even to the children of Ammon, for the border of the children of Ammon was strong. 25 And Israel took all these cities. And Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its villages. 26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and taken all his land out of his hand, even to Arnon. 27 Therefore, those who speak in proverbs say,

"Come into Heshbon,/
let the city of Sihon be built and prepared.

28 For a fire has gone out of Heshbon,/
a flame from the city of Sihon./
It has consumed Ar of Moab/
and the lords of the high places of Arnon.

29 Woe to you, Moab!/
You are undone, O people of Chemosh./
He has given his sons who escaped,/
and his daughters, into captivity/
to Sihon king of the Amorites.

30 We have shot at them./
Heshbon has perished even to Dibon,/
and we have laid them waste even to Nophah,/
which reaches to Medeba."

31 Thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites. 32 And Moses sent to explore Jaazer, and they took its villages and drove out the Amorites who were there.

33 And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan. And Og the king of Bashan went out against them—he and all his people—to the battle at Edrei. 34 And the LORD said to Moses, "Do not fear him, for I have delivered him into your hand, along with all his people and his land. And you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon." 35 So they smote him, his sons, and all his people until there was no remnant left to him. And they possessed his land.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Numbers, Chapter 21[➚]


[v.14] - "At Vaheb in Suphah" - WBS/KJV: "What he did in the Red Sea..." From The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: "What he did, or, Vaheb in Suphah. The following seems to be the sense of this passage: 'From Vaheb in Suphah, and the torrents of Arnon...'"