February 20 Reading – Numbers 21-22
Read our Numbers 21-22 commentary here.
Numbers 21 ASV
1 And the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the South, heard tell that Israel came by the way of Atharim; and he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive.
2 And Israel vowed a vow unto Jehovah, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.
3 And Jehovah hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and the name of the place was called Hormah.
4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way to 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 spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, and there is no water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
6 And Jehovah sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
7 And the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, because we have spoken against Jehovah, and against thee; pray unto Jehovah, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
8 And Jehovah said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a standard: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he seeth it, shall live.
9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it upon the standard: and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked unto the serpent of brass, he lived.
10 And the children of Israel journeyed, and encamped in Oboth.
11 And they journeyed from Oboth, and encamped at Iyeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrising.
12 From thence they journeyed, and encamped in the valley of Zered.
13 From thence they journeyed, and encamped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness, that cometh out of the border of the Amorites: for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.
14 Wherefore it is said in the book of the Wars of Jehovah, Vaheb in Suphah, And the valleys of the Arnon,
15 And the slope of the valleys That inclineth toward the dwelling of Ar, And leaneth upon the border of Moab.
16 And from thence they journeyed to Beer: that is the well whereof Jehovah said unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.
17 Then sang Israel this song: Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it:
18 The well, which the princes digged, Which the nobles of the people delved, With the sceptre, [and] with their staves. And from the wilderness they journeyed to Mattanah;
19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth;
20 and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the field of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looketh down upon the desert.
21 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, saying,
22 Let me pass through thy land: we will not turn aside into field, or into vineyard; we will not drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king’s highway, until we have passed thy border.
23 And Sihon would not suffer Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness, and came to Jahaz; and he fought against Israel.
24 And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from the Arnon unto the Jabbok, even unto 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 the towns thereof.
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 unto the Arnon.
27 Wherefore they that speak in proverbs say, Come ye to Heshbon; Let the city of Sihon be built and established:
28 For a fire is gone out of Heshbon, A flame from the city of Sihon: It hath devoured Ar of Moab, The lords of the high places of the Arnon.
29 Woe to thee, Moab! Thou art undone, O people of Chemosh: He hath given his sons as fugitives, And his daughters into captivity, Unto Sihon king of the Amorites.
30 We have shot at them; Heshbon is perished even unto Dibon, And we have laid waste even unto Nophah, Which reacheth unto Medeba.
31 Thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites.
32 And Moses sent to spy out Jazer; and they took the towns thereof, and drove out the Amorites that 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 battle at Edrei.
34 And Jehovah said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon.
35 So they smote him, and his sons and all his people, until there was none left him remaining: and they possessed his land.
1 And the children of Israel journeyed, and encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho.
2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.
3 And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.
4 And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now will this multitude lick up all that is round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.
5 And he sent messengers unto Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me.
6 Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.
7 And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak.
8 And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as Jehovah shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.
9 And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee?
10 And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying,
11 Behold, the people that is come out of Egypt, it covereth the face of the earth: now, come curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out.
12 And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people; for they are blessed.
13 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land; for Jehovah refuseth to give me leave to go with you.
14 And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us.
15 And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honorable than they.
16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me:
17 for I will promote thee unto very great honor, and whatsoever thou sayest unto me I will do: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.
18 And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of Jehovah my God, to do less or more.
19 Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what Jehovah will speak unto me more.
20 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men are come to call thee, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak unto thee, that shalt thou do.
21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.
22 And God’s anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of Jehovah placed himself in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.
23 And the ass saw the angel of Jehovah standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
24 Then the angel of Jehovah stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.
25 And the ass saw the angel of Jehovah, and she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.
26 And the angel of Jehovah went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.
27 And the ass saw the angel of Jehovah, and she lay down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with his staff.
28 And Jehovah opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me, I would there were a sword in my hand, for now I had killed thee.
30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden all thy life long unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.
31 Then Jehovah opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of Jehovah standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face.
32 And the angel of Jehovah said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I am come forth for an adversary, because thy way is perverse before me:
33 and the ass saw me, and turned aside before me these three times: unless she had turned aside from me, surely now I had even slain thee, and saved her alive.
34 And Balaam said unto the angel of Jehovah, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.
35 And the angel of Jehovah said unto Balaam, Go with the men; but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
36 And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto the City of Moab, which is on the border of the Arnon, which is in the utmost part of the border.
37 And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote thee to honor?
38 And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to speak anything? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.
39 And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kiriath-huzoth.
40 And Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him.
41 And it came to pass in the morning, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal; and he saw from thence the utmost part of the people.
American Standard Version (ASV): Public Domain