The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Deuteronomy
So we went back towards the Red Sea, back into the desert, as the Lord had bidden me, and for a long time the centre of our wanderings was the hill country of Seir.
Then the Lord said to me,
You have spent long enough roaming about these hills, you must go northwards now.
And give the people this message, Your way lies by the frontiers of your own brethren, the sons of Edom. They will be alarmed at your coming,
and you must take good care not to assail them. These mountains of Seir are the portion I have given to Esau, and you are not to have a foot of ground there for your own.
Food you may have, but it must be bought at a fair price; you may draw and drink their water, but not without payment.
Do you grudge that, when the Lord has so prospered all your enterprises, watched over your journey through this wild wilderness, secured you from want by forty years of his companionship?
So we passed beyond these brethren of ours, the Edomites of Seir, taking the road that leads over the level plain, from Elath and Asiongaber.✻ And when we reached the path that leads into the desert of Moab,
the Lord said to me, Do not levy war against the Moabites, or attack them; I do not mean to give thee any of their lands. Ar is the territory I have given to the sons of Lot for their home.
The earliest inhabitants of the country were the Emim, a great race of warriors, so tall in stature that they might have come of Enac’s family;
and indeed men held them to be giants of Enac’s breed, but the Moabite name for them is Emim.
(So, too, Seir had its earlier inhabitants, the Horites, but they were dispossessed and destroyed by the sons of Esau, who took possession of the land just as Israel took possession of the land which the Lord gave him.)
So we moved forward, and reached the brook Zared, minded to cross it.
Between our departure from Cades-Barne and the crossing of the brook Zared lay thirty-eight years of wandering, till all the fighting men of that generation had passed away from this camp of ours, as the Lord swore they should;
on all of them his hand fell, and they were lost to our ranks.
And when all those warriors were dead
the Lord had a command to give me:
To-day thou shalt pass beyond the frontiers of Moab, at the city called Ar,
and reach the neighbourhood of the Ammonites. Do not levy war against them or threaten battle; I do not mean to give thee any of the Ammonites’ land; here too the children of Lot must dwell.
(This, too, was reckoned a land of giants; it was a giant race that lived there once, the Zomzommim, as they are called by the Ammonites,
a people great and powerful, tall in stature as the Enacim themselves. But the Lord dispossessed them to make room for the Ammonites, and these made their dwelling there instead.
Just so he had destroyed the Horites, that once lived in Seir, and given their land to the Edomites, who enjoy it to this day:
the Hevites, too, that dwelt in Haserim, right up to Gaza, were dispossessed by the Caphtorim; these left their home and settled in the land of the Hevites, whom they destroyed.)✻
March on, then, and cross the ravine of Arnon; here is the prey I have given thee, Sehon, the Amorrhite king who reigns at Hesebon. Join battle with him, and set about the conquest of his land.
To-day I will begin making thy name a name of terror, so that every nation on earth, hearing it, shall be overcome with fear, sudden as the throes of a woman in travail.
So, from the desert of Cademoth, I sent an embassy to Sehon king of Hesebon, with peaceful overtures.
We will pass through thy land, I said, by the common highway, not turning aside to right or left.
Sell us food to eat, and we will pay for it; allow us water to drink, and we will pay for it. Only grant us leave to pass through,
like the Edomites in Seir and the Moabites in Ar, so that we can reach the Jordan, and cross over it into the land which the Lord our God is giving us to be our home.
But Sehon, king of Hesebon, would not let us pass; the Lord your God gave him a hard heart, a stubborn will, so as to put him at your mercy; and it has happened under your eyes.
I am ready, the Lord told me, to deliver him into thy power, and his land with him; set about the conquest of it;
and when Sehon offered battle at Jasa, coming out to meet us with all his forces,
the Lord our God gave us the victory over him. We made an end of him and of his sons and of all his people,
took all his cities there and then, putting all that dwelt there, men, women, and children, to the sword, and spared nothing
except the beasts we drove off for our use, and such plunder as captured cities yield.
From Aroer on the bank of Arnon, where it lies in its valley, right up to Galaad, there was no town or city but came into our hands; the Lord our God put all in our possession
except the Ammonite country we might not enter, and all that lies in the ravine of Jeboc, and the mountain cities, and those other lands from which he bade us turn away.✻
The Holy Bible