The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Numbers
There was a Chanaanite king that had his capital, Arad, in the south country; and when he heard that the Israelites had come there, following the Spies’ Road, he levied war against them, defeating them in the field and winning spoils from them.
Whereupon the Israelites took a vow, promising the Lord that if he would grant them victory over this tribe, they would raze its cities to the ground.
In answer to these prayers, the Lord let his people have their way with the Chanaanite king; they killed him, and destroyed all his cities, giving to the battle-field the name of Horma, that is, Forfeited.
When they left mount Hor, they must needs march along the way that leads to the Red Sea, so as to fetch a compass round the territory of Edom. Before long, the people grew weary of this laborious march,
assailing God and Moses with such complaints as these: Why didst thou ever bring us away from Egypt, only to die in the desert? We have neither bread nor water here; we are sick at heart, sick of the unsatisfying food thou givest us.
Upon this, the Lord sent serpents among them, with fire in their fangs, that struck at many and killed many of them,
till they came to Moses and confessed, We have sinned by making complaints against the Lord and against thee; entreat him to rid us of the serpents. So Moses made intercession for the people;
and the Lord bade him fashion a serpent of bronze, and set it up on a staff, bringing life to all who should look towards it as they lay wounded.
And so it proved; when Moses made a brazen serpent and set it up on a staff, the wounded men had but to look towards it, and they were healed.
After this the Israelites marched on, and encamped at Oboth,
and left Oboth to encamp at Jeabarim, in the desert that faces Moab on the east.
Their next march brought them to the valley of Zared;
and so they passed on to encamp by the Arnon, a desert stream which meets you at the Amorrhite border; it is the frontier of Moab, dividing Moab from the Amorrhites.
So it came to be written in the Book of the Lord’s Battles, What he did by the Red Sea, he will do again in the Valleys of Arnon;
among the mountain torrents that come down to rest in Ar, to flow peacefully through the lands of Moab.
It was at their next encampment that a well was shown to them; Gather the people together, the Lord had said to Moses, and I will provide water for them;
and it was here that Israel first sang the song called, Let the well spring up. They all sang together,
Here is the well that was dug by princes; the chieftains of the host laid it open with the staves they carried, with the giver of the law to lead them. So they left the wilderness, and reached Matthana;
after Matthana, Nahaliel, and after Nahaliel, Bamoth,
and after Bamoth, a valley in the Moabite country with mount Phasga at the head of it, looking out towards the desert.
Here the Israelites sent envoys to Sehon, king of the Amorrhites,
asking him for leave to pass through his country, upon condition that they kept clear of fields and vineyards, drank no water from the wells, and marched along the high road until they reached the end of his dominions.
But Sehon, sooner than let them pass through his territory, mustered his forces and went out to meet them, there in the desert. Upon reaching Jasa, he offered battle,
but they gave him the sword’s point, and conquered all his domain, reaching from the Arnon as far as Jeboc and the Ammonite country; the Ammonite frontier had strong garrisons to defend it.
Thus Israel took possession of all his strongholds, and had the Amorrhite cities to dwell in, Hesebon and all the smaller towns that depended on it.
It was at Hesebon that Sehon, king of the Amorrhites, had made his capital, after making war on the king of Moab and occupying all the lands he held, up to the Arnon.
That is the meaning of the old saying: To Hesebon, to Hesebon! Strong and true be the walls that Sehon is a-building.
Fire from Hesebon, a flame from Sehon’s town, swallowing up Ar, the city of the Moabites, and all that dwell in the hill-fastnesses by Anion’s side.
Woe betide thee, Moab; worshippers of Chamas, you are undone. Sehon, the Amorrhite king, has claimed their sons for exile, their daughters for bondage;
all their domain is lost, from Hesebon to Dibon; weary of the battle, in Nophe and distant Medaba they have taken refuge at last.
Israel, then, settled in the land of the Amorrhites,
and Moses sent spies to survey Jazer. When they had occupied the villages there, and conquered its inhabitants,
they turned aside, and marched by the road which leads to Basan. The king of Basan, Og, mustered his people and came out to give them battle in Edrai;
but the Lord said to Moses, Do not be afraid of him; I am letting thee have thy way with him, and all his people, and his territory; thou shalt conquer him, as thou didst conquer Sehon, the Amorrhite king that dwelt in Hesebon.
And so it proved; they made war on him and his sons and all his subjects until none were left, and so took possession of his country.
The Holy Bible