And when king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Israel came by the way of the spies; then he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners.
the way of the spies
Dr. Kennicott remarks, that the word atharim, rendered spies in our version, is in the Greek a proper name ([Atharein] Atharim).
And Israel vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.
And the LORD hearkened 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.
and they utterly
Wyyacharem, rather with the LXX. [kai anethematisen] "and they anathematised, or devoted them to destruction;" for it is certain that these Canaanites and Arad were not utterly destroyed till the time of Joshua. (Jos 12:14.)
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.
by the way
or, grieved. Heb. shortened.
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, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
and our soul
And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
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.
A serpent of
And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in Oboth.
And they journeyed from Oboth, and pitched at Ijeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrising.
Probably Oboda, a city of Arabia PetrÊa, mentioned by Ptolemy. Pliny assigns it to the Helmodians; but Stephanus to the Nabatheans.
or, heaps of Abarim.
From thence they removed, and pitched in the valley of Zared.
the valley of Zared
the brook Zered
From thence they removed, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, which is in the wilderness that cometh out of the coasts of the Amorites: for Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.
Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the LORD, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon,
in the book
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, even the effusion of the torrents, which goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and lieth for the boundary of Moab; even from thence to the well; (which is the well of which Jehovah spake unto Moses, Gather the people, and I will give them water. Then sang Israel this song: Spring up, O Well! Answer ye to it. The well, princes digged it; even nobles of the people digged it, by a decree, upon their borders;) and from the wilderness (or the well, as in LXX.) to Mattanah; and from Mattanah," etc. The whole of this, from ver. 14-20, is a fragment from "the book of the wars of Jehovah," probably a book of remembrances or directions written by Moses for the use of Joshua, and describes the several boundaries of the land of Moab. This rendering removes every obscurity, and obviates every difficulty.
And at the stream of the brooks that goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and lieth upon the border of Moab.
And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well whereof the LORD spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.
Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it:
Heb. ascend. sing ye. or answer.
The princes digged the well, the nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves. And from the wilderness they went to Mattanah:
And from Bamoth in the valley, that is in the country of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looketh toward Jeshimon.
or the hill. Jeshimon. or, the wilderness.
And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, saying,
Let me pass through thy 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 high way, until we be past thy borders.
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 he came to Jahaz, and fought against Israel.
And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon unto Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon: for the border of the children of Ammon was strong.
And Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof.
Heshbon was situated, according to Eusebius, twenty miles east of Jordan; and Jerome, who places it at the same distance, says it was, in his time, a very considerable city. It still subsists, in ruins, under the name of Heshban.
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 Arnon.
Arnon is a stream which takes its rise in the mountains of Moab, and, by a north-west course, during which it receives the waters of several streams, runs into the Dead sea. It is now called Wady Modjeb, and divides the province of Pelka from that of Kerek, as it formerly divided the kingdoms of the Moabites and Amorites. Its principal source is at a short distance to the north-east of Katrane, a station of the Syrian Hadj, where it is called Seyl Sayde; and lower down it receives the name of Esseim el Kereim, or Szefye.
Wherefore they that speak in proverbs say, Come into Heshbon, let the city of Sihon be built and prepared:
For there is a fire gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon: it hath consumed Ar of Moab, and the lords of the high places of Arnon.
Ar of Moab
Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone, O people of Chemosh: he hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites.
We have shot at them; Heshbon is perished even unto Dibon, and we have laid them waste even unto Nophah, which reacheth unto Medeba.
Thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites.
And Moses sent to spy out Jaazer, and they took the villages thereof, and drove out the Amorites that were there.
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.
And the LORD 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, which dwelt at Heshbon.
for I have
So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land.