Wandering in the desert

Deuteronomy 2-3 MSG
(counting...)

1Then we turned around and went back into the wilderness following the route to the Red Sea, as God had instructed me. We worked our way in and around the hills of Seir for a long, long time.

2-6Then God said, "You've been going around in circles in these hills long enough; go north. Command the people, You're about to cut through the land belonging to your relatives, the People of Esau who settled in Seir. They are terrified of you, but restrain yourselves. Don't try and start a fight. I am not giving you so much as a square inch of their land. I've already given all the hill country of Seir to Esau—he owns it all. Pay them up front for any food or water you get from them."

7God, your God, has blessed you in everything you have done. He has guarded you in your travels through this immense wilderness. For forty years now, God, your God, has been right here with you. You haven't lacked one thing.

8So we detoured around our brothers, the People of Esau who live in Seir, avoiding the Arabah Road that comes up from Elath and Ezion Geber; instead we used the road through the Wilderness of Moab.

9God told me, "And don't try to pick a fight with the Moabites. I am not giving you any of their land. I've given ownership of Ar to the People of Lot."

10-12The Emites (Monsters) used to live there—mobs of hulking giants, like Anakites. Along with the Anakites they were lumped in with the Rephaites (Ghosts) but in Moab they were called Emites. Horites also used to live in Seir, but the descendants of Esau took over and destroyed them, the same as Israel did in the land God gave them to possess.

13God said, "It's time now to cross the Brook Zered." So we crossed the Brook Zered.

14-15It took us thirty-eight years to get from Kadesh Barnea to the Brook Zered. That's how long it took for the entire generation of soldiers from the camp to die off, as God had sworn they would. God was relentless against them until the last one was gone from the camp.

16-23When the last of these soldiers had died, God said to me, "This is the day you cut across the territory of Moab, at Ar. When you approach the People of Ammon, don't try and pick a fight with them because I'm not giving you any of the land of the People of Ammon for yourselves—I've already given it to the People of Lot." It is also considered to have once been the land of the Rephaites. Rephaites lived there long ago—the Ammonites called them Zamzummites (Barbarians)—huge mobs of them, giants like the Anakites. God destroyed them and the Ammonites moved in and took over. It was the same with the People of Esau who live in Seir—God got rid of the Horites who lived there earlier and they moved in and took over, as you can see. Regarding the Avvites who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorites who came from Caphtor (Crete) wiped them out and moved in.

24-25"On your feet now. Get started. Cross the Brook Arnon. Look: Here's Sihon the Amorite king of Heshbon and his land. I'm handing it over to you—it's all yours. Go ahead, take it. Go to war with him. Before the day is out, I'll make sure that all the people around here are thoroughly terrified. Rumors of you are going to spread like wildfire; they'll totally panic."

26-28From the Wilderness of Kedemoth, I sent messengers to Sihon, king of Heshbon. They carried a friendly message: "Let me cross through your land on the highway. I'll stay right on the highway; I won't trespass right or left. I'll pay you for any food or water we might need. Let me walk through.

29"The People of Esau who live in Seir and the Moabites who live in Ar did this, helping me on my way until I can cross the Jordan and enter the land that God, our God, is giving us."

30But Sihon king of Heshbon wouldn't let us cross his land. God, your God, turned his spirit mean and his heart hard so he could hand him over to you, as you can see that he has done.

31Then God said to me, "Look, I've got the ball rolling—Sihon and his land are soon yours. Go ahead. Take it. It's practically yours!"

32-36So Sihon and his entire army confronted us in battle at Jahaz. God handed him, his sons, and his entire army over to us and we utterly crushed them. While we were at it we captured all his towns and totally destroyed them, a holy destruction—men, women, and children. No survivors. We took the livestock and the plunder from the towns we had captured and carried them off for ourselves. From Aroer on the edge of the Brook Arnon and the town in the gorge, as far as Gilead, not a single town proved too much for us; God, our God, gave every last one of them to us.

37The only land you didn't take, obeying God's command, was the land of the People of Ammon, the land along the Jabbok and around the cities in the hills.

1Then we turned north and took the road to Bashan. Og king of Bashan, he and all his people, came out to meet us in battle at Edrei.

2God said to me, "Don't be afraid of him; I'm turning him over to you, along with his whole army and his land. Treat him the way you treated Sihon king of the Amorites who ruled from Heshbon."3-7So God, our God, also handed Og king of Bashan over to us—Og and all his people—and we utterly crushed them. Again, no survivors. At the same time we took all his cities. There wasn't one of the sixty cities that we didn't take—the whole region of Argob, Og's kingdom in Bashan. All these cities were fortress cities with high walls and barred gates. There were also numerous unwalled villages. We totally destroyed them—a holy destruction. It was the same treatment we gave to Sihon king of Heshbon, a holy destruction of every city, man, woman, and child. But all the livestock and plunder from the cities we took for ourselves.

8-10Throughout that time we took the land from under the control of the two kings of the Amorites who ruled the country east of the Jordan, all the way from the Brook Arnon to Mount Hermon. (Sirion is the name given Hermon by the Sidonians; the Amorites call it Senir.) We took all the towns of the plateau, everything in Gilead, everything in Bashan, as far as Salecah and Edrei, the border towns of Bashan, Og's kingdom.

11Og king of Bashan was the last remaining Rephaite. His bed, made of iron, was over thirteen feet long and six wide. You can still see it on display in Rabbah of the People of Ammon.

12Of the land that we possessed at that time, I gave the Reubenites and the Gadites the territory north of Aroer along the Brook Arnon and half the hill country of Gilead with its towns.

13I gave the half-tribe of Manasseh the rest of Gilead and all of Bashan, Og's kingdom—all the region of Argob, which takes in all of Bashan. This used to be known as the Land of the Rephaites.

14Jair, a son of Manasseh, got the region of Argob to the borders of the Geshurites and Maacathites. He named the Bashan villages after himself, Havvoth Jair (Jair's Tent-Villages). They're still called that.

15I gave Gilead to Makir.

16-17I gave the Reubenites and Gadites the land from Gilead down to the Brook Arnon, whose middle was the boundary, and as far as the Jabbok River, the boundary line of the People of Ammon. The western boundary was the Jordan River in the Arabah all the way from the Kinnereth (the Sea of Galilee) to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea or Dead Sea) at the base of the slopes of Mount Pisgah on the east.

18-20I commanded you at that time, "God, your God, has given you this land to possess. Your men, fit and armed for the fight, are to cross the river in advance of their brothers, the People of Israel. Only your wives, children, and livestock (I know you have much livestock) may go ahead and settle down in the towns I have already given you until God secures living space for your brothers as he has for you and they have taken possession of the country west of the Jordan that God, your God, is giving them. After that, each man may return to the land I've given you here."

21-22I commanded Joshua at that time, "You've seen with your own two eyes everything God, your God, has done to these two kings. God is going to do the same thing to all the kingdoms over there across the river where you're headed. Don't be afraid of them. God, your God—he's fighting for you."

23-25At that same time, I begged God: "God, my Master, you let me in on the beginnings, you let me see your greatness, you let me see your might—what god in Heaven or Earth can do anything like what you've done! Please, let me in also on the endings, let me cross the river and see the good land over the Jordan, the lush hills, the Lebanon mountains."

26-27But God was still angry with me because of you. He wouldn't listen. He said, "Enough of that. Not another word from you on this. Climb to the top of Mount Pisgah and look around: look west, north, south, east. Take in the land with your own eyes. Take a good look because you're not going to cross this Jordan.

28"Then command Joshua: Give him courage. Give him strength. Single-handed he will lead this people across the river. Single-handed he'll cause them to inherit the land at which you can only look."

29That's why we have stayed in this valley near Beth Peor.


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