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Numbers - Chapter 21

Numbers Chapters

1 The king of Arad, the Canaanite living in the Negeb, learned that Israel was coming by way of Atharim. He attacked Israel and took some prisoners.

2 Israel then made this vow to Yahweh, 'If you deliver this people into my power, I shall curse their towns with destruction.'

3 Yahweh heard Israel's words and delivered the Canaanites into their power, and they destroyed them in accordance with their curse. Hence the place was given the name Hormah.

4 They left Mount Hor by the road to the Sea of Suph, to skirt round Edom. On the way the people lost patience.

5 They spoke against God and against Moses, 'Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in the desert? For there is neither food nor water here; we are sick of this meagre diet.'

6 At this, God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel.

7 The people came and said to Moses, 'We have sinned by speaking against Yahweh and against you. Intercede for us with Yahweh to save us from these serpents.' Moses interceded for the people,

8 and Yahweh replied, 'Make a fiery serpent and raise it as a standard. Anyone who is bitten and looks at it will survive.'

9 Moses then made a serpent out of bronze and raised it as a standard, and anyone who was bitten by a serpent and looked at the bronze serpent survived.

10 The Israelites set out and camped at Oboth.

11 Then they left Oboth and camped at Iye-Abarim, in the desert on the eastern border of Moab.

12 They set out from there and camped in the gorge of the Zered.

13 They set out from there and camped on the other side of the Arnon. This gorge in the desert begins in the territory of the Amorites. For the Arnon is the frontier of Moab, between the Moabites and the Amorites.

14 That is why it says in the Book of the Wars of Yahweh: '. . .Waheb near Suphah and the gorges of the Arnon

15 and the slope of the ravine running down to the site of Ar and over against the frontier of Moab.'

16 And from there they went to Beer, that being the well in connection with which Yahweh had said to Moses, 'Call the people together and I will give them water.'

17 Then it was that Israel sang this song: Spring up, well! Sing out for the well,

18 sunk by the princes, dug by the people's leaders with the sceptre, with their staves! -and from the desert to Mattanah,

19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth,

20 and from Bamoth to the valley that opens into the country of Moab, towards the heights of Pisgah overlooking the desert.

21 Israel sent messengers to say to Sihon king of the Amorites,

22 'I wish to pass through your country. We shall not stray into the fields or vineyards; we shall not drink the water from the wells; we shall keep to the king's highway until we have passed through your territory.'

23 But Sihon would not give Israel leave to pass through his country. He assembled all his people, marched into the desert to meet Israel, and reached Jahaz, where he gave battle to Israel.

24 Israel defeated him by force of arms and conquered his country from the Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as the Ammonites, for Jazer marked the Ammonite frontier.

25 Israel took all these towns. Israel occupied all the Amorite towns, Heshbon and all its dependencies,

26 Heshbon being the capital of Sihon king of the Amorites, who had made war on the first king of Moab and captured all his territory as far as the Arnon.

27 Hence the poets say: Come to Heshbon! Let the city of Sihon be rebuilt on firm foundations!

28 For fire has burst from Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon, devouring Ar of Moab, engulfing the heights of the Arnon.

29 Oh, unhappy Moab! People of Chemosh, you are lost! He has resigned his sons as fugitives, and his daughters as prisoners to Sihon king of the Amorites.

30 Their posterity has been destroyed from Heshbon all the way to Dibon, and we have lit a fire all the way from Nophah to Medeba.

31 Thus Israel occupied the Amorites' territory.

32 Moses then sent men to reconnoitre Jazer, and Israel took it and its dependencies, evicting the Amorites who lived there.

33 They then turned and marched on Bashan. Og king of Bashan and all his people marched to meet them and give battle at Edrei.

34 Yahweh said to Moses, 'Do not be afraid of him, for I have put him, all his people and his country at your mercy. Treat him as you treated Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.'

35 So they pressed their attack against him, his sons and all his people until there was no one left alive. And they took possession of his country.


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Daily Readings

December 14th, 2017

Reading 1, Isaiah 41:13-20
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 145:1, 9, 10-11, 12-13
Gospel, Matthew 11:11-15

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