Moses and the Israelites are fast approaching the end of their forty years of wandering through the wilderness. There are a few more significant battles to be won before they cross over. The next passage for us to consider is Numbers 21:33-35.
33 And they turned and went up by the way to Bashan. So Og king of Bashan went out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.
34 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have delivered him into your hand, with all his people and his land; and you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the ...
When reading the Bible it is always a good idea to slow down and notice the details, especially the seemingly unimportant ones. I feel like I’m always telling you this, and yet I almost ignored my own advice. I just about read right over Numbers 21:31-32. Let’s take a look and you’ll see why it would be so easy to just barrel right through these two verses on our journey to the “good stuff”.
31 Thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites.
32 Then Moses sent to spy out Jazer; and they took its villages and drove out the Amorites ...
We’ve talked about Israel defeating Sihon, king of the Amorites, but we need to take a quick step back and take a little closer look at this story. Consider the following:
The Old Testament rehearses the Sihon narrative in three locations (Num 21:21–30; Deut 2:26–37; Judg 11:19–26) and alludes to the tradition about him in several other places (e.g., Josh 2:10; 9:10; Pss 135:11; 136:19; Neh 9:22). Biblical tradition almost always remembers the defeat of Sihon in conjunction with that of King Og of Bashan (exceptions: Judg 11:19–26 and Jer 48:45). - Logos ...
Last time we ended our trek through the book by considering the first part of Numbers 21:24. We talked about it in the context of Israel defeating Sihon, the king of the Amorites. But I’d like to draw your attention to one little phrase at the end of the verse that would be easy to read past with hardly a glance.
24 But Israel struck him with the edge of the sword, and they took possession of his land from Arnon to Jabbok, until the Ammonites, because the boundary of the Ammonites was strong. 
That’s the Lexham English Bible. Let’s ...
Last time we considered Numbers 21:5-9, which talks about Yahweh sending fiery serpents among the people. I pointed out the New Testament connection explaining that these serpents of the Old Testament were a type of Christ.
Numbers 21:10-20 continue the narrative explaining the different geographical locations that this wandering nation visited. As an aside Numbers 21:14-16 offer curious details because it references, even quotes the scroll of the Wars of Yahweh. Unfortunately, the book has been lost to us, but as I consulted various commentaries it appears it was ...
Last time we talked about Numbers 21:4-5. You may remember in previous verses that because the Edomites would not let them pass through their territory, the Israelites were forced to take the long way around. Numbers 21:4-5 inform us that the Israelites became impatient, and complained. We are going to consider Numbers 21:6-9, which describes how Yahweh responded to their complaining. But before we do, I want to point out a contrast that occurs in the early part of this truly historical chapter.
In the first part of chapter twenty-one, the Israelites ...
If you’ve been following us through the book of Numbers you may recall at the end of Number twenty Aaron died while they were on the edge of the Edomite’s territory. They did a succession ceremony where Aaron’s son Eleazar was ordained the high priest in place of his father.
21:1 The Canaanite king of Arad, who was dwelling in the Negev, heard that Israel came along the way of Atharim; he fought against Israel and took some of them captive.
There is actually quite a bit to notice before we get to the part in ...
In our trek through the book of Numbers, we come upon a seemingly “normal” set of events that is pretty easy to just read. This part doesn’t have any really difficult concepts or confusing notions. And yet, it is the word of God and worthy of our notice. I want to point out just a few observations you may have missed in a casual reading of the text.
The first thing I want us to notice is not something that is in the text, but rather something that isn’t in the text. Look at Numbers 20:21-22 with me.
Have you ever approached the same passage of scripture you’ve read a hundred times and said to yourself, “huh, I never noticed that before”? Let’s look at three verses and I’ll tell you what I mean.
14 From Kadesh Moses sent messengers to the king of Edom: “Thus your brother Israel has said, ‘You know all the hardship that has found us;
15 our ancestors went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt ⌊a long time⌋, and the Egyptians mistreated us and our ancestors.
16 Then we cried to Yahweh, and he heard our voice; he sent ...
The last verse in Numbers chapter twenty that we considered was twelve. I’d like to take another peek at it. This time I’d like to consider verses twelve and thirteen together because they are a sort of summary of the “water from the rock” event. Here they are in the Lexham English Bible.
12 But Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not trusted in me, to regard me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land that I have given to them.”
13 Those were the ...