'We then turned round and made for the desert, in the direction of the Sea of Suph, as Yahweh had ordered me. For many days we skirted Mount Seir.
Yahweh then said to me,
"You have gone far enough round this mountain; now turn north.
And give the people this order: You are about to pass through the territory of your kinsmen, the sons of Esau who live in Seir. They are afraid of you, and you will be well protected.
Do not provoke them, for I shall give you none of their land, no, not so much as a foot's length of it. I have given the highlands of Seir to Esau as his domain.
Pay them in money for what food you eat; and pay them in money for the water you drink.
Yahweh your God has blessed you in all you do; he has watched over your journeying through this vast desert. Yahweh your God has been with you these forty years and you have never been in want."
'So we passed beyond those relatives of ours, the children of Esau who live in Seir, by the road through the Arabah, Elath and Ezion-Geber; then, changing direction, we took the road towards the Plains of Moab.
Yahweh then said to me, "Do not attack Moab, do not provoke him to fight, for I shall give you none of his land, since I have given Ar to the children of Lot as their domain."
(At one time the Emim lived there, a great and numerous people, tall as the Anakim;
and, like the Anakim, they were considered to be Rephaim, though the Moabites call them Emim.
The Horites, too, lived in Seir at one time; these, however, were dispossessed and exterminated by the children of Esau who settled there in place of them, just as Israel has done in the country given to it by Yahweh as a heritage.)
"On your way, then! Cross the Wadi Zered!" 'And so we crossed the Wadi Zered.
From Kadesh-Barnea to the crossing of the Wadi Zered our wanderings had taken thirty-eight years; as a result of which, the entire generation of those of age to bear arms had been eliminated, as Yahweh had sworn to them.
Yahweh's hand had been against them, to eliminate them completely from the camp.
'When death had carried off from the people those of age to bear arms, to the last man,
Yahweh said this to me,
"You are now crossing Ar, the country of Moab,
and soon you will encounter the children of Ammon. Do not attack them, do not provoke them, for I shall give you none of the land belonging to the children of Ammon as your domain. I have given it to the children of Lot as theirs."
(This used also to be considered as Rephaim territory; at one time the Rephaim lived there, though the Ammonites call them Zamzummim,
a great and numerous people, and tall like the Anakim. Yahweh exterminated them for the Ammonites who dispossessed them and settled there in place of them,
just as he had done for the children of Esau who live in Seir, so that they dispossessed the Horites and settled there instead of them and are still there now.
It was the same with the Avvites who occupied encampments as far as Gaza: the Caphtorim, coming from Caphtor, exterminated them and settled there instead.)
"On your way! Break camp and cross the Wadi Arnon. See, I am putting Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, at your mercy, and his country too. Set about the conquest; engage him in battle.
Today and henceforth, I shall fill the peoples under all heaven with fear and terror of you; whoever hears word of your approach will tremble and writhe in anguish because of you."
'So, from the desert of Kedemoth I sent envoys to Sihon king of Heshbon with this peaceful message,
"I intend to cross your country. I shall go my way, straying neither to right nor to left.
I shall eat and pay for the food you choose to sell me, and I shall drink and pay for the water you let me have. I only want to march through,
just as the children of Esau who live in Seir permitted, as well as the Moabites who live in Ar, until I cross the Jordan into the country that Yahweh our God is giving us."
'But Sihon king of Heshbon would not give us leave to pass through his territory; Yahweh our God had made his spirit obstinate and his heart stubborn, to put him at your mercy, as he still is.
Yahweh said to me, "You see, I am starting to give you Sihon and his country. Begin the conquest by seizing his country."
Sihon marched out against us, he and all his people, to give battle at Jahaz.
And Yahweh our God handed him over to us: we defeated him and his sons and all his people.
We captured all his towns and laid all these towns under the curse of destruction: men, women and children, we left no survivors
except the livestock which we took as our booty, and the spoils of the captured towns.
From Aroer on the edge of the Arnon valley and from the town down in the valley, as far as Gilead, not one town was beyond our reach; Yahweh our God delivered them all to us.
You did not, however, go near the country of the Ammonites, or the region of the River Jabbok, or the towns in the highlands, or anywhere forbidden us by Yahweh our God.'
The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.
Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.
Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.
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