Numbers 20:14-21:9 Reading the Passage

The Way to Handle Discouragement – Numbers 20:14-21:9

20 (14) Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, saying, This is what your brother Israel says: You know about all the hardships that have come upon us. (15) Our forefathers went down into Egypt, and we lived there for many years. The Egyptians mistreated us as well as our fathers. (16) But when we cried out to Jehovah, he heard our cry and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt. Now we are here in Kadesh, a town on the edge of your territory. (17) Please let us pass through your country. We will not go through any field or vineyard; neither will we drink water from the wells. We will travel along the king’s highway; we will not veer off to the right or to the left until we have passed through your territory. (18) But Edom answered, You may not pass through my country. If you attempt to do so, I will come out against you with the sword. (19) The children of Israel replied, We will travel along the highway; and if I and my livestock drink any of your water, I will pay for it. Only let me pass through on foot—I ask for nothing else. (20) But he said, You may not pass through my land. (21) So it was that Edom refused to allow Israel to pass through his territory; therefore, Israel turned away from them.

(22) The children of Israel, indeed, the whole congregation, set out from Kadesh and came to Mount Hor. (23) At Mount Hor, near the border of Edom, Jehovah spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, (24) Aaron shall be gathered to his people; he shall not enter into the land I have given to the children of Israel, because you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. (25) Take Aaron and his son Eleazar, and bring them up to Mount Hor. (26) Remove Aaron’s priestly garments from him and put them on his son Eleazar. (27) Moses did as Jehovah commanded: they went up to Mount Hor in the sight of the whole congregation. (28) Moses removed Aaron’s priestly garments and put them on his son Eleazar. Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. (29) When the whole congregation learned that Aaron had died, the entire house of Israel spent thirty days in mourning for him.

21 When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev*, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked them and took some of them captive. (2) Then Israel made this vow to Jehovah: If you will deliver these people into my hand, I will devote their cities to you by totally destroying them. (3) Jehovah listened to Israel’s vow and delivered the Canaanites to them. They completely destroyed them and their cities; so that place was named Hormah.

(4) Then they traveled from Mount Hor along the route towards the Red Sea, in order to go around the land of Edom. The people became very discouraged in spirit because of the route they were obligated to take. (5) The people spoke against God and against Moses, saying, Why have you brought us up out of Egypt in order to die in this wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food! (6) Then Jehovah sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. (7) The people came to Moses and said, We sinned when we spoke against Jehovah and against you. Pray that Jehovah would take the snakes away from us. (8) Jehovah said to Moses, Make a replica of a venomous snake and put it on a pole; when anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he shall live. (9) So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole. And it happened that, if anyone was bitten by a snake, when he looked at the bronze snake, he lived.

*Or, “the South”

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.