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Numbers 21 - NIV

Arad Destroyed

1 When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captured some of them.

2 Then Israel made this vow to the Lord: “If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy[a] their cities.”

3 The Lord listened to Israel’s plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.[b]

The Bronze Snake

4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea,[c] to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way;

5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

6 Then the Lord 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 the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”

9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

The Journey to Moab

10 The Israelites moved on and camped at Oboth.

11 Then they set out from Oboth and camped in Iye Abarim, in the wilderness that faces Moab toward the sunrise.

12 From there they moved on and camped in the Zered Valley.

13 They set out from there and camped alongside the Arnon, which is in the wilderness extending into Amorite territory. The Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.

14 That is why the Book of the Wars of the Lord says:

“.?.?. Zahab[d] in Suphah and the ravines,
the Arnon

15 and[e] the slopes of the ravines
that lead to the settlement of Ar
and lie along the border of Moab.”

16 From there they continued on to Beer, the well where the Lord said to Moses, “Gather the people together and I will give them water.”

17 Then Israel sang this song:

“Spring up, O well!
Sing about it,

18 about the well that the princes dug,
that the nobles of the people sank—
the nobles with scepters and staffs.”

Then they went from the wilderness to Mattanah,

19 from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth,

20 and from Bamoth to the valley in Moab where the top of Pisgah overlooks the wasteland.

Defeat of Sihon and Og

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

22 “Let us pass through your country. We will not turn aside into any field or vineyard, or drink water from any well. We will travel along the King’s Highway until we have passed through your territory.”

23 But Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory. He mustered his entire army and marched out into the wilderness against Israel. When he reached Jahaz, he fought with Israel.

24 Israel, however, put him to the sword and took over his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, but only as far as the Ammonites, because their border was fortified.

25 Israel captured all the cities of the Amorites and occupied them, including Heshbon and all its surrounding settlements.

26 Heshbon was the city of Sihon king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken from him all his land as far as the Arnon.

27 That is why the poets say:

“Come to Heshbon and let it be rebuilt;
let Sihon’s city be restored.


“Fire went out from Heshbon,
a blaze from the city of Sihon.
It consumed Ar of Moab,
the citizens of Arnon’s heights.

29 Woe to you, Moab!
You are destroyed, people of Chemosh!
He has given up his sons as fugitives
and his daughters as captives
to Sihon king of the Amorites.


“But we have overthrown them;
Heshbon’s dominion has been destroyed all the way to Dibon.
We have demolished them as far as Nophah,
which extends to Medeba.”

31 So Israel settled in the land of the Amorites.

32 After Moses had sent spies to Jazer, the Israelites captured its surrounding settlements and drove out the Amorites who were there.

33 Then they turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan and his whole army marched out to meet them in battle at Edrei.

34 The Lord said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands, along with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”

35 So they struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army, leaving them no survivors. And they took possession of his land.


a. Numbers 21:2 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 3.
b. Numbers 21:3 Hormah means destruction.
c. Numbers 21:4 Or the Sea of Reeds
d. Numbers 21:14 Septuagint; Hebrew Waheb
e. Numbers 21:15 Or “I have been given from Suphah and the ravinesof the Arnon to

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John Stackhouse avatar
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Shared by: John Stackhouse on Feb, 2016
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Ian Humphrey avatar
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Summary: I would propose to you that it is fitting and proper that we should remember those who gave their lives serving in the Armed forces!
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Shared by: Mark Aarssen on Apr, 2015
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Shared by: True Neilson on Dec, 2014
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Ajai Prakash avatar
Shared by: Ajai Prakash on Oct, 2014
Summary: Are you tired of being discouraged? This is one of Satan's best weapon of spiritual warfare and it is unimaginable how many fall prey to it. The repercussions of discouragement can be devastating but the biggest benefit is that it confirms our need of God
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Shared by: Don Schultz on Jul, 2014
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Scripture: Numbers 21:4-9
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Damian Phillips avatar
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Shared by: Damian Phillips on Nov, 2013
Summary: This message examines a disease that has plagued mankind since the beginning of time. The disease is called “sin.” God devised a vaccination for sin during the time of the wilderness wanderings, and later refined it to perfection in Jesus Christ.
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Scripture: Numbers 21:4-9
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Christopher Holdsworth avatar
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Shared by: Christopher Holdsworth on Oct, 2013
Summary: The symbolism of the serpent on the pole, and the awful reality of the Man upon the Cross.
Jimmy Chapman avatar
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Shared by: Jimmy Chapman on Jul, 2013
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Scripture: Numbers 21:4
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Tim Diack avatar
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Shared by: Tim Diack on Aug, 2012
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Scripture: Numbers 21:4-9
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Gerald Roberts avatar
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Shared by: Gerald Roberts on Mar, 2012
Summary: Why do we complain,get angry, and are so impatient, perhaps it is a result of two wolves inside.
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Scripture: Numbers 21:4-9
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Shared by: Philip Harrelson on Jan, 2012
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Daniel J. Little avatar
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Shared by: Daniel J. Little on Dec, 2011
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Scripture: Numbers 21:7-9
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Jason Jones avatar
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Shared by: Jason Jones on Jun, 2011
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Rodelio Mallari avatar
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Richard Futrell avatar
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Shared by: Richard Futrell on Oct, 2010
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Shared by: Howard Strickland on Aug, 2010
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Dr.W.Samuel Legon avatar
Shared by: Dr.W.Samuel Legon on Jul, 2010
Summary: Some of us need to open our eyes.
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Shared by: Mark Pierce on May, 2010
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Shared by: Daniel Austin on Mar, 2010
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Scripture: Numbers 21:4-9
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Ken Harris avatar
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Shared by: Ken Harris on Mar, 2009
Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to motivate the hearers to affirm to others that the Bronze Serpent on the Pole symbolically represents the death of the Ultimate Sinner; therefore believers that look to the BRONZE SERPENT in obedience and by faith shall be
based on 4 ratings
Scripture: Numbers 21:4-9
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Views: 2,501
Matt Hoffmann avatar
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Shared by: Matt Hoffmann on Mar, 2009
Summary: This is a monologue sermon from the persepective of an eyewitness to the plague of snakes from Numbers 21:4-9. You will need someone to read the last verses of the sermon from the back of the church after you walk off.
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Shared by: Russell Brownworth on Mar, 2009
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Shared by: Darren Rogers on Feb, 2009
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Jerry Watts avatar
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Shared by: Jerry Watts on Jun, 2008
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