Numbers 21

Numbers 21


When the Canaanite,I the kingII of Arad,III

Notes on verse 1a

I “Canaanite” = Knaaniy. From Kanaan (Canaan, his descendants, and the land where they settled; perhaps meaning lowlands, describing their land or subjugated in reference to being conquered by Egypt); from kana (to be humble, subdue; properly, bend the knee). This is Canaanite, which in some instances would imply a peddler or sometimes used in place of Ishmaelite. See
II “king” = melek. From malak (to be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned; by implication, to take counsel). This is king or royal.
III “Arad” = Arad. 5x in NT. Perhaps similar to aron (wild ass); perhaps related to arad (to flee, to be free) OR from rud (to wander) OR from a word meaning to sequester oneself. This is Arad, meaning “fugitive” or “wild ass.” See

who livedIV in the Negeb,V heardVI that IsraelVII

Notes on verse 1b

IV “lived” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
V “Negeb” = Negeb. Root may mean to be parched. The Negeb is the south country – sometimes used to refer to Egypt. This is a land that suffers from a lot of drought.
VI “heard” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
VII “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

was comingVIII by the wayIX of Atharim,X he foughtXI against Israel and tookXII some of them captive.XIII 

Notes on verse 1c

VIII “coming” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
IX “way” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
X “Atharim” = Atharim. 1x in OT. This is Atharim. It may come from a word that means to step. It may mean “places” or “spies.”
XI “fought” = lacham. This is to eat or feed on. Figuratively, it is to battle as a kind of consumption/destruction.
XII “took” = shabah. This is to carry away into captivity, bring away, capture, lead away.
XIII “captive” = shbiy. Related to “took” in v1. From shebo (valuable stone, maybe agate) OR from shabah (see note XII above). This is prisoner, exiled, captivity, booty.

Then Israel madeXIV a vowXV to the LordXVI and said,XVII

Notes on verse 2a

XIV “made” = nadar. This is to vow or promise.
XV “vow” = neder. Related to “made” in v2. From nadar (see note XIV above). This is a vow – literally, that which was promised.
XVI “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
XVII “said” = amar. This is to speak, say, answer, command, promise, report.

“If you will indeed giveXVIII this peopleXIX into our hands,XX then we will utterly destroyXXI their towns.”XXII 

Notes on verse 2b

XVIII “indeed give” = natan + natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
XIX “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
XX “hands” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
XXI “utterly destroy” = charam. This is to ban, destroy, devote, seclude. It is to dedicate to a religious purpose, often for destruction.
XXII “towns” = iyr. From uwr (to awaken or wake oneself up). This can mean excitement in the sense of wakefulness or city. Properly, this is a place that is guarded. Guards kept schedules according to watches. This sense of the word would include cities as well as encampments or posts that were guarded.

The Lord listenedXXIII to the voiceXXIV of Israel and handed overXXV the Canaanites, and they utterly destroyed them and their towns; so the place was calledXXVI, XXVII Hormah.XXVIII

Notes on verse 3

XXIII “listened” = shama. Same as “heard” in v1. See note VI above.
XXIV “voice” = qol. This is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on.
XXV “handed over” = natan. Same as “indeed give” in v2. See note XVIII above.
XXVI “called” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
XXVII {untranslated} = shem. May be from sim (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
XXVIII “Hormah” = Chormah. Related to “utterly destroy” in v2. 9x in NT. From charam (see note XXI above). This is Hormah or Chormah, meaning “asylum” or “devoted” or “dedicated” or “devoted to destruction” or “anathema.” See

From MountXXIX HorXXX they set outXXXI by the way to the RedXXXII Sea,XXXIII 

Notes on verse 4a

XXIX “Mount” = har. Related to “Hor” in v4. See note XXX below.
XXX “Hor” = Hor. 12x in OT. Perhaps from har (mountain, hill); from harar (mountain, hill). This is Hor, the name of two mountains – one in Idumaea and another in Syria.
XXXI “set out” = nasa. This is properly pulling up as when one pulls up tent pegs or stakes. This would imply striking tents in order to start a journey. So this could be bring, pullout, set out, journey, or cause to go away.
XXXII “Red” = suph. Perhaps from Egyptian twfi (reeds). This is reeds or rushes. It can be used particularly to refer to papyrus, or a flag. This is
XXXIII “Sea” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.

to go aroundXXXIV the landXXXV of Edom,XXXVI but theXXXVII people became discouragedXXXVIII on the way. 

Notes on verse 4b

XXXIV “go around” = sabab. This is turning around, going around; to surround, cast, walk, fetch. It is to revolve or border in a literal or figurative sense.
XXXV “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
XXXVI “Edom” = Edom. From the same as adom (to be red or flushed). This is Edom or Idumaea. It means red.
XXXVII {untranslated} = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
XXXVIII “became discouraged” = qatsar. This is to cut down, be short, reap, curtail. It is used especially for harvesting grass or grain. Figuratively, it can mean to be discouraged or grieve.

The people spokeXXXIX against GodXL and against Moses,XLI

Notes on verse 5a

XXXIX “spoke” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
XL “God” = Elohim. Related to “Israel” in v1. See note VII above.
XLI “Moses” = Mosheh. From mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.

“Why have you brought us upXLII out of EgyptXLIII to dieXLIV in the wilderness?XLV

Notes on verse 5b

XLII “brought…up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
XLIII “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.
XLIV “die” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.
XLV “wilderness” = midbar. Related to “spoke” in v5. From dabar (see note XXXIX above). This is mouth or speech. It can also be desert or wilderness. Additionally, it can be used for a pasture to which one drives cattle.

For there is no foodXLVI and no water,XLVII and weXLVIII detestXLIX this miserableL food.” 

Notes on verse 5c

XLVI “food” = lechem. Related to “fought” in v1. From lacham (see note XI above). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
XLVII “water” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
XLVIII “we” = nephesh. Same as {untranslated} in v4. See note XXXVII above.
XLIX “detest” = quts. 9x in OT. This is to feel dread, be distressed, tired, terrorized, be disgusted, be anxious, abhor.
L “miserable” = qeloqel. 1x in OT. From qalal (to be little, insignificant, swift; to bring down in esteem, create contempt, curse). This is worthless, miserable, not heavy.

Then the Lord sentLI poisonousLII serpentsLIII among the people, and they bitLIV the people, so that manyLV IsraelitesLVI died. 

Notes on verse 6

LI “sent” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
LII “poisonous” = saraph. 7x in OT. From saraph (to burn or kindle). This is burning or fiery, i.e. poisonous. It can be a serpent or a seraph.
LIII “serpents” = nachash. Perhaps from nachash (to practice divination, learn by experience; to hiss as in whispering a spell). This is a serpent or snake. Used for the Serpent in the garden of Eden.
LIV “bit” = nashak. 16x in OT. This is bite or sting as from a snake. Figuratively, it is lending with interest.
LV “many” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
LVI “Israelites” = amYisrael. Literally, “people of Israel.” Am is the same as “people” in v2. See note XIX above. Yisrael is the same as “Israel” in v1. See note VII above.

The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinnedLVII by speaking against the Lord and against you; prayLVIII to the Lord to take awayLIX the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed forLX the people. 

Notes on verse 7

LVII “sinned” = chata. This is properly to miss, and so figuratively it is used for sinning, bearing the blame. It implies a forfeiture or loss of something.
LVIII “pray” = palal. This is to judge for oneself or in an official capacity. It can also mean to pray or make supplication, to entreat.
LIX “take away” = sur. This is to turn aside in a literal or figurative sense – to depart, decline, rebel, remove, or withdraw.
LX “for” = baad. Perhaps from ad (up to, while); from adah (to pass on, advance, decorate oneself). This is up to, behind, over, among.

And the Lord said to Moses, “MakeLXI a poisonous serpent,LXII and setLXIII it on a pole,LXIV

Notes on verse 8a

LXI “make” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
LXII “poisonous serpent” = saraph. Same as “poisonous” in v6. See note LII above.
LXIII “set” = sim. Related to {untranslated} in v3. See note XXVII above.
LXIV “pole” = nes. From nasas (to be high, easy to see, sparkling, to gleam, to raise a flag or signal). This is a flag, pole, sail, warning, signal, token.

andLXV everyoneLXVI who is bitten shall lookLXVII at it and live.”LXVIII 

Notes on verse 8b

LXV {untranslated} = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v2. See note XVI above.
LXVI “everyone” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
LXVII “look” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
LXVIII “live” = chayay. 17x in OT. This is to live, save life, or revive.

So Moses madeLXIX a serpent of bronzeLXX and putLXXI it upon a pole, andLXXII whenever a serpent bit someone,LXXIII that person would lookLXXIV at the serpent of bronze and live.

Notes on verse 9

LXIX “made” = asah. Same as “make” in v8. See note LXI above.
LXX “bronze” = nechosheth. Related to “serpents” in v6. Perhaps from nechushah (copper, bronze, brass – something made from this metal like a coin or fetter; something that is considered base in contrast to gold or silver.; from nachush (made of bronze or brass, coppery; figuratively, hard); from nachash (see note LIII above). This is bronze, copper, steel, brass or something made from copper. So, it could be a coin or chains. It can also figuratively mean something considered lesser in contrast to gold or silver.
LXXI “put” = sim. Same as “set” in v8. See note LXIII above.
LXXII {untranslated} = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v8. See note LXV above.
LXXIII “someone” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
LXXIV “look” = nabat. This is to behold, look at intently, consider, or scan. It can mean to have respect or regard someone favorably.

10 The IsraelitesLXXV set out and campedLXXVI in Oboth.LXXVII 

Notes on verse 10

LXXV “Israelites” = ben + Yisrael. Literally, “children of Israel.” Ben is from banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Yisrael is the same as “Israel” in v1. See note VII above.
LXXVI “camped” = chanah. This is decline, bending down, or living in tents. It can be camping to create a home or camping as a part of battle.
LXXVII “Oboth” = Oboth. 4x in OT – all in Numbers. From ob (literally a bottle made from hide; one could mumble into this bottle and make a hollow sound; it refers to mediums, ventriloquists, or necromancers; also a familiar spirit); may be from the same as ab (father, ancestor, grandfather; father in a literal or figurative sense). This is Oboth, meaning waterskins.

11 They set out from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim,LXXVIII in the wilderness borderingLXXIX MoabLXXX toward the sunrise.LXXXI 

Notes on verse 11

LXXVIII “Iye-abarim” = Iyye Haabarim. 2x in OT – both in Numbers. From Iyyim (Iyim, Iim; a place meaning “ruins” or “ruinous heaps’); {from iy (a ruin or a heap as a place that was overturned); from avah (to bend, twist, be amiss)} + abar (to pass over, pass through, or pass by; cross over or to alienate; used for transitions). This is Iye-abarim or Iye Haabarim, meaning “ruins of the passers.” See
LXXIX “bordering” = al + paneh. Paneh is from panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
LXXX “Moab” = Moab. Related to “Oboth” in v1. May be from ab (see note LXXVII above). This is Moab or Moabite. Name could mean “from her father” in reference to the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters. The name could also mean, more pleasantly, “seed of a father” or “desirable land.” See
LXXXI “sunrise” = mizrach + shemesh. Literally, “the rising of the sun.” Mizrach is from zarach (to rise, shine, or dawn; can also describe symptoms of leprosy). This is the east as the place where the sun rises. It can also refer to the sunrise itself. Shemesh is sun or toward the east. Its root may mean being brilliant. Figuratively, this could be a ray or an arch.

12 From there they set out and camped in the WadiLXXXII Zered.LXXXIII 13 From there they set out and camped on the other sideLXXXIV of the Arnon,LXXXV

Notes on verses 12-13a

LXXXII “Wadi” = nachal. From nachal (to take as heritage, inherit, or distribute). This is a river or stream. It could be a wadi or arroyo – sometimes a narrow valley with no water at all, but in strong rains or when winter snow melts, it swells or floods with water.
LXXXIII “Zered” = Zered. 4x in OT – 1x in Numbers & 3x in Deuteronomy. Perahps from Aramaic zarad (to prune trees) OR from a word meaning abundant growth. This is Zered or Zared. It may mean “lined with shrubbery,” “willow bush,” or “luxuriant growth of trees.” See
LXXXIV “other side” = eber. Related to “Iye-abarim” in v11. From abar (see note LXXVIII above). This is the place across or beyond, by, from, other, the opposite side, against, over. It often refers to the other side of the Jordan river or toward the east.
LXXXV “Arnon” = Arnon. From the same as Aran (Aran, a name that may mean “stridulous”); {perhaps from ranan (a cry of joy or a joyful song; properly, emitting a shrill sound, especially one of joy)} OR from aran (to be agile, to inspire cheerfulness). This is Arnon, a wadi and stream in Moab whose nae means “a roaring stream” or “a brawling stream” or “murmuring” or “roaring” or “cheering” or “agile.” See

in the wilderness that extendsLXXXVI from the boundaryLXXXVII of the Amorites,LXXXVIII for the Arnon is the boundary of Moab, betweenLXXXIX Moab andXC the Amorites. 

Notes on verse 13b

LXXXVI “extends” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXXVII “boundary” = gebul. Perhaps from gabal (to border, twist like rope). This is boundary, limit, coast, space. Properly, it is a line that is twisted, which implies a boundary and, by extension, the boundaries of a territory or other enclosed space.
LXXXVIII “Amorites” = Emori. Related to “said” in v2. From amar (see note XVII above). This is Amorite or Emori, perhaps meaning talkers.
LXXXIX “between” = bayin. From bin (to discern, consider, attend to; distinguishing things in one’s mind or, more generally, to understand). This is among, between, interval.
XC {untranslated} = bayin. Same as “between” in v13. See note LXXXIX above.

14 WhereforeXCI it is said in the BookXCII of the WarsXCIII of the Lord,

Notes on verse 14a

XCI “wherefore” = al + ken. Ken is perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
XCII “Book” = sepher. Perhaps from saphar (to tally or record something; to enumerate, recount, number, celebrate, or declare). This can be writing itself or something that is written like a document, book, letter, evidence, bill, scroll, or register.
XCIII “Wars” = milchamah. Related to “fought” in v1 & “food” in v5. From lacham (see note XI above). This is battle, war, fighting, or one who fights (i.e. a warrior).

“WahebXCIV in SuphahXCV and the wadis.
The Arnon 15 and the slopesXCVI of the wadis

Notes on verses 14b-15a

XCIV “Waheb” = Waheb. 1x in OT. Perhaps from yahab (to give) OR aheb (to love). This is Waheb or Vaheb, meaning “what he did,” “gift,” or “beloved.” See
XCV “Suphah” = Suphah. 16x in OT. From suph (to cease, snatch away, consume, remove). This is a sea, perhaps the Red Sea. It can also be used for a hurricane or the wind of a storm. Also, there is a place called Suphah.
XCVI “slopes” = eshed. 1x in OT. May be from a word meaning to pour. It is a foundation, bottom, slope, or stream.

that extendXCVII to the seatXCVIII of ArXCIX
and lieC along the borderCI of Moab.”

Notes on verse 15b

XCVII “extend” = natah. This is to stretch or spread out, to extend, or bend. In can also imply moral deflection.
XCVIII “seat” = yashab. Same as “lived” in v1. See note IV above.
XCIX “Ar” = Ar. Related to “towns” in v2. 6x in OT. Perhaps from the same as iyr (see note XXII above). This is Ar, meaning “a city.”
C “lie” = shaan. This is to lean or support oneself. So, it can mean to rely or trust.
CI “border” = gebul. Same as “boundary” in v13. See note LXXXVII above.

16 From there they continued to Beer;CII that is the wellCIII of which the Lord said to Moses, “GatherCIV the people together, and I will give them water.” 

17 Then Israel sangCV this song:CVI

“Spring up,CVII O well!—SingCVIII to it!—

Notes on verses 16-17

CII “Beer” = Beer. 2x in OT. From the same as beer (a well or pit); from baar (to make plain; to dig; can also mean to engrave or figuratively to explain). This is Beer, meaning “well.”
CIII “well” = beer. Related to “Beer” in v16. See note CII above.
CIV “gather” = asaph. This is to gather, assemble, or bring. It can also mean to take away, destroy, or remove.
CV “sang” = shir. From shir (song, singer). This is to sing. It could also refer to one who is singing or leading others in song.
CVI “song” = shir. Related to “sang” in v17. See note CV above.
CVII “spring up” = alah. Same as “brought…up” in v5. See note XLII above.
CVIII “sing” = anah. This is answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify. It means to pay attention, which implies responding and, by extension, starting to talk. Used in a specific sense for singing, shouting, testifying, etc.

18 the well that the leadersCIX sank,CX
that the noblesCXI of the people dug,CXII
with the scepter,CXIII with the staff.”CXIV

Notes on verse 18a

CIX “leaders” = sar. This is chief, leader, ruler, lord, official, governor, prince, military leader. It refers to someone at the top of a rank or class.
CX “sank” = chaphar. This is properly to pry into. It can also mean to dig search for, sink, or explore.
CXI “nobles” = nadib. From nadab (to offer willingly, volunteer, freely give, be willing). Properly, this is voluntary and so it implies generous, noble, magnanimous, or a generous person.
CXII “dug” = karah. 17x in OT– 8x of digging a pit or trap, 2x of digging a well, 2x of digging a tomb, 2x of bargaining, 1x shriveled, 1x opening an ear, and 1x of digging up evil. This is properly to dig or open up. Figuratively, it can be to plot or make a banquet.
CXIII “scepter” = chaqaq. 19x in OT. This is to inscribe, carve, or decree. It can be a lawmaker/commander or a staff/scepter. Literally, this is engraving, but it implies enacting a law because laws were carved into stone or metal.
CXIV “staff” = mish’enah. Related to “lie” in v15. 12x in OT. From mish’en (a support or staff; figuratively, a protector or sustenance); from shaan (see note C above). This is a staff or walking stick.

From the wilderness to Mattanah,CXV 19 from Mattanah to Nahaliel,CXVI from Nahaliel to Bamoth,CXVII 

Notes on verses 18b-19

CXV “Mattanah” = Mattanah. Related to “indeed give” in v2. 2x in OT. From mattan (gift, reward, to give); from natan (see note XVIII above). This is Mattanah, meaning “gift” or “reward.”
CXVI “Nahaliel” = Nachaliel. Related to “Wadi” in v12 & “Israel” in v & “God” in v5. 2x in OT. From nachal (see note LXXXII above) + El (see note VII above). This is Nahaliel or Nachaliel, meaning “valley of God.”
CXVII “Bamoth” = Bamoth. 4x in OT. From the same as bamah (root might mean being high; height, wave, or elevation). This is Bamah, meaning “high place.”

20 and from Bamoth to the valleyCXVIII lying in the regionCXIX of Moab by the topCXX of PisgahCXXI

Notes on verse 20a

CXVIII “valley” = gay. Perhaps from the same as gevah (pride, confidence); from gevah (the back or body); from gey (the back, among); from ga’ah (to grow up, rise, triumph, be majestic). This is valley or gorge that has high walls. It is, perhaps, a narrow valley, but not a winter-torrent.
CXIX “region” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It can be used to mean wild like a wild animal.
CXX “top” = rosh. This may come a word that means to shake. It is the head, captain, or chief. It can also be excellent or the forefront. It can be first in position or in statue or in time (i.e. the beginning).
CXXI “Pisgah” = Pisgah. 8x in OT. From pasag (to go between, pass through; figuratively to contemplate or consider). This is Pisgah, meaning cleft. It is a mountain in Moab.

that overlooksCXXII theCXXIII wasteland.CXXIV

Notes on verse 20b

CXXII “overlooks” = shaqaph. This is to look down or look out. Properly, it is looking by leaning out a window. It can be peeping or gazing.
CXXIII {untranslated} = al + paneh. Paneh is the same as “bordering” in v11. See note LXXIX above.
CXXIV “wasteland” = yeshimon. 13x in OT. From yasham (to be stripped, destroyed, desolate). This is a wilderness or desert. It can also refer to a place called Jeshimon. It means “wasteland” or “wilderness.” See

21 Then Israel sent messengersCXXV to King SihonCXXVI of the Amorites, saying, 22 “Let me pass throughCXXVII your land;

Notes on verses 21-22a

CXXV “messengers” = malak. This is a messenger, an angel, or a deputy of some kind. Can be used for human messengers literally or for prophets, priests, or teachers as messengers of God. Also used for supernatural messengers i.e. angels.
CXXVI “Sihon” = Sichon. Perhaps from the same a ssuach (Suach, a name); from the same as suchah (something swept away, refuse). This is Sihon or Sichon, a name perhaps meaning “tempestuous.”
CXXVII “pass through” = abar. Related to “Iye-abarim” in v11 & “other side” in v13. See note LXXVIII above.

we will not turn asideCXXVIII into fieldCXXIX or vineyard;CXXX we will not drinkCXXXI the water of any well; we will goCXXXII by the King’s HighwayCXXXIII until we have passed through your territory.”CXXXIV 

Notes on verse 22b

CXXVIII “turn aside” = natah. Same as “extend” in v15. See note XCVII above.
CXXIX “field” = sadeh. Same as “region” in v20. See note CXIX above.
CXXX “vineyard” = kerem. This is a vineyard, garden, vines, or a vintage.
CXXXI “drink” = shathah. This is to drink literally or figuratively. It could also be a drinker.
CXXXII “go” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
CXXXIII “Highway” = derek. Same as “way” in v1. See note IX above.
CXXXIV “territory” = gebul. Same as “boundary” in v13. See note LXXXVII above.

23 But Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his territory. Sihon gathered allCXXXV his people together and went outCXXXVI againstCXXXVII Israel to the wilderness; he came to JahazCXXXVIII and fought against Israel. 

Notes on verse 23

CXXXV “all” = kol. Same as “everyone” in v8. See note LXVI above.
CXXXVI “went out” = yatsa. Same as “extends” in v13. See note LXXXVI above.
CXXXVII “against” = qirah. From the same as qara (to happen, meet, bring about). This is any kind of encounter, whether peaceful, hostile, or incidental. It can also mean help or seek.
CXXXVIII “Jahaz” = Yahats. 9x in OT. Perhaps from a word that means to stamp. This is Jahaz or Yahats. It may mean “threshing floor.”

24 Israel putCXXXIX him to theCXL swordCXLI and took possessionCXLII of his land

Notes on verse 24a

CXXXIX “put” = nakah. This is to hit whether lightly or severely. It can be used in a literal or figurative sense. So, this could be beat, punish, give wounds, kill, or slaughter.
CXL {untranslated} = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
CXLI “sword” = chereb. From charab (to attack, slay). This is any sharp instrument like a sword, dagger, axe, or mattock.
CXLII “took possession” = yarash. This is inheriting or dispossessing. It refers to occupying or colonizing – taking territory by driving out the previous inhabitants and living there instead of them. By implication, it can mean to seize or rob, to expel, ruin, or impoverish.

from the Arnon to the Jabbok,CXLIII as far as to the Ammonites,CXLIV for the boundary of the Ammonites was strong.CXLV 

Notes on verse 24b

CXLIII “Jabbok” = Yabboq. 7x in OT. Probably from baqaq (to empty, devastate, demoralize, luxuriate, depopulate). This is Jabbok or Yabboq, meaning “emptying” or “he will empty.” See
CXLIV “Ammonites” = ben + Ammon. Literally, “children of Ammon.” Ben is the same as “Israelites” in v10. See note LXXV above. Ammon is related to “people” in v2. From im (with, against, before, beside); {perhaps from amam (see note XIX above)} OR from am (see note XIX above)}. This is Ammon or Ammonite, which may mean “tribal.”
CXLV “strong” = az. From azaz (to be strong, become fixed, be bold, prevail, be impudent; it means to be stout literally or figuratively; a Late Hebrew word). This is strong or mighty. It can also refer to power or vehemence or mean greedy.

25 Israel tookCXLVI all these towns, and Israel settledCXLVII in all the towns of the Amorites, in Heshbon,CXLVIII and in all its villages.CXLIX 

Notes on verse 25

CXLVI “took” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
CXLVII “settled” = yashab. Same as “lived” in v1. See note IV above.
CXLVIII “Heshbon” = Cheshbon. From chashab (properly, to braid or interpenetrate; literally, to create or to wear; figuratively, plotting – generally in a negative sense; think, consider, or make account of). This is Heshbon or Cheshbon, meaning “library of synthetic wisdom” or “intelligence” or “reason.” See
CXLIX “villages” = bat. Related to “Israelites” in v10. From ben (see note LXXV above). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.

26 For Heshbon was the cityCL of King Sihon of the Amorites, who had fought against the formerCLI king of Moab and capturedCLII all his land as far as the Arnon. 

27 ThereforeCLIII the singersCLIV say,

“Come to Heshbon; let it be built;CLV
    let the city of Sihon be established.CLVI

Notes on verses 26-27

CL “city” = iyr. Same as “towns” in v2. See note XXII above.
CLI “former” = rishon. Related to “top” in v20. From rishah (beginning or early time); from rosh (see note CXX above). This is first, former, ancestor, beginning, ranked first.
CLII “captures” = laqach. Same as “took” in v25. See note CXLVI above.
CLIII “therefore” = al + ken. Ken is the same as “wherefore” in v14. See note XCI above.
CLIV “singers” = mashal. 17x in OT. From mashal (proverb, parable, taunt, discourse, maxim, adage, poem). This is to compare, speak in a proverb or riddle – to speak in allegory or liken.
CLV “built” = banah. Related to “Israelites” in v10 & “villages” in v25. See note LXXV above.
CLVI “established” = kun. Related to “wherefore” in v14. See note XCI above.

28 For fireCLVII came outCLVIII from Heshbon,
    flameCLIX from the cityCLX of Sihon.
It devouredCLXI Ar of Moab
    and swallowed up the heightsCLXII of the Arnon.

Notes on verse 28

CLVII “fire” = esh. This is fire, burning, flaming, hot. It is fire in a literal or figurative sense.
CLVIII “came out” = yatsa. Same as “extends” in v13. See note LXXXVI above.
CLIX “flame” = lehabah. 19x in OT. From lahab (flame, flashing, bright; figuratively, a blade or the point of a spear). This is a flame, blazing, head of a spear.
CLX “city” = qiryah. From qarah (to happen, meet, bring about). This is a place where there are buildings so it could be a fortress or a town.
CLXI “devoured” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
CLXII “heights” = baal + bamah. Baal is from baal (to marry, have dominion over, to master). This is owner, master, husband. Bamah is related to “Bamoth” in v19. See note CXVII above.

29 WoeCLXIII to you, O Moab!
    You are undone,CLXIV O people of Chemosh!CLXV

Notes on verse 29a

CLXIII “woe” = oy. Perhaps from avah (to desire, crave, wish for, lust after). This is a mournful cry – woe, alas. Perhaps where the Yiddish “oy” comes from.
CLXIV “are undone” = abad. To wander off, lose self. This implies to perish, destroy, die, vanish, or be broken or corrupt.
CLXV “Chemosh” = Kemosh. 8x in OT. Perhaps from yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone) OR from Moabite Kamash (Chemosh) OR related to Akkadian Shamah (Shamash – Mesopotamian sun god). This is Chemosh, Kemosh, or Kemish. Its root may mean subdue. It may mean “the powerful” or “as if he saves” or “as if he moves” or “as if he feels.” See &  & &

He has madeCLXVI his sonsCLXVII fugitivesCLXVIII
    and his daughtersCLXIX captives
    to an Amorite king, Sihon.

Notes on verse 29b

CLXVI “made” = natan. Same as “indeed give” in v2. See note XVIII above.
CLXVII “sons” = ben. Same as “Israelites” in v10. See note LXXV above.
CLXVIII “fugitives” = paliyt. From palat (to escape, slip out, deliver, calve). This is escaped, i.e. one who has gotten away such as a fugitive or refugee.
CLXIX “daughters” = bat. Same as “villages” in v25. See note CXLIX above.

30 So their posterityCLXX perishedCLXXI
    from Heshbon to Dibon,CLXXII
    and we laid wasteCLXXIII until fireCLXXIV spread to Medeba.”CLXXV

Notes on verse 30

CLXX “posterity” = yarah. This is to throw, shoot, be stunned. It is to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach. This is the same root that “Jerusalem” and “Torah” draw from.
CLXXI “perished” = abad. Same as “are undone” in v29. See note CLXIV above.
CLXXII “Dibon” = Dibon. 11x in OT. Perhaps from dub (to mope, sorrow). This is Dibon, meaning “pining.”
CLXXIII “laid waste” = shamem. This is to stun or become numb. It can also mean to devastate or be appalled. Can also mean to be amazed or astonished.
CLXXIV “fire” = Nophach. 1x in OT. From naphach (to breathe, puff, inflate, scatter, light on fire, make something lose its life). This may mean fire or it could be a city called Nophah or Nophach. That would mean “a gust,” “windy place,” or “a blast.” See
CLXXV “Medeba” = Medeba. Related to “water” in v5. 5x in OT. Perhaps from mayim (see note XLVII above) + dobe (rest, strength). This is Medeba, a city whose name may mean “water of quiet.”

31 Thus Israel settled in the land of the Amorites. 32 Moses sent to spy outCLXXVI Jazer,CLXXVII and they capturedCLXXVIII its villages and dispossessedCLXXIX the Amorites who were there.

Notes on verses 31-32

CLXXVI “spy out” = ragal. From regel (foot, endurance, or journey; a foot as the means of walking and so it implies a step or a greater journey; can euphemistically mean private parts). This is to walk along, spy out, slander.
CLXXVII “Jazer” = Yazer. 13x in OT. From azar (to help, protect, support, ally; properly, to surround so as to provide aid). This is Jazer or Yazer, meaning “helpful,” “he shall help,” or “whom the Lord helps.” See
CLXXVIII “captured” = lakad. This is to capture, seize, or imprison. It is to catch something in a snare or net or trap. It can also mean to occupy of select something by casting lots.
CLXXIX “dispossessed” = yarash. Same as “took possession” in v24. See note CXLII above.

33 Then they turnedCLXXX and went upCLXXXI the roadCLXXXII to Bashan,CLXXXIII and King OgCLXXXIV of Bashan came out against them, he and all his people, to battleCLXXXV at Edrei.CLXXXVI 

Notes on verse 33

CLXXX “turned” = panah. Related to “bordering” in v11. See note LXXIX above.
CLXXXI “went up” = alah. Same as “brought…up” in v5. See note XLII above.
CLXXXII “road” = derek. Same as “way” in v1. See note IX above.
CLXXXIII “Bashan” = Bashan. Bashan is a place whose name may mean “smooth.”
CLXXXIV “Og” = Og. From the same as uggah (bread cake, round ash cake); from ug (to gyrate, bake; baking a round cake). This is Og, a name perhaps meaning “round.”
CLXXXV “battle” = milchamah. Same as “Wars” in v14. See note XCIII above.
CLXXXVI “Edrei” = Edrei. 8x in OT. Perhaps from Aramaic edra (arm, strength, power); from Aramaic dera (arm); akin to Hebrew zeroa (arm, shoulder, or foreleg of an animal; figuratively, power, force, might, or help); Perhaps from zara (to sow, scatter seed, conceive).  This is Edrei, meaning “mighty.”

34 But the Lord said to Moses, “Do not be afraidCLXXXVII of him, for I have given him into your hand, with all his people and his land. You shall doCLXXXVIII to him as you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who livedCLXXXIX in Heshbon.” 

35 So they killedCXC him, his sons, and all his people, until there was noCXCI survivorCXCII left,CXCIII and they took possession of his land.

Notes on verses 34-35

CLXXXVII “be afraid” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.
CLXXXVIII “do” = asah. Same as “make” in v8. See note LXI above.
CLXXXIX “lived” = yashab. Same as “lived” in v1. See note IV above.
CXC “killed” = nakah. Same as “put” in v24. See note CXXXIX above.
CXCI “no” = bilti. From balah (to grow old, wear out, consume, waste, enjoy, fail, decay). This is nothing, not, lest, or except. From its root, it means “a failure of” – used for negative particles.
CXCII “survivor” = sarid. From sarad (to escape or remain; properly, this refers to a puncture, so figuratively it is remaining or escaping by slipping out). This is survivor, remnant, or alive.
CXCIII “was…left” = shaar. Properly, this is swelling up i.e. being left over, a remnant, remaining, being redundant.

Image credit: Detail from “Vine Altar” by Arnold Morkramer at the Church of St. Mauritius in Kärlich, 1976.

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