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Numbers 21 (Part 2)

The Battles Begin: Israel Defeats the Amorites and Og of Basham


Numbers 21:10-35

I. Context
Who are the main characters in the passage? What do we know about them?

Sihon, king of the Amorites

Og, king of Basham

Moses & the Israelites

When and where does this passage take place?

When: Last week's passage occurred approximately 40 years after the Israelites left Egypt, after they wandered in
the desert outside of Canaan as punishment for their lack of faith in the Lord to deliver on his promise.
(See Aaron's death in Numbers 33:38 & correlate with 20:28). We are not told how long it took for the Israelites
to travel from Oboth (21:10) to Edrei (21:33).

Where: Last week we saw the Israelites traveling south near the Gulf of Aquaba to avoid traveling through
Edom. This week, we see them moving along the east side of the Dead Sea and Jordan, in a northward march
through Moab, the lands of the Amorites toward Bashan (v. 33). There are 3 regions in this passage:

Moab: after circumventing Edom, the Israelites travel in Moab, which was the area between the Zered and
Arnon Rivers (v. 12-13)
Amorite Territory: the area between the Arnon and Jabbok rivers. (v. 13 & 24)
Bashan: the area north of the Jabbok rivers. The last city mentioned in this passage, Edrei (v. 33) is in
Bashan.

What is going on? (Summary of Events)


The Israelites move through Moab along the Arnon River, the southern border of the Amorite kingdom
(v. 10-20)

Moses seeks safe passage through the Amorite kingdom from their king, Sihon, but is denied. Israel
defeats the Amorites (v. 21-31)

The Israelites continue north toward Bashan and are met by their king, Og, and his army. Israel defeats
Og and the Bashan army (v. 32-35)

II. Interpretation
What principles are illustrated in this passage? What would you consider the theme of this passage?

What do we learn of God's character from this passage? Does this passage point us toward Christ? If so, how?

Why do you think that God caused/allowed such conflict and struggle even before they arrived in the Promised Land?

III. Application

Sometimes along the jouney of obeying God, we face struggles and battles along the way. This does not show God's
lack of planning or protection, but his providence for our growth. Many times we are not ready to take hold of what God
has set ahead for us. It is the journey that prepares us for it.