Deuteronomy Chapter 1-2 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Moses Talks to the People of Israel

1 This is the message that Moses gave the people of Israel. He told them these things while they were in the Jordan Valley, in the desert east of the Jordan River. This was across from Suph, between the desert of Paran and the cities Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab. 2The trip from Mount Horeb (Sinai) through the Seir mountains to Kadesh Barnea takes only eleven days. 3But it was 40 years from the time the people of Israel left Egypt until the time they came to this place. On the first day of the eleventh month of the 40th year, Moses spoke to the people. Moses told them all the things the Lord commanded. 4This was after the Lord defeated Sihon and Og. (Sihon was the king of the Amorite people. Sihon lived in Heshbon. Og was the king of Bashan. Og lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei.) 5The people of Israel were on the east side of the Jordan River in the land of Moab, and Moses began to explain the things that God commanded. Moses said: 6“At Mount Horeb (Sinai) the Lord our God spoke to us. He said, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. 7Go to the hill country where the Amorite people live. Go to all the places around there. Go to the Jordan Valley, the hill country, the western slopes, the Negev,* and the seacoast. Go through the land of Canaan and Lebanon as far as the great river, the Euphrates. 8Look, I am giving you that land. Go and take it. I promised to give that land to your ancestors* —Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I promised to give that land to them and to their descendants.* ’”

Moses Chooses Leaders

9Moses said, “At that time I told you I couldn’t take care of you by myself. 10And now, there are even more of you! The Lord your God has added more and more people, so that today you are as many as the stars in the sky! 11May the Lord, the God of your ancestors,* make you 1,000 times more than you are now! May he bless you like he promised! 12But I couldn’t take care of you and solve all your arguments by myself. 13So {I told you:} ‘Choose some men from each family group, and I will make them leaders over you. Choose wise men that have understanding and experience.’ 14“And you said, ‘That is a good thing to do.’ 15“So I took the wise and experienced men you chose from your family groups, and I made them your leaders. In this way, I gave you leaders over 1,000 people, leaders over 100 people, leaders over 50 people, leaders over 10 people. I also gave you officers for each of your family groups. 16“At that time, I told those judges, ‘Listen to the arguments between your people. Be fair when you judge each case. It does not matter if the problem is between two Israelite people or between an Israelite and a foreigner. You must judge each case fairly. 17When you judge, you must not think that one person is more important than another person. You must judge every person the same. Don’t be afraid of anyone, because your decision is from God. But if there is a case too hard for you to judge, then bring it to me and I will judge it.’ 18At that same time, I also told you all the other things you must do.

The Spies Go to Canaan

19“Then we obeyed the Lord our God. We left Mount Horeb (Sinai) and traveled toward the hill country of the Amorite people. We went through that big and terrible desert that you saw. We came to Kadesh Barnea. 20Then I said to you, ‘You have now come to the hill country of the Amorites. The Lord our God will give us this country. 21Look, there it is! Go up and take the land for your own! The Lord, the God of your ancestors,* told you to do this. So don’t be afraid. Don’t worry about anything!’ 22“But you all came to me and said, ‘Let’s send some men to look at the land first. They can look for all the strong and weak places there. Then they can come back and tell us the way we should go. They can also tell us about the cities we will come to.’ 23“I thought that was a good idea. So I chose twelve men from among you, one man from each family group. 24Then those men left and went up to the hill country. They came to the Valley of Eshcol and explored it. 25They took some of the fruit from that land and brought it back to us. They told us about the land. They said, ‘The Lord our God is giving us a good land!’ 26“But you refused to go into the land. You refused to obey the Lord your God. 27You went to your tents and began to complain. You said, ‘The Lord hates us! He brought us out of the land of Egypt just to let the Amorite people destroy us! 28Where can we go now? Our brothers (the twelve spies) have made us afraid with their report. They said: The people there are bigger and taller than we are! The cities are big and have walls as high as the sky! And we saw giants* there!’ 29“So I said to you, ‘Don’t be upset! Don’t be afraid of those people! 30The Lord your God will go before you and fight for you. He will do this the same as he did in Egypt. You saw him go before you there 31and in the desert. You saw how the Lord your God carried you, like a man carries his son. The Lord brought you safely all the way to this place.’ 32“But you still did not trust the Lord your God! 33When you were traveling, he went before you to find a place for you to put your camp. He went before you in a fire by night and in a cloud by day to show you which way you should go.

People Not Allowed to Enter Canaan

34“The Lord heard what you said, and he became angry. He made a strong promise. He said, 35‘None of you evil people who are living now will go into the good land that I promised to your ancestors.* 36Only Caleb son of Jephunneh will see that land. I will give Caleb the land he walked on. And I will give that land to Caleb’s descendants.* Why? Because Caleb did all that I commanded.’ 37“The Lord was also angry with me because of you. He said to me, ‘Moses, you can’t enter the land, either. 38But your helper, Joshua son of Nun will go into the land. Encourage Joshua, because he will lead the people of Israel to take the land for their own.’ 39“And the Lord said to us, ‘You said your little children would be taken by your enemies. But those children will go into the land. {I don’t blame your children for your mistake, because} they are still too young to know if something is right or wrong. So I will give the land to them. Your children will take the land for their own. 40But you—you must turn around and go back to the desert on the road that leads to the Red Sea.’ 41“Then you said, ‘Moses, we have sinned against the Lord. But now we will go and fight, like the Lord our God commanded us before.’ Then each of you put on your weapons. You thought it would be easy to go and take the hill country. 42“But the Lord said to me, ‘Tell the people not to go up there and fight. Why? Because I will not be with them, and their enemies will defeat them!’ 43“I spoke to you, but you did not listen. You refused to obey the Lord’s command. You thought you could use your own power. So you went up into the hill country. 44But the Amorite people living there came out to fight against you. They were like a swarm of bees chasing you. They chased you all the way from Seir to Hormah. 45Then you came back and cried to the Lord for help. But the Lord refused to listen to you. 46So you stayed at Kadesh a long time.

Negev The desert area south of Judah. ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. descendants A person’s children and their future families. giants Literally, “Anakites,” descendants of Anak, a family famous for tall and powerful fighting men. See Num. 13:33.

Israel Wanders through the Desert

2 “Then we did what the Lord told me to do. We went back into the desert on the road that leads to the Red Sea. We traveled for many days to go around the Seir* mountains. 2Then the Lord said to me, 3’You have traveled around these mountains long enough. Turn north. 4Tell these things to the people: You will pass through the land of Seir. This land belongs to your relatives, the descendants* of Esau. They will be afraid of you. Be very careful. 5Don’t fight them. I will not give you any of their land—not even a foot of it. Why? Because I gave the hill country of Seir to Esau to keep as his own. 6You must pay the people of Esau for any food you eat or water you drink there. 7Remember that the Lord your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He knows about your walking through this great desert. The Lord your God has been with you these 40 years. You have always had everything you needed.’ 8“So we passed by our relatives, the people of Esau living there in Seir. We left the road that leads from the Jordan Valley to the towns of Elath and Ezion Geber. We turned onto the road that goes to the desert in Moab.

Israel at Ar

9“The Lord said to me, ‘Don’t bother the people of Moab. Don’t start a war against them. I will not give you any of their land. They are the descendants of Lot,* and I gave them the city of Ar.’” (10In the past, the Emite people lived in Ar. They were strong people, and there were many of them. They were very tall, like the Anakite* people. 11The Anakites were part of the Rephaite people. People thought the Emites were also Rephaites. But the people of Moab called them Emites. 12The Horite people also lived in Seir before, but Esau’s people took their land. Esau’s people destroyed the Horites and settled on their land. That is the same thing the people of Israel did to the people in the land that the Lord gave them for their own.) 13“The Lord told me, ‘Now, go to the other side of Zered Valley.’ So we crossed Zered Valley. 14It was 38 years from the time we left Kadesh Barnea until the time we crossed Zered Valley. All the fighting men of that generation in our camp had died. The Lord had sworn (promised) that that would happen. 15The Lord was against those men until they were all dead and gone from our camp. 16“After all the fighting men were dead and gone, 17the Lord said to me, 18‘Today you must cross the border at Ar and go into Moab. 19You will go near the Ammonite people. Don’t bother them. Don’t fight with them, because I will not give you their land. Why? Because they are descendants* of Lot, and I have given that land to them.’” 20(That country is also known as the Land of Rephaim. The Rephaite people lived there in the past. The people of Ammon called them the Zamzummites. 21There were many Zamzummites, and they were very strong. They were tall, like the Anakite* people. But the Lord helped the Ammonite people destroy the Zamzummites. The Ammonite people took that land and live there now. 22God did the same thing for Esau’s people. In the past, the Horite people lived in Seir (Edom). But Esau’s people destroyed the Horites, and Esau’s descendants still live there today. 23God did the same thing for some people from Crete. The Avvite people lived in the towns around Gaza. But some people came from Crete and destroyed the Avvites. Those people from Crete took that land and live there now.)

Fighting the Amorite People

24“The Lord told me, ‘Get ready to go across Arnon Valley. I will let you defeat Sihon the Amorite, the king of Heshbon. I will let you take his country. So fight against him and take his land. 25Today I will make all people everywhere afraid of you. They will hear the news about you, and they will be afraid and shake with fear.’ 26“While we were in the desert of Kedemoth, I sent messengers to Sihon, the king of Heshbon. The messengers offered peace to Sihon. They said, 27‘Let us go through your land. We will stay on the road. We will not turn off the road to the right or to the left. 28We will pay you in silver for any food we eat or any water we drink. We only want to march through your country. 29Let us go through your land until we go across the Jordan River into the land that the Lord our God is giving us. Other people have let us go through their land—the people of Esau living in Seir and the Moabite people living in Ar.’ 30“But Sihon, the king of Heshbon, would not let us pass through his country. The Lord your God had made him very stubborn. The Lord did this so he could let you defeat King Sihon. And today, we know that really happened! 31“The Lord said to me, ‘I am giving King Sihon and his country to you. Now, go take his land!’ 32“Then King Sihon and all his people came out to fight against us at Jahaz. 33But the Lord our God gave him to us. We defeated King Sihon, his sons, and all his people. 34We captured all the cities that belonged to King Sihon at that time. We completely destroyed the people in every city—the men, women, and children. We did not leave anyone alive! 35We took only the cattle and the valuable things from those cities. 36We defeated the town of Aroer on the edge of the Arnon Valley and the other town in the middle of that valley. The Lord let us defeat all the cities between the Arnon Valley and Gilead. No city was too strong for us. 37But you did not go near the land that belongs to the people of Ammon. You did not go near the shores of the Jabbok River or the cities of the hill country. You did not go near any place that the Lord our God would not let us have.

Seir Another name for Edom. descendants A person’s children and their future families. descendants of Lot Lot’s sons were Moab and Ammon. See Gen. 19:30–38. Anakite(s) Descendants of Anak, a family famous for tall and powerful fighting men. See Num. 13:33.

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