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Thursday, March 7 2019

A Bible Journey, 138: What Happened In The Book Of The Wars Of The LORD?

"Wherefore it is said in the Book of the wars of the LORD, What He did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon, And at the stream of the brooks that goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and lieth upon the border of Moab"

The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) delivered the Israelites from their slavery by means of His miraculous power. They didn't do it. The LORD did it.

Despite their great numbers and physical strength and virility (see Exodus 1: I Will There Make Of Thee A Great Nation), the Israelites had grown, in comparison to their ancestors, wimpy in Egypt - perhaps the primary reason that nearly all of the adults of the time of the Exodus were never able to overcome their whining and weakness (there is a very big difference between meekness and weakness - meekness is a strength). It would be their children and grandchildren, forty years later, who entered the Promised Land (see Numbers 14: Why 40 Years In The Sinai? and Deuteronomy: The Law and History Lessons By Moses).


Most are aware that the Israelites faced battles when they entered the Promised Land, but they also faced military opposition while they were yet in the Sinai. The LORD fought their battles at first, but by the time that the children and grandchildren had grown to adulthood (see Hometowns: Campsites Of The Sinai), they were willing and able to do what their parents would not, or could not, do - earn their own living and fight their own battles. Moreover, and most importantly, that particular generation never forgot the LORD - they were unique in that era.

"21:1 And when king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Israel came by the way of the spies; then he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners. 21:2 And Israel vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities. 21:3 And the LORD hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and he called the name of the place Hormah." (Numbers 21:1-3 KJV)

The Brass Serpent

There remained some who were weak whiners or "ambitious" rebels (see A Bible Journey, 133: The Spirit Of Rebellion). It was from the remnants of them that the famous "serpent of brass" (rendered as "bronze serpent" in the RSV and the "bronze snake" in the NIV) originated - for its prophetic Christian purpose. It was provided as a visible means for repentant believers to be saved from their sin, and was, as Christ Himself plainly stated, symbolic of the Messiah to come.

"21:4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. 21:5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

21:6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 21:7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 21:9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." (Numbers 21:4-9 KJV)

The Israelites of the latter generation were gaining confidence - in the LORD, and in themselves. They were almost ready to cross the Jordan.

"21:10 And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in Oboth. 21:11 And they journeyed from Oboth, and pitched at Ijeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrising. 21:12 From thence they removed, and pitched in the valley of Zared. 21:13 From thence they removed, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, which is in the wilderness that cometh out of the coasts of the Amorites: for Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 21:14 Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the LORD, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon, 21:15 And at the stream of the brooks that goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and lieth upon the border of Moab.

21:16 And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well whereof the LORD spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water. 21:17 Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it: 21:18 The princes digged the well, the nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves. And from the wilderness they went to Mattanah: 21:19 And from Mattanah to Nahaliel: and from Nahaliel to Bamoth: 21:20 And from Bamoth in the valley, that is in the country of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looketh toward Jeshimon." (Numbers 21:10-20 KJV)


Notice also how by this time that the Israelites were taking the initiative in their dealings with the nations of the Sinai. They were not seeking a battle, but they would deliver one unto anyone who invited it with aggressive hostility. When Sihon refused Israel's request to merely pass through on their way home, "Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon unto Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon: for the border of the children of Ammon was strong." Much of that territory thereafter became the homeland of the eastern Israelite tribes (see Why East And West Manasseh?).

"21:21 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, saying,

21:22 Let me pass through thy land: we will not turn into the fields, or into the vineyards; we will not drink of the waters of the well: but we will go along by the king's high way, until we be past thy borders.

21:23 And Sihon would not suffer Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness: and he came to Jahaz, and fought against Israel.

21:24 And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon unto Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon: for the border of the children of Ammon was strong.

21:25 And Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof. 21:26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon.

21:27 Wherefore they that speak in proverbs say, Come into Heshbon, let the city of Sihon be built and prepared: 21:28 For there is a fire gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon: it hath consumed Ar of Moab, and the lords of the high places of Arnon. 21:29 Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone, O people of Chemosh: he hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites. 21:30 We have shot at them; Heshbon is perished even unto Dibon, and we have laid them waste even unto Nophah, which reacheth unto Medeba.

21:31 Thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites.

21:32 And Moses sent to spy out Jaazer, and they took the villages thereof, and drove out the Amorites that were there.

21:33 And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he, and all his people, to the battle at Edrei.

21:34 And the LORD said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.

21:35 So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land." (Numbers 21:21-35 KJV)

Fact Finder: What was the reason for the order of how the Israelites tribes were positioned around the Tabernacle?
See A Bible Journey, 119: Battle Flags


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This Day In History

This Day In History, March 7

322 BC: The Greek philosopher Aristotle died. He was a teacher of Alexander the Great (see the Greek Empire study series below; see also What Did A Father Of Democracy Predict About It?).

The Greek Empire: Between The Testaments
The Greek Empire: Alexander Of Macedonia
The Greek Empire: Alexander's March To India
The Greek Empire: Alexander's Horns To The Four Winds
The Greek Empire: The Seleucids and The Abomination of Desolation
The Greek Empire: Cleopatra and The Ptolemies Of Egypt


161: Emperor Antoninus Pius died and was succeeded by his adopted sons Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.

321: The inventor of today's "Sunday": Emperor Constantine I decreed that the Babylonian/Roman Dies Solis Invicti ("Sun day") was to be the official day of rest of the Roman Empire (see Emperor Constantine's Sun Dogs and Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

Constantine with Sol Invictus

1080: Pope Gregory VII deposed King Henry IV of Germany in a dispute over the selection of bishops (see Emperors and Popes and The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1793: France declared war on Spain.

1799: Napoleon Bonaparte captured Jaffa in "Palestine" (see also Where Is Palestine? and The Joppa Lessons Of Jonah And Peter).

1814: Napoleon, with 37,000 troops, defeated 90,000 Prussians the Battle of Craonne in France (see also Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).

1821: The Austrians with a force of 80,000, trying to restore Ferdinand IV to the throne of Naples, heavily defeated a force of 12,000 Neapolitans under Pepe at the Battle of Rieti.

1876: Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), received a patent for his telephone. Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, invented the telephone (as he officially stated for the historic record) in Brantford, Ontario, Canada (the "Bell Homestead" is now a National Historic Site of Canada) after immigrating there from Scotland, and is buried in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia (Latin for New Scotland) near his retirement home there.

Alexander Graham Bell
1906: Finland became the first democratic country to give women the right to vote.

1912: Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen announced the discovery of the South Pole.

South Pole
1912: French aviator Henri Seimet flew non-stop from London to Paris in 3 hours (see Who Was The First To Fly?).

1918: The Bolsheviks renamed themselves as the Russian Communist Party.

1926: The first transatlantic telephone call, London to New York.

1935: The Saar region was incorporated into Germany.

1936: Nazi Germany violated the Treaty of Versailles by reoccupying the Rhineland (on borders of Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and France). Under the treaty, the region was to remain under control of the allied nations for 5 to 15 years after the end of the First World War (1914-1918), with Germany forbidden to militarize the area, but the last allied troops, the French, withdrew in 1930 (see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars).

1942: The British evacuated Rangoon, after completing all essential demolition. The Japanese entered the city the next day.

1965: Police in Selma, Alabama used clubs and whips against 600 civil rights demonstrators.

1979: Voyager 1 arrived at Jupiter.

1986: Divers located the mostly-intact crew cabin of the Challenger space shuttle on the ocean floor.

1989: Iran broke off diplomatic relations with Britain over Salman Rushdie's novel "Satanic Verses."

2007: The British House of Commons voted to make the upper chamber, the House of Lords, fully elected.




Copyright © Wayne Blank