Study Guide

Enemies Of Israel in Book of Numbers

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Enemies Of Israel

The ancient Israelites had God on their side. So, who would be silly enough to go against them? Lots of folks, as it turns out.

During their travels, the Israelites make lots of enemies. This is partly because they keep attacking people and taking over their land. That'll do it.

However, in the beginning their intentions are pretty peaceful. When Moses wants to pass through Edom, he contacts their king and wonders if they could just mosey on through the neighborhood. He even offers to pay for anything they eat or drink. But the King of Edom isn't having it—"You shall not pass through, or we will come out with the sword against you" (20:20). Well, fine. No need to be snippy about it.

So, the Israelites go around Edom. After that the gloves come off:

  • Israel defeats the King of Arad (21:1-3).
  • King Sihon of the Amorites goes down when he, too, won't let the Israelites pass through peacefully (21:26).
  • King Og of Bashan takes it to Israel and gets a beat down (21:33-35).
  • King Balak of Moab tries to curse them, but doesn't have much luck (22:1-24:25).
  • The Midianites are killed, raided, and have their wives and children taken prisoner (31:3-7).
  • Next? The Promised Land will fall, too, but not before the current residents get slaughtered.

What's the point of all these battles? Well, the enemies of Israel are there to show us what happens when you oppose God. As the Israelites trust in him more and more, they are awarded bigger and bigger victories. These non-believers, on the other hand, are getting their butts handed to them.

Israel's military might keeps growing every day and their enemies are falling by the wayside. Coincidence? The Israelites think not. Divine intervention is more like it.

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