SynopsisIn this section, the Israelites continue their trek through the desert, and come to the kingdom of Edom. Moses sends a message to the king, asking for permission to travel through the kingdom of Edom. He reminds the king of the many hardships the Israelites have faced, and of the LORD’s faith in bringing the Israelites out of their hardships. He promises that the Israelites will simply stay on the king’s highway, as they pass through. They won’t steal from any fields, or even drink from any wells.
Ouch. Short and to the point! But Moses tries again; he sends another message to the king, and reiterates that the Israelites don’t want to steal any of the Edomites’ food or water. He even goes so far as to say that if the Israelites drink any of the Edomites’ water, they’ll pay for it. But again, the Edomites answer that the Israelites may not pass through. And, to back up the message, they send a large and powerful army against the Israelites.
But Edom answered:
“You may not pass through here; if you try, we will march out and attack you with the sword.”