Numbers 21:25-26, The Conquest of Heshbon

And Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof. For Heshbon [was] the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites.

//While the Israelites were led through the wilderness by Moses, messengers were dispatched to Sihon, king of the Amorites, requesting permission to pass through their land. But Sihon refused the request, and formed an army to fight with Israel. Moses and the Israelites won the battle, and occupied the city of Heshbon.

Archaeological excavations at the site of Heshbon, however, show no habitations before 1200 B.C. Any establishment of a local empire would have to have occurred long after Moses passed through. This battle over Heshbon simply could not have happened.

What’s most odd about this particular myth is that eleven chapters later, this same book of Numbers confirms the mythical nature of its earlier story by telling how, after the conquest of Canaan, the city of Heshbon was built by the tribe of Rueben!

Numbers 32:37, And the children of Reuben built Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Kirjathaim

1 Comment

  1. This is interesting confusion to read about. We are talking about a city called Heshbon. You refer to a city occupied and to a city built, the name is always Heshbon. Hmmmmm

    Let me speak of La Grande. It is a wonderful town in a valley. The valley is set within a wonderful location with mountains all around. It is gorgeous and beautiful. It is also in Oregon. I live in Washington and that valey is at least 5 hours from me. I can get to La Grande in minutes, yes by car and at the speed limit. You see I am speaking of two La Grandes.

    While I do not know how far the archaeological work has gone in clarifying man’s knowledge. I do know how trancient man’s knowledge is. What man thinks is the correct knowledge today is the wrong knowledge tomorrow.

    Where was the original occupied Heshbon and where was the built Heshbon? I do not know and I am not sure if man knows yet. Fortunately my faith does not rest on my knowledge. I know as a fact that God has purposefully not left evidence to prove all of His Word to man. Man will never know the truth by knowledge. At least until later….. God has a plan that by faith man will come to know love and become one with Him. Then as One, We will be part of a Family of Many. I rest assured in the knowledge that God wants all to serve Him. Knowing this I am content to rest in faith and allow His work without having to search out the knowledge and leave my faith behind in the process.

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