“The Israelites set out, and camped in Oboth. They set out from Oboth, and camped at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness bordering Moab toward the sunrise. From there they set out, and camped in the Wadi Zered. From there they set out, and camped on the other side of the Arnon, in the wilderness that extends from the boundary of the Amorites. The Arnon is the boundary of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.
Now the adventure begins anew.
1) They stop and camp at Oboth, south of the Dead Sea.
2) Then they went to Iye-abarim, in the wilderness which borders Moab, southeast of the Dead Sea.
3) From there they went to the Wadi-Zered, the valley border between Edom and Moab.
4) Then they camped on the other side of Arnon, also known as Wadi Mujib, near the Dead Sea. This apparently was the boundary between the Amorites and Moabites.
Both these two, the Moabites and the Amorites, with the Edomites were on the eastern side of the Jordan. These three groups from south to north were the Edomites, then the Moabites, with the Amorites being the furthest north.
“Wherefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of Yahweh.
‘Waheb to Suphah, and the wadis,
The Arnon and the slopes of the wadis
that extend to the seat of Ar,
and lie along the border of Moab.’”
What is interesting here is the insertion of another book. There had been no mention of any books until here. This ancient book was called The Book of the Wars of Yahweh which is now lost, if it ever existed. Like many lost books, people must have considered it not worth while recopying. It did not make its way into the Hebrew canon. It may have been a source for some of the works of the Bible, like Q for the New Testament. It appears to be a book that was available to the authors so that would put it around 1000 BCE or later. This book had a few victory chants that are often hard to understand.
“From there they continued to Beer. That is the well of which Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Gather the people together. I will give them water.’ Then Israel sang this song:
‘Spring up, O well!
Sing to it!
The well that the leaders sank,
That the nobles of the people dug,
With the scepter and the staff.’”
They then went to Beer, the place of the wells, not the alcoholic beverage. These drinking wells were very important. Remember Abraham and the fights about the drinking wells in Genesis, chapter 26. This is the place where water was given to the Israelites. Thus there was a song about the well. Perhaps this is from the book mentioned above, but it is an ancient chant.
“They went from Mattanah to Nahaliel. Then they went from Nahaliel to Bamoth. Then they went from Bamoth to the valley lying in the region of the Moab by the top of Pisgah which overlooks the wasteland.
They moved on:
1) From the wilderness to Mattanah,
2) From Mattanah to Nahaliel,
3) From Nahaliel to Bamoth,
4) and from Bamoth to the valley lying in the region of Moab by the top of Pisgah that overlooks the wasteland.