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Numbers 21:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the South, heard tell that Israel came by the way of Atharim; and he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, then he fought against Israel and took some of them captive.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And [when] king Arad the Canaanite, who dwelt in the south, heard that Israel came by the way of the spies; then he fought against Israel, and took [some] of them prisoners.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And the Canaanite king of Arad, who dwelt in the south, heard that Israel came by the way of Atharim, and he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the South, heard that Israel had entered by the way of Atharim,—so he made war with Israel, and took some of them captive.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And the Canaanite—king Arad—dwelling in the south, heareth that Israel hath come the way of the Atharim, and he fighteth against Israel, and taketh [some] of them captive.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And when king Arad the Chanaanite, who dwelt towards the south, had heard this, to wit, that Israel was come by the way of the spies, he fought against them, and overcoming them carried off their spoils.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And when king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the South, heard tell that Israel came by the way of the spies, then hee fought against Israel, and tooke some of them prisoners.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Arad the Canaanitish{gr.Chananitish} king who dwelt by the wilderness, heard that Israel came by the way of Atharin; and he made war on Israel, and carried off some of them captives.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And [when] king Arad the Kenaani, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Yisrael came by the way of the spies; then he fought against Yisrael, and took [some] of them prisoners.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And [when] king 4428
{4428} Prime
מֶּלֶךְ
melek
{meh'-lek}
From H4427; a king.
`r עֲרָד 6166
{6166} Prime
עַרָד
`Arad
{ar-awd'}
From an unused root meaning to sequester itself; fugitive; Arad, the name of a place near Palestine, also of a Canaanite and an Israelite.
the Cna`n כְּנַעֲנִי, 3669
{3669} Prime
כְּנַעֲנִי
K@na`aniy
{ken-ah-an-ee'}
Patrial from H3667; a Kenaanite or inhabitant of Kenaan; by implication a pedlar (the Cananites standing for their neighbors the Ishmaelites, who conducted mercantile caravans).
which dwelt 3427
{3427} Prime
יָשַׁב
yashab
{yaw-shab'}
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry.
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
in the south, 5045
{5045} Prime
נֶגֶב
negeb
{neh'-gheb}
From an unused root meaning to be parched; the south (from its drought); specifically the negeb or southern district of Judah, occasionally, Egypt (as south to Palestine).
heard y8085
[8085] Standard
שָׁמַע
shama`
{shaw-mah'}
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
tell x8085
(8085) Complement
שָׁמַע
shama`
{shaw-mah'}
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
that x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
Yi$rl יִשׂרָאֵל 3478
{3478} Prime
יִשְׂרָאֵל
Yisra'el
{yis-raw-ale'}
From H8280 and H0410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.
came 935
{0935} Prime
בּוֹא
bow'
{bo}
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
by the way 1870
{1870} Prime
דֶּרֶךְ
derek
{deh'-rek}
From H1869; a road (as trodden); figuratively a course of life or mode of action, often adverbially.
of the spies; 871
{0871} Prime
אֲתָרִים
'Athariym
{ath-aw-reem'}
Plural from an unused root (probably meaning to step); places; Atharim, a place near Palestine.
then he fought 3898
{3898} Prime
לָחַם
lacham
{law-kham'}
A primitive root; to feed on; figuratively to consume; by implication to battle (as destruction).
z8735
<8735> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 1602
against Yi$rl יִשׂרָאֵל, 3478
{3478} Prime
יִשְׂרָאֵל
Yisra'el
{yis-raw-ale'}
From H8280 and H0410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.
and took 7617
{7617} Prime
שָׁבָה
shabah
{shaw-baw'}
A primitive root; to transport into captivity.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
[some] of x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
them prisoners. 7628
{7628} Prime
שְׁבִי
sh@biy
{sheb-ee'}
From H7618; exiled; captured; as noun, exile (abstractly or concretely and collectively); by extension booty.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Numbers 21:1

_ _ Numbers 21:1-35. Israel attacked by Canaanites.

_ _ King Arad the Canaanite — rather, “the Canaanite king of Arad” — an ancient town on the southernmost borders of Palestine, not far from Kadesh. A hill called Tell Arad marks the spot.

_ _ heard tell that Israel came by the way of the spies — in the way or manner of spies, stealthily, or from spies sent by himself to ascertain the designs and motions of the Israelites. The Septuagint and others consider the Hebrew word “spies” a proper name, and render it: “Came by the way of Atharim towards Arad” [Kennicott].

_ _ he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners — This discomfiture was permitted to teach them to expect the conquest of Canaan not from their own wisdom and valor, but solely from the favor and help of God (Deuteronomy 9:4; Psalms 44:3, Psalms 44:4).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Numbers 21:1-3

_ _ Here is, 1. The descent which Arad the Canaanite made upon the camp of Israel, hearing that they came by the way of the spies; for, though the spies which Moses had sent thirty-eight years before then passed and repassed unobserved, yet their coming, and their errand, it is likely, were afterwards known to the Canaanites, gave them an alarm, and induced them to keep an eye upon Israel and get intelligence of all their motions. Now, when they understood that they were facing about towards Canaan, this Arad, thinking it policy to keep the war at a distance, made an onset upon them and fought with them. But it proved that he meddled to his own hurt; had he sat still, his people might have been last destroyed of all the Canaanites, but now they were the first. Thus those that are overmuch wicked die before their time, Ecclesiastes 7:17. 2. His success at first in this attempt. His advance-guards picked up some straggling Israelites, and took them prisoners, Numbers 21:1. This, no doubt, puffed him up, and he began to thin that he should have the honour of crushing this formidable body, and saving his country from the ruin which it threatened. It was likewise a trial to the faith of the Israelites and a check to them for their distrusts and discontents. 3. Israel's humble address to God upon this occasion, Numbers 21:2. It was a temptation to them to murmur as their fathers did, and to despair of getting possession of Canaan; but God, who thus tried them by his providence, enabled them by his grace to quit themselves well in the trial, and to trust in him for relief against this fierce and powerful assailant. They, by their elders, in prayer for success, vowed a vow. Noe, When we are desiring and expecting mercy from God we should bind our souls with a bond that we will faithfully do our duty to him, particularly that we will honour him with the mercy we are in the pursuit of. Thus Israel here promised to destroy the cities of these Canaanites, as devoted to God, and not to take the spoil of them to their own use. If God would give them victory, he should have all the praise, and they would not make a gain of it to themselves. When we are in this frame we are prepared to receive mercy. 4. The victory which the Israelites obtained over the Canaanites, Numbers 21:3. A strong party was sent out, probably under the command of Joshua, which not only drove back these Canaanites, but followed them to their cities, which probably lay on the edge of the wilderness, and utterly destroyed them, and so returned to the camp. Vincimur in praelie, sed non in belloWe lose a battle, but we finally triumph. What is said of the tribe of God is true of all God's Israel, a troop may overcome them, but they shall overcome at the last. The place was called Hormah, as a memorial of the destruction, for the terror of the Canaanites, and probably for warning to posterity not to attempt the rebuilding of these cities, which were destroyed as devoted to God and sacrifices to divine justice. And it appears from the instance of Jericho that the law concerning such cities was that they should never be rebuilt. There seems to be an allusion to this name in the prophecy of the fall of the New Testament Babylon (Revelation 16:16), where its forces are said to be gathered together to a place called Armageddonthe destruction of a troop.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Numbers 21:1

King Arad — Or rather, the Canaanite King of Arad: for Arad is not the name of a man, but of a city or territory. And he seems to be called a Canaanite in a general sense, as the Amorites and others. The south — Of Canaan, towards the east, and near the dead sea. Of the spies — Not of those spies which Moses sent to spy the land, for that was done thirty eight years before this, and they went so privately, that the Canaanites took no notice of them, nor knew which way they came or went; but of the spies which he himself sent out to observe the marches and motions of the Israelites. Took some of them prisoners — Which God permitted for Israel's humiliation, and to teach them not to expect the conquest of that land from their own wisdom or valour.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Numbers 21:1

And [when] king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Israel came by the (a) way of the spies; then he fought against Israel, and took [some] of them prisoners.

(a) By that way which their spies, that searched the dangers found to he most safe.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Arad:

Numbers 33:40 And king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel.
Joshua 12:14 The king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one;
Judges 1:16 And the children of the Kenite, Moses' father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which [lieth] in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people.

the way of the spies:
Dr. Kennicott remarks, that the word atharim, rendered spies in our version, is in the Greek a proper name (Αθαρειν, (Atharim).
Numbers 13:21-22 So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath. ... And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, [were]. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.)
Numbers 14:45 Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, [even] unto Hormah.

then:

Deuteronomy 2:32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz.
Joshua 7:5 And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them [from] before the gate [even] unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.
Joshua 11:19-20 There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all [other] they took in battle. ... For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, [and] that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.
Psalms 44:3-4 For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them. ... Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.
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Nu 13:21; 14:45; 33:40. Dt 2:32. Jsh 7:5; 11:19; 12:14. Jg 1:16. Ps 44:3.

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