The Israelites want to travel through Edom
14 From Kadesh, Moses sent men to the king of Edom with this message: ‘We are Israelites. Our ancestor Jacob was your ancestor's brother. We should be friendly to each other. You know about all the troubles that have happened to us. 15 Our ancestors went to Egypt. We lived there for many years. The people in Egypt were cruel to us. 16 But when we asked the Lord to help us, he heard us. He sent an angel and he brought us out from Egypt.
Now we are here at Kadesh, which is a town at the border of your land. 17 Please let us travel through your land. We will not go through any fields or through any vineyards. We will not even drink water from your wells. We will go along the main road. We will not leave that road on either side until we have gone through all your land.’
18 The king of Edom said, ‘You must not travel through my country. If you do, we will bring our army to attack you.’
19 The Israelites replied, ‘We will stay on the main road. If our animals drink your water, we will pay for it. We only want to travel through your country. We do not want anything else.’
20 The king of Edom said, ‘No, you must not travel through our country.’ He sent many strong soldiers to attack the Israelites. 21 In that way, the Edomites stopped the Israelites from travelling through Edom. So the Israelites turned away from there.