וַיִּקַּח יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת כָּל הֶעָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וַיֵּשֵׁב יִשְׂרָאֵל. זֶה שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב: כִּי אֲנִי ה' אוֹהֵב מִשְׁפָּט שׂוֹנֵא גָּזֵל בְּעוֹלָה (ישעיה סא, ח). אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמֹשֶׁה, אֶל תָּצֵר אֶת מוֹאָב (דברים ב, ט). וְחֶשְׁבּוֹן שֶׁל מוֹאָב הוּא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: כִּי חֶשְׁבּוֹן עִיר סִיחוֹן מֶלֶךְ הָאֱמֹרִי הִיא וְגוֹ'. בָּאוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל נָטְלוּ חֶשְׁבּוֹן שֶׁהָיְתָה שֶׁל סִיחוֹן, וְכָל מַה שֶּׁנָּטַל מִמּוֹאָב. שֶׁאִלּוּ נְטָלוּהָ מִמֶּנּוּ, הָיָה בְּיָדָן גֶּזֶל שֶׁל עוֹלָם. אֶלָּא נָטַל סִיחוֹן מִמּוֹאָב וְנָטְלוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל מִסִּיחוֹן, שֶׁהָיוּ פְּטוּרִין מִן הַגֶּזֶל. לְכָךְ כְּתִיב: כִּי חֶשְׁבּוֹן עִיר סִיחוֹן וְגוֹ'. עַל כֵּן יֹאמְרוּ הַמּוֹשְׁלִים, זֶה בִּלְעָם וְאָבִיו, שֶׁשְּׂכָרָן סִיחוֹן לְקַלֵּל אֶת מוֹאָב. וְהֵם אָמְרוּ, תִּבָּנֶה וְתִכּוֹנֵן עִיר סִיחוֹן. כִּי אֵשׁ יָצְאָה מֵחֶשְׁבּוֹן אָכְלָה עַר מוֹאָב, שֶׁקִּלְּלוּ אֶת מוֹאָב שֶׁיִּמָּסְרוּ בְּיָדוֹ. אוֹי לְךָ מוֹאָב, וַנִּירָם אָבַד חֶשְׁבּוֹן, וַיֵּשֶׁב יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּכָל עָרֵי הָאֱמֹרִי. נִשְׁתַּיְּרָה יַעְזֵר. וַיִּשְׁלַח מֹשֶׁה לְרַגֵּל אֶת יַעְזֵר. אוֹתָן מְרַגְּלִים, זְרִיזִין הָיוּ. אָמְרוּ, בְּטוּחִין אָנוּ בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ שֶׁל מֹשֶׁה, וּכְבָר שָׁלַח מַלְאָכִים מְרַגְּלִים לְשֶׁעָבַר וְהֵבִיאוּ תַּקָּלָה. אֲבָל אָנוּ לֹא נַעֲשָׂה כֵן, אֶלָּא נֶאֱמָנִים בְּהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, וְנַעֲשֶׂה מִלְחָמָה. עָשׂוּ כָּךְ, וְהָרְגוּ אֶת הָאֱמֹרִי אֲשֶׁר בָּהּ. וַיִּפְנוּ וַיַּעֲלוּ דֶּרֶךְ הַבָּשָׁן. מַהוּ וַיִּפְנוּ וַיַּעֲלוּ. רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן אוֹמֵר, מִלְחֲמוֹת סִיחוֹן עָשׂוּ בֶּאֱלוּל, וְעָשׂוּ אֶת הָרֶגֶל בְּתִשְׁרֵי, וְעָשׂוּ אַחַר הָרֶגֶל מִלְחֶמֶת עוֹג, וּפָנִיתָ בַּבֹּקֶר וְהָלַכְתָּ לְאֹהָלֶיךָ (דברים טז, ז). וַיֵּצֵא עוֹג מֶלֶךְ הַבָּשָׁן לִקְרָאתָם הוּא וְכָל עַמּוֹ, שֶׁכִּנְּסָן הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לִפְנֵיהֶם לְמָסְרָן בְּיָדָם. (Numb. 21:25:) “Israel took all these towns….” This text is related (to Is. 61:8), “Because I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery with a burnt offering.”152Numb. R. 19:30. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses (in Deut. 2:9), “Do not trouble Moab.” Now Heshbon had been part of Moab, since it is stated (in Numb. 21:26), “For Heshbon was a city of Sihon king of the Amorites,” but he had fought against the former king of Moab [and taken all his land away from him as far as the Arnon]. When Israel came, they took Heshbon, which belonged to Sihon and whatever [else] he had taken from the king of Moab. For if they had taken it from him [directly], they would have had major robbery on their hands. Instead Sihon took it from Moab, and Israel took it from Sihon. Thus they were acquitted from [the charge of] robbery. Therefore it is written (in Numb. 21:26), “For Heshbon was a city of Sihon.” (Numb. 21:27:) “Therefore those who speak in parables say.” This refers to Balaam and his father, whom Sihon had hired to curse Moab. And it was they who had said (Numbers 21:27-8), “[Come to Heshbon,] let it be built; let the city of Sihon be established. For a fire has come forth from Heshbon, [a flame from the city of Sihon]. It has devoured Ar [of Moab].” Thus they cursed Moab so that they might deliver it into [Sihon's] hand. (Numb. 21:29-31:) “Woe be to you, O Moab…. Yet we have cast them down; Heshbon has perished…. Thus Israel dwelt (in all the cities) [in the land of] the Amorites.” [Only] Jazer survived.153Numb. R. 19:31. (Numb. 21:32:) “So Moses sent to spy out Jazer.” These spies were zealous. They said, “We have confidence in the prayer of Moses. [Yet] he has already sent messengers [that were] spies in the past and they brought a catastrophe. But we shall not do so. Rather, we will trust in the Holy One, blessed be He, and make war.” They then did so and slew the Amorites who were in [the city]. (Numb. 21:33), “Then they turned and went up […].” What is the meaning of “Then they turned and went up?” R. Johanan says, “The wars of Sihon took place in Elul. Then they celebrated the festival in Tishri,154Numb. R. 19:32. then after the festival came the war with Og. [Just as you say with regard to the festival of Passover] (in Deut. 16:7), “and in the morning you shall turn to your tents.” (Numb. 21:33, cont.:) “And Og king of Bashan came out against them, he and all his people,” for the Holy One, blessed be He, had gathered [them all] before [Israel] in order to deliver [Og and his people] into their hand.