• God forbade the Israelites to attack the descendants of Esau, that he had given their land to them and not to the Israelites (2: 4, 5)
• Moses reminded the people that the 40 years they had been wandering in the desert, they had not lacked anything (2: 7).
• God also forbade the Israelites to attack the Moabites because he was not going to give the Israelites their land but he was going to give (or had already given) it to the descendants of Lot (2:9).
• Verses 12, and 21 – 23 show that there was a lot of conquest going on.
• The descendants of Esau drove the Horites out of their land and took it. They ‘destroyed’ the Horites just like Israel did to the canaanites (2:12). If they drove them out, and they destroyed them, then unless ‘destroyed’ and ‘drove out’ mean the same thing, we have a contradiction in adjacent sentences.
• The Zamzummites were driven out and replaced by the Ammonites and the Caphtorites did the same to the Avvites (21, 23). • God hardened Sihon’s heart so he would fight the Israelites instead of letting them pass. In this way, God made Sihon aggressive towards the Israelites, made him go to a battle against them which they won and gave them his land (2: 24 – 33).
• When the Israelites defeated Sihon, they killed everyone in his land (men, women and children) and took the livestock and plunder (2: 34, 35)
Here is an idea and a question which just occurred to me. Although God has the right to take lives without due reason, he only ought to delegate the authority to take lives to human beings if he has good reason. Ought we to regard the killing of the Heshbonites as unjustified unless good reason can be provided to justify it?