Standing on the northern lip of the river Arnon is a spectacular vista. But a more intense view was seen on the day paralleled to the great crossing of the Red Sea, when Israel was delivered by the hand of God on the final legs of their wilderness wanderings. On this northern lip lies two dominate towns Areor and Dibon whose fortifications could have easily defended against a normal invading army. But that was not to be the case, for the God of Israel was involved in the battle that day.

Local Jordanian tradition has that Madaba, Dibon and Aroer were the three daughters of Sihon, a fanciful but interesting story as all three locations ended with a sudden end, spoken in Arabic as “Jahaz”, the name of the site of the conflict with Sihon.

The conflict with Sihon and Og was to be remembered for hundreds of years, with the Psalmist referring to in Psalm 106 as an example of the greatness of Yahweh to overcome sin for his people and provide inheritance as a blessing.

This is the end of the wadi Mussa or river Arnon as it flows out into the dead Sea. The gushing flows of the Arnon force their way through steep canyons to finally emerge on the saly shores. The polished red walls  and the water falls are spectacular.

The river Arnon is again mentioned at the commencement of the numbering of Israel, and is listed alongside several other locations that saw significant military battles. Note the use of Gad (troops) in 2Sam 24. But relying on troops is not the answer to battles, but the hand of Yahweh as witnessed in the crossing of the Red Sea, the typical battle of armageddon as illustrated in Num 31 where Yahweh wrought a great battle “and Israel lacked not a man” 31:49 a fortaste of the glorious band of Ps 110:3,5 where an immortal host will be willing in the day of his power, raised in immortality as the dew of the morning.

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