Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an End

So the Israelites, after coming to the border of the promised land, went back into the wilderness to wait there until all the men who had sinned against the Lord in not trusting his word, should die. Moses knew that the men who had been slaves in Egypt, were in their spirit slaves still, and could not fight as brave men to win their land. There was need of men who had been trained up to a free life in the wilderness; men who would teach their children after them to be free and bold.

They stayed for nearly all the forty years of waiting in the wilderness of Paran, south of Canaan. Very few things happened during those years. The young men as they grew up were trained to be soldiers and one by one the old men died, until very few of them were left.

When the forth years were almost ended, the people came again to Kadesh-barnea. For some reason they found no water there. Perhaps the wells from which they had drawn water before were now dried up. The people complained against Moses, as they always complained when trouble came to them, and blamed him for bringing them into such a desert land, where there was neither fruit to eat nor water to drink, only great rocks all around.

Then the Lord said to Moses:

"Take the rod, and bring the people together, and stand before the rock, and speak to the rock before them; and then the water will come out of the rock, and the people and their flocks shall drink."

Then Moses and Aaron brought all the people together before a great rock that stood beside the camp. And Moses stood in front of the rock, with the rod in his hand; but he did not do exactly what God had told him to do, to speak to the rock. He spoke to the people instead, in an angry manner.

"Hear now, ye rebels," said Moses. "Shall we bring you water out of this rock?"

And Moses lifted up the rod, and struck the rock. Then he struck it again, and at the second blow the water came pouring out of the rock, just as it had come many years before from the rock at Rephidim, near Mount Sinai (see Story Twenty-five); and again there was a plenty of water for the people and their flocks.

But God was not pleased with Moses, because Moses had shown anger, and had not obeyed God's command just as God had given it. And God said to Moses and to Aaron:

"Because you did not show honor to me, by doing as I commanded you, neither of you shall enter into the land that I have promised to the children of Israel."

One act of disobedience cost Moses and Aaron the privilege of leading the people into their own land of promise! About this time, Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, died at Kadesh-barnea. You remember that when she was a little girl she helped to save the baby Moses, her brother, from the river (see Story Twenty). She also led the women in singing the song of Moses after the crossing of the Red Sea as told in Story Twenty-four. And soon after her death Moses and Aaron, and Eleazar, Aaron's son, walked together up a mountain called Mount Hor; and on the top of the mountain Moses took off the priest's robes from Aaron, and placed them on his son Eleazar; and there on the top of Mount Hor Aaron died, and Moses and Eleazar buried him. Then they came down to the camp and Eleazar took his father's place as the priest.

Miriam Sings


While they were at Kadesh-barnea, on the south of Canaan, they tried again to enter the land. But they found that the Canaanites and Amorites who lived there were too strong for them; so again they turned back to the wilderness, and sought another road to Canaan. On the south the Dead Sea, and southeast of Canaan, were living the Edomites, who had sprung from Esau, Jacob's brother, as the Israelites had sprung from Jacob (see Story Twelve). Thus you see the Edomites were closely related to the Israelites.

And Moses sent to the king of Edom, to say to him:

"We men of Israel are your brothers. We have come out of the land of Egypt, where the people of Egypt dealt harshly with us, and now we are going to our own land, which our God has promised to us, the land of Canaan. We pray you let us pass through your land, on our way. We will do no harm to your land nor your people. We will walk on the road to Canaan, not turning to the right hand nor the left. And we will not rob your vineyards, nor even drink from your wells, unless we pay for the water that we use."

But the king of Edom was afraid to have such a great host of people, with all their flocks and cattle, go through his land. He drew out his army, and came against the Israelites. Moses was not willing to make war on a people who were so close in their race to the Israelites, so instead of leading the Israelites through Edom, he went around it, making a long journey to the south, and then to the east, and then to the north again.

It was a long, hard journey, through a deep valley which was very hot; and for most of the journey they were going away from Canaan, and not toward it; but it was the only way, since Moses would not let them fight the men of Edom.

While they were on this long journey the people again found fault with Moses. They said, "Why have you brought us into this hot and sandy country? There is no water; and there is no bread except this vile manna, of which we are very tired! We wish that we were all back in Egypt again!"

Then God was angry with the people; and he let the fierce snakes that grew in the desert crawl among them and bite them. These snakes were called "fiery serpents," perhaps because of their bright color, or perhaps because of their eyes and tongues, which seemed to flash out fire. Their bite was poisonous, so that many of the people died.

Then the people saw that they had acted wickedly in speaking against Moses; for when they spoke against Moses they were speaking against God, who was leading them. They said:

"We have sinned against the Lord, and we are sorry. Now pray to the Lord for us, that he may take away the serpents from us."

So Moses prayed for the people, as he had prayed so many times before. And God heard Moses' prayer, and God said to him:

"Make a serpent of brass, like the fiery serpents; and set it up on a pole, where the people can see it. Then every one who is bitten may look on the serpent on the pole, and he shall live."

And Moses did as God commanded him. He made a serpent of brass, which looked like the fiery snakes; and he lifted it up on a pole where all could see it. And then, whoever had been bitten by a snake looked up at the brazen snake, and the bite did him no harm.

This brazen snake was a teaching about Christ, though it was given so long before Christ came. You remember the text which says, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whatsoever believeth in him may have eternal life."

Northeast of the Dead Sea, above a brook called the brook Arnon, lived a people who were called the Amorites. Moses sent to their king, whose name was Sihon, the same message as he had sent to the king of Edom, asking for leave to go through his land. But he would not allow the Israelites to pass through. He led his army against Israel, and crossed the brook Arnon, and fought against Israel at a place called Jahaz. The Israelites here won their first great victory. In the battle they killed many of the Amorites, and with them their king, Sihon, and they took for their own all their land, as far north as the brook Jabbok. Do you remember how Jacob one night prayed by the brook Jabbok? (See Story Fourteen.)

And after this they marched on toward the land of Canaan, coming from the east. And at last they encamped on the east bank of the river Jordan, at the foot of the mountains of Moab. Their long journey of forty years was now ended, the desert was left behind them, before them rolled the Jordan River, and beyond the Jordan they could see the hills of the land which God had promised to them for their own.