XLVI. (255) A short time afterwards, having found a copious spring of water which supplied drink to all the multitude, and the spring was in a well and on the borders of the country, drawing it up and drinking it as though it had been not water but pure wine, they were refreshed in their souls, and those among the people who loved God established choruses and dances in a circle around the well, out of their cheerfulness and joy, and sang a new song to God, the possessor and giver of their inheritance and the real leader of their colony, because now at the first moment of their coming forth from the direction in which they had so long been dwelling in to the inhabited land which they were ordained to possess, they had found abundant drink, and therefore they thought it right not to pass this spring by without due honour. (256) For this well had been originally cut not by the hands of private individuals, but of kings, who had laboured in rivalry of one another, as the tale went, not only in the discovery of the water, but likewise in the digging of the well, in order that by its magnificence it might be seen to be a royal work, and that the power and magnanimity of those who built it might appear from the beginning. (257) And Moses, rejoicing at the unexpected blessings which from time to time were presenting themselves to him, advanced further, dividing the youth of his people into the vanguard and the rearguard, and placing the old men, and the women, and the
children in the centre, that they might be protected by those who were thus at each extremity, in the case of their having to encounter any force of the enemy either in front or behind.
XLVII. (258) A few days afterwards he entered the country of the Amorites, and sent ambassadors to the king, whose name was Sihon, exhorting him to the same measures to which he had previously invited his kinsman. But he not only replied to these ambassadors when they came with great insolence, but he very nearly put them to death, and would have done so if the law with respect to ambassadors had not hindered him; but he did collect an army and made against them, thinking that he should immediately be able to subdue them in war. (259) But when he encountered them he then found that he had to fight not men who had no experience or practice in the art of war, but men skilful in all warfare and truly invincible, who only a short time before had done many and important valiant achievements, displaying great personal valour, and great wisdom, and excellence of sense and virtue. Owing to which qualities they subdued these their enemies with great ease and defeated them with great loss, but they took no part of the spoil, desiring to dedicate to God the first booty which they gained; (260) and, on this occasion, they guarded their own camp vigorously, and then, with one accord and with equally concerted preparation, rushed forward in opposition to the enemy as he advanced and charged them, availing themselves of the invincible alliance of the just God, in consequence of which they had the greatest boldness, and became cheerful and sanguine combatants. (261) And the proof of this was clear; there was no need of any second battle, but the first was also the only one, and in it the whole power of the enemy was frustrated for ever. And it was utterly overthrown, and immediately it disappeared for ever. (262) And about the same time the cities were both empty and full; empty of their ancient inhabitants, and full of those who now succeeded to their dominions over them. In the same manner, also, the stables of cattle in the fields, being made desolate, received instead men who were in all respects better than their former masters.