Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, "This is what your brother Israel says, 'You know all the hardships that have overtaken us.
Our fathers went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt many years, but the Egyptians treated us and our fathers badly.
When we cried out to the LORD, He heard our voice, sent an Angel, and brought us out of Egypt. Now look, we are in Kadesh, a city on the border of your territory.
Please let us travel through your land. We won't travel through [any] field or vineyard, or drink [any] well water. We will travel the King's Highway; we won't turn to the right or the left until we have traveled through your territory.'"
But Edom answered him, "You must not travel through our land, or we will come out and confront you with the sword."
"We will go on the main road," the Israelites replied to them, "and if we or our herds drink your water, we will pay its price. There will be no problem; only let us travel through on foot."
Yet Edom insisted, "You must not travel through." And they came out to confront them with a large force of heavily-armed people.
Edom refused to allow Israel to travel through their territory, and Israel turned away from them.