Bible: Num 23


Balaam Blesses Israel


Balaam said to Balak, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams.” 23:2 So Balak did just as Balaam had said. Balak and Balaam then offered on each 2  altar a bull and a ram. 23:3 Balaam said to Balak, “Station yourself 3  by your burnt offering, and I will go off; perhaps the Lord will come to meet me, and whatever he reveals to me 4  I will tell you.” 5  Then he went to a deserted height. 6 

23:4 Then God met Balaam, who 7  said to him, “I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered on each altar a bull and a ram.” 23:5 Then the Lord put a message 8  in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and speak what I tell you.” 9 

23:6 So he returned to him, and he was still 10  standing by his burnt offering, he and all the princes of Moab. 23:7 Then Balaam 11  uttered 12  his oracle, saying,

Balak, the king of Moab, brought me 13  from Aram,

out of the mountains of the east, saying,

‘Come, pronounce a curse on Jacob for me;

come, denounce Israel.’ 14 

23:8 How 15  can I curse 16  one whom God has not cursed,

or how can I denounce one whom the Lord has not denounced?

23:9 For from the top of the rocks I see them; 17 

from the hills I watch them. 18 

Indeed, a nation that lives alone,

and it will not be reckoned 19  among the nations.

23:10 Who 20  can count 21  the dust 22  of Jacob,

Or number 23  the fourth part of Israel?

Let me 24  die the death of the upright, 25 

and let the end of my life 26  be like theirs.” 27 

Balaam Relocates

23:11 Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but on the contrary 28  you have only blessed them! 29  23:12 Balaam replied, 30 Must I not be careful 31  to speak what the Lord has put in my mouth? 32  23:13 Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place from which you can observe them. You will see only a part of them, but you will not see all of them. Curse them for me from there.”

23:14 So Balak brought Balaam 33  to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, 34  where 35  he built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 23:15 And Balaam 36  said to Balak, “Station yourself here 37  by your burnt offering, while I meet the Lord there. 23:16 Then the Lord met Balaam and put a message 38  in his mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and speak what I tell you.” 23:17 When Balaam 39  came to him, he was still standing by his burnt offering, along with the princes of Moab. And Balak said to him, “What has the Lord spoken?

Balaam Prophesies Again

23:18 Balaam 40  uttered 41  his oracle, and said,

Rise up, 42  Balak, and hear;

Listen to me, son of Zippor:

23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie,

nor a human being, 43  that he should change his mind.

Has he said, and will he not do it?

Or has he spoken, and will he not make it happen? 44 

23:20 Indeed, I have received a command 45  to bless;

he has blessed, 46  and I cannot reverse it. 47 

23:21 He 48  has not looked on iniquity in Jacob, 49 

nor has he seen trouble 50  in Israel.

The Lord their God is with them;

his acclamation 51  as king is among them.

23:22 God brought them 52  out of Egypt.

They have, as it were, the strength of a wild bull. 53 

23:23 For there is no spell against 54  Jacob,

nor is there any divination against Israel.

At this time 55  it must be said 56  of Jacob

and of Israel, ‘Look at 57  what God has done!’

23:24 Indeed, the people will rise up like a lioness,

and like a lion raises himself up;

they will not lie down until they eat their 58  prey,

and drink the blood of the slain.” 59 

Balaam Relocates Yet Again

23:25 Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all 60  nor bless them at all! 61  23:26 But Balaam replied 62  to Balak, “Did I not tell you, ‘All that the Lord speaks, 63  I must do?

23:27 Balak said to Balaam, “Come, please; I will take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God 64  to let you curse them for me from there.” 65  23:28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that looks toward the wilderness. 66  23:29 Then Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars here for me, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams.” 23:30 So Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.

NET Bible Study Environment