Bible: Numbers 22:36-24:25

Balaam Meets Balak

22:36 When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at a city of Moab which was on the border of the Arnon at the boundary of his territory. 22:37 Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send again and again 1  to you to summon you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you? 2  22:38 Balaam said to Balak, “Look, I have come to you. Now, am I able 3  to speak 4  just anything? I must speak 5  only the word that God puts in my mouth.” 22:39 So Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. 22:40 And Balak sacrificed bulls and sheep, and sent some 6  to Balaam, and to the princes who were with him. 22:41 Then on the next morning Balak took Balaam, and brought him up to Bamoth Baal. 7  From there he saw the extent of the nation.


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 9  altar a bull and a ram. 23:3 Balaam said to Balak, “Station yourself 10  by your burnt offering, and I will go off; perhaps the Lord will come to meet me, and whatever he reveals to me 11  I will tell you.” 12  Then he went to a deserted height. 13 

23:4 Then God met Balaam, who 14  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 15  in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and speak what I tell you.” 16 

23:6 So he returned to him, and he was still 17  standing by his burnt offering, he and all the princes of Moab. 23:7 Then Balaam 18  uttered 19  his oracle, saying,

Balak, the king of Moab, brought me 20  from Aram,

out of the mountains of the east, saying,

‘Come, pronounce a curse on Jacob for me;

come, denounce Israel.’ 21 

23:8 How 22  can I curse 23  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; 24 

from the hills I watch them. 25 

Indeed, a nation that lives alone,

and it will not be reckoned 26  among the nations.

23:10 Who 27  can count 28  the dust 29  of Jacob,

Or number 30  the fourth part of Israel?

Let me 31  die the death of the upright, 32 

and let the end of my life 33  be like theirs.” 34 

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 35  you have only blessed them! 36  23:12 Balaam replied, 37 Must I not be careful 38  to speak what the Lord has put in my mouth? 39  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 40  to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, 41  where 42  he built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 23:15 And Balaam 43  said to Balak, “Station yourself here 44  by your burnt offering, while I meet the Lord there. 23:16 Then the Lord met Balaam and put a message 45  in his mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and speak what I tell you.” 23:17 When Balaam 46  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 47  uttered 48  his oracle, and said,

Rise up, 49  Balak, and hear;

Listen to me, son of Zippor:

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

nor a human being, 50  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? 51 

23:20 Indeed, I have received a command 52  to bless;

he has blessed, 53  and I cannot reverse it. 54 

23:21 He 55  has not looked on iniquity in Jacob, 56 

nor has he seen trouble 57  in Israel.

The Lord their God is with them;

his acclamation 58  as king is among them.

23:22 God brought them 59  out of Egypt.

They have, as it were, the strength of a wild bull. 60 

23:23 For there is no spell against 61  Jacob,

nor is there any divination against Israel.

At this time 62  it must be said 63  of Jacob

and of Israel, ‘Look at 64  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 65  prey,

and drink the blood of the slain.” 66 

Balaam Relocates Yet Again

23:25 Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all 67  nor bless them at all! 68  23:26 But Balaam replied 69  to Balak, “Did I not tell you, ‘All that the Lord speaks, 70  I must do?

23:27 Balak said to Balaam, “Come, please; I will take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God 71  to let you curse them for me from there.” 72  23:28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that looks toward the wilderness. 73  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.


Balaam Prophesies Yet Again


When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, 75  he did not go as at the other times 76  to seek for omens, 77  but he set his face 78  toward the wilderness. 24:2 When Balaam lifted up his eyes, he saw Israel camped tribe by tribe; 79  and the Spirit of God came upon him. 24:3 Then he uttered this oracle: 80 

“The oracle 81  of Balaam son of Beor;

the oracle of the man whose eyes are open; 82 

24:4 the oracle of the one who hears the words of God,

who sees a vision from the Almighty,

although falling flat on the ground 83  with eyes open: 84 

24:5How 85  beautiful are your tents, O Jacob,

and your dwelling places, O Israel!

24:6 They are like 86  valleys 87  stretched forth,

like gardens by the river’s side,

like aloes 88  that the Lord has planted,

and like cedar trees beside the waters.

24:7 He will pour the water out of his buckets, 89 

and their descendants will be like abundant 90  water; 91 

their king will be greater than Agag, 92 

and their kingdom will be exalted.

24:8 God brought them out of Egypt.

They have, as it were, the strength of a young bull;

they will devour hostile people 93 

and will break their bones

and will pierce them through with arrows.

24:9 They crouch and lie down like a lion,

and as a lioness, 94  who can stir him?

Blessed is the one who blesses you,

and cursed is the one who curses you!’

24:10 Then Balak became very angry at Balaam, and he struck his hands together. 95  Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and look, you have done nothing but bless 96  them these three times! 24:11 So now, go back where you came from! 97  I said that I would greatly honor you; but now the Lord has stood in the way of your honor.”

24:12 Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not also tell your messengers whom you sent to me, 24:13 If Balak would give me his palace full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond 98  the commandment 99  of the Lord to do either good or evil of my own will, 100  but whatever the Lord tells me I must speak? 24:14 And now, I am about to go 101  back to my own people. Come now, and I will advise you as to what this people will do to your people in the future.” 102 

Balaam Prophesies a Fourth Time

24:15 Then he uttered this oracle: 103 

“The oracle of Balaam son of Beor;

the oracle of the man whose eyes are open;

24:16 the oracle of the one who hears the words of God,

and who knows the knowledge of the Most High,

who sees a vision from the Almighty,

although falling flat on the ground with eyes open:

24:17I see him, but not now;

I behold him, but not close at hand. 104 

A star 105  will march forth 106  out of Jacob,

and a scepter 107  will rise out of Israel.

He will crush the skulls 108  of Moab,

and the heads 109  of all the sons of Sheth. 110 

24:18 Edom will be a possession,

Seir, 111  his enemies, will also be a possession;

but Israel will act valiantly.

24:19 A ruler will be established from Jacob;

he will destroy the remains of the city.’ 112 

Balaam’s Final Prophecies

24:20 Then Balaam 113  looked on Amalek and delivered this oracle: 114 

“Amalek was the first 115  of the nations,

but his end will be that he will perish.”

24:21 Then he looked on the Kenites and uttered this oracle:

“Your dwelling place seems strong,

and your nest 116  is set on a rocky cliff.

24:22 Nevertheless the Kenite will be consumed. 117 

How long will Asshur take you away captive?

24:23 Then he uttered this oracle:

“O, who will survive when God does this! 118 

24:24 Ships will come from the coast of Kittim, 119 

and will afflict Asshur, 120  and will afflict Eber,

and he will also perish forever.” 121 

24:25 Balaam got up and departed and returned to his home, 122  and Balak also went his way.

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