Numbers 23; Numbers 24

Balaam’s First Oracle

23 And Balaam said to Balak, iBuild for me here seven altars, and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams. Balak did as Balaam had said. And Balak and Balaam joffered on each altar a bull and a ram. And Balaam said to Balak, kStand beside your burnt offering, and I will go. Perhaps the Lord will come lto meet me, and whatever he shows me I will tell you. And he went to a bare height, mand God met Balaam. And Balaam said to him, I have arranged the seven altars and I have offered on each altar a bull and a ram. And the Lord nput a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak. And he returned to him, and behold, he and all the princes of Moab were standing beside his burnt offering. And Balaam otook up his discourse and said,

From pAram Balak has brought me,

the king of Moab qfrom the eastern mountains:

Come, rcurse Jacob for me,

and come, denounce Israel!

How can I curse whom God has not cursed?

How can I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced?

For from the top of the crags sI see him,

from the hills I behold him;

behold, ta people dwelling alone,

and unot counting itself among the nations!

10  vWho can count the dust of Jacob

or number the fourth part1 of Israel?

Let me die wthe death of the upright,

and let my end be like his!

11 And Balak said to Balaam, What have you done to me? xI took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have done nothing but bless them. 12 And he answered and said, yMust I not take care to speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?

Balaam’s Second Oracle

13 And Balak said to him, Please come with me to another place, from which you may see them. You shall see only a fraction of them and shall not see them all. Then curse them for me from there. 14 And he took him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, zand built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 15 Balaam said to Balak, aStand here beside your burnt offering, while I meet the Lord over there. 16 And the Lord met Balaam and bput a word in his mouth and said, Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak. 17 And he came to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, What has the Lord spoken? 18 And Balaam took up his discourse and said,

Rise, Balak, and hear;

give ear to me, O son of Zippor:

19  cGod is not man, that he should lie,

or a son of man, that he should change his mind.

Has he said, and will he not do it?

Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

20  Behold, I received a command to bless:

dhe has blessed, and eI cannot revoke it.

21  fHe has not beheld misfortune in Jacob,

nor has he seen trouble in Israel.

The Lord their God is with them,

and the shout of a king is among them.

22  gGod brings them out of Egypt

and is for them like hthe horns of the wild ox.

23  For there is no enchantment against Jacob,

no idivination against Israel;

now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel,

jWhat has God wrought!

24  Behold, a people! kAs a lioness it rises up

and as a lion it lifts itself;

lit does not lie down until it has devoured the prey

and drunk the blood of the slain.

25 And Balak said to Balaam, Do not curse them at all, and do not bless them at all. 26 But Balaam answered Balak, Did I not tell you, mAll that the Lord says, that I must do? 27 And Balak said to Balaam, nCome now, I will take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from there. 28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of oPeor, which overlooks pthe desert.2 29 And Balaam said to Balak, qBuild for me here seven altars and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams. 30 rAnd Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.


Balaam’s Third Oracle

24 When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go, as at sother times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel tcamping tribe by tribe. And uthe Spirit of God came upon him, and he vtook up his discourse and said,

The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,

the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,1

the oracle of him who hears the words of God,

who sees the vision of the Almighty,

wfalling down with his eyes uncovered:

How lovely are your tents, O Jacob,

your encampments, O Israel!

Like palm groves2 that stretch afar,

like gardens beside a river,

xlike aloes ythat the Lord has planted,

like cedar trees beside the waters.

Water shall flow from his buckets,

and his seed shall be zin many waters;

his king shall be higher than aAgag,

and bhis kingdom shall be exalted.

God brings him out of Egypt

and is for him like the chorns of the wild ox;

he shall deat up the nations, his adversaries,

and shall ebreak their bones in pieces

and fpierce them through with his arrows.

He crouched, he lay down like a lion

and glike a lioness; who will rouse him up?

hBlessed are those who bless you,

and cursed are those who curse you.

10 And Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he istruck his hands together. And Balak said to Balaam, jI called you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them these three times. 11 Therefore now flee to your own place. I said, kI will certainly honor you, but the Lord has held you back from honor. 12 And Balaam said to Balak, Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me, 13 lIf Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the Lord, to do either good or bad mof my own will. What the Lord speaks, that will I speak? 14 And now, behold, I am going to my people. Come, nI will let you know what this people will do to your people oin the latter days.

Balaam’s Final Oracle

15 pAnd he took up his discourse and said,

The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,

the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,

16  the oracle of him who hears the words of God,

and knows the knowledge of qthe Most High,

who sees the vision of the Almighty,

rfalling down with his eyes uncovered:

17  sI see him, but not now;

I behold him, but not near:

ta star shall come out of Jacob,

and ua scepter shall rise out of Israel;

it shall vcrush the forehead3 of Moab

and break down all the sons of Sheth.

18  wEdom shall be dispossessed;

xSeir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed.

Israel is doing valiantly.

19  And one from Jacob shall exercise dominion

and destroy the survivors of cities!

20 Then he looked on Amalek and ytook up his discourse and said,

Amalek was the first among the nations,

zbut its end is utter destruction.

21 And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said,

Enduring is your dwelling place,

and your nest is set in the rock.

22  Nevertheless, Kain shall be burned

when Asshur takes you away captive.

23 And he took up his discourse and said,

Alas, who shall live when God does this?

24  But ships shall come from aKittim

and shall afflict Asshur and bEber;

and he too cshall come to utter destruction.

25 Then Balaam rose and dwent back to his place. And Balak also went his way.