Numbers 24; Luke 23:1–25

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.


Jesus Before Pilate

23 cThen the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this man dmisleading our nation and eforbidding us to give tribute to fCaesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, ga king. hAnd Pilate asked him, iAre you the King of the Jews? And he answered him, jYou have said so. Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, kI find no guilt in this man. But they were urgent, saying, He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, lfrom Galilee even to this place.

Jesus Before Herod

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to mHerod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, nfor he had long desired to see him, obecause he had heard about him, and he was hoping pto see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 And Herod with his soldiers qtreated him with contempt and rmocked him. Then, sarraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. 12 And tHerod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.

13 Pilate then called together the chief priests and uthe rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, You brought me this man vas one who was misleading the people. And wafter examining him before you, behold, I xdid not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15 Neither did Herod, for yhe sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16 zI will therefore punish and release him.1

Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified

18 aBut they all cried out together, bAway with this man, and release to us Barabbas 19 a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and cfor murder. 20 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting, Crucify, crucify him! 22 A third time he said to them, Why? dWhat evil has he done? eI have found in him no guilt deserving death. fI will therefore punish and release him. 23 But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison gfor insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, hbut he delivered Jesus over to their will.