Numbers 22:2–25:9

And jBalak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And kMoab was in great dread of the people, because they were many. Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel. And Moab said to lthe elders of Midian, This horde will now lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field. So Balak the son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, msent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor nat Pethor, which is near the River1 in the land of the people of Amaw,2 to call him, saying, Behold, a people has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and they are dwelling opposite me. oCome now, curse this people for me, since they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.

So the elders of Moab and lthe elders of Midian departed with pthe fees for divination in their hand. And they came to Balaam and gave him Balak’s message. And he said to them, Lodge here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as the Lord speaks to me. So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. qAnd God came to Balaam and said, Who are these men with you? 10 And Balaam said to God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, 11 Behold, a people has come out of Egypt, and it covers the face of the earth. Now come, curse them for me. Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them and drive them out. 12 God said to Balaam, You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for rthey are blessed. 13 So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, Go to your own land, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you. 14 So the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak and said, Balaam refuses to come with us.

15 Once again Balak sent princes, more in number and more honorable than these. 16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: Let nothing hinder you from coming to me, 17 sfor I will surely do you great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. tCome, curse this people for me. 18 But Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, uThough Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, vI could not go beyond the command of the Lord my God to do less or more. 19 So you, too, wplease stay here tonight, that I may know what more the Lord will say to me. 20 qAnd God came to Balaam at night and said to him, If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; xbut only do what I tell you. 21 So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.

22 But God’s anger was kindled because he went, yand the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way zas his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25 And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So he struck her again. 26 Then the angel of the Lord went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Then the Lord aopened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times? 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you. 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way? And he said, No.

31 Then the Lord bopened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. 32 And the angel of the Lord said to him, Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out cto oppose you because your way is perverse3 before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live. 34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, dI have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back. 35 And the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, Go with the men, ebut speak only the word that I tell you. So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.

36 When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, fon the border formed by the Arnon, at the extremity of the border. 37 And Balak said to Balaam, Did I not send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to ghonor you? 38 Balaam said to Balak, Behold, I have come to you! Have I now any power of my own to speak anything? hThe word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak. 39 Then Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. 40 And Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent for Balaam and for the princes who were with him.

41 And in the morning Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Bamoth-baal, and from there he saw a fraction of the people.

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 part4 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?

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.5 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.

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,6

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 groves7 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.

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 forehead8 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.

While Israel lived in eShittim, fthe people began to whore with the daughters of Moab. gThese invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. And the Lord said to Moses, hTake all the chiefs of the people and ihang9 them in the sun before the Lord, jthat the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel. And Moses said to kthe judges of Israel, lEach of you kill those of his men who have yoked themselves to Baal of Peor.

And behold, one of the people of Israel came and brought a Midianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were mweeping in the entrance of the tent of meeting. nWhen Phinehas othe son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. Thus the plague on the people of Israel was stopped. Nevertheless, pthose who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.

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Micah 5:7–6:8

Then wthe remnant of Jacob shall be

in the midst of many peoples

like dew from the Lord,

like showers on the grass,

which delay not for a man

nor wait for the children of man.

And wthe remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations,

in the midst of many peoples,

like a lion among the beasts of the forest,

like a young lion among the flocks of sheep,

ewhich, when it goes through, treads down

and tears in pieces, and there is none to deliver.

Your hand shall fbe lifted up over your adversaries,

and all your enemies shall be cut off.

10  And gin that day, declares the Lord,

hI will cut off your horses from among you

and will destroy your chariots;

11  iand I will cut off the cities of your land

and throw down all your strongholds;

12  and I will cut off jsorceries from your hand,

and kyou shall have no more tellers of fortunes;

13  and lI will cut off your carved images

and myour pillars from among you,

nand you shall bow down no more

to the work of your hands;

14  and I will root out your oAsherah images from among you

iand destroy your cities.

15  And in anger and wrath pI will execute vengeance

on the nations that did not obey.

qHear what the Lord says:

Arise, plead your case before the mountains,

and let the hills hear your voice.

rHear, you mountains, sthe indictment of the Lord,

and you enduring foundations of the earth,

for the Lord has an indictment against his people,

and he will contend with Israel.

O my people, twhat have I done to you?

uHow have I wearied you? Answer me!

For vI brought you up from the land of Egypt

and wredeemed you from the house of slavery,

and I sent before you Moses,

Aaron, and xMiriam.

O my people, remember ywhat Balak king of Moab devised,

and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him,

and what happened from zShittim to Gilgal,

that you may know athe righteous acts of the Lord.

bWith what shall I come before the Lord,

and bow myself before cGod on high?

Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,

with calves a year old?

dWill the Lord be pleased with1 thousands of rams,

with ten thousands of rivers of oil?

eShall I give my firstborn for my transgression,

the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

He has told you, O man, what is good;

and fwhat does the Lord require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,2

and to gwalk humbly with your God?

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Mark 11:12–25

12 wOn the following day, when they came from Bethany, xhe was hungry. 13 yAnd seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for zit was not the season for figs. 14 And he said to it, May no one ever eat fruit from you again. And his disciples heard it.

15 aAnd they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of bthe money-changers and the seats of those who sold cpigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, Is it not written, dMy house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations? But eyou have made it a den of robbers. 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and fwere seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because gall the crowd was astonished at his teaching. 19 hAnd when evening came they1 went out of the city.

20 iAs they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, jRabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered. 22 And Jesus answered them, Have kfaith in God. 23 lTruly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, mBe taken up and thrown into the sea, and does not ndoubt in his heart, but obelieves that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, pwhatever you ask in prayer, obelieve that you qhave received2 it, and it will be yours. 25 And whenever ryou stand praying, sforgive, tif you have anything against anyone, so that uyour Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.3

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Romans 11:25–32

25 hLest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers:1 ia partial hardening has come upon Israel, juntil the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

kThe Deliverer will come lfrom Zion,

he will banish ungodliness from Jacob;

27  and this will be my mcovenant with them

nwhen I take away their sins.

28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are obeloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and pthe calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as qyou were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now2 receive mercy. 32 For God rhas consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

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1 Corinthians 1:20–31

20 gWhere is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? hHas not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach1 to save those who believe. 22 For iJews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ jcrucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ kthe power of God and lthe wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brothers: mnot many of you were wise according to worldly standards,2 not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But nGod chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; oGod chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even pthings that are not, to qbring to nothing things that are, 29 so rthat no human being3 might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him4 you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us swisdom from God, trighteousness and usanctification and vredemption, 31 so that, as it is written, wLet the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.

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Hebrews 1:1–2

Long ago, at many times and ain many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but bin these last days che has spoken to us by dhis Son, whom he appointed ethe heir of all things, fthrough whom also he created gthe world.

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2 Peter 2

But mfalse prophets also arose among the people, njust as there will be false teachers among you, who will osecretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master pwho bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth qwill be blasphemed. And rin their greed they will exploit you swith false words. tTheir condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

For if God did not spare uangels when they sinned, but vcast them into hell1 and committed them to chains2 of gloomy darkness wto be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but xpreserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought ya flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by zturning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, amaking them an example of bwhat is going to happen to the ungodly;3 and cif he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, dhe was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then ethe Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials,4 and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially fthose who indulge5 in the lust of defiling passion and gdespise authority.

Bold and willful, they do not tremble gas they blaspheme the glorious ones, 11 hwhereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 iBut these, like irrational animals, jcreatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13 suffering wrong as kthe wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure lto revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions,6 while mthey feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery,7 ninsatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts otrained in greed. pAccursed children! 15 Forsaking the right way, qthey have gone astray. They have followed rthe way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved sgain from wrongdoing, 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; ta speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

17 uThese are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. vFor them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 18 For, wspeaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely xescaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them yfreedom, zbut they themselves are slaves8 of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, aafter they have escaped the defilements of the world bthrough the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, cthe last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For dit would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from ethe holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: The fdog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.

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Jude 11

11 Woe to them! For they walked in zthe way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain ato Balaam’s error and bperished in Korah’s rebellion.

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Revelation 2:12–17

12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The words of him who has ethe sharp two-edged sword.

13 I know where you dwell, fwhere Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not gdeny my faith1 even in the days of Antipas hmy faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of iBalaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might jeat food sacrificed to idols and kpractice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of lthe Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent. If not, mI will come to you soon and nwar against them with ethe sword of my mouth. 17 cHe who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. cTo the one who conquers I will give some of othe hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with pa new name written on the stone qthat no one knows except the one who receives it.

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