Numbers 24
CEVDC
24
1Balaam was sure that the Lord would tell him to bless Israel again. So he did not use any magic to find out what the Lord wanted him to do, as he had the first two times. Instead, he looked out toward the desert 2and saw the tribes of Israel camped below. Just then, God's Spirit took control of him, 3and Balaam said:
“I am the son of Beor,
and my words are true,#24.3 my words are true: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
so listen to my message!
4It comes from the Lord,
the God All-Powerful.
I bowed down to him
and saw a vision of Israel.
5“People of Israel,
your camp is lovely.
6It's like a grove of palm trees#24.6 grove of palm trees: Or “green valley.”
or a garden beside a river.
You are like tall aloe trees
that the Lord has planted,
or like cedars
growing near water.
7You and your descendants
will prosper like an orchard
beside a stream.
Your king will rule with power
and be a greater king
than Agag the Amalekite.#24.7 Agag the Amalekite: The Amalekites were longtime enemies of the Israelites (see Exodus 17.8-16), and Agag was one of their most powerful kings.
8With the strength of a wild ox,
God led you out of Egypt.
You will defeat your enemies,
shooting them with arrows#24.8 shooting them with arrows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
and crushing their bones.
9 # Gn 49.9; Gn 12.3. Like a lion you lie down,
resting after an attack.
Who would dare disturb you?
“Anyone who blesses you
will be blessed;
anyone who curses you
will be cursed.”
10When Balak heard this, he was so furious that he pounded his fist against his hand and said, “I called you here to place a curse on my enemies, and you've blessed them three times. 11Leave now and go home! I told you I would pay you well, but since the Lord didn't let you do what I asked, you won't be paid.”
12Balaam answered, “I told your messengers 13that even if you offered me a palace full of silver or gold, I would still obey the Lord. And I explained that I would say only what he told me. 14So I'm going back home, but I'm leaving you with a warning about what the Israelites will someday do to your nation.”
Balaam's Fourth Message
15Balaam said:
“I am the son of Beor,
and my words are true,#24.15 my words are true: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
so listen to my message!
16My knowledge comes
from God Most High,
the Lord All-Powerful.
I bowed down to him
and saw a vision of Israel.
17“What I saw in my vision
hasn't happened yet.
But someday, a king of Israel
will appear like a star.
He will wipe out you Moabites#24.17 you Moabites: Or “the territories of Moab.”
and destroy#24.17 destroy: The Standard Hebrew Text; the Samaritan Hebrew Text “the skulls of.” those tribes
who live in the desert.#24.17 those tribes … desert: The Hebrew text has “the descendants of Sheth,” which probably refers to the people who lived in the desert areas of Canaan before the Israelites.
18Israel will conquer Edom
and capture the land
of that enemy nation.
19The king of Israel will rule
and destroy the survivors
of every town there.#24.19 every town there: Or “Ir in Moab.”
20“And I saw this vision
about the Amalekites:#24.20 the Amalekites: See the note at 24.7.
Their nation is now great,
but it will someday
disappear forever.#24.20 but … forever: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
21“And this is what I saw
about the Kenites:#24.21 the Kenites: A group of people who lived in the desert south of Israel.
They think they're safe,
living among the rocks,
22but they will be wiped out
when Assyria conquers them.#24.22 them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 22.
23“No one can survive
if God plans destruction.#24.23 destruction: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 23.
24Ships will come from Cyprus,
bringing people who will invade
the lands of Assyria and Eber.
But finally, Cyprus itself
will be ruined.”
25After Balaam finished, he started home, and Balak also left.

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