Numbers 24
Balaam’s Third Message
1Balaam saw that the Lord wanted to bless Israel, so he did not try to change that by using any kind of magic. But Balaam turned and looked toward the desert. 2He looked out across the desert and saw all the Israelites. They were camped with the tribes in their different areas. Then the Spirit of God came on him, 3and he gave this message:
“This message is from Balaam son of Beor.
I am speaking about things I see clearly.
4These are the words I heard from God.
I saw what God All-Powerful#24:4 God All-Powerful Literally, “El Shaddai.” Also in verse 16. showed me.
I humbly tell what I clearly see.
5“People of Jacob, your tents are beautiful!
Israelites, your homes are beautiful!
6You are like rows of palm trees planted by the streams.
You are like gardens growing by the rivers.
You are like sweet-smelling bushes planted by the Lord.
You are like cedar trees growing by the water.
7You will always have enough water,
enough water for your seeds to grow.
Your king will be greater than King Agag.
Your kingdom will be very great.
8“God brought them out of Egypt.
They are as strong as a wild ox.
They will defeat all their enemies.
They will break their bones and shatter their arrows.
9Israel is like a lion,
curled up and lying down.
Yes, they are like a young lion,
and no one wants to wake him!
Anyone who blesses you will be blessed.
And anyone who curses you will have great troubles.”
10When Balak heard this, he angrily struck his fist against his hand and said to Balaam, “I called you to come and curse my enemies. But you have blessed them. You have blessed them three times. 11Now leave and go home! I told you that I would give you a very good payment, but the Lord has caused you to lose your reward.”
12Balaam said to Balak, “You sent men to ask me to come. Don’t you remember what I told them? I said, 13‘Even if Balak gives me his most beautiful house filled with silver and gold, I can still say only what the Lord commands me to say. I cannot do anything myself, good or bad. I must say what the Lord commands.’ 14Now I am going back to my own people. But I will give you this warning. I will tell you what these Israelites will do to you and your people in the future.”
Balaam’s Last Message
15Then Balaam gave this message:
“This message is from Balaam son of Beor.
I am speaking about things I see clearly.
16I heard this message from God.
I learned what God Most High taught me.
I saw what God All-Powerful showed me.
I humbly tell what I clearly see.
17“I see him coming, but not now.
I see him coming, but not soon.
A star will come from the family of Jacob.
A new ruler will come from the Israelites.
He will smash the heads of the Moabites
and crush the heads of all the sons of Sheth.#24:17 sons of Sheth Or “Seth.” Seth was Adam’s third son. This might be like the phrases “son of Man” (Adam) and “son of Enosh” and mean simply “all these people.”
18Israel will grow strong!
He will get the land of Edom.
He will get the land of Seir,#24:18 Seir Another name for Edom. his enemy.
19“A new ruler will come from the family of Jacob.
That ruler will destroy the people left alive in that city.”
20Then Balaam saw the Amalekites and said this:
“Amalek is the strongest of all nations,
but even Amalek will be destroyed!”
21Then Balaam saw the Kenites and said this:
“You believe that your country is safe,
like a bird’s nest#24:21 nest, Kenite, Cain A play on words. The names “Cain” and “Kenite” are like the Hebrew word meaning “nest.” high on a mountain.
22But you Kenites will be destroyed,
just as the Lord destroyed Cain.
Assyria will make you prisoners.”
23Then Balaam said this:
“No one can live when God does this.
24Ships will come from Cyprus.#24:24 Cyprus Literally, “Kittim.” This might be Cyprus, Crete, or other places west of Israel in the Mediterranean Sea.
They will defeat Assyria and Eber,#24:24 Eber This might mean the people living west of the Euphrates River, or it might mean the “Hebrews,” the descendants of Eber. See Gen. 10:21.
but those ships will also be destroyed.”
25Then Balaam got up and went back home, and Balak went his own way.
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