Balak Sends for Balaam
1And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho. 2And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. 4And Moab said unto the elders of Mid´i-an, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. 5He sent messengers therefore unto Ba´laam the son of Be´or to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: Behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: 6come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.
7And the elders of Moab and the elders of Mid´i-an departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Ba´laam, and spake unto him the words of Balak. 8And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the Lord shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Ba´laam. 9And God came unto Ba´laam, and said, What men are these with thee? 10And Ba´laam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying, 11Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out. 12And God said unto Ba´laam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed. 13And Ba´laam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the Lord refuseth to give me leave to go with you. 14And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Ba´laam refuseth to come with us.
15And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honorable than they. 16And they came to Ba´laam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: 17for I will promote thee unto very great honor, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people. 18And Ba´laam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. 19Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the Lord will say unto me more. 20And God came unto Ba´laam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.
The Angel and Balaam's Ass
21And Ba´laam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. 22And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. 23And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Ba´laam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. 24But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. 25And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Ba´laam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. 26And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Ba´laam: and Ba´laam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. 28And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Ba´laam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? 29And Ba´laam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. 30And the ass said unto Ba´laam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.
31Then the Lord opened the eyes of Ba´laam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. 32And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? Behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: 33and the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive. 34And Ba´laam said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again. 35And the angel of the Lord said unto Ba´laam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Ba´laam went with the princes of Balak.
36And when Balak heard that Ba´laam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost coast. 37And Balak said unto Ba´laam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote thee to honor? 38And Ba´laam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak. 39And Ba´laam went with Balak, and they came unto Kir´jath–hu´zoth. 40And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Ba´laam, and to the princes that were with him.
Balaam Blesses Israel
41And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Ba´laam, and brought him up into the high places of Ba´al, that thence he might see the utmost part of the people.