1Then Balaam said to Balak, “Build me seven altars here and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.” # 1Ch 15:26; 2Ch 29:21; Jb 42:8; Ezk 45:23 2So Balak did as Balaam directed, and they offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 3Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here by your burnt offering while I am gone. Maybe the Lord # DSS, LXX, Sam read Maybe God will meet with me. I will tell you whatever He reveals to me.” So he went to a barren hill.
4God # DSS, Sam read The Angel of God met with him and Balaam said to Him, “I have arranged seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.” 5Then the Lord put a message in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Return to Balak and say what I tell you.”
6So he returned to Balak, who was standing there by his burnt offering with all the officials of Moab.
Balaam’s First Oracle
7Balaam proclaimed his poem:
Balak brought me from Aram; # Dt 23:4
the king of Moab, from the eastern mountains:
“Come, put a curse on Jacob for me;
come, denounce Israel! ” # Nm 22:6,17
8How can I curse someone God has not cursed?
How can I denounce someone the Lord has not denounced?
9I see them from the top of rocky cliffs,
and I watch them from the hills.
There is a people living alone; # Dt 33:28
it does not consider itself among the nations.
10Who has counted the dust of Jacob
or numbered the dust clouds # Or numbered a fourth of Israel?
Let me die the death of the upright;
let the end of my life be like theirs.
11“What have you done to me? ” Balak asked Balaam. “I brought you to curse my enemies, but look, you have only blessed them! ”
12He answered, “Shouldn’t I say exactly what the Lord puts in my mouth? ” # Nm 22:38
Balaam’s Second Oracle
13Then Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place # Nm 23:27 where you can see them. You will only see the outskirts of their camp; you won’t see all of them. From there, put a curse on them for me.” 14So Balak took him to Lookout Field # Or to the field of Zophim on top of Pisgah, # Nm 21:20; Dt 3:17,27; 4:49; 34:1; Jos 12:3; 13:20 built seven altars, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
15Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here by your burnt offering while I seek the Lord over there.”
16The Lord met with Balaam and put a message in his mouth. Then He said, “Return to Balak and say what I tell you.”
17So he returned to Balak, who was standing there by his burnt offering with the officials of Moab. Balak asked him, “What did the Lord say? ”
18Balaam proclaimed his poem:
Balak, get up and listen;
son of Zippor, pay attention to what I say!
19God is not a man who lies,
or a son of man who changes His mind. # 1Sm 15:29; Mal 3:6; Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:17-18
Does He speak and not act,
or promise and not fulfill? # Ps 33:10-11; Pr 19:21; Is 14:24; 31:2; 45:23; 46:9-11; 48:3; 55:11; Rm 11:29; Eph 1:11; 2Tm 2:13
20I have indeed received a command to bless;
since He has blessed, # Sam, LXX read since I will bless I cannot change it.
21He considers no disaster for Jacob;
He sees no trouble for Israel. # Or not observe sin in Jacob; not see wrongdoing
The Lord their God is with them, # Gn 28:15; Nm 14:9; Dt 2:7; 20:1; Jos 1:17; Jdg 6:13; 2Ch 20:17; Ps 46:11; Is 8:10; 41:10; Jr 1:19; 15:20; Zph 3:17; Hg 2:4; Rv 21:3
and there is rejoicing over the King among them.
22God brought them out of Egypt;
He is like the horns of a wild ox for them. # Or Egypt; they have the horns of a wild ox # Nm 24:8
23There is no magic curse against Jacob
and no divination against Israel.
It will now be said about Jacob and Israel,
“What great things God has done! ”
24A people rise up like a lioness;
They rouse themselves like a lion. # Nm 24:9
They will not lie down until they devour the prey
and drink the blood of the slain.
25Then Balak told Balaam, “Don’t curse them and don’t bless them! ”
26But Balaam answered him, “Didn’t I tell you: Whatever the Lord says, I must do? ” # Nm 22:38
Balaam’s Third Oracle
27Again Balak said to Balaam, “Please come. I will take you to another place. Maybe it will be agreeable to God that you can put a curse on them for me there.” 28So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, which overlooks the wasteland. # Or overlooks Jeshimon # Nm 21:20
29Balaam told Balak, “Build me seven altars here and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.” # Nm 23:1-2 30So Balak did as Balaam said and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.