23
1Balaam said to Balak, "Build me seven altars here and prepare for me seven bulls and seven rams." 2Balak did as Balaam had said. Then Balak and Balaam offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 3Balaam said to Balak, "Stay by your entirely burned offering. I will go and perhaps the Lord will grant me an appearance and speak. Whatever he shows me, I will tell you." Then he went off to a high outlook.
4God granted Balaam an appearance. Balaam said to him, "I have arranged seven altars and I have sacrificed a bull and a ram on each altar."
5The Lord gave Balaam something to say, and said to him, "Return to Balak and say this."
6Balaam returned to him, while he and all the officials of Moab were standing next to his entirely burned offering. 7Then he raised his voice and made his address:
"From Aram Balak led me,
the king of Moab, from the eastern mountains.
Come, curse Jacob for me;
come, denounce Israel.
8How can I curse
whom God hasn’t cursed?
How can I denounce
whom God hasn’t denounced?
9From the top of the rocks I see him;
from the hills I gaze on him.
Here is a people living alone;
it doesn’t consider itself among the nations.
10Who can count the dust of Jacob,
or number a fourth of Israel?
Let me die the death of those who do right,
and let my end be like his."
11Then Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemy. But now you’ve blessed him."
12He answered and said, "Don’t I have to take care to speak whatever the Lord gives me to say?"
Balaam’s second blessing of the Israelites
13Then Balak said to Balaam, "Come with me, please, to another place where you’ll see them. You’ll see only part of them. You won’t see all of them. Then curse them for me from there." 14He took him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah. He built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
15Then Balaam said to Balak, "Stand here by your entirely burned offering, while I seek an appearance over there."
16The Lord granted Balaam an appearance and gave him a message. He said, "Return to Balak and say this."
17Balaam approached Balak, who was standing by his entirely burned offering with the officials of Moab. Balak said to him, "What did the Lord say?"
18Then Balaam raised his voice and made his address:
"Arise, Balak, and listen;
hear me out, Zippor’s son.
19God isn’t a man that he would lie,
or a human being that he would change his mind.
Has he ever spoken and not done it,
or promised and not fulfilled it?
20I received a blessing, and he blessed.
I can’t take it back.
21He hasn’t envisioned misfortune for Jacob,
nor has he seen trouble for Israel.
The Lord his God is with him,
proclaimed as his king.
22God, who brought them out of Egypt,
is like a magnificent wild bull for him.
23There is no omen against Jacob,
no divination against Israel.
Instantly it is told to Jacob,
and to Israel, what God performs.
24A people now rises like a lioness,
like a lion it stands up.
It doesn’t lie down until it eats the prey
and drinks the blood of the slain."
25Then Balak said to Balaam, "Don’t curse them or bless them."
26But Balaam answered and said to Balak, "Didn’t I say to you, ‘I’ll do whatever the Lord tells me to’?"
Balaam’s third blessing of the Israelites
27Balak said to Balaam, "Please come and I’ll take you to another place. Perhaps God will prefer it, so that you could curse him for me from there."
28So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, which overlooks Jeshimon.#Or wasteland 29Balaam said to Balak, "Build me seven altars here and prepare for me seven bulls and seven rams." 30Balak did just as Balaam said. He offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
Loading reference in secondary version...
2011 Common English Bible. All rights reserved.