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Balaam’s Third Prophecy
1 When Balaam saw that the Lord wanted to bless Israel, he didn’t look for omens as he had done before. He turned toward the desert, 2 looked up, and saw Israel’s camp grouped by tribes. The Spirit of God entered him, 3 and he delivered this message:
“This is the message of Balaam, son of Beor.
This is the message of the man whose eyesight is clear.#Greek, Targum; Hebrew meaning uncertain.
4 This is the message of the one who hears the words of God,
has a vision from the Almighty,
and falls ⌊into a trance⌋ with his eyes open:
5 How beautiful are your tents, Jacob,
and the places where you live, Israel.
6 Your tents spread out like rivers,
like gardens by a river,
like aloes planted by the Lord,
like cedars by the water.
7 Water will flow from their buckets,
and their crops will have plenty of water.
Their king will be greater than Agag,
and their kingdom will be considered the best.
8 The God who brought them out of Egypt
has the strength of a wild bull.
He will devour nations that are his enemies,
crush their bones,
and pierce them with arrows.
9 His people lie down ⌊and⌋ rest like a lion.
They are like a lioness. Who dares to disturb them?
Those who bless you will be blessed!
Those who curse you will be cursed!”
Balaam’s Fourth Prophecy
10 Balak became angry with Balaam. He clapped his hands and said, “I summoned you to curse my enemies, and now you have blessed them three times. 11 Get out of here! Go home! I said I’d reward you richly, but the Lord has made you lose your reward.”
12 Balaam answered Balak, “I told the messengers you sent me, 13 ‘Even if Balak would give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I couldn’t disobey the Lord’s command no matter how good or bad the request might seem to me. I must say only what the Lord says.’ 14 Even though I’m going back to my people, I’ll give you some advice. I’ll tell you what these people will do to your people in the days to come.”
15 Then Balaam delivered this message:
“This is the message of Balaam, son of Beor.
This is the message of the man whose eyesight is clear.
16 This is the message of the one who hears the words of God,
receives knowledge from the Most High,
has a vision from the Almighty,
and falls ⌊into a trance⌋ with his eyes open:
17 I see someone who is not here now.
I look at someone who is not nearby.
A star will come from Jacob.
A scepter will rise from Israel.
He will crush the heads of the Moabites
and destroy all the people of Sheth.#Or “all the descendants of Seth.”
18 Edom will be conquered,
and Seir, his enemy, will be conquered.
So Israel will become wealthy.
19 He will rule from Jacob
and destroy whoever is left in their cities.”
20 Then Balaam saw the Amalekites and delivered this message:
“Amalek was first among the nations,
but in the end it will be destroyed.”
21 Then he saw the Kenites and delivered this message:
“You have a permanent place to live.
Your nest is built in a rock.
22 But it is destined to be burned, you ⌊descendants of⌋ Cain,
when Assyria takes you as prisoners of war.” #–22 There is a play on words here among Hebrew qeyniy (Kenite), qinneka (your nest), and qayin (Cain).
23 He delivered this message:
“Oh no! Who will live when God decides to do this?
24 Ships will come from the shores of Cyprus.
They will conquer Assyria and Eber.
But they, too, will be totally destroyed.”
25 Then Balaam got up and went back home, and Balak also went on his way.
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