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and Moab feared the Israelites greatly because they were numerous. Moab was in dread of the Israelites. So Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this horde will devour everything around us as an ox devours the grass of the field.” At that time Balak, son of Zippor, was king of Moab; and he sent messengers to Balaam, son of Beor, at Pethor on the river, in the land of the Ammonites,[a] to summon him with these words, “A people has come out of Egypt! They have covered up the earth and are settling down opposite me!

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  1. 22:5 In the land of the Ammonites: the translation rests on a slight emendation of the traditional Hebrew text in accordance with the tradition represented by the Vulgate. While Pethor remains unidentified, this verse supports an identification of Balaam’s homeland in the Transjordan (cf. the Deir ‘Alla Inscriptions), over against other traditions in the text which connect Balaam with Syria (23:7; Dt 23:5).

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