Common English Bible
23 Balaam said to Balak, “Build me seven altars here and prepare for me seven bulls and seven rams.” 2 Balak did as Balaam had said. Then Balak and Balaam offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 3 Balaam 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.
4 God 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.”
5 The Lord gave Balaam something to say, and said to him, “Return to Balak and say this.”
6 Balaam returned to him, while he and all the officials of Moab were standing next to his entirely burned offering. 7 Then 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.
8 How can I curse
whom God hasn’t cursed?
How can I denounce
whom God hasn’t denounced?
9 From 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.
10 Who 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.”
11 Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemy. But now you’ve blessed him.”
12 He 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
13 Then 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.” 14 He 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.
15 Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stand here by your entirely burned offering, while I seek an appearance over there.”
16 The Lord granted Balaam an appearance and gave him a message. He said, “Return to Balak and say this.”
17 Balaam approached Balak, who was standing by his entirely burned offering with the officials of Moab. Balak said to him, “What did the Lord say?”
18 Then Balaam raised his voice and made his address:
“Arise, Balak, and listen;
hear me out, Zippor’s son.
19 God 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?
20 I received a blessing, and he blessed.
I can’t take it back.
21 He hasn’t envisioned misfortune for Jacob,
nor has he seen trouble for Israel.
The Lord his God is with him,
proclaimed as his king.
22 God, who brought them out of Egypt,
is like a magnificent wild bull for him.
23 There is no omen against Jacob,
no divination against Israel.
Instantly it is told to Jacob,
and to Israel, what God performs.
24 A 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.”
25 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Don’t curse them or bless them.”
26 But 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
27 Balak 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.”
28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, which overlooks Jeshimon.[a] 29 Balaam said to Balak, “Build me seven altars here and prepare for me seven bulls and seven rams.” 30 Balak did just as Balaam said. He offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
- Numbers 23:28 Or wasteland