Add parallel Print Page Options

24 When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go to look for omens as he had done at the other times, but he set his face toward the wilderness. When Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes, the Spirit of God was upon him. He took up his oracle and said:

The declaration of Balaam son of Beor,
the declaration of the man whose eye is open,
the declaration of the one who hears the words of God,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
who is falling down, but his eyes are wide open:
    How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob,
        and your dwelling places, O Israel!
    Like rows of palm trees[a] they stretch out,
        like gardens by the riverside,
        like aloes which the Lord has planted,
        like cedar trees beside the waters.
    Water will flow from his buckets.
        His seed[b] will have abundant waters.
        His king will be higher than Agag.
        His kingdom will be lifted up.
    God brings him out of Egypt.
        God is like the horns of a wild ox for him.
        He will eat up the nations who are his adversaries.
        He will gnaw on their bones.
        He will pierce them through with his arrows.
    He crouches like a lion.
        He lies down like a lioness.
        Who will rouse him?
        The one who blesses you is blessed.
        The one who curses you is cursed.

10 Balak’s anger burned against Balaam, and he slapped his hands together. Balak said to Balaam, “I summoned you to curse my enemies, but look, all you have done is bless them these three times. 11 Now get out of here. Go to your own place! I said I would really reward you, but look, the Lord has denied you a reward.”

12 Balaam said to Balak, “Didn’t I tell the messengers you sent to me, ‘I will say what the Lord says. 13 Even if Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can’t go against the command of the Lord by doing anything good or bad of my own will’?[c] 14 Yes, I am going back to my people, but pay attention now—I will tell you what this people will do to your people in days to come.”

Balaam’s Fourth Message

15 Balaam took up his oracle and said:
The declaration of Balaam son of Beor,
the declaration of the man whose eye is open,
16 the declaration of the one who hears the words of God,
who receives knowledge from the Most High,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
who is falling down, but his eyes are wide open:
17     I see him, but not now.
        I behold him, but not near.
        A star will come out of Jacob.
        A scepter will rise up out of Israel.
        It will smash the foreheads of Moab
        and the skulls[d] of all the people of Sheth.
18     Edom will lose its territory to others.
        Seir, Israel’s enemy, also will become a possession,
        but Israel will display its power.
19     One who comes from Jacob will rule,
        and he will destroy the survivors of the city.

Balaam’s Final Messages

20 He looked at Amalek, took up his oracle, and said:

First among the nations was Amalek,
but his end will come to destruction.

21 He looked at the Kenites, took up his oracle, and said:

Permanent is your dwelling place.
Set in stone is your nest.
22 However, you Kenites will be destroyed,
    when Ashshur takes you captive.

23 He took up his oracle and said:

Ah, who will live when God does this?
24 But ships will come from the coast of Kittim.
They will oppress Ashshur.
They will oppress Eber.
But they also will come to destruction.[e]

25 Balaam got up and left to return to his place. Balak also went on his way.

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 24:6 Or streams
  2. Numbers 24:7 Here seed may refer both to literal seed and to offspring.
  3. Numbers 24:13 Literally of my heart
  4. Numbers 24:17 The translation follows the Samaritan Pentateuch, which has a clearer word than the rare word in the main Hebrew text, which could, in fact, be a copying error.
  5. Numbers 24:24 All the nations named in this oracle appear to be local neighbors of the Israelites near the time of Moses. Ashshur is not Assyria but the local Ashshur referred to in Genesis 25:3. The Kittim probably are the Philistines, not the Romans, who are also called Kittim. However, the principle stated in the oracle applies to the later enemies as well. All the nations of the world are subjected to the Messiah.

Bible Gateway Sponsors