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Balaam’s Third Prophecy

24 When Balaam noticed that the Lord was pleased that Balaam was blessing Israel, he didn’t behave as he had time after time before, that is, to practice divination. Instead, he turned with his face to the wilderness, looked up, and saw Israel encamped in their respective tribal order. Just then, the spirit of God came upon him. Balaam uttered this prophetic statement:

“A declaration by Beor’s son Balaam,
    a declaration by the strong, blind man.[a]
A declaration from one who hears what God has to say,
    who saw the vision that the Almighty revealed,
who keeps stumbling
    with open eyes.
Jacob, your tents are so fine,
    as well as your dwelling places,[b] O Israel!
They’re spread out like valleys,
    like gardens along river banks,
like aloe planted by the Lord,
    or like cedars beside water.
He will pour water from his buckets,
    and his descendants will stream forth like abundant water.
His king will be more exalted than Agag
    when he exalts his own kingdom.

God is bringing them[c] out of Egypt
    with the strength of an ox.
He’ll devour enemy nations,
    break their bones,
        and impale them with arrows.
He crouches, laying low like a lion.
    Who would awaken him?
Those who bless you are blessed,
    and those who curse you are cursed.”

10 Balak flew into a rage and he started hitting his fists together. “I called you to curse my enemies,” he yelled at Balaam. “But look here! You’ve blessed them three times! 11 Now get out of here! I had promised you that I would definitely honor you, but now the Lord has kept me from doing that!”

12 But Balaam replied to Balak, “I told your messengers, 13 ‘Even if Balak gives me his palace[d] full of silver and gold, I won’t double-cross the command of the Lord and do anything—whether good or evil—on my own initiative, because I’m going to say whatever the Lord says.’ 14 Meanwhile, since I have to return to my people, come and listen while I tell you what this people will be doing to your people in the last days.”

Balaam’s Final Prophecies

15 Then Balaam[e] uttered this prophetic statement:

“The declaration by Beor’s son Balaam,
    a declaration by the strong, blind man.
16 A declaration from one who hears what God has to say,
    who knows what the Most High knows,
who saw the vision that the Almighty revealed,
    who keeps stumbling with open eyes.

17 I can see him,
    but not right now.
I observe him,
    but from a distance.[f]

A star streams forth from Jacob;
    a scepter arises from Israel.
He will crush Moab’s forehead,
    along with all of Seth’s descendants.
18 Edom will be a conquered nation
    and Seir will be Israel’s[g] defeated foe,
        while Israel performs valiantly.
19 He will rule over Jacob,
    annihilating those who survive in the city.”

20 Next, Balaam[h] looked directly at Amalek and then uttered this prophetic statement:

“Even though Amalek is an international leader,
    his future is permanent destruction.”

21 Balaam also uttered this prophetic statement about the Kenites:[i]

“Your dwelling places are stable,
    because your nest is carved in solid rock.
22 Nevertheless, Kain will be incinerated.
    How long will it take until Asshur[j] takes you hostage?”

23 Finally, he uttered this prophetic statement:

“Ah, who can live,
    unless God makes it happen?
24 Ships under control of Kittim will devastate Asshur and Eber,
    until they are permanently destroyed.”

25 Then Balaam got up, returned to his country, and Balak went on his way.

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 24:3 Lit. strong man with a closed eye
  2. Numbers 24:5 Or your tents
  3. Numbers 24:8 Lit. him; i.e. national Israel personified as an individual
  4. Numbers 24:13 Or house
  5. Numbers 24:15 Lit. he
  6. Numbers 24:17 Lit. but not nearby
  7. Numbers 24:18 Lit. his
  8. Numbers 24:20 Lit. he
  9. Numbers 24:21 I.e. gentile Midianites
  10. Numbers 24:22 I.e. ancient Assyria

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