1 Then BalaamI saidII to Balak,III
“BuildIV me sevenV altarsVI here,
and prepareVII seven bullsVIII and seven ramsIX for me.”
2 Balak didX as Balaam had saidXI and offeredXII a bull and a ram on each altar.
3 Then Balaam said to Balak, “StayXIII here beside your burnt offeringsXIV
while I go aside.XV PerhapsXVI the LordXVII will comeXVIII to meetXIX me.
WhateverXX he showsXXI me I will tellXXII you.” And he wentXXII to a bare height.XXIV
4 Then GodXXV metXXVI Balaam, and Balaam said to him, “I have arrangedXXVII the seven altars and have offered a bull and a ram on each altar.”
5 The Lord putXXVIII a wordXXIX in Balaam’s mouthXXX and said, “ReturnXXXI to Balak, and thisXXXII is what you must say.”
6 So he returned to Balak, whoXXXIII was standingXXXIV beside his burnt offerings with allXXXV the officialsXXXVI of Moab.XXXVII
7 Then Balaam utteredXXXVIII his oracle,XXXIX saying,
“Balak has broughtXL me from Aram,XLI
the kingXLII of Moab from the easternXLIII mountains:XLIV
‘Come,XLV curseXLVI JacobXLVII for me.
Come,XLVIII denounceXLIX Israel!’L
8 HowLI can I curseLII whom GodLIII has not cursed?LIV
How can I denounce those whom the Lord has not denounced?
9 For from the topLV of the cragsLVI I seeLVII him;
from the hillsLVIII I beholdLIX him.
HereLX is a peopleLXI livingLXII aloneLXIII
and not reckoningLXIV itself among the nations!LXV
10 Who can countLXVI the dustLXVII of Jacob
or numberLXVIII the dust cloudLXIX of Israel?
Let meLXX dieLXXI the deathLXXII of the upright,LXXIII
and let my endLXXIV beLXXV like his!”
11 Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I broughtLXXVI you to curseLXXVII my enemies,LXXVIII but now you have done nothing butLXXIX blessLXXX them.”
12 He answered,LXXXI “Must I not take careLXXXII to say what the Lord puts into my mouth?”
13 So Balak said to him, “ComeLXXXIII with me to anotherLXXXIV placeLXXXV from which you may seeLXXXVI them;
you shall seeLXXXVII only partLXXXVIII of them and shall not seeLXXXIX them all; then curseXC them for me from there.”
14 So he tookXCI him to the fieldXCII of Zophim,XCIII to the top of Pisgah.XCIV He built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
15 Balaam said to Balak, “StandXCV hereXCVI beside your burnt offerings, while I meetXCVII the Lord over there.”XCVIII
16 The Lord metXCIX Balaam, put a word into his mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and this is whatC you shall say.”
17 When he cameCI to him, CIIhe was standingCIII beside his burnt offerings with the officials of Moab. Balak said to him, “What has the Lord said?”
18 Then Balaam uttered his oracle, saying,
“Rise,CIV Balak, and hear;CV
listenCVI to me, O sonCVII of Zippor:CVIII
19 GodCIX is not a human being,CX that he should lie,CXI
or a mortal,CXII that he should change his mind.CXIII
Has he promised,CXIV and will he not do it?
Has he spoken,CXV and will he not fulfillCXVI it?
20 See,CXVII I receivedCXVIII a command to bless;
he has blessed, and I cannot revokeCXIX it.
21 He has not beheldCXX misfortuneCXXI in Jacob,
nor has he seenCXXII troubleCXXIII in Israel.
The Lord their GodCXXIV is with them,
acclaimedCXXV as a king among them.
22 God,CXXVI who bringsCXXVII them out of Egypt,CXXVIII
is like the hornsCXXIX of a wild oxCXXX for them.
23 Surely there is no enchantmentCXXXI against Jacob,
no divinationCXXXII against Israel;
nowCXXXIII it shall be said of Jacob and Israel,
‘See what GodCXXXIV has done!’CXXXV
24 Look,CXXXVI a people rising up like a lionessCXXXVII
and rousingCXXXVIII itself like a lion!CXXXIX
It does not lie downCXL until it has eatenCXLI the preyCXLII
and drunkCXLIII the bloodCXLIV of the slain.”CXLV
25 Then Balak said to Balaam,CXLVI “Do not curseCXLVII them at all,CXLVIII andCXLIX do not bless them at all.”CL
26 But Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘WhateverCLI the Lord says, that is what I must do’?”CLII
27 So Balak said to Balaam, “ComeCLIII now,CLIV I will take you to another place; perhaps it will pleaseCLV, CLVI GodCLVII that you may curseCLVIII them for me from there.”
28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor,CLIX which overlooksCLX, CLXI the wasteland.CLXII
29 Balaam said to Balak, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.” 30 So Balak didCLXIII as Balaam had said and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
Image credit: “Saved by a Donkey” by Curtis and Pip Reid of Bible Pathway Adventures.