Numbers 22:1-41

22  And the sons of Israel marched and camped in the Moab flats on the other side of the Jordan at Jericho. 2  And Balak the son of Sippor saw all that the Israelites had done to the Amorites; 3  and the Moabites quailed desperately before the people because there were so many of them, and the Moabites conceived a horror of the sons of Israel, 4  and said to the elders of Midian “Now this assembly will lick up everything around us as an ox licks up the green stuff on the range.” And Balak the son of Sippor was king of Moab at that time; 5 * and he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beʽor at Pethor on the River in the country of the Bene-ʽAmmon to summon him, saying “Here is a people come out of Egypt; it covers the face of the land, and it is settling next me. 6  Now come and curse this people for me, because it is too numerous for me: I might be able to defeat it and dislodge it from the country, for I know what you bless is blessed and what you curse is cursed.” 7 * And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian went with soothsayer’s charms in their hands and came to Balaam and told him Balak’s words. 8  And he said to them “Stay here tonight and I will give you your answer in accordance with what Jehovah tells me”; and the captains of Moab stayed with Balaam. 9  And God came to Balaam and said “What are these men after with you?” 10  and Balaam said to God “Balak the son of Sippor, king of Moab, sends me word 11 * ‘Here is the people that has come out of Egypt and covers the face of the land; now come, lay a curse on it for me; I might be able to make war with it and might dislodge it.’” 12  And God said to Balaam “You are not to go with them; you are not to curse the people, because it is blessed.” 13  And Balaam rose in the morning and said to Balak’s captains “Go to your own country, because Jehovah has refused to grant me to go with you”; 14  and the captains of Moab started, and came to Balak and said “Balaam refuses to go with us.” 15  And again Balak sent chieftains more in number than those and of higher rank; 16  and they came to Balaam and said to him “Says Balak the son of Sippor, Do not demur at coming to me, 17  for I will do the highest honors to you and do whatever you say I should; but come lay a curse on this people for me.” 18  And Balaam answered Balak’s officers “If Balak gives me his house full of silver and gold I cannot do anything small or great in violation of my God Jehovah’s charge. 19  Now stay in town tonight the same as the others did, and I will find out what more Jehovah tells me.” 20  And God came to Balaam at night and said to him “If the men have come to invite you, go on with them; only it shall be the thing I tell you that you shall do.” 21  And Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the captains of Moab. 22  And God was angry because he was going, and Jehovah’s Angel took his stand to antagonize him. And he was riding on his donkey, and had his two men with him. 23  And the donkey saw Jehovah’s Angel standing in the road with his drawn sword in his hand, and the donkey turned out of the road and went in the fields; and Balaam beat the donkey to turn it into the road. 24  And Jehovah’s Angel stood in the no-man’s-land between the vineyards, with a fence on this side and a fence on that; 25  and the donkey saw Jehovah’s Angel and crowded up to the wall and jammed Balaam’s leg against the wall, and again he beat her. 26  And Jehovah’s Angel passed on again and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn out to the right or the left; 27  and the donkey saw Jehovah’s Angel and lay down with Balaam, and Balaam was angry and beat his donkey with his staff. 28  And Jehovah opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam “What have I done to you that you have beaten me these three times?” 29  And Balaam said to the donkey “Because you played tricks at my expense; I wish I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you now.” 30  And the donkey said to Balaam “I am your donkey that you have ridden ever since you existed to this day, am I not? have I been in the habit of doing so to you?” and he said “No.” 31  And Jehovah unveiled Balaam’s eyes, and he saw Jehovah’s Angel standing in the road with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed down and did reverence on his face. 32 * And Jehovah’s Angel said to him “What have you beaten your donkey these three times for? here I had come out as antagonist because the journey was waywardly undertaken before my face, 33  and the donkey saw me and turned out before me these three times; if she had not turned out from me, by this time I should have killed you and left her alive.” 34  And Balaam said to Jehovah’s Angel “I did wrong, because I did not know you had taken your stand in the road to meet me; now, if it displeases you, I will turn back.” 35  But Jehovah’s Angel said to Balaam “Go with the men, but it shall be only the thing I tell you that you shall say.” And Balaam went with Balak’s captains. 36 * And Balak heard that Balaam was coming, and went out to meet him at ʽIr-Moab on the Arnon boundary, at the end of the boundary; 37  and Balak said to Balaam “Did I not send to you to invite you? why did you not come to met am I really not able to do honors to you?” 38  And Balaam said to Balak “Here I have come to you; now am I able to say anything at all? the word that Jehovah dictates to me, that I shall say.” 39  And Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kirjath-Husoth; 40  and Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep and sent to Balaam and the captains that were with him. 41  And in the morning Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Baal Heights, and from there he saw the edge of the people.


22:5 Var. the river of the country
22:7 Or soothsayer’s fees
22:11 Var. a people
22:32 (waywardly undertaken) Unc.; susp.
22:36 (ʽIr-Moab) Susp.