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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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Online Bible

NEW WORLD TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES (1984 EDITION) See 2013 revision

Numbers 23:1-30

23  Then Ba′laam said to Ba′lak: “Build for me on this spot seven altars+ and make ready for me on this spot seven bulls and seven rams.”  Ba′lak immediately did just as Ba′laam had spoken. After that Ba′lak and Ba′laam offered up a bull and a ram on each altar.*+  And Ba′laam went on to say to Ba′lak: “Station yourself by your burnt offering,+ and let me go. Perhaps Jehovah will get in touch and meet with me.+ In that case whatever he will show me, I shall certainly tell you.” So he went to a bare hill.  When God got in touch with Ba′laam,+ he then said to Him: “I set the seven altars in rows, and I proceeded to offer up a bull and a ram on each altar.”+  Accordingly Jehovah* put a word in the mouth of Ba′laam+ and said: “Return to Ba′lak, and this is what you will speak.”+  So he returned to him, and, look! he and all the princes of Mo′ab were stationed by his burnt offering.  Then he took up his proverbial+ utterance and said: “From A′ram*+ Ba′lak the king of Mo′ab tried to conduct me, From the mountains of the east: ‘Do come, do curse Jacob for me. Yes, do come, do denounce Israel.’+   How could I execrate those whom God* has not execrated?+ And how could I denounce those whom Jehovah has not denounced?+   For from the top of the rocks I see them,* And from the hills I behold them. There as a people they keep tabernacling isolated,+ And among the nations they* do not reckon themselves.+ 10  Who has numbered the dust particles of Jacob,+ And who has counted the fourth part* of Israel? Let my soul die the death of the upright ones,+ And let my end turn out afterward like theirs.”*+ 11  At this Ba′lak said to Ba′laam: “What have you done to me? It was in order to execrate my enemies that I took you, and here you have blessed them to the limit.”+ 12  In turn he answered and said: “Is it not whatever Jehovah may put in my mouth that I should take care to speak?”+ 13  Then Ba′lak said to him: “Do come, please, with me to another place from which you can see them. Only the extremity of them you will see,+ and you will not see all of them. And execrate them for me from there.”+ 14  So he took him to the field of Zo′phim, to the top of Pis′gah,+ and proceeded to build seven altars and to offer up a bull and a ram on each altar.+ 15  After that he said to Ba′lak: “Station yourself here by your burnt offering, and, as for me, let me get in touch with him there.” 16  Subsequently Jehovah* got in touch with Ba′laam and put a word in his mouth and said:+ “Return to Ba′lak,+ and this is what you will speak.” 17  So he came to him, and, look! he was stationed by his burnt offering, and the princes of Mo′ab with him. Then Ba′lak said to him: “What has Jehovah spoken?” 18  At this he took up his proverbial utterance and said:+ “Get up, Ba′lak, and listen. Do give ear to me, O son of Zip′por.+ 19  God* is not a man that he should tell lies,+ Neither a son of mankind that he should feel regret.+ Has he himself said it and will he not do it, And has he spoken and will he not carry it out?+ 20  Look! I have been taken* to bless, And He has blessed,*+ and I shall not reverse it.+ 21  He has not looked upon any uncanny power*+ against Jacob, And no trouble has he seen against Israel. Jehovah his God is with him,+ And the loud hailing of a king is in his midst. 22  God* is bringing them* out of Egypt.+ The swift course like that of a wild bull* is his.+ 23  For there is no unlucky spell against Jacob,+ Nor any divination against Israel.+ At this time it may be said respecting Jacob and Israel, ‘What has God* worked out!’+ 24  Behold, a people will get up like a lion,* And like the lion* it will lift itself up.+ It will not lie down until it may eat prey, And the blood of slain ones it will drink.”+ 25  At this Ba′lak said to Ba′laam: “If, on the one hand, you cannot execrate him at all, then, on the other hand, you should not bless him at all.” 26  In turn Ba′laam answered and said to Ba′lak: “Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘All that Jehovah will speak is what I shall do’?”+ 27  Then Ba′lak said to Ba′laam: “O come, please. Let me take you to still another place. Perhaps it will be right in the eyes of the [true] God so that you will certainly execrate him for me from there.”+ 28  With that Ba′lak took Ba′laam to the top of Pe′or, which looks toward Je·shi′mon.+ 29  Then Ba′laam+ said to Ba′lak: “Build for me on this spot seven altars and make ready for me on this spot seven bulls and seven rams.”+ 30  So Ba′lak did just as Ba′laam had said, and he went offering up a bull and a ram on each altar.+

Footnotes

Lit., “on the altar,” MSamLXX; Sy, “on the altars.”
“Jehovah,” M; Sam, “the angel of Jehovah”; LXX, “God.”
“Aram,” MSamSyVg; LXX, “Mesopotamia.”
“God.” Heb., ʼEl; Gr., Ky′ri·os, “Jehovah”; Lat., De′us.
Lit., “him,” that is, Jacob, or Israel, as a people.
Lit., “he.”
Possibly to be read, “counted the myriads (tens of thousands).”
“Theirs,” LXXSyVg; MSam, “his.”
See vs 5 ftn.
“God.” Heb., ʼEl; Gr., ho The·os′; Lat., De′us.
“I have been taken,” LXXSyVg; M, “I have taken [the command].”
“He has blessed,” M; SamLXX, “I shall bless.”
Or, “upon any state of taboo.”
“God.” Heb., ʼEl; Gr., The·os′; Lat., De′us.
“Them,” MSamLXXSy; Vg, “him.”
Or, “a buffalo.” LXX, “unicorn”; Vg, “rhinoceros.”
“God.” MSam(Heb.), ʼEl; Gr., ho The·os′; Lat., De′us.
“Like a lion.” Heb., kela·viʼ′, the Asian lion.
“And like the lion.” Heb., wekha·ʼari′, the African lion.