Accessibility setting

Search

Select language

Skip to secondary menu

Skip to table of contents

Skip to content

Jehovah’s Witnesses

English

Online Bible

The Bible in Living English

Numbers 23:1-30

23  And Balaam said to Balak “Build me seven altars here, and get ready seven steers and seven rams here for me.” 2*  And Balak did as Balaam said, and Balak and Balaam offered a steer and a ram as burnt-offering on each altar. 3*  And Balaam said to Balak “Take your stand by your burnt-offering and I will go: maybe Jehovah will meet me, and what word he shows me I will report to you.” 4  And he went to a scalp, and God met Balaam, and he said to him “I have reared the seven altars and offered a steer and a ram as burnt-offering on each altar.” 5  And God dictated a word to Balaam, and said “Go back to Balak, and thus you are to speak.” 6  And he went back to him and found him standing by his burnt-offering, 7  him and all the captains of Moab; and he struck up his lay and said “From Syria Balak leads me, the king of Moab from the mountains of the east: ‘Come, curse Jacob for me, and come, be hostile to Israel.’ 8  How am I to lay a curse on those on whom the Deity has laid none, how be hostile where Jehovah has not been hostile? 9  Because from the top of rocks I see him, from hills I behold him: Here is a people that lives alone and does not reckon itself among the nations; 10**  Who has counted Jacob’s dust and numbered the sandstorm of Israel? May my soul die the death of Jeshurun and my future be like his!” 11  And Balak said to Balaam “What have you done to me? I fetched you to lay a curse on my enemies and here you have gone and blessed them.” 12  And he answered “What Jehovah dictates to me I am to take care to say, am I not?” 13  And Balak said to him “Come with me to another place from which you will see them and just see the edge of them and not the whole, and lay a curse on them for me from there.” 14  And he took him to the head of the Pisgah, to Lookout Wold, and built seven altars and offered a steer and a ram as burnt-offering on each altar. 15  And he said to Balak “Take your stand here by your burnt-offering and I will meet him there.” 16  And Jehovah met Balaam and dictated a word to him, and said “Go back to Balak, and thus you are to speak.” 17  And he came to him and found him standing by his burnt-offering, and the captains of Moab with him; and Balak said to him “What did Jehovah speak?” 18  And he struck up his lay and said “Stand up, Balak, and listen; give ear to me, son of Sippor: 19  The Deity is not a man, to lie, nor human, to change his mind. Has He said and will not do, promised and will not make it good? 20*  Here I have been charged to bless; he blesses and I am not to turn it back. 21**  One does not look on trouble in Jacob nor see suffering in Israel: He has his God Jehovah with him and in him the cheers for a king. 22*  It is a Deity that brings him out of Egypt, he has pikes like a ure’s; 23***  For there is no taking signs against Jacob and no soothsaying against Israel; Now it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What has God done! 24  Here is a people that stands up like a lioness and rears like a lion; He will not lie down till he eats prey and drinks the blood of the slain.” 25  And Balak said to Balaam “If you wouldn’t lay a curse, then you shouldn’t bless. 26  But Balaam answered Balak “Did I not tell you ‘What Jehovah says, that I do’?” 27  And Balak said to Balaam “Come, I will take you to another place; maybe it will suit God and you will lay a curse on them for me from there”; 28  and Balak took Balaam to the head of the Peghor that faces the Jeshimon. 29  And Balaam said to Balak “Build me seven altar here, and get ready seven steers and seven rams here for me”; 30  and Balak did as Balaam said, and offered a steer and a ram as burnt-offering on each altar.

Footnotes

23:2 Var. said, and offered a
23:3 (to a scalp) Susp.
23:10 Codd. numbered a quarter of Israel
23:10 Codd. death of upright men and my future be like his
23:20 Lit. have been taken to bless Var. have received blessing
23:21 Or look on villainy
23:21 Or see mischief
23:22 The ure was the huge longhorned wild bull of Europe and western Asia in ancient times
23:23 Or in Jacob
23:23 Or in Israel
23:23 Or Now it shall be told to Jacob and to Israel what God has done (conj.* is doing)