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Numbers Chapter 24 - New International Version

1. Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not resort to sorcery as at other times, but turned his face toward the desert.

2. When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came upon him

3. and he uttered his oracle: "The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of one whose eye sees clearly,

4. the oracle of one who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty, [1] who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:

5. "How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel!

6. "Like valleys they spread out, like gardens beside a river, like aloes planted by the LORD, like cedars beside the waters.

7. Water will flow from their buckets; their seed will have abundant water. "Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted.

8. "God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. They devour hostile nations and break their bones in pieces; with their arrows they pierce them.

9. Like a lion they crouch and lie down, like a lioness--who dares to rouse them? "May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed!"

10. Then Balak's anger burned against Balaam. He struck his hands together and said to him, "I summoned you to curse my enemies, but you have blessed them these three times.

11. Now leave at once and go home! I said I would reward you handsomely, but the LORD has kept you from being rewarded."

12. Balaam answered Balak, "Did I not tell the messengers you sent me,

13. `Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold, I could not do anything of my own accord, good or bad, to go beyond the command of the LORD--and I must say only what the LORD says'?

14. Now I am going back to my people, but come, let me warn you of what this people will do to your people in days to come."

15. Then he uttered his oracle: "The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of one whose eye sees clearly,

16. the oracle of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:

17. "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls [4] of [3] all the sons of Sheth. [2]

18. Edom will be conquered; Seir, his enemy, will be conquered, but Israel will grow strong.

19. A ruler will come out of Jacob and destroy the survivors of the city."

20. Then Balaam saw Amalek and uttered his oracle: "Amalek was first among the nations, but he will come to ruin at last."

21. Then he saw the Kenites and uttered his oracle: "Your dwelling place is secure, your nest is set in a rock;

22. yet you Kenites will be destroyed when Asshur takes you captive."

23. Then he uttered his oracle: "Ah, who can live when God does this? [5]

24. Ships will come from the shores of Kittim; they will subdue Asshur and Eber, but they too will come to ruin."

25. Then Balaam got up and returned home and Balak went his own way.

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Footnotes
  • 1: Samaritan Pentateuch (see also Jer. 48:45); the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain.
  • 2: Or possibly Moab, batter
  • 3: Or all the noisy boasters
  • 4: Masoretic Text; with a different word division of the Hebrew A people will gather from the north.
  • 5: Hebrew Jordan of Jericho; possibly an ancient name for the Jordan River; also in verse 63

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