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Balaam’s First Oracle
1 Then Balaam said to Balak, “Build for me seven altars here, and prepare for me seven bulls and seven rams.”
2 So Balak did as Balaam had instructed, and Balak and Balaam offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
3 “Stay here by your burnt offering while I am gone,” Balaam said to Balak. “Perhaps the LORD will meet with me. And whatever He reveals to me, I will tell you.”
So Balaam went off to a barren height, 4 and God met with him. “I have set up seven altars,” Balaam said, “and on each altar I have offered a bull and a ram.”
5 Then the LORD put a message in Balaam’s mouth, saying, “Return to Balak and give him this message.”
6 So he returned to Balak, who was standing there beside his burnt offering, with all the princes of Moab.
7 And Balaam lifted up an oracle, saying:
“Balak brought me from Aram,
the king of Moab from the mountains of the east.
‘Come,’ he said, ‘put a curse on Jacob for me;
come and denounce Israel!’
8 How can I curse what God has not cursed?
How can I denounce what the LORD has not denounced?
9 For I see them from atop the rocky cliffs,
and I watch them from the hills.
Behold, a people dwelling apart,
not reckoning themselves among the nations.
10 Who can count the dust of Jacob
or number even a fourth of Israel?
Let me die the death of the righteous;
let my end be like theirs!”
11 Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you here to curse my enemies, and behold, you have only blessed them!”
12 But Balaam replied, “Should I not speak exactly what the LORD puts in my mouth?”
Balaam’s Second Oracle
13 Then Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place where you can see them. You will only see the outskirts of their camp—not all of them. And from there, curse them for me.”
14 So Balak took him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, where he built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
15 Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your burnt offering while I meet the LORD over there.”
16 And the LORD met with Balaam and put a message in his mouth, saying, “Return to Balak and speak what I tell you.”
17 So he returned to Balak, who was standing there by his burnt offering with the princes of Moab.
“What did the LORD say?” Balak asked.
18 Then Balaam lifted up an oracle, saying:
“Arise, O Balak, and listen;
give ear to me, O son of Zippor.
19 God is not a man, that He should lie,
or a son of man, that He should change His mind.
Does He speak and not act?
Does He promise and not fulfill?
20 I have indeed received a command to bless;
He has blessed, and I cannot change it.
21 He considers no disaster for Jacob;
He sees no trouble for Israel.
The LORD their God is with them,
and the shout of the King is among them.
22 God brought them out of Egypt
with strength like a wild ox.
23 For there is no spell against Jacob
and no divination against Israel.
It will now be said of Jacob and Israel,
‘What great things God has done!’
24 Behold, the people rise like a lioness;
they rouse themselves like a lion,
not resting until they devour their prey
and drink the blood of the slain.”
25 Now Balak said to Balaam, “Then neither curse them at all nor bless them at all!”
26 But Balaam replied, “Did I not tell you that whatever the LORD says, I must do?”
27 “Please come,” said Balak, “I will take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God that you curse them for me from there.”
28 And Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, which overlooks the wasteland. a
29 Then Balaam said, “Build for me seven altars here, and prepare for me seven bulls and seven rams.”
30 So Balak did as Balaam had instructed, and he offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
28 a Or Jeshimon