February 19

Numbers 22:20 — 24:25

 

20 Then God came to Balaam by night and said to him: “If it is to call you that the men have come, get up, go with them. But only the word that I shall speak to you is what you may speak.” 21 After that Balaam got up in the morning and saddled his she-ass and went with the princes of Moab.

22 And the anger of God began to blaze because he was going; and Jehovah’s angel proceeded to station himself in the road to resist him. And he was riding upon his she-ass, and two attendants of his were with him. 23 And the ass got to see Jehovah’s angel stationed in the road with his drawn sword in his hand; and the ass tried to turn aside from the road that she might go into the field, but Balaam began to strike the ass in order to turn her aside to the road. 24 And Jehovah’s angel kept standing in the narrow way between the vineyards, with a stone wall on this side and a stone wall on that side. 25 And the she-ass kept seeing Jehovah’s angel and began to squeeze herself against the wall and so to squeeze Balaam’s foot against the wall; and he went beating her some more.

26 Jehovah’s angel now passed by again and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn aside to the right or the left. 27 When the ass got to see Jehovah’s angel she now lay down under Balaam; so that Balaam’s anger blazed, and he kept beating the ass with his staff. 28 Finally Jehovah opened the mouth of the ass and she said to Balaam: “What have I done to you so that you have beaten me these three times?” 29 At this Balaam said to the ass: “It is because you have dealt ruthlessly with me. If only there were a sword in my hand, for now I should have killed you!” 30 Then the she-ass said to Balaam: “Am I not your she-ass that you have ridden upon all your life long until this day? Have I ever been used to do to you this way?” To which he said: “No!” 31 And Jehovah proceeded to uncover Balaam’s eyes, so that he saw Jehovah’s angel stationed in the road with his drawn sword in his hand. At once he bowed low and prostrated himself on his face.

32 Then Jehovah’s angel said to him: “Why have you beaten your she-ass these three times? Look! I—I have come out to offer resistance, because your way has been headlong against my will. 33 And the she-ass got to see me and tried to turn aside before me these three times. Supposing she had not turned aside from before me! For by now even you I should have killed, but her I should have preserved alive.” 34 At this Balaam said to Jehovah’s angel: “I have sinned, because I did not know that it was you stationed in the road to meet me. And now, if it is bad in your eyes, let me go my way back.” 35 But Jehovah’s angel said to Balaam: “Go with the men; and nothing but the word that I shall speak to you is what you may speak.” And Balaam continued going with the princes of Balak.

36 When Balak got to hear that Balaam had come, he at once went out to meet him at the city of Moab, which is on the bank of the Arnon, which is on the extremity of the territory. 37 Then Balak said to Balaam: “Have I not for a fact sent to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not really and truly able to honor you?” 38 At this Balaam said to Balak: “Here I have come to you now. Shall I be able at all to speak something? The word that God will place in my mouth is what I shall speak.”

39 So Balaam went with Balak and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. 40 And Balak proceeded to sacrifice cattle and sheep and to send some to Balaam and the princes who were with him. 41 And it came about in the morning that Balak went taking Balaam and bringing him up to Bamoth-baal, that he might see from there the whole of the people.

23
Then Balaam said to Balak: “Build for me on this spot seven altars and make ready for me on this spot seven bulls and seven rams.” 2 Balak immediately did just as Balaam had spoken. After that Balak and Balaam offered up a bull and a ram on each altar. 3 And Balaam went on to say to Balak: “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.

4 When God got in touch with Balaam, 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.” 5 Accordingly Jehovah put a word in the mouth of Balaam and said: “Return to Balak, and this is what you will speak.” 6 So he returned to him, and, look! he and all the princes of Moab were stationed by his burnt offering. 7 Then he took up his proverbial utterance and said:

“From Aram Balak the king of Moab tried to conduct me,

From the mountains of the east:

‘Do come, do curse Jacob for me.

Yes, do come, do denounce Israel.’

 8 How could I execrate those whom God has not execrated?

And how could I denounce those whom Jehovah has not denounced?

 9 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 Balak said to Balaam: “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 Balak 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 Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and proceeded to build seven altars and to offer up a bull and a ram on each altar. 15 After that he said to Balak: “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 Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said: “Return to Balak, 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 Moab with him. Then Balak said to him: “What has Jehovah spoken?” 18 At this he took up his proverbial utterance and said:

“Get up, Balak, and listen.

Do give ear to me, O son of Zippor.

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 Balak said to Balaam: “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 Balaam answered and said to Balak: “Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘All that Jehovah will speak is what I shall do’?”

27 Then Balak said to Balaam: “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 Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, which looks toward Jeshimon. 29 Then Balaam said to Balak: “Build for me on this spot seven altars and make ready for me on this spot seven bulls and seven rams.” 30 So Balak did just as Balaam had said, and he went offering up a bull and a ram on each altar.

24
When Balaam got to see that it was good in the eyes of Jehovah to bless Israel, he did not go away as at the other times to come upon any unlucky omens, but he directed his face to the wilderness. 2 When Balaam raised his eyes and saw Israel tabernacling by his tribes, then the spirit of God came to be upon him. 3 Hence he took up his proverbial utterance and said:

“The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor,

And the utterance of the able-bodied man with the eye unsealed,

 4 The utterance of the one hearing the sayings of God,

Who got to see a vision of the Almighty

While falling down with the eyes uncovered:

 5 How good-looking are your tents, O Jacob, your tabernacles, O Israel!

 6 Like torrent valleys they have extended a long way,

Like gardens by the river.

Like aloe plants that Jehovah has planted,

Like cedars by the waters.

 7 Water keeps trickling from his two leather buckets,

And his seed is by many waters.

His king also will be higher than Agag,

And his kingdom will be lifted up.

 8 God is bringing him out of Egypt;

The swift course of a wild bull is his.

He will consume the nations, his oppressors,

And their bones he will gnaw, and he will break them to pieces with his arrows.

 9 He bowed down, he lay down like the lion,

And, like a lion, who dares rouse him?

Those blessing you are the ones blessed,

And those cursing you are the ones cursed.”

10 At that Balak’s anger blazed against Balaam and he clapped his hands, and Balak went on to say to Balaam: “It was to execrate my enemies that I called you, and, look! you have blessed them to the limit these three times. 11 And now run your way off to your place. I had said to myself I was without fail going to honor you, but, look! Jehovah has held you back from honor.”

12 In turn Balaam said to Balak: “Was it not also to your messengers whom you sent to me that I spoke, saying, 13 ‘If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I should not be able to pass beyond the order of Jehovah so as to do something good or bad out of my own heart. Whatever Jehovah may speak is what I shall speak’? 14 And now here I am going away to my people. Do come, let me advise you what this people will do to your people afterward in the end of the days.” 15 So he took up his proverbial utterance and said:

“The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor,

And the utterance of the able-bodied man with the eye unsealed,

16 The utterance of the one hearing the sayings of God,

And the one knowing the knowledge of the Most High—

A vision of the Almighty he got to see

While falling down with the eyes uncovered:

17 I shall see him, but not now;

I shall behold him, but not near.

A star will certainly step forth out of Jacob,

And a scepter will indeed rise out of Israel.

And he will certainly break apart the temples of Moab’s [head]

And the cranium of all the sons of tumult of war.

18 And Edom must become a possession,

Yes, Seir must become the possession of his enemies,

While Israel is displaying his courage.

19 And out of Jacob one will go subduing,

And he must destroy any survivor from the city.”

20 When he got to see Amalek, he carried further his proverbial utterance and went on to say:

“Amalek was the first one of the nations,

But his end afterward will be even his perishing.”

21 When he got to see the Kenites, he carried further his proverbial utterance and went on to say:

“Durable is your dwelling, and set on the crag is your abode.

22 But there will come to be one to burn Kain down.

How long will it be till Assyria will carry you away captive?”

23 And he carried further his proverbial utterance and went on to say:

“Woe! Who will survive when God causes it?

24 And there will be ships from the coast of Kittim,

And they will certainly afflict Assyria,

And they will indeed afflict Eber.

But he too will eventually perish.”

25 After that Balaam got up and went and returned to his place. And Balak also went his own way.