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Numbers 24

1Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not resort to divination as at other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness. 2When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him 3and he spoke his message:

“The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,

the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,

4the prophecy of one who hears the words of God,

who sees a vision from the Almighty,a

who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:

5“How beautiful are your tents, Jacob,

your dwelling places, Israel!

6“Like valleys they spread out,

like gardens beside a river,

like aloes planted by the Lord,

like cedars beside the waters.

7Water 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.

9Like 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!”

10Then 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. 11Now leave at once and go home! I said I would reward you handsomely, but the Lord has kept you from being rewarded.”

12Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not tell the messengers you sent me, 13‘Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, 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’? 14Now 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.”

Balaam’s Fourth Message

15Then he spoke his message:

“The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,

the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,

16the prophecy 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 skullsb ofc all the people of Sheth.d

18Edom will be conquered;

Seir, his enemy, will be conquered,

but Israel will grow strong.

19A ruler will come out of Jacob

and destroy the survivors of the city.”

Balaam’s Fifth Message

20Then Balaam saw Amalek and spoke his message:

“Amalek was first among the nations,

but their end will be utter destruction.”

Balaam’s Sixth Message

21Then he saw the Kenites and spoke his message:

“Your dwelling place is secure,

your nest is set in a rock;

22yet you Kenites will be destroyed

when Ashur takes you captive.”

Balaam’s Seventh Message

23Then he spoke his message:

“Alas! Who can live when God does this?e

24Ships will come from the shores of Cyprus;

they will subdue Ashur and Eber,

but they too will come to ruin.”

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

a 4 Hebrew Shaddai; also in verse 16
b 17 Samaritan Pentateuch (see also Jer. 48:45); the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain.
c 17 Or possibly Moab,

d 17 Or all the noisy boasters
e 23 Masoretic Text; with a different word division of the Hebrew The people from the islands will gather from the north.

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