Numbers 21-24 Fiery Serpents and a Talking Donkey

Numbers 21-24 Fiery Serpents and a Talking Donkey

Psalm 24:7-10
Dwelling with the King of Glory
Ps 24:7 (1 The earth is Yahweh's...3 Who may ascend to Yahweh’s hill? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood, and has not sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive blessing from Yahweh, righteousness from the God of his salvation.)
7 Lift up your heads, you gates! Be lifted up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory will come in. 8 Who is the King of glory? Yahweh strong and mighty, Yahweh mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, you gates; yes, lift them up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory will come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? Yahweh of Hosts/Armies is the King of glory! Selah."

Observations: 24:1-6 See post on Exodus 19 for vv 1-6, in which David describes the person who can stand in God's presence and be blessed by Him (clean hands, pure heart, holy speech).
24:7-10 The first two verses of the psalm establish that God owns the earth and all people; 3-6 specify who may dwell on God's hill in His presence (note particularly those who have not lifted up their soul to falsehood). The final section describes the King of Glory coming to His holy hill. Many consider this to have been written for when the ark was brought back to Jerusalem (1Chron 15), but it may also have a prophetic Millennial kingdom aspect as well (in light of the everlasting doors, and the military victories). The gates are personified, as are the doors. Gates might be put for those who sit in them, i.e., the elders/leaders, and the doors for those who tend them, i.e., the priests (everlasting perhaps put for the everlasting/salt covenant of priesthood). As the person who can dwell in God's presence can not have lifted up their soul to falsehood/disloyalty, so the leaders must be those who lift up themselves/heads to the King of Glory (as in look expectantly in hope and devote oneself to Him). It would fit the paradigm of Ezekiel 43 well, that only those permanently loyal to God dwell in His presence.
Application: Dwelling in the presence of God's glory has prerequisites; those who fulfill them loyally can expect to dwell daily in His favor and forever on His holy hill.
Prayer: God, You are my hope, and joy, may I live each day in Your presence, awaiting the revelation of Your glory. Amen.
Proverbs 6:30-35 Pros and Cons of Adultery
Pr 6:30 “Men don’t despise a thief, if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry: 31 but if he is found, he shall restore seven times. He shall give all the wealth of his house. 32 He who commits adultery with a woman is void of understanding. He who does it destroys his own soul. 33 He will get wounds and dishonor. His reproach will not be wiped away. 34 For jealousy arouses the fury of the husband. He won’t spare in the day of vengeance. 35 He won’t regard any ransom, neither will he rest content, though you give many gifts.“

Observations: 6:30-35 This chapter ends a section on the folly of adultery, and sets up the next chapter, all of which deal with avoiding delightful dealer of death. The societal scorn and vengeful husband are the things to avoid in this chapter. A thief who steals must restore seven fold (not worth it). But how can an adulterer restore what he has illegitimately taken?
Caesar Augustus successfully saved Rome by restoring the morals that had been eroded by prosperity. He banned adultery. In my Western Civilization classes, I ask my students if adultery is a good or bad thing, and have them break into small groups to draw up a “pro” and “con” list. They have trouble listing advantages, because it seems that someone always gets hurt, particularly the kids. A “pro”: you get a short term good feeling that turns bad when the guilt sets in, and turns horrible when you get dumped for a newer model. (Wait, was that a “pro” or two “cons”?)
We use a paradigm for evaluating truth claims: Truth is that which best explains all the facts, found at the convergence of:
  • Revelation (thank you Jews for the foundation of individual rights and Western Civ),
  • Reason (thank you Greeks, you logically consistent thinkers), and
  • Reality (thank you Romans, you consummate pragmatists).
There is no Revelation, according to any religion which seeks to create a continuing community, that says: “Thou shalt commit adultery.” Put a point in the “con” column.
The Greeks considered the family to be the building block of society (adultery destroys families); their ideal man is one who governs his passions by objectives (even Epicurus said this), and who would keep his word and promises (as in marriage commitments). Two more marks in the “con” column.
The Romans always gravitated toward what worked in real life; studies have shown that children of families with a father and mother committed to each other raise children that are healthier, wealthier, and wiser than those of single parent families. After controlling for race and other variables, an overwhelming majority of prison inmates are from single parent families. Another two or more points in the “con” column.
Though most of my students had never seen the Ten Commandments, they have seen the heartbreak of selfish and self-indulgent living.
The cons outweigh the “pros.”
Application: Count the cost, and take whatever steps are necessary to walk wisely; God gives the greatest joy to those who do things His way.
Prayer: Lord, thanks that You are sufficient for all my needs, and are the God who holds innumerable pleasures and delights for the righteous; may I fully enjoy all You have for me. Amen.


Numbers 21-24 The Bronze Serpent is key to understanding John 3:16 the most famous verse in the Bible. Balaam is mentioned in the NT, and in his oracles of blessing Israel, reiterates aspects of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen 12), showing that God doesn't forget His promises, but implements them in response to our obedience.
  • Oracle 1: Seed promise (23:10)
  • Oracle 2: Land promise (23:24-25)
  • Oracle 3: Blessing promise (24:9)


Chapter 21 Fiery Serpents and Victory
21:1 The Canaanite, the king of Arad...fought against Israel, and took some of them captive. 2 Israel vowed a vow to Yahweh, and said, "If You will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities." 3 Yahweh listened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: 4 They journeyed from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. 5 The people spoke against God, and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, and there is no water; and our soul loathes this light bread." 6 Yahweh sent fiery/venomous serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 7 The people came to Moses, and said, "We have sinned, because we have spoken against Yahweh, and against you; pray to Yahweh, that He take away the serpents from us." Moses prayed for the people. 8 Yahweh said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard: and it shall happen, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live." 9 Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it on the standard: and it happened, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the serpent of brass, he lived.

21 Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, 22 "Let me pass through your land": 23 Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness, and came to Jahaz; and he fought against Israel. 24 Israel struck him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land 25 Israel took all these cities: and Israel lived in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the towns of it. 31 Thus Israel lived in the land of the Amorites. 32 Moses sent to spy out Jazer; and they took the towns of it, and drove out the Amorites who were there. 33 They turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. 34 Yahweh said to Moses, "Don`t fear him: for I have delivered him into your hand, and all his people, and his land; and you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon." 35 So they struck him, and his sons and all his people, until there was none left him remaining: and they possessed his land.

Observations: 21:2 God gives victory because of their obedience.
21:5-6 God gives grief because of their grumbling.
21:8 All they had to do was look to God's provision and the consequence of their sin went away. Just like Jesus in John 3:15-16.
21:21-35 God is helping; they are not fearing; He is giving them territory to the south east of the Promised Land. More detail in Deuteronomy 2:24 "Rise up, take your journey, and pass over the valley of the Arnon: behold, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land; begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle.25 This day will I begin to put the dread of you and the fear of you on the peoples who are under the whole sky, who shall hear the report of you, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of you."
Application: We need to look to God's provision for our sin, and do exactly what He says to solve our problems.
Prayer: Giver of Victory and Vipers, thanks that You provide what I need, be it victory, discipline, or solution for my Sin. You are my total Savior. Amen.

Chapter 22 Smart Donkey, Stupid Prophet
22:1 The children of Israel journeyed, and encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. 3 Moab was afraid...and...distressed because of the children of Israel. 4 Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. 5 He sent messengers to Balaam: "Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: they cover the surface of the earth, and they settling next to me. 6 Please come now therefore curse this people; for they are too mighty for me: so that I shall prevail, that we may strike them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed." 7 The elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand...8 He said to them, "Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as Yahweh shall speak to me": 9 God came to Balaam, and said, "What men are these with you?..." 12 God said to Balaam, "You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people; for they are blessed." 13 Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, "Go back to your land; for Yahweh refuses to give me permission to go with you....18 If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can`t go beyond the word of Yahweh my God, to do less or more. 19 Now therefore, please wait also here this night, that I may know what Yahweh will speak to me more." 20 God came to Balaam at night, and said to him, "If the men are come to call you, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak to you, that shall you do." 21 Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab. 22 God`s anger was kindled because he went; and the Angel of Yahweh placed himself in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 The donkey saw the Angel of Yahweh standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and the donkey turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the way. 24 Then the Angel of Yahweh stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. 25 The donkey saw the Angel of Yahweh, and she thrust herself to the wall, and crushed Balaam`s foot against the wall: and he struck her again. 26 The Angel of Yahweh went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 The donkey saw the Angel of Yahweh, and she lay down under Balaam: and Balaam`s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Yahweh opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?" 29 Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have mocked me, I would there were a sword in my hand, for now I had killed you." 30 The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Was I ever in the habit of doing so to you?" and he said, "No." 31 Then Yahweh opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the Angel of Yahweh standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face. 32 The Angel of Yahweh said to him, "Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I am come forth as an adversary, because your way is perverse before Me: 33 and the donkey saw Me, and turned aside before Me these three times: unless she had turned aside from Me, surely now I had even slain you, and saved her alive." 34 Balaam said to the Angel of Yahweh, "I have sinned; for I didn`t know that You stood in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease You, I will go back again." 35 The Angel of Yahweh said to Balaam, "Go with the men; but only the word that I shall speak to you shall you speak." So Balaam went with the princes of Balak. 36 When Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him to the City of Moab, which is on the border of the Arnon, which is in the utmost part of the border. 37 Balak said to Balaam, "Didn`t I earnestly send to you to call you? Why didn`t you come to me? Am I not able indeed to promote you to honor?" 38 Balaam said to Balak, "Behold, I have come to you: have I now any power at all to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that shall I speak." 39 Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriathhuzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes who were with him. 41 It happened in the morning, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal; and he saw from there all the people.

Observations: 22:8, 18 Balaam communicates with Yahweh, whom he calls “my God”. He feared God, submitted to Him, and received revelation from Him. On the other hand, Joshua 13:22 calls him a soothsayer, a prohibited occupation.
2Pt 2:15-16 in describing false teachers, calls him a prophet: “forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wrongdoing; 16 but he was rebuked for his own lawlessness*. A mute donkey spoke with a man's voice and stopped the madness* of the prophet.”      *(beside the law; beside the mind)
People with digital brains (on/off; black/white) are boggled by Balaam, because he is checkered.
22:28-31 An obvious “contradiction,” so obvious that no one would write nor copy it. So rather than dismissing the entire Bible as fantasy, we need to dig a little deeper to see what's going on. If Balaam was loyal to God and His people, he would have refused to go from the get-go. But loving temporal gain more than God's people, he puts himself in a position to curse God's people, and eventually pays for his folly. God tells him to go, so that He may be glorified, by having a non-Israelite, inclined to curse Israel wind up blessing them (just like God said would happen if they obeyed). The rebuke that follows reinforces the instruction to only say what God wants, and demonstrates that though one may have advanced or even esoteric knowledge, one needs submissive sensitivity to the Spirit of God. The donkey has greater spirituality than the prophet. Good Donkey!
22:29 Fans of irony will enjoy a chuckle here.
22:33-35 God graciously sends warnings and then spares based upon repentance.
Application: Those who fail to embrace God's agenda will limp through life to a tragic destination.
Prayer: Lord, may I never lose sight of Your objectives to bless Your people; may I never use what You've given to displease You. Amen.

Chapter 23 Blessings Rather than Cursings
23:1 Balaam said to Balak, "Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bulls and seven rams." 2 Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bull and a ram. 3 Balaam said to Balak, "Stand by your burnt offering, and I will go: perhaps Yahweh will come to meet me; and whatever He shows me I will tell you". He went to a bare height. 4 God met Balaam: 5 Yahweh put a word in Balaam`s mouth, and said, "Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak." 6 He returned to Balak...and all the princes of Moab. 8 "How shall I curse, whom God has not cursed? How shall I denounce, whom Yahweh has not denounce? 9 For from the top of the rocks I see him, From the hills I see him: behold, it is a people that lives separate/alone, And shall not consider itself among the nations. 10 Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, Let my last end be like his!"  11 Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and, behold, you have blessed them altogether." 12 He answered and said, "Must I not speak that which Yahweh puts in my mouth?" 13 Balak said to him, "Please come with me to another place...and curse me them from there." 16 Yahweh met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, "Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak. 19 "God is not a man, that He should lie, Neither the son of man, that He should repent: Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? 20 Behold, I have received [commandment] to bless: He has blessed, and I can`t reverse it. 21 He has not seen iniquity in Jacob; Neither has he seen trouble in Israel: Yahweh his God is with him, The shout of a king is among them. 22 God brings them forth out of Egypt; He has as it were the strength of the wild-ox. 23 Surely there is no enchantment with Jacob; Neither is there any divination with Israel: Now shall it be said of Jacob and of Israel, What has God done! 24 Israel struck him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land...cities...""27 Balak said to Balaam, "Come now, I will take you to another place; perhaps it will please God that you may curse me them from there." 28 Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that looks down on the desert. 29 Balaam said to Balak, "Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bulls and seven rams." 30 Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.

Observations: 23:19 Balak thinks a place (territorial spirits) causes spiritual power. But it is God's purpose to bless that will prevail.
Oracle 1: Seed promise 23:9-10
Oracle 2: Land promise 23:24
Oracle 3: Blessing promise 24:9
23:21-23 Balaam says that God doesn't see a basis for cursing Israel.


Chapter 24 Blessings Rather than Cursings II
24:1 When Balaam saw that it pleased Yahweh to bless Israel, he didn`t go, as at the other times, to meet with enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness. 2 Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came on him. 3 He took up his parable, and said, "Balaam the son of Beor says, "The man whose eye was closed; 4 who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down (into a trance), and having his eyes open: 5 How goodly are your tents, Jacob, Your tents, Israel! 7...His king shall be higher than Agag, His kingdom shall be exalted. 8 God brings him forth out of Egypt; He has the strength of the wild-ox: He shall eat up the nations his adversaries, Shall break their bones in pieces, Smite [them] through with his arrows. 9...Blessed be everyone who blesses you, Cursed be everyone who curses you."" 10 Balak`s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, "I called you to curse my enemies, and, behold, you have altogether blessed them these three times. 11 Therefore now flee you to your place: I thought to promote you to great honor; but, behold, Yahweh has kept you back from honor14 Now, behold, I go to my people: come, [and] I will counsel you what this people shall do to your people in the latter days." 
15 He took up his parable, and said, "Balaam the son of Beor says...17 "I see Him, but not now; I see Him, but not near: There shall come forth a Star out of Jacob, A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, Shall strike through the corners of Moab, Break down all the sons of tumult. 18 Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession, [who were] his enemies; While Israel does valiantly. 19 Out of Jacob shall One have dominion..."" 25 Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place; and Balak also went his way.

Observations: 24:9 Blessing like God promised Abe in Genesis 12.
24:11 Would you rather be blessed by a temporary king or an eternal God?
24:17 A star and scepter were symbols of a king. The vision parallels Jacob's blessing of Judah in Gen 49.
Psalm 45:6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions.
Application: If following God makes you miss out on temporal blessings from people, you've made the right choice.
Prayer: God Who Loves to Bless, keep me back for doing things that incur Your wrath, and bless Me as You've promised to bless Your faithful servants. Thank You. Amen.

Digging Deeper:
God in a nutshell: God is not a man, that He should lie; When He promises, He provides. He promises to bless the obedient and discipline the disobedient. He has creative ways to get our attention, be it serpents or donkeys. He relents when men repent. He blesses His people even through their enemies (whom He destroys when we obey).

Us in a nutshell: We have our ups and downs, going from victory to defeat because we haven't transformed our values (see Roller Coaster Christianity). We lose when we're not loyal to God and His people.


Where to Go for More:
Truthbase.net
Praying in the Garden
Numbers complete text
Chapter 21
21:1 The Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the South, heard tell that Israel came by the way of Atharim; and he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive. 2 Israel vowed a vow to Yahweh, and said, If you will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities. 3 Yahweh listened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and the name of the place was called Hormah. 4 They journeyed from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. 5 The people spoke against God, and against Moses, Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, and there is no water; and our soul loathes this light bread. 6 Yahweh sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 7 The people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, because we have spoken against Yahweh, and against you; pray to Yahweh, that he take away the serpents from us. Moses prayed for the people. 8 Yahweh said to Moses, Make you a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard: and it shall happen, that everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live. 9 Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it on the standard: and it happened, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the serpent of brass, he lived. 10 The children of Israel journeyed, and encamped in Oboth. 11 They journeyed from Oboth, and encamped at Iyeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrise. 12 From there they journeyed, and encamped in the valley of Zered. 13 From there they journeyed, and encamped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness, that comes out of the border of the Amorites: for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 14 Therefore it is said in the book of the Wars of Yahweh, Vaheb in Suphah, The valleys of the Arnon, 15 The slope of the valleys That inclines toward the dwelling of Ar, Leans on the border of Moab. 16 From there [they journeyed] to Beer: that is the well whereof Yahweh said to Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water. 17 Then sang Israel this song: Spring up, well; sing you to it: 18 The well, which the princes dug, Which the nobles of the people dug, With the scepter, [and] with their poles. From the wilderness [they journeyed] to Mattanah; 19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth; 20 and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the field of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looks down on the desert. 21 Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, 22 Let me pass through your land: we will not turn aside into field, or into vineyard; we will not drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king`s highway, until we have passed your border. 23 Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness, and came to Jahaz; and he fought against Israel. 24 Israel struck him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, even to the children of Ammon; for the border of the children of Ammon was strong. 25 Israel took all these cities: and Israel lived in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the towns of it. 26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even to the Arnon. 27 Therefore those who speak in proverbs say, Come you to Heshbon; Let the city of Sihon be built and established: 28 For a fire is gone out of Heshbon, A flame from the city of Sihon: It has devoured Ar of Moab, The lords of the high places of the Arnon. 29 Woe to you, Moab! You are undone, people of Chemosh: He has given his sons as fugitives, His daughters into captivity, To Sihon king of the Amorites. 30 We have shot at them; Heshbon is perished even to Dibon, We have laid waste even to Nophah, Which [reaches] to Medeba. 31 Thus Israel lived in the land of the Amorites. 32 Moses sent to spy out Jazer; and they took the towns of it, and drove out the Amorites who were there. 33 They turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. 34 Yahweh said to Moses, Don`t fear him: for I have delivered him into your hand, and all his people, and his land; and you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon. 35 So they struck him, and his sons and all his people, until there was none left him remaining: and they possessed his land.

Chapter 22
22:1 The children of Israel journeyed, and encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. 2 Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. 4 Moab said to the elders of Midian, Now will this multitude lick up all that is round about us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field. Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. 5 He sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the surface of the earth, and they abide over against me. 6 Please come now therefore curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may strike them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed. 7 The elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam, and spoke to him the words of Balak. 8 He said to them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as Yahweh shall speak to me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam. 9 God came to Balaam, and said, What men are these with you? 10 Balaam said to God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, [saying], 11 Behold, the people that is come out of Egypt, it covers the surface of the earth: now, come curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out. 12 God said to Balaam, You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people; for they are blessed. 13 Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, Get you into your land; for Yahweh refuses to give me leave to go with you. 14 The princes of Moab rose up, and they went to Balak, and said, Balaam refuses to come with us. 15 Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honorable than they. 16 They came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me: 17 for I will promote you to very great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Please come therefore, and curse this people for me. 18 Balaam answered the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can`t go beyond the word of Yahweh my God, to do less or more. 19 Now therefore, please wait also here this night, that I may know what Yahweh will speak to me more. 20 God came to Balaam at night, and said to him, If the men are come to call you, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak to you, that shall you do. 21 Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab. 22 God`s anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of Yahweh placed himself in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 The donkey saw the angel of Yahweh standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and the donkey turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the way. 24 Then the angel of Yahweh stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. 25 The donkey saw the angel of Yahweh, and she thrust herself to the wall, and crushed Balaam`s foot against the wall: and he struck her again. 26 The angel of Yahweh went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 The donkey saw the angel of Yahweh, and she lay down under Balaam: and Balaam`s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Yahweh opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times? 29 Balaam said to the donkey, Because you have mocked me, I would there were a sword in my hand, for now I had killed you. 30 The donkey said to Balaam, Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? was I ever wont to do so to you? and he said, No. 31 Then Yahweh opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of Yahweh standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face. 32 The angel of Yahweh said to him, Why have you struck your donkey these three times? behold, I am come forth for an adversary, because your way is perverse before me: 33 and the donkey saw me, and turned aside before me these three times: unless she had turned aside from me, surely now I had even slain you, and saved her alive. 34 Balaam said to the angel of Yahweh, I have sinned; for I didn`t know that you stood in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease you, I will get me back again. 35 The angel of Yahweh said to Balaam, Go with the men; but only the word that I shall speak to you, that you shall speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak. 36 When Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him to the City of Moab, which is on the border of the Arnon, which is in the utmost part of the border. 37 Balak said to Balaam, Didn`t I earnestly send to you to call you? why didn`t you come to me? am I not able indeed to promote you to honor? 38 Balaam said to Balak, Behold, I have come to you: have I now any power at all to speak anything? the word that God puts in my mouth, that shall I speak. 39 Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriathhuzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes who were with him. 41 It happened in the morning, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal; and he saw from there the utmost part of the people.

Chapter 23
23:1 Balaam said to Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bulls and seven rams. 2 Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bull and a ram. 3 Balaam said to Balak, Stand by your burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure Yahweh will come to meet me; and whatever he shows me I will tell you. He went to a bare height. 4 God met Balaam: and he said to him, I have prepared the seven altars, and I have offered up a bull and a ram on every altar. 5 Yahweh put a word in Balaam`s mouth, and said, Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak. 6 He returned to him, and, behold, he was standing by his burnt- offering, he, and all the princes of Moab. 7 He took up his parable, and said, From Aram has Balak brought me, The king of Moab from the mountains of the East: Come, curse me Jacob, Come, defy Israel. 8 How shall I curse, whom God has not cursed? How shall I defy, whom Yahweh has not defied? 9 For from the top of the rocks I see him, From the hills I see him: behold, it is a people that dwells alone, And shall not be reckoned among the nations. 10 Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, Let my last end be like his! 11 Balak said to Balaam, What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and, behold, you have blessed them altogether. 12 He answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which Yahweh puts in my mouth? 13 Balak said to him, Please come with me to another place, from whence you may see them; you shall see but the utmost part of them, and shall not see them all: and curse me them from there. 14 He took him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar. 15 He said to Balak, Stand here by your burnt offering, while I meet [Yahweh] yonder. 16 Yahweh met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak. 17 He came to him, and, behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. Balak said to him, What has Yahweh spoken? 18 He took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; Listen to me, you son of Zippor: 19 God is not a man, that he should lie, Neither the son of man, that he should repent: Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good? 20 Behold, I have received [commandment] to bless: He has blessed, and I can`t reverse it. 21 He has not saw iniquity in Jacob; Neither has he seen perverseness in Israel: Yahweh his God is with him, The shout of a king is among them. 22 God brings them forth out of Egypt; He has as it were the strength of the wild-ox. 23 Surely there is no enchantment with Jacob; Neither is there any divination with Israel: Now shall it be said of Jacob and of Israel, What has God done! 24 Behold, the people rises up as a lioness, As a lion does he lift himself up: He shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, Drink the blood of the slain. 25 Balak said to Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all. 26 But Balaam answered Balak, Didn`t I tell you, saying, All that Yahweh speaks, that I must do? 27 Balak said to Balaam, Come now, I will take you to another place; peradventure it will please God that you may curse me them from there. 28 Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that looks down on the desert. 29 Balaam said to Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bulls and seven rams. 30 Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.

Chapter 24
24:1 When Balaam saw that it pleased Yahweh to bless Israel, he didn`t go, as at the other times, to meet with enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness. 2 Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came on him. 3 He took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor says, The man whose eye was closed says; 4 He says, who hears the words of God, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Falling down, and having his eyes open: 5 How goodly are your tents, Jacob, Your tents, Israel! 6 As valleys are they spread forth, As gardens by the river-side, As lign-aloes which Yahweh has planted, As cedar-trees beside the waters. 7 Water shall flow from his buckets, His seed shall be in many waters, His king shall be higher than Agag, His kingdom shall be exalted. 8 God brings him forth out of Egypt; He has as it were the strength of the wild-ox: He shall eat up the nations his adversaries, Shall break their bones in pieces, Smite [them] through with his arrows. 9 He couched, he lay down as a lion, As a lioness; who shall rouse him up? Blessed be everyone who blesses you, Cursed be everyone who curses you. 10 Balak`s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, I called you to curse my enemies, and, behold, you have altogether blessed them these three times. 11 Therefore now flee you to your place: I thought to promote you to great honor; but, behold, Yahweh has kept you back from honor. 12 Balaam said to Balak, Didn`t I also tell your messengers who you sent to me, saying, 13 If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can`t go beyond the word of Yahweh, to do either good or bad of my own mind; what Yahweh speaks, that will I speak? 14 Now, behold, I go to my people: come, [and] I will advertise you what this people shall do to your people in the latter days. 15 He took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor says, The man whose eye was closed says; 16 He says, who hears the words of God, Knows the knowledge of the Most High, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Falling down, and having his eyes open: 17 I see him, but not now; I see him, but not near: There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, A scepter shall rise out of Israel, Shall strike through the corners of Moab, Break down all the sons of tumult. 18 Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession, [who were] his enemies; While Israel does valiantly. 19 Out of Jacob shall one have dominion, Shall destroy the remnant from the city. 20 He looked at Amalek, and took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; But his latter end shall come to destruction. 21 He looked at the Kenite, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is your dwelling-place, Your nest is set in the rock. 22 Nevertheless Kain shall be wasted, Until Asshur shall carry you away captive. 23 He took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God does this? 24 But ships [shall come] from the coast of Kittim, They shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber; He also shall come to destruction. 25 Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place; and Balak also went his way.