(from One New Man Bible translated by William Morford)
22:2. And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3. And Moab was very afraid of the people because they were many, and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. 4. And Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this company will lick up all that are around us, like the ox licks up the grass of the field.” And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. 5. He sent messengers therefore to Balaam the son of Beor, to Petorah that is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him saying, “Behold, a people came out from Egypt. Behold, they cover the face of the earth and they live next to me. 6. Therefore now come, I pray you, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall prevail, so we can strike them and so I can drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed and he whom you curse is cursed.”
22:7. And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian left with the rewards of divination in their hand, and they came to Balaam and spoke the words of Balak to him. (Jude 11) 8. And he said to them, “Lodge here this night and I shall bring you word again, as the LORD* will speak to me.” And the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. 9. And God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?”
10. And Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me saying, 11. ‘Behold, there is a people that has come out of Egypt and it covers the face of the earth. Come now, curse them for me. Perhaps I shall be able to overcome them and drive them out.’”
22:12. And God said to Balaam, “You will not go with them! You will not curse the people, for they are blessed.”
22:13. And Balaam rose up in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go back to your land, for the LORD* refuses to give me leave to go with you.”
22:14. And the princes of Moab rose up and they went to Balak and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”
22:15. And Balak sent still again princes, more, even greater than they. 16. And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray you, hinder you from coming to me, 17. for I shall promote you to very great honor and I shall do whatever you say to me. Come therefore, I pray you, curse this people for me.”
22:18. And Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD* my God, to do less or more. 19. Now therefore, I pray you, stay here this night too, so I may know what more the LORD* will say to me.”
22:20. And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men come to call you, rise up, go with them, but yet the word which I shall say to you, that will you do.” 21. And Balaam rose up in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.
The LORD* Uses a Donkey
22:22. And God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the LORD* stood in the road to be an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. 23. And the donkey saw the angel of the LORD* standing in the way, and 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 road. 24. But the angel of the LORD* stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side and a wall on that side.
22:25. And when the donkey saw the angel of the LORD*, it thrust itself to the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall and he struck it again. 26. And the angel of the LORD* went further and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27. And when the donkey saw the angel of the LORD*, she fell down under Balaam, and Balaam’s anger was kindled and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28. And the LORD* opened the mouth of the donkey and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have hit me these three times?” (2 Pe. 2:16)
22:29. And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have mocked me I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you.”
22:30. And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, upon which you have ridden ever since I was yours to this day? Did I ever attempt to do so to you?”
And he said, “No.” 31. Then the LORD* opened Balaam’s eyes and he saw the angel of the LORD* standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head and fell on his face. 32. And the angel of the LORD* said to him, “Why have you hit your donkey these three times? Look, I purposely came out to stop you because your way is perverse before me. 33. And the donkey saw me, and turned from me these three times: if it had not turned from me, surely now I would have slain you and saved it alive.”
22:34. And Balaam said to the angel of the LORD*, “I have sinned, for I did not know that. You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases you, I shall go back again.”
22:35. And the angel of the LORD* said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but you will speak only the word that I shall speak to you.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
22:36. And when Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to a city of Moab to meet him, which is at the border of Arnon, which is at the furthest end of the border. 37. And Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not earnestly send for you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not indeed able to promote you to honor?”
22:38. And Balaam said to Balak, “See, I have come to you. Now do I have any power at all to say anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that will I speak.” 39. And Balaam went with Balak and they came to Kiriat Huzot. 40. And Balak offered oxen and sheep and sent to Balaam and to the princes that were with him. 41. And it happened on the next day that Balak took Balaam and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that there he might see the farthest part of the people.
23.1. And Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars for me here and prepare seven oxen and seven rams for me here.” 2. And Balak did as Balaam had spoken, and Balak and Balaam offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 3. Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stand beside your burnt offering and I shall go. Perhaps the LORD* will come to meet me and whatever He shows me I shall tell you.” And he went to a high place.
23:4. And God met Balaam and he said to Him, “I have prepared seven altars and I have offered upon each altar a bull and a ram.”
23:5. And the LORD* put a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Return to Balak and you will say this.” 6. And he returned to him and, lo, he stood by his burnt offering, he and all the princes of Moab.
23:7. And he took up his saying and said, 1st “Balak the king of Moab has brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, ‘Come, curse Jacob for me and come, defy Israel.’ 8. How will I curse whom God has not cursed? Or how will I defy whom the LORD* has not defied? 9. For from the top of the rocks I see him and from the hills I behold him. Look, it is a people that lives alone and is not reckoned among the nations. 10. Who can count the dust of Jacob and the number of the fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous and let my last end be like his.”
23:11. And Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies and, behold, you have blessed them altogether.”
23:12. And he answered and said, “Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD* has put in my mouth?”
23:13. And Balak said to him, “Come, I pray you, with me to another place, from where you may see them. You will see only the furthest part of them and will not see them all: and curse them for me from there.” 14. And he brought him to the field of Zefim, to the top of Pisgah and built seven altars, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 15. And he said to Balak, “Stand here by your burnt offering, while I meet Him yonder.”
23:16. And the LORD* met Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, “Go again to Balak and say thus.”
23:17. And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the LORD* spoken?”
23:18. And he took up his parable, and said, 2nd “Rise up, Balak, and hear! Listen to me, you son of Zippor: 19. God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man, that He should be sorry. (1 Sam. 15:29) Has He said and will He not do it? Or has He spoken and will He not make it good? 20. Look, I have taken the message to bless. And He has blessed and I cannot reverse it. 21. He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, nor has He seen evil deeds in Israel. The LORD* his God is with him and the shout of a king is among them. 22. God Who brought them out of Egypt has as it were the strength of a buffalo. 23. Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel, according to this time it will be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘What has God wrought!’ 24. Behold, it is a people that will rise up as a lioness, and lift itself up as a young lion: he will not lie down until he eats the prey and drinks the blood of the slain.”
23:25. And Balak said to Balaam, “Don’t curse them at all or bless them at all.”
23:26. But Balaam answered and said to Balak, “Did I not I tell you, saying, All that the LORD* speaks, that I must do?”
23:27. And Balak said to Balaam, “Come, I pray you, I shall bring you to another place; perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from there.” 28. And Balak brought Balaam to the top of Peor that looks toward Jesimeon.
23:29. And Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars for me here and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me here.” 30. And Balak did as Balaam had said and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
Balaam’s Third Try
24.1. And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD* to bless Israel, he did not go, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness. 2. And Balaam lifted up his eyes and he saw Israel staying according to their tribes, and the Spirit of God came upon him. 3. And he took up his saying and said, “Balaam the son of Beor has said and the man whose eyes are open has said: 4. He has said, who heard the words of God, who–saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: 5. 3rd ‘How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwellings, O Israel! 6. Like the valleys they are spread forth, as gardens by the river’s side, like aloes which the LORD* has planted, and like cedars beside the waters. 7. He will pour the water out of his buckets and his seed will be in many waters and his king will be higher than Agag and his kingdom will be exalted. 8. God Who brought him out of Egypt is to him like the strength of a wild ox: he will eat up the nations, his enemies, and will break their bones and pierce them through with his arrows. 9. He knelt; he lay down as a lion and as a lioness: who will stir him up? Blessed is he who blesses you, and cursed is he who curses you.’” (Gen. 12:3, Gal. 3:8)
24:10. And 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 to your place. I thought to promote you to great honor, but see, the LORD* has kept you back from honor.”
24:12. And Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not also tell your messengers whom you sent to me saying, 13. ‘If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the LORD*, to do good or bad of my own mind, but what the LORD* says, that will I speak?’ 14. And now, behold, I am going to my people. Come, I shall advise you what this people will do to your people in the latter days.”
24:15. And he took up his saying and said, “Balaam the son of Beor has said, and the man whose eyes are open has spoken. 16. He has said, who heard the words of God and knew the knowledge of the Most High, who saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: 17. ‘I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near: there will come a star out of Jacob (Rev. 22:16) and a scepter will rise out of Israel, and will strike the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. 18. And Edom will be a possession, Seir also will be a possession for his enemies, and Israel will do valiantly. 19. Out of Jacob will come the one that will have dominion, and will destroy him from the city who remains.’”
24:20. And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his saying and said, “Amalek was the first of the nations, but his latter end will be that he perish forever.”
24:21. And he looked on the Kenite and took his parable and said, “Your dwelling place is strong and you put your nest in a rock. 22. Nevertheless Kain will be wasted until Assyria will carry you away captive.”
24:23. And he took up his saying and said, “Alas, who will live when God does this! 24. And ships will come from the coast of Kittim and will afflict Assyria, and will afflict Eber and he also will perish forever.”
24:25. And Balaam rose up and went and returned to his place and Balak also went his way.
Balak Takes Balaam’s Advice
25.1. And Israel stayed in Acacia and the people began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moab. (1 Cor. 10:8) 2. And they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods and the people did eat and bow down to their gods. (Rev. 2:20) 3. And Israel joined himself to Baal Peor, and the anger of the LORD* was kindled against Israel. 4. And the LORD* said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people and hang them up before the LORD* against the sun, so the fierce anger of the LORD* can be turned away from Israel.”
25:5. And Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Slay everyone his men that were joined to Baal-Peor.” (1 Cor. 10:9) 6. And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought to his brothers a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of the entire congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 7. And when Phineas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw, he rose up from among the congregation and took a javelin in his hand, 8. and he went after the man of Israel into a tent and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 9. And those that died in the plague were twenty-four thousand.
Next week’s Torah readings: Pinhas