Balaam’s Oracles1Then Balaam said to Balak, “Build me seven altars here and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.” 2So Balak did as Balaam directed, and they offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 3 Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here by your ▼
▼burnt offering(s): Or holocaust, an offering completely burned to ashes; it was used in connection with worship, seeking God's favor, expiating sin, or averting judgment.burnt offering while I am gone. Maybe the Lord ▼
▼DSS, LXX, Sam read Maybe Godwill meet with me. I will tell you whatever He reveals to me.” So he went to a barren hill. 4 God ▼
▼DSS, Sam read The Angel of Godmet with him and Balaam said to Him, “I have arranged seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.” 5Then the Lord put a message in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Return to Balak and say what I tell you.” 6So he returned to Balak, who was standing there by his burnt offering with all the officials of Moab.
Balaam’s First Oracle7 Balaam proclaimed his poem:Balak brought me from Aram; d
the king of Moab, from the eastern mountains:
“Come, put a curse on Jacob for me;
come, denounce Israel!” e
8 How can I curse someone God has not cursed?
How can I denounce someone the Lord has not denounced?
9 I see them from the top of rocky cliffs,
and I watch them from the hills.
There is a people living alone; f
it does not consider itself among the nations.
10 Who has counted the dust of Jacob
or numbered the dust clouds ▼
▼Or numbered a fourthof Israel?
Let me die the death of the upright;
let the end of my life be like theirs.
11 “What have you done to me?” Balak asked Balaam. “I brought you to curse my enemies, but look, you have only blessed them!” 12He answered, “Shouldn’t I say exactly what the Lord puts in my mouth?” h
Balaam’s Second Oracle13 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; you won’t see all of them. From there, put a curse on them for me.” 14So Balak took him to Lookout Field ▼
▼Or to the field of Zophimon top of Pisgah, built seven altars, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 15Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here by your burnt offering while I seek the Lord over there.” 16The Lord met with Balaam and put a message in his mouth. Then He said, “Return to Balak and say what I tell you.” 17So he returned to Balak, who was standing there by his burnt offering with the officials of Moab. Balak asked him, “What did the Lord say?” 18Balaam proclaimed his poem:Balak, get up and listen;
son of Zippor, pay attention to what I say!
19 God is not a man who lies,
or a son of man who changes His mind.
Does He speak and not act,
or promise and not fulfill? j
20 I have indeed received a command to bless;
since He has blessed ▼
▼Sam, LXX read since I will blessI cannot change it.
21 He considers no disaster for Jacob;
He sees no trouble for Israel. ▼
▼Or not observe sin in Jacob; not see wrongdoing
The Lord their God is with them, m
and there is rejoicing over the King among them.
22 God brought them out of Egypt;
He is like the horns of a wild ox for them. ▼
▼Or Egypt; they have the horns of a wild ox, o
23 There is no magic curse against Jacob
and no ▼
▼divination: An attempt to foresee future events or discover hidden knowledge by means of physical objects such as water, arrows, flying birds, or animal liversdivination against Israel.
It will now be said about Jacob and Israel,
“What great things God has done!”
24 A people rise up like a lioness;
They rouse themselves like a lion. q
They will not lie down until they devour the prey
and drink the blood of the slain.
25Then Balak told Balaam, “Don’t curse them and don’t bless them!” 26But Balaam answered him, “Didn’t I tell you: Whatever the Lord says, I must do?” r
Balaam’s Third Oracle27 Again Balak said to Balaam, “Please come. I will take you to another place. Maybe it will be agreeable to God that you can put a curse on them for me there.” 28So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, which overlooks the wasteland. ▼
▼Or overlooks Jeshimon, t 29 Balaam told Balak, “Build me seven altars here and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.” u 30So Balak did as Balaam said and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
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