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Bamidbar 22 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)


22 And the Bnei Yisroel set forward, and encamped in the plains of Moav on the bank of the Yarden by Yericho.

And Balak ben Tzippor saw all that Yisroel had done to the Emori.

And Moav was exceedingly afraid of the people, because they were many; and Moav was filled with dread because of the Bnei Yisroel.

And Moav said unto the Ziknei Midyan, Now shall this kahal lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the sadeh. And Balak ben Tzippor was Melech of Moav at that time.

He sent malachim (messengers) therefore unto Balaam ben Beor to Petor, which is by the River [Euphrates] in his native land, to summon him, saying, Hinei, there is a people come out from Mitzrayim; hinei, they cover the face of ha’aretz, and they are settling next to me;

Come now, therefore, please, curse for me this people; for they are too mighty for me; perhaps I shall prevail, that we may strike them, and that I may drive them out of ha’aretz; for I know that he whom thou blessest is m’vorach (blessed), and he whom thou cursest is cursed.

And the Ziknei Moav and the Ziknei Midyan departed with the divination remuneration in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spoke unto him the words of Balak.

And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as Hashem shall speak unto me; and the sarim of Moav abode with Balaam.

And Elohim came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee?

10 And Balaam said unto HaElohim, Balak ben Tzippor, Melech Moav, hath sent unto me, saying,

11 Hinei, there is a people come out of Mitzrayim, which covereth the face of ha’aretz; come now, curse for me them; perhaps I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out.

12 And Elohim said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people; for baruch hu (it [the people] is blessed).

13 And Balaam rose up in the boker, and said unto the sarim of Balak, Go back to your land; for Hashem refuseth to give me permission to go with you.

14 And the sarim of Moav rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us.

15 And Balak sent yet again sarim, more, and more distinguished than they.

16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak ben Tzippor, Let nothing, please, hinder thee from coming unto me;

17 For I will exceedingly reward thee, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me; come, therefore, please, curse for me this people.

18 And Balaam answered and said unto the avadei Balak, If Balak would give me his palace full of kesef and zahav, I cannot go beyond the Devar Hashem Elohai, to do ketanah or gedolah.

19 Now, therefore, please, tarry ye also here this night, that I may have da’as of what more Hashem will say unto me.

20 And it was lailah when Elohim came unto Balaam, and said unto him, Since the men come to summon thee, rise up and go with them; but only the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.

21 And Balaam rose up in the boker, and saddled his donkey, and went with the sarim (princes) of Moav.

22 But the Af Elohim (G-d’s anger) was kindled as he was going; and the Malach Hashem stood in the derech (road) l’satan (for an adversary, opposer) against him. Now he was riding upon his donkey, and his two servants were with him.

23 And the donkey saw the Malach Hashem standing in the derech, and his cherev drawn in his hand; and the donkey turned off the derech, and went into the sadeh; and Balaam beat the donkey, to turn her back onto the derech.

24 But the Malach Hashem stood in the closed-in path among the kramim (vineyards), a wall being on this side, a wall on that side.

25 And when the donkey saw the Malach Hashem, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s regel against the wall; and he beat her again.

26 And the Malach Hashem went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no derech to turn either to the right or to the left.

27 And when the donkey saw the Malach Hashem, she lay down under Balaam; and af Balaam was kindled, and he beat the donkey with his staff.

28 And Hashem opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast beaten me these shalosh regalim (three times)?

29 And Balaam answered the donkey, Because thou hast mocked me; If only there were a cherev in mine hand, would I have killed thee.

30 And the donkey said unto Balaam, Am not I thine donkey, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? Was I ever accustomed to do so unto thee? And he said, Loh.

31 Then Hashem opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the Malach Hashem standing in the derech, and his cherev drawn in his hand; and he bowed down his head, and fell facedown.

32 And the Malach Hashem said unto him, Why hast thou beaten thine donkey these shalosh regalim? Hinei, I came l’satan (as adversary, opposer) to thee, because thy derech is perverse before me;

33 And the donkey saw me, and turned from me these shalosh regalim; had she not turned from me, surely now also I would have slain thee, and saved her alive.

34 And Balaam said unto the Malach Hashem, Chatati (I have sinned); for I was without da’as that thou stoodest in the derech against me; now, therefore, if it displease thee, I will return home.

35 And the Malach Hashem said unto Balaam, Go with the anashim; but only the devar (message) that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the sarim (princes) of Balak.

36 And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto the city of Moav at the Arnon border, which is in the farthest point of the boundary.

37 And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to summon thee? Why camest thou not unto me? Am I not able indeed to honor thee?

38 And Balaam said unto Balak, Hinei, I am come unto thee; have I now any power at all to say anything? The devar (word, message) which Elohim putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.

39 And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kiryat Chutzot.

40 And Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the sarim that were with him.

41 And it came to pass on the next day, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up on the high places of Baal, that thence he might see a portion of HaAm.

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International

Numbers 22 New International Version (NIV)

Balak Summons Balaam

22 Then the Israelites traveled to the plains of Moab and camped along the Jordan across from Jericho.

Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites, and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites.

The Moabites said to the elders of Midian, “This horde is going to lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.

So Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the Euphrates River, in his native land. Balak said:

“A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me. Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.”

The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.

“Spend the night here,” Balaam said to them, “and I will report back to you with the answer the Lord gives me.” So the Moabite officials stayed with him.

God came to Balaam and asked, “Who are these men with you?”

10 Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent me this message: 11 ‘A people that has come out of Egypt covers the face of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. Perhaps then I will be able to fight them and drive them away.’”

12 But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.

13 The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak’s officials, “Go back to your own country, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.”

14 So the Moabite officials returned to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”

15 Then Balak sent other officials, more numerous and more distinguished than the first. 16 They came to Balaam and said:

“This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Do not let anything keep you from coming to me, 17 because I will reward you handsomely and do whatever you say. Come and put a curse on these people for me.”

18 But Balaam answered them, “Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the Lord my God. 19 Now spend the night here so that I can find out what else the Lord will tell me.

20 That night God came to Balaam and said, “Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.”

Balaam’s Donkey

21 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.

24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.

26 Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?

29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.

30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

“No,” he said.

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

32 The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.[a] 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”

34 Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”

35 The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s officials.

36 When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the Moabite town on the Arnon border, at the edge of his territory. 37 Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send you an urgent summons? Why didn’t you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?”

38 “Well, I have come to you now,” Balaam replied. “But I can’t say whatever I please. I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.”

39 Then Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath Huzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and gave some to Balaam and the officials who were with him. 41 The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth Baal, and from there he could see the outskirts of the Israelite camp.


  1. Numbers 22:32 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

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