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Numbers 22:2-25:9 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Parashat Balak

When Balak son of Zippor, realized all that Bnei-Yisrael had done to the Amorites, Moab became terrified because there were so many people. Moab was filled with dread because of Bnei-Yisrael. Moab said to the elders of Midian, “The multitude will lick up everything around us like the ox licks up the grass of the field.”

Now Balak son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. He sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, at Pethor near the River[a] in his native land, saying to him, “Look now, a people has come out of Egypt. See now, they cover the surface of the earth and are settling beside me. Come now, curse this people for me, because they are too strong for me! Perhaps I may be able to defeat them and drive them away from the country. I know that whoever you bless will be blessed and whoever you curse will be accursed!”

The elders of Moab and Midian left with divination fees in their hand. When they came to Balaam, they told him Balak’s words.

He said to them, “Spend the night here. I will give you an answer just as Adonai speaks to me.” So the officials of Moab stayed with Balaam.

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 word to me: 11 See, the people coming out of Egypt cover the surface of the land. Come now, curse them for me. Perhaps I will be able to fight against them and drive them away!”

12 God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them! Do not curse them, for they are blessed!”

13 So Balaam got up in the morning and said to the officials of Balak, “Go back to your country, for Adonai has refused to let me go with you.”

14 So the Moabite officials got up, went back to Balak, and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.” 15 Balak again sent other dignitaries, more numerous and honored than these previous ones.

16 They also came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak son of Zippor: Please let nothing keep you from coming to me! 17 I will richly reward you, and everything you tell me I will do! Just come now and curse this people for me!”

18 But Balaam answered Balak’s servants, “Even if Balak gave me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot cross beyond the mouth of Adonai my God, to do anything small or great! 19 But now, you may spend the night here, too. Then I may find out anything else Adonai may say to me.”

20 God came to Balaam by night and said to him, “Since the men came to you to summon you, arise and go with them. However, only the word I tell you are you to do!”

21 So Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the Moabite princes. 22 But the anger of God burned because he was going. The angel of Adonai stood in the road to oppose him—he was riding on his donkey and two of his servants were with him— 23 when the donkey saw the angel of Adonai standing in the road with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off the road and went into the field. So Balaam beat the donkey to get her back onto the road.

24 Then the angel of Adonai stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of Adonai, she pressed against the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against the wall. So Balaam continued beating her.

26 The angel again moved. He stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, right or left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of Adonai, she lay down under Balaam. Balaam was very angry and beat the donkey with his staff.

28 Then Adonai opened the donkey’s mouth and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you that you have beaten me these three times?”[b]

29 Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you’ve made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you now!”

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

“No,” he said.

31 Then Adonai opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of Adonai standing in the road with his drawn sword in his hand. So he fell on his face.

32 The angel of Adonai said to him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? Behold, I came as an adversary because your way before Me is a reckless one! 33 The donkey saw Me and turned away from Me these three times. If she had not turned away from Me, by now I would have killed you indeed, but let her live!”

34 Balaam said to the angel of Adonai, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now, if this is displeasing in your eyes, I will go back home.”

35 The angel of Adonai said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s princes.

36 When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to greet him at the Moabite city on the border of the Arnon, the frontier of the territory. 37 Balak said to Balaam, “Didn’t I send you an urgent summons? Why didn’t you come to me? Am I really unable to reward you?”

38 “Look, I have come to you now!” Balaam said to Balak. “Can I just say anything? I must speak only the message which God puts into my mouth.” 39 Then Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath-huzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep and sent some to Balaam and the princes who were with him.

41 In the morning, Balak took Balaam with him to Bamoth-baal, and from there he saw part of the people.

A Curse Turns to Blessings

23 Then Balaam said to Balak, “Build me seven altars here and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams.” So Balak did just as Balaam had said. Balak and Balaam offered a bull and a ram on each altar. Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your offering. I will go and perhaps Adonai will meet me. Whatever message He shows me, I will tell you. Then he went to a barren height.

God met with Balaam and he said to Him, “I have prepared seven altars, and on each altar I offered a bull and a ram.”

Adonai put a message into Balaam’s mouth and said, “Return to Balak and speak this.”

Balaam went back to him. Behold, he was standing beside his offering with all the princes of Moab. Then he uttered his oracle and said,

“From Aram, Balak brought me,
    Moab’s king from the mountains of the east:
‘Come! Curse Jacob for me!
‘Come! Denounce Israel!’
How can I curse one
    whom God has not cursed?
How can I denounce one
    whom Adonai has not denounced?
From the rocky peaks I see him.
From the heights I behold him.
Look, he lives as a nation apart,
    and does not consider himself
    as being like the other nations.
10 Who can count Jacob’s dust?
Who can number a fourth of Israel?
Let my soul die the death of the upright,
    and let my end be like his!”

11 Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but look, you’ve actually blessed them!”

12 But in response he said, “Mustn’t I speak whatever Adonai puts into my mouth?”

13 Then Balak said to him, “Come now with me to another place where you can see a part of them only, not all of them. Curse them for me from there.”

14 He took him to Lookout Field on top of Pisgah. He built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.

15 “Stay here beside your offering,” he said to Balak, “while I am meeting over there.”

16 Adonai met Balaam there and put a message into his mouth, and said, “Return to Balak and speak thus.” 17 So he went to him, and behold, he and the princes of Moab were standing beside his offering.

Balak asked him, “What did Adonai say?”

18 So he uttered his oracle and said:

“Rise, Balak! Hear me, son of Zippor!
19 God is not a man who lies,[c]
or a son of man who changes his mind!
Does He speak and then not do it,
    or promise and not fulfill it?
20 Look, I received a command to bless.
He has blessed—I cannot change it!
21 No misfortune is to be seen in Jacob,
    and no misery in Israel!
Adonai their God is with them
    —the King’s shout is among them!
22 God is bringing them from Egypt
    with the strong horns of the wild ox!
23 There is no sorcery effective
    against Jacob,
    nor any divination against Israel!
Now it will be said of Jacob and Israel,
    ‘See what God has done!’
24 The people rise like a lioness,
    like a lion who does not rest
    until he eats his prey
    and drinks his victim’s blood!”

25 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Do not curse them or bless them at all!”

26 Balaam answered and said to Balak, “Haven’t I told you, ‘All that Adonai says, I must do?’

27 Balak said to Balaam, “Come with me to another place. Perhaps it will be pleasing to God and you may curse them for me from there.” 28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, overlooking the wasteland.

29 Balaam said to Balak, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.”

30 Balak did just as Balaam said, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.

How Lovely the Tents of Jacob

24 When Balaam realized that it was pleasing in the eyes of Adonai to bless Israel, he did not resort to sorceries as at the other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness. Lifting up his eyes, Balaam saw Israel dwelling by tribes. The Ruach Elohim came over him. He uttered his oracle and said:

“This is the oracle of Balaam son of Beor,
    and the oracle of a strong man whose eye has been opened,
the oracle of one hearing God’s speech,
one seeing Shaddai’s vision,
one fallen down, yet with open eyes:
How lovely are your tents, O Jacob,
    and your dwellings, O Israel!
Like valleys they are spread out,
like gardens beside a river,
like aloes planted by Adonai,
like cedars beside the waters.
Water will flow from his buckets,
his seed by abundant water.
His king will be greater than Agag,
    his kingdom will be exalted.
God is bringing him out of Egypt.
like the strong horns of a wild ox.
He devours nations hostile to him.
He will crush their bones.
His arrows will pierce them.
He crouches like a lion or a lioness—
who would rouse him?
He who blesses you will be blessed,
and he who curses you will be cursed.”

10 Then Balak became furious at Balaam, and struck his hands together. Balak said to Balaam, “I summoned you to curse my enemies, but look, you have blessed them these three times! 11 Now, go home! I said I would reward you, but see, Adonai has kept you from reward!”

12 Balaam answered Balak, “Didn’t I indeed tell your messengers whom you sent to me saying: 13 ‘If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the mouth of Adonai, to do good or bad from my own heart? Whatever Adonai may speak, I will speak!’ 14 Now, behold, I am going back to my people. Come, let me counsel you what these people will do to your people in the latter days. 15 Then he uttered his oracle:

The oracle of Balaam son of Beor,
    the strong man whose eye is opened,
16 the oracle of one hearing God’s speech,
one experiencing Elyon’s knowledge,
one seeing Shaddai’s vision,
one fallen down,
yet with open eyes:
17 ‘I see him, yet not at this moment.
I behold him, yet not in this location.
For a star will come from Jacob,
    a scepter will arise from Israel.[d]
He will crush the foreheads of Moab
    and the skulls of all the sons of Seth.
18 Edom will be conquered—
his enemies will conquer Seir,
but Israel will triumph.
19 One from Jacob will rule
    and destroy the city’s survivors.”

20 Then he saw Amalek,
so he uttered his oracle and said:
“Amalek was the first of nations,
    but will come to ruin at last.”
21 Then he saw the Kenite,
so he uttered his oracle and said,
“Your dwelling is secure.
Your nest is set in the rock.
22 Yet Kain will be destroyed,
when Asshur captures you.”
23 Again he uttered his oracle and said,
“O, who can live when God does this?
24 Ships will come from Kittim’s shore.
They will afflict Asshur and Eber,
but they too will come to destruction.”

25 Then Balaam got up and went and returned to his own place, and Balak went on his way.

Moabite Seduction and Phineas Arises

25 While Israel was staying in Shittim, the people began to have immoral sexual relations with women from Moab. Then they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, so the people were eating, and bowing down before their gods. When Israel became bound to Baal of Peor, the anger of Adonai grew hot against Israel.

Adonai said to Moses, “Seize all the ringleaders and hang them before Adonai facing the sun, so that Adonai’s fierce anger may be turned away from Israel.”

So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you, kill your men who have been joining themselves to Baal of Peor.” Then behold, a man from Bnei-Yisrael came and brought a Midianite woman to his brothers before the eyes of Moses and of the whole assembly of Bnei-Yisrael, while they were weeping at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting!

When Phinehas son of Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen saw it, he arose from the midst of the assembly, took a spear in his hand, and went after the man of Israel into the tent and pierced them through—both the Israelite man and the woman’s belly. Then the plague among Bnei-Yisrael was stopped. However, 24,000 were dead because of the plague!

Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

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