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Balaam Continues to Utter Oracles

24 And Balaam saw that it pleased[a] Yahweh to bless Israel, and he did not go as other times[b] to seek out[c] sorcery; instead, he set his face toward the desert. Balaam lift up his eyes, and he saw Israel dwelling according to its tribes, and the spirit of God was upon it.[d] He uttered[e] his oracle and said,

“The declaration of Balaam son Beor,
    the declaration of the man whose eyes are closed,
the declaration of the hearer of God’s words,[f]
    who sees the revelation of Shaddai,[g]
falling down but whose eyes are uncovered.
    How good are your tents, O Jacob,
your dwellings, O Israel!
    They are spread out like valleys,
like gardens on a river,
    like aloes planted by Yahweh,
like cedars at the waters.
    He will pour water from his buckets,
and his offspring will be like many waters;
    his king will be higher than Agag,
and his kingdom will be exalted.
    God, who brings him out from Egypt,
is like the strength[h] of a wild ox for him.
    He will devour the nations who are his enemies;
he will break their bones;
    he will pierce them with his arrows.
He crouches, he lies down like a lion,
    and like a lioness, who will rouse him?
They who bless you will be blessed,
    and they who curse you will be cursed.”

10 Then Balak became angry with[i] Balaam, and he clapped his hands and said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, but look, you have surely blessed them these three times. 11 Flee[j] to your place now. I said I would richly honor you, but look, Yahweh has withheld honor from you.” 12 Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not speak to your messengers whom you sent to me, saying, 13 ‘If Balak gave to me the fullness of his house full of silver and gold, I am not able to go beyond the command of Yahweh[k] to do good or evil, from my heart; what Yahweh speaks, I will speak’?[l] 14 And now, look, I am about to go to my people; I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the following days.”[m]

15 And he uttered[n] his oracle and said,

“The declaration of Balaam son of Beor,
    and the declaration of the man whose eye is closed,
16 the declaration of the hearer of God’s words,[o]
    and the knower of the knowledge of the Most High,
who sees the vision of Shaddai,[p]
    who is falling, and his eyes are revealed.
17 I see him, but not now;
    I behold him, but not near;
a star will go out from Jacob,
    and a scepter will rise from Israel;
it will crush the foreheads of Moab
    and destroy all the children of Seth.
18 Edom will be a captive;
    Seir, its enemies, will be a captive,
and Israel will be acting courageously.[q]
19     Someone[r] from Jacob will rule
and will destroy a remnant[s] from the city.”
20     And he looked at Amalek, uttered[t] his oracle, and said,
“Amalek is first[u] of the nations,
    but his future will be forever ruin.”

21 And he looked at the Kenites,[v] uttered[w] his oracle, and said,

“Steady is your dwelling place;
    in the rock is your nest.
22 Nevertheless, the Kenite will be burned;
    how long will Asshur keep[x] you captive?”

23 Again he uttered[y] his oracle and said,

“Woe, who will live when God establishes this?[z]
24     The ships will come from the hand of the Kittim,
and they will afflict Asshur and will afflict Eber;
    also he will be forever ruin.”

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


  1. Numbers 24:1 Literally “it was good in the eyes of Yahweh”
  2. Numbers 24:1 Literally “as time on time”
  3. Numbers 24:1 Literally “to meet”
  4. Numbers 24:2 That is, Israel
  5. Numbers 24:3 Literally “lifted up”
  6. Numbers 24:4 Or “God’s sayings”
  7. Numbers 24:4 Often translated “the Almighty”
  8. Numbers 24:8 Or “the horns”
  9. Numbers 24:10 Literally “the nose of Balak became hot against”
  10. Numbers 24:11 Literally “Flee for yourself”
  11. Numbers 24:13 Literally “the mouth of Yahweh”
  12. Numbers 24:13 Hebrew “I will speak it”
  13. Numbers 24:14 Literally “in the last of the days”
  14. Numbers 24:15 Literally “lifted up”
  15. Numbers 24:16 Or “God’s sayings”
  16. Numbers 24:16 Often translated “the Almighty”
  17. Numbers 24:18 Literally “with physical strength”
  18. Numbers 24:19 Hebrew “He”
  19. Numbers 24:19 Or “survivor”
  20. Numbers 24:20 Literally “lifted up”
  21. Numbers 24:20 Or “among”
  22. Numbers 24:21 Hebrew “Kenite”
  23. Numbers 24:21 Literally “lifted up”
  24. Numbers 24:22 Hebrew “take”
  25. Numbers 24:23 Literally “lifted up”
  26. Numbers 24:23 Hebrew “it”