Balak Summons Balaam

22 Then the Israelites traveled to the plains of Moab(A) and camped along the Jordan(B) across from Jericho.(C)

Now Balak son of Zippor(D) 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(E) because of the Israelites.

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

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

“A people has come out of Egypt;(L) they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me. Now come and put a curse(M) 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.(N) 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.(O) 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.(P)” So the Moabite officials stayed with him.

God came to Balaam(Q) and asked,(R) “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.(S)

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(T) and do whatever you say. Come and put a curse(U) 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.(V) 19 Now spend the night here so that I can find out what else the Lord will tell me.(W)

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

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(Z) when he went, and the angel of the Lord(AA) 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(AB) in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it(AC) 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(AD) and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth,(AE) and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?(AF)

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.(AG)

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,(AH) 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,(AI) but I would have spared it.”

34 Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned.(AJ) 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(AK) heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the Moabite town on the Arnon(AL) 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.”(AM)

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

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 22:32 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.

The Branch From Jesse

11 A shoot(A) will come up from the stump(B) of Jesse;(C)
    from his roots a Branch(D) will bear fruit.(E)
The Spirit(F) of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom(G) and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,(H)
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord
and he will delight in the fear(I) of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,(J)
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;(K)
but with righteousness(L) he will judge the needy,(M)
    with justice(N) he will give decisions for the poor(O) of the earth.
He will strike(P) the earth with the rod of his mouth;(Q)
    with the breath(R) of his lips he will slay the wicked.(S)
Righteousness will be his belt(T)
    and faithfulness(U) the sash around his waist.(V)

The wolf will live with the lamb,(W)
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
    and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.(X)
The infant(Y) will play near the cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s(Z) nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy(AA)
    on all my holy mountain,(AB)
for the earth(AC) will be filled with the knowledge(AD) of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day(AE) the Root of Jesse(AF) will stand as a banner(AG) for the peoples; the nations(AH) will rally to him,(AI) and his resting place(AJ) will be glorious.(AK) 11 In that day(AL) the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant(AM) of his people from Assyria,(AN) from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt,(AO) from Cush,[b](AP) from Elam,(AQ) from Babylonia,[c] from Hamath(AR) and from the islands(AS) of the Mediterranean.(AT)

12 He will raise a banner(AU) for the nations
    and gather(AV) the exiles of Israel;(AW)
he will assemble the scattered people(AX) of Judah
    from the four quarters of the earth.(AY)
13 Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish,
    and Judah’s enemies[d] will be destroyed;
Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah,
    nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.(AZ)
14 They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia(BA) to the west;
    together they will plunder the people to the east.(BB)
They will subdue Edom(BC) and Moab,(BD)
    and the Ammonites(BE) will be subject to them.(BF)
15 The Lord will dry up(BG)
    the gulf of the Egyptian sea;
with a scorching wind(BH) he will sweep his hand(BI)
    over the Euphrates River.(BJ)
He will break it up into seven streams
    so that anyone can cross over in sandals.(BK)
16 There will be a highway(BL) for the remnant(BM) of his people
    that is left from Assyria,(BN)
as there was for Israel
    when they came up from Egypt.(BO)

Songs of Praise

12 In that day(BP) you will say:

“I will praise(BQ) you, Lord.
    Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away(BR)
    and you have comforted(BS) me.
Surely God is my salvation;(BT)
    I will trust(BU) and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself,(BV) is my strength(BW) and my defense[e];
    he has become my salvation.(BX)
With joy you will draw water(BY)
    from the wells(BZ) of salvation.

In that day(CA) you will say:

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;(CB)
    make known among the nations(CC) what he has done,
    and proclaim that his name is exalted.(CD)
Sing(CE) to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;(CF)
    let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy,(CG) people of Zion,
    for great(CH) is the Holy One of Israel(CI) among you.(CJ)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 11:6 Hebrew; Septuagint lion will feed
  2. Isaiah 11:11 That is, the upper Nile region
  3. Isaiah 11:11 Hebrew Shinar
  4. Isaiah 11:13 Or hostility
  5. Isaiah 12:2 Or song

Psalm 127

A song of ascents. Of Solomon.

Unless the Lord builds(A) the house,
    the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches(B) over the city,
    the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
    and stay up late,
toiling for food(C) to eat—
    for he grants sleep(D) to[a] those he loves.(E)

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward(F) from him.
Like arrows(G) in the hands of a warrior
    are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them.(H)
They will not be put to shame
    when they contend with their opponents(I) in court.(J)

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 127:2 Or eat— / for while they sleep he provides for