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Numbers 22English Standard Version (ESV)

Balak Summons Balaam

22 Then the people of Israel set out and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was in great dread of the people, because they were many. Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel. And Moab said to the elders of Midian, “This horde will now lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” So Balak the son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River[a] in the land of the people of Amaw,[b] to call him, saying, “Behold, a people has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and they are dwelling opposite me. Come now, curse this people for me, since they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”

So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand. And they came to Balaam and gave him Balak's message. And he said to them, “Lodge here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as the Lord speaks to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. And God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?” 10 And Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, 11 ‘Behold, a people has come out of Egypt, and it covers the face of the earth. Now come, curse them for me. Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them and drive them out.’” 12 God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” 13 So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your own land, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.” 14 So the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”

15 Once again Balak sent princes, more in number and more honorable than these. 16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: ‘Let nothing hinder you from coming to me, 17 for I will surely do you great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Come, curse this people for me.’” 18 But Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the Lord my God to do less or more. 19 So you, too, please stay here tonight, that I may know what more the Lord will say to me.” 20 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you.” 21 So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.

Balaam's Donkey and the Angel

22 But God's anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25 And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam's foot against the wall. So he struck her again. 26 Then the angel of the Lord went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”

31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. 32 And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse[c] before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.” 34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.” 35 And the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.

36 When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, on the border formed by the Arnon, at the extremity of the border. 37 And Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?” 38 Balaam said to Balak, “Behold, I have come to you! Have I now any power of my own to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak.” 39 Then Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. 40 And Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent for Balaam and for the princes who were with him.

41 And in the morning Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Bamoth-baal, and from there he saw a fraction of the people.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 22:5 That is, the Euphrates
  2. Numbers 22:5 Or the people of his kindred
  3. Numbers 22:32 Or reckless
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Bamidbar 22Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

[BALAK]

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

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