New King James Version
Balak Sends for Balaam
22 Then (A)the children of Israel moved, and camped in the plains of Moab on the side of the Jordan across from Jericho.
2 Now (B)Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 And (C)Moab was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, and Moab was sick with dread because of the children of Israel. 4 So Moab said to (D)the elders of Midian, “Now this company will [a]lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.” And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. 5 Then (E)he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at (F)Pethor, which is near [b]the River in the land of [c]the sons of his people, to call him, saying: “Look, a people has come from Egypt. See, they cover the face of the earth, and are settling next to me! 6 (G)Therefore please come at once, (H)curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”
7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with (I)the diviner’s fee in their hand, and they came to Balaam and spoke to him the words of Balak. 8 And he said to them, (J)“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.
9 (K)Then God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?”
10 So Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, 11 ‘Look, a people has come out of Egypt, and they cover the face of the earth. Come now, curse them for me; perhaps I shall be able to overpower them and drive them out.’ ”
12 And God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for (L)they are blessed.”
13 So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go back to your land, for the Lord has refused to give me permission to go with you.”
14 And the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak, and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”
15 Then Balak again sent princes, more numerous and more [d]honorable than they. 16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: ‘Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me; 17 for I will certainly (M)honor you greatly, and I will do whatever you say to me. (N)Therefore please come, curse this people for me.’ ”
18 Then Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, (O)“Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, (P)I could not go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. 19 Now therefore, please, you also (Q)stay here tonight, that I may know what more the Lord will say to me.”
20 (R)And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men come to call you, rise and go with them; but (S)only the word which I speak to you—that you shall do.” 21 So Balaam rose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.
Balaam, the Donkey, and the Angel
22 Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, (T)and the Angel of the Lord took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 Now (U)the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. 24 Then the Angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. 25 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; so he struck her again. 26 Then the Angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff.
28 Then the Lord (V)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?”
And he said, “No.”
31 Then the Lord (Y)opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat 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 [g]to stand against you, because your way is (Z)perverse[h] before Me. 33 The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live.”
35 Then the Angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, (AB)but only the word that I speak to you, that you shall speak.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
36 Now when Balak heard that Balaam was coming, (AC)he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, (AD)which is on the border at the Arnon, the boundary of the territory. 37 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not earnestly send to you, calling for you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able (AE)to honor you?”
38 And Balaam said to Balak, “Look, I have come to you! Now, have I any power at all to say anything? (AF)The word that God puts in my mouth, that I must speak.” 39 So Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kirjath Huzoth. 40 Then Balak offered oxen and sheep, and he sent some to Balaam and to the princes who were with him.
Balaam’s First Prophecy
New International Version
Balak Summons Balaam
“A people has come out of Egypt;(L) they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me. 6 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.”
7 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.
8 “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.
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)”
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)
- Numbers 22:32 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.