23 Balaam said, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.”2 Balak did as Balaam said, and the two of them offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
3 Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your offering while I go aside. Perhaps the Lord will come to meet with me. Whatever he reveals to me I will tell you.” Then he went off to a barren height.
4 God met with him, and Balaam said, “I have prepared seven altars, and on each altar I have offered a bull and a ram.”
5 The Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Go back to Balak and give him this word.”
6 So he went back to him and found him standing beside his offering, with all the Moabite officials.7 Then Balaam spoke his message:
“Balak brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains. ‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me; come, denounce Israel.’ 8 How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the Lord has not denounced? 9 From the rocky peaks I see them, from the heights I view them. I see a people who live apart and do not consider themselves one of the nations. 10 Who can count the dust of Jacob or number even a fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my final end be like theirs!”
11 Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but you have done nothing but bless them!”
12 He answered, “Must I not speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?”
Balaam’s Second Message
13 Then Balak said to him, “Come with me to another place where you can see them; you will not see them all but only the outskirts of their camp. And from there, curse them for me.”14 So he took him to the field of Zophim on the top of Pisgah, and there he built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
15 Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your offering while I meet with him over there.”
16 The Lord met with Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, “Go back to Balak and give him this word.”
17 So he went to him and found him standing beside his offering, with the Moabite officials. Balak asked him, “What did the Lord say?”
18 Then he spoke his message:
“Arise, Balak, and listen; hear me, son of Zippor. 19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? 20 I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it.
21 “No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed[a] in Israel. The Lord their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them. 22 God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. 23 There is no divination against[b] Jacob, no evil omens against[c] Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’ 24 The people rise like a lioness; they rouse themselves like a lion that does not rest till it devours its prey and drinks the blood of its victims.”
25 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all nor bless them at all!”
26 Balaam answered, “Did I not tell you I must do whatever the Lord says?”
Balaam’s Third Message
27 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Come, let me take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God to let you curse them for me from there.”28 And Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, overlooking the wasteland.
29 Balaam said, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.”30 Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
Numbers 23:21Or He has not looked on Jacob’s offenses / or on the wrongs found
13 A prophecy against Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw:
2 Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles. 3 I have commanded those I prepared for battle; I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath— those who rejoice in my triumph.
4 Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The Lord Almighty is mustering an army for war. 5 They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens— the Lord and the weapons of his wrath— to destroy the whole country.
6 Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.[a] 7 Because of this, all hands will go limp, every heart will melt with fear. 8 Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame.
9 See, the day of the Lord is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger— to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. 10 The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. 11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. 12 I will make people scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir. 13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the Lord Almighty, in the day of his burning anger.
14 Like a hunted gazelle, like sheep without a shepherd, they will all return to their own people, they will flee to their native land. 15 Whoever is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword. 16 Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives violated.
17 See, I will stir up against them the Medes, who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold. 18 Their bows will strike down the young men; they will have no mercy on infants, nor will they look with compassion on children. 19 Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the pride and glory of the Babylonians,[b] will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. 20 She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; there no nomads will pitch their tents, there no shepherds will rest their flocks. 21 But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there the wild goats will leap about. 22 Hyenas will inhabit her strongholds, jackals her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged.
1 Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. 2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. 4 Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.
5 May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. 6 May you live to see your children’s children— peace be on Israel.
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