7 Balaam took up his [first] discourse (oracle) and said:
“Balak, the king of Moab, has brought me from Aram (Syria), from the mountains of the east, [saying,] ‘Come, curse [the descendants of] Jacob for me; And come, [violently] denounce Israel.’ 8 “How shall I curse those whom God has not cursed? Or how can I [violently] denounce those the Lord has not denounced? 9 “For from the top of the rocks I see Israel, And from the hills I look at him. Behold, the people [of Israel] shall dwell alone And will not be reckoned among the nations. 10 “Who can count the dust (the descendants) of Jacob And the number of even the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous [those who are upright and in right standing with God], And let my end be like his!”
11 Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but here you have [thoroughly] blessed them instead!” 12 Balaam answered, “Must I not be obedient and careful to speak what the Lord has put in my mouth?”
13 Balak said to him, “Come with me, I implore you, to another place from where you can see them, although you will see only the nearest and not all of them; and curse them for me from there.” 14 So he took Balaam to the field of Zophim to the top of [Mount] Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 15 Balaam said to Balak, “Stand here beside your burnt offering while I go to meet the Lord over there.” 16 Then the Lord met Balaam and put a speech in his mouth, and said, “Go back to Balak and you shall speak thus.” 17 When Balaam returned to Balak, he was standing beside his burnt offering, and the leaders of Moab were with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the Lord spoken?” 18 Balaam took up his [second] discourse (oracle) and said:
“Rise up, O Balak, and hear; Listen [closely] to me, son of Zippor. 19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken and will He not make it good and fulfill it? 20 “Behold, I have received His command to bless [Israel]. He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it. 21 “God has not observed wickedness in Jacob [for he is forgiven], Nor has He seen trouble in Israel. The Lord their God is with Israel, And the shout of their King is among the people. 22 “God brought them out of Egypt; They have the strength of a wild ox. 23 “For there is no enchantment or omen against Jacob, Nor is there any divination against Israel. At the proper time it shall be said to Jacob And to Israel, what has God done! 24 “Behold, a people rises up like a lioness And lifts itself up like a lion; He will not lie down until he devours the prey And drinks the blood of the slain.”
3 He took up his [third] discourse (oracle) and said:
“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, And the oracle of the man whose eye is opened [at last, to see clearly the purpose and will of God], 4 The oracle of one who hears the words of God, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Falling down, but having his eyes open and uncovered, 5 How fair are your tents, O Jacob, And your tabernacles, O Israel! 6 “Like valleys that stretch out, Like gardens beside the river, Like aloes planted by the Lord, Like cedars beside the waters. 7 “Water [that is, great blessings] will flow from his buckets, And his offspring will live by many waters, And his king will be higher than [a]Agag, And his kingdom shall be exalted. 8 “God brought Israel out of Egypt; Israel has [b]strength like the wild ox; He will devour [Gentile] nations, his adversaries (enemies), And will crush their bones in pieces, And shatter them with his arrows. 9 “He bowed down [to rest], he lies down as a lion; And as a lioness, who dares to rouse him? Blessed [of God] is he who blesses you, And cursed [of God] is he who curses you.”
10 Then Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, but behold, you have done nothing but bless them these three times. 11 Therefore now flee to your place! I had intended to honor you greatly, but behold, the Lord has held you back from honor.” 12 Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you had sent to me, 13 ‘Even if Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own accord. What the Lord speaks, that I will speak?’ 14 And now, look, I am going to my people; come, I will advise you as to what this people [Israel] will do to your people [Moab] in the days to come.”
15 He took up his [fourth] discourse (oracle) and said:
“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, The oracle of the man whose eye is opened, 16 The oracle of him who hears the words of God And knows the knowledge of the [c]Most High, Who sees the vision of the [d]Almighty, Falling down, but having his eyes open and uncovered: 17 “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near. A star shall come forth from [the descendants of] Jacob, A scepter shall rise out of [the descendants of] Israel And shall crush the forehead of Moab And destroy all the sons of Sheth. 18 “Edom shall be [taken as] a possession, [Mount] Seir, Israel’s enemies, also will be a possession, While Israel performs valiantly. 19 “One from [the descendants of] Jacob shall have dominion And will destroy the remnant from the city.”
20 Balaam looked at Amalek and took up his [fifth] discourse (oracle) and said:
“Amalek was the first of the [neighboring] nations [to oppose the Israelites after they left Egypt], But his end shall be [e]destruction.”
21 And Balaam looked at the Kenites and took up his [sixth] discourse (oracle) and said:
“Strong is your dwelling place, And you set your nest in the cliff. 22 “Nevertheless the Kenites will be consumed. How long will Asshur (Assyria) keep you (Israel) captive?”
23 Then he took up his [seventh] discourse (oracle) and said:
“Alas, who can live unless God has ordained it? 24 “But ships shall come from the coast of [f]Kittim, And shall afflict Asshur (Assyria) and [g]Eber; So they (the victors) also will come to destruction.”
Numbers 24:7“Agag” was the title of the Amalekite kings, and here it represents the kingdom of the Gentiles. The Amalekites at that time were the most powerful of all the desert tribes (Num 24:20).
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