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Numbers 24 Common English Bible (CEB)

24 Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless the Israelites, so he didn’t go as the other times to seek omens. Instead, he turned toward the desert. Balaam looked up and saw Israel camping by tribes. Then God’s spirit came on him. He raised his voice and made his address:

“The oracle of Balaam, Beor’s son;
    the oracle of a man whose eye is open.[a]
The oracle of one who hears God’s speech,
    who perceives the Almighty’s[b] visions,
    who falls down with eyes uncovered.
How beautiful are your tents, Jacob,
    your camps, Israel!
Like palm groves that stretch out,
    like gardens next to a river,
    like eaglewood trees that the Lord has planted,
    like cedar trees next to water.
Water will drip from his branches;
    his seed will have plenty of water;
    his king will be higher than Agag,
    and his kingdom will be lifted up.
God, who brought him from Egypt,
    is like a magnificent wild bull for him.
He will devour enemy nations
    and break their bones;
    he will strike with his arrows.
He crouched and lay down like a lion;
    like a lioness, who can make her rise?
The one blessing you will be blessed,
    and the one cursing you will be cursed.”

10 Balak was angry with Balaam. He pounded his fists. Balak said to Balaam, “I summoned you to curse my enemies, but now you’ve given a blessing these three times. 11 Now get out of here and go home. I told you I’d greatly honor you, but the Lord has denied you any honor.”

Balaam predicts Moab’s destruction

12 Balaam said to Balak, “Didn’t I tell your messengers, whom you sent to me, 13 ‘If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I wouldn’t be able to break the Lord’s command for good or ill by my own will. I’ll say whatever the Lord says’? 14 So now I’m going to my people. Let me advise you what this people will do to your people in the days to come.” 15 He raised his voice and made his address:

“The oracle of Balaam, Beor’s son,
the oracle of a man whose eye is open.
16     The oracle of one who hears God’s speech,
    and understands the Most High’s[c] knowledge,
    who perceives the Almighty’s[d] visions,
    who falls down with eyes uncovered.
17 I see him, but not now;
    I look at him, but not nearby.
A star comes from Jacob;
    a scepter arises from Israel,
        smashing Moab’s forehead,
        the head of all the Sethites.
18 Edom will become a possession,
    Seir a possession of its enemies.
    But Israel acts powerfully.
19 Someone from Jacob will rule
    and destroy the survivors from Ir.”
20 He looked at Amalek
    and raised his voice
    and gave his address:
    “Amalek is foremost among the nations,
        but its end is to perish forever.”
21 He looked at the Kenites
    and raised his voice
    and gave his address:
“Your dwelling is secure;
        your nest is set in the rock.
22 Yet Kain will burn
    when Asshur takes you away captive.”
23 He raised his voice
    and made his address:
    “How terrible!
    Who will live when God does this?
24 Ships from Kittim will attack Asshur;
    they will attack Eber,
    and even he will perish forever.”

25 Then Balaam arose, set out, and returned home. Balak also went on his way.


  1. Numbers 24:3 Heb uncertain
  2. Numbers 24:4 Heb Shaddai or Mountain One
  3. Numbers 24:16 Heb Elyon
  4. Numbers 24:16 Heb Shaddai or Mountain One
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible


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