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Numbers 24 New King James Version (NKJV)

Balaam Foretells the Happiness of Israel

24 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go as at other times, to seek to use [a]sorcery, but he set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam raised his eyes, and saw Israel encamped according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him.

Then he took up his oracle and said:

“The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor,
The utterance of the man whose eyes are opened,
The utterance of him who hears the words of God,
Who sees the vision of the Almighty,
Who falls down, with eyes wide open:

“How lovely are your tents, O Jacob!
Your dwellings, O Israel!
Like valleys that stretch out,
Like gardens by the riverside,
Like aloes planted by the Lord,
Like cedars beside the waters.
He shall pour water from his buckets,
And his seed shall be in many waters.

“His king shall be higher than Agag,
And his kingdom shall be exalted.

“God brings him out of Egypt;
He has strength like a wild ox;
He shall consume the nations, his enemies;
He shall break their bones
And pierce them with his arrows.
‘He bows down, he lies down as a lion;
And as a lion, who shall rouse him?’

“Blessed is he who blesses you,
And cursed is he who curses you.”

10 Then Balak’s anger was aroused against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and look, you have bountifully blessed them these three times! 11 Now therefore, flee to your place. I said I would greatly honor you, but in fact, the Lord has kept you back from honor.”

12 So Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not also speak to your messengers whom you sent to me, saying, 13 ‘If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the Lord, to do good or bad of my own will. What the Lord says, that I must speak’? 14 And now, indeed, I am going to my people. Come, I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the latter days.”

Balaam’s Fourth Prophecy

15 So he took up his oracle and said:

“The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor,
And the utterance of the man whose eyes are opened;
16 The utterance of him who hears the words of God,
And has the knowledge of the Most High,
Who sees the vision of the Almighty,
Who falls down, with eyes wide open:

17 “I see Him, but not now;
I behold Him, but not near;
A Star shall come out of Jacob;
A Scepter shall rise out of Israel,
And [b]batter the brow of Moab,
And destroy all the sons of [c]tumult.

18 “And Edom shall be a possession;
Seir also, his enemies, shall be a possession,
While Israel does [d]valiantly.
19 Out of Jacob One [e]shall have dominion,
And destroy the remains of the city.”

20 Then he looked on Amalek, and he took up his oracle and said:

“Amalek was first among the nations,
But shall be last until he perishes.”

21 Then he looked on the Kenites, and he took up his oracle and said:

“Firm is your dwelling place,
And your nest is set in the rock;
22 Nevertheless Kain shall be burned.
How long until Asshur carries you away captive?”

23 Then he took up his oracle and said:

“Alas! Who shall live when God does this?
24 But ships shall come from the coasts of Cyprus,[f]
And they shall afflict Asshur and afflict Eber,
And so shall [g]Amalek, until he perishes.”

25 So Balaam rose and departed and returned to his place; Balak also went his way.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 24:1 enchantments
  2. Numbers 24:17 shatter the forehead
  3. Numbers 24:17 Heb. Sheth, Jer. 48:45
  4. Numbers 24:18 mightily
  5. Numbers 24:19 shall rule
  6. Numbers 24:24 Heb. Kittim
  7. Numbers 24:24 Lit. he or that one
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Numbers 24 New International Version (NIV)

24 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not resort to divination as at other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness. When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him and he spoke his message:

“The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,
    the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,
the prophecy of one who hears the words of God,
    who sees a vision from the Almighty,[a]
    who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:

“How beautiful are your tents, Jacob,
    your dwelling places, Israel!

“Like valleys they spread out,
    like gardens beside a river,
like aloes planted by the Lord,
    like cedars beside the waters.
Water will flow from their buckets;
    their seed will have abundant water.

“Their king will be greater than Agag;
    their kingdom will be exalted.

“God brought them out of Egypt;
    they have the strength of a wild ox.
They devour hostile nations
    and break their bones in pieces;
    with their arrows they pierce them.
Like a lion they crouch and lie down,
    like a lioness—who dares to rouse them?

“May those who bless you be blessed
    and those who curse you be cursed!”

10 Then Balak’s anger burned against Balaam. He struck his hands together and said to him, “I summoned you to curse my enemies, but you have blessed them these three times. 11 Now leave at once and go home! I said I would reward you handsomely, but the Lord has kept you from being rewarded.”

12 Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not tell the messengers you sent me, 13 ‘Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything of my own accord, good or bad, to go beyond the command of the Lord—and I must say only what the Lord says’? 14 Now I am going back to my people, but come, let me warn you of what this people will do to your people in days to come.”

Balaam’s Fourth Message

15 Then he spoke his message:

“The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,
    the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,
16 the prophecy of one who hears the words of God,
    who has knowledge from the Most High,
who sees a vision from the Almighty,
    who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:

17 “I see him, but not now;
    I behold him, but not near.
A star will come out of Jacob;
    a scepter will rise out of Israel.
He will crush the foreheads of Moab,
    the skulls[b] of[c] all the people of Sheth.[d]
18 Edom will be conquered;
    Seir, his enemy, will be conquered,
    but Israel will grow strong.
19 A ruler will come out of Jacob
    and destroy the survivors of the city.”

Balaam’s Fifth Message

20 Then Balaam saw Amalek and spoke his message:

“Amalek was first among the nations,
    but their end will be utter destruction.”

Balaam’s Sixth Message

21 Then he saw the Kenites and spoke his message:

“Your dwelling place is secure,
    your nest is set in a rock;
22 yet you Kenites will be destroyed
    when Ashur takes you captive.”

Balaam’s Seventh Message

23 Then he spoke his message:

“Alas! Who can live when God does this?[e]
24     Ships will come from the shores of Cyprus;
they will subdue Ashur and Eber,
    but they too will come to ruin.

25 Then Balaam got up and returned home, and Balak went his own way.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 24:4 Hebrew Shaddai; also in verse 16
  2. Numbers 24:17 Samaritan Pentateuch (see also Jer. 48:45); the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain.
  3. Numbers 24:17 Or possibly Moab, / batter
  4. Numbers 24:17 Or all the noisy boasters
  5. Numbers 24:23 Masoretic Text; with a different word division of the Hebrew The people from the islands will gather from the north.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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