Balaam’s First Message

23 Balaam said, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams(A) for me.” Balak did as Balaam said, and the two of them offered a bull and a ram on each altar.(B)

Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your offering while I go aside. Perhaps the Lord will come to meet with me.(C) Whatever he reveals to me I will tell you.” Then he went off to a barren height.

God met with him,(D) and Balaam said, “I have prepared seven altars, and on each altar I have offered a bull and a ram.”

The Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth(E) and said, “Go back to Balak and give him this word.”(F)

So he went back to him and found him standing beside his offering, with all the Moabite officials.(G) Then Balaam(H) spoke his message:(I)

“Balak brought me from Aram,(J)
    the king of Moab from the eastern mountains.(K)
‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me;
    come, denounce Israel.’(L)
How can I curse
    those whom God has not cursed?(M)
How can I denounce
    those whom the Lord has not denounced?(N)
From the rocky peaks I see them,
    from the heights I view them.(O)
I see a people who live apart
    and do not consider themselves one of the nations.(P)
10 Who can count the dust of Jacob(Q)
    or number even a fourth of Israel?
Let me die the death of the righteous,(R)
    and may my final end be like theirs!(S)

11 Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies,(T) but you have done nothing but bless them!”(U)

12 He answered, “Must I not speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?”(V)

Balaam’s Second Message

13 Then Balak said to him, “Come with me to another place(W) where you can see them; you will not see them all but only the outskirts of their camp.(X) And from there, curse them for me.(Y) 14 So he took him to the field of Zophim on the top of Pisgah,(Z) and there he built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.(AA)

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(AB) 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.(AC) Balak asked him, “What did the Lord say?”

18 Then he spoke his message:(AD)

“Arise, Balak, and listen;
    hear me, son of Zippor.(AE)
19 God is not human,(AF) that he should lie,(AG)
    not a human being, that he should change his mind.(AH)
Does he speak and then not act?
    Does he promise(AI) and not fulfill?
20 I have received a command to bless;(AJ)
    he has blessed,(AK) and I cannot change it.(AL)

21 “No misfortune is seen in Jacob,(AM)
    no misery observed[a] in Israel.(AN)
The Lord their God is with them;(AO)
    the shout of the King(AP) is among them.
22 God brought them out of Egypt;(AQ)
    they have the strength of a wild ox.(AR)
23 There is no divination against[b] Jacob,
    no evil omens(AS) 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;(AT)
    they rouse themselves like a lion(AU)
that does not rest till it devours its prey
    and drinks the blood(AV) 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?”(AW)

Balaam’s Third Message

27 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Come, let me take you to another place.(AX) Perhaps it will please God to let you curse them for me(AY) from there.” 28 And Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor,(AZ) 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.(BA)

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 23:21 Or He has not looked on Jacob’s offenses / or on the wrongs found
  2. Numbers 23:23 Or in
  3. Numbers 23:23 Or in

Gods of Babylon

46 Bel(A) bows down, Nebo stoops low;
    their idols(B) are borne by beasts of burden.[a]
The images that are carried(C) about are burdensome,
    a burden for the weary.
They stoop and bow down together;
    unable to rescue the burden,
    they themselves go off into captivity.(D)

“Listen(E) to me, you descendants of Jacob,
    all the remnant(F) of the people of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since your birth,(G)
    and have carried(H) since you were born.(I)
Even to your old age and gray hairs(J)
    I am he,(K) I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain(L) you and I will rescue you.

“With whom will you compare me or count me equal?
    To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?(M)
Some pour out gold from their bags
    and weigh out silver on the scales;
they hire a goldsmith(N) to make it into a god,
    and they bow down and worship it.(O)
They lift it to their shoulders and carry(P) it;
    they set it up in its place, and there it stands.
    From that spot it cannot move.(Q)
Even though someone cries out to it, it cannot answer;(R)
    it cannot save(S) them from their troubles.

“Remember(T) this, keep it in mind,
    take it to heart, you rebels.(U)
Remember the former things,(V) those of long ago;(W)
    I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is none like me.(X)
10 I make known the end from the beginning,(Y)
    from ancient times,(Z) what is still to come.(AA)
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,(AB)
    and I will do all that I please.’
11 From the east I summon(AC) a bird of prey;(AD)
    from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about;
    what I have planned,(AE) that I will do.(AF)
12 Listen(AG) to me, you stubborn-hearted,(AH)
    you who are now far from my righteousness.(AI)
13 I am bringing my righteousness(AJ) near,
    it is not far away;
    and my salvation(AK) will not be delayed.
I will grant salvation to Zion,(AL)
    my splendor(AM) to Israel.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 46:1 Or are but beasts and cattle

Paul, Silas[a](A) and Timothy,(B)

To the church of the Thessalonians(C) in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace and peace to you.(D)

Thanksgiving for the Thessalonians’ Faith

We always thank God for all of you(E) and continually mention you in our prayers.(F) We remember before our God and Father(G) your work produced by faith,(H) your labor prompted by love,(I) and your endurance inspired by hope(J) in our Lord Jesus Christ.

For we know, brothers and sisters[b] loved by God,(K) that he has chosen you, because our gospel(L) came to you not simply with words but also with power,(M) with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know(N) how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us(O) and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering(P) with the joy(Q) given by the Holy Spirit.(R) And so you became a model(S) to all the believers in Macedonia(T) and Achaia.(U) The Lord’s message(V) rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.(W) Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned(X) to God from idols(Y) to serve the living and true God,(Z) 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven,(AA) whom he raised from the dead(AB)—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.(AC)

Footnotes

  1. 1 Thessalonians 1:1 Greek Silvanus, a variant of Silas
  2. 1 Thessalonians 1:4 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 2:1, 9, 14, 17; 3:7; 4:1, 10, 13; 5:1, 4, 12, 14, 25, 27.