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Numbers 23:11-26 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

11 And Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have done nothing but bless them.” 12 And he answered, “Must I not take heed to speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?”

Balaam’s Second Oracle

13 And Balak said to him, “Come with me to another place, from which you may see them; you shall see only the nearest of them, and shall not see them all; then curse them for me from there.” 14 And he took him to the field of Zophim, to the top of 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 meet the Lord yonder.” 16 And the Lord met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak.” 17 And he came to him, and lo, he was standing beside his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the Lord spoken?” 18 And Balaam took up his discourse, and said,

“Rise, Balak, and hear;
    hearken to me, O son of Zippor:
19 God is not man, that he should lie,
    or 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 fulfil it?
20 Behold, I received a command to bless:
    he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.
21 He has not beheld misfortune in Jacob;
    nor has he seen trouble in Israel.
The Lord their God is with them,
    and the shout of a king is among them.
22 God brings them out of Egypt;
    they have as it were the horns of the wild ox.
23 For there is no enchantment against Jacob,
    no divination against Israel;
now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel,
    ‘What has God wrought!’
24 Behold, a people! As a lioness it rises up
    and as a lion it lifts itself;
it does not lie down till it devours the prey,
    and drinks the blood of the slain.”

25 And Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.” 26 But Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not tell you, ‘All that the Lord says, that I must do’?”

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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