and he spoke this prophecy concerning them: “Balaam the son of Beor says— The man whose eyes are open says— ‘I have listened to the word of God, I have seen what God Almighty showed me; I fell, and my eyes were opened: Oh, the joys awaiting Israel, Joys in the homes of Jacob. I see them spread before me as green valleys, And fruitful gardens by the riverside; As aloes planted by the Lord himself; As cedar trees beside the waters. They shall be blessed with an abundance of water, And they shall live in many places. Their king will be greater than Agag; Their kingdom is exalted. God has brought them from Egypt. Israel has the strength of a wild ox, And shall eat up the nations that oppose him; He shall break their bones in pieces, And shall shoot them with many arrows. Israel sleeps as a lion or a lioness— Who dares arouse him? Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, And curses shall fall upon everyone who curses you.’”
By now Balaam realized that God wanted to bless Israel. So he didn’t work in any sorcery as he had done earlier. He turned and looked out over the wilderness. As Balaam looked, he saw Israel camped tribe by tribe. The Spirit of God came on him, and he spoke his oracle-message:
Decree of Balaam son of Beor, yes, decree of a man with 20/20 vision; Decree of a man who hears God speak, who sees what The Strong God shows him, Who falls on his face in worship, who sees what’s really going on. What beautiful tents, Jacob, oh, your homes, Israel! Like valleys stretching out in the distance, like gardens planted by rivers, Like sweet herbs planted by the gardener God, like red cedars by pools and springs, Their buckets will brim with water, their seed will spread life everywhere. Their king will tower over Agag and his ilk, their kingdom surpassingly majestic. God brought them out of Egypt, rampaging like a wild ox, Gulping enemies like morsels of meat, crushing their bones, snapping their arrows. Israel crouches like a lion and naps, king-of-the-beasts—who dares disturb him? Whoever blesses you is blessed, whoever curses you is cursed.
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