This was Balaam’s message: “King Balak, king of Moab, has brought me From the land of Aram, From the eastern mountains. ‘Come,’ he told me, ‘curse Jacob for me! Let your anger rise on Israel.’ But how can I curse What God has not cursed? How can I denounce A people God has not denounced? I see them from the cliff tops, I watch them from the hills. They live alone, And prefer to remain distinct From every other nation. They are as numerous as dust! They are beyond numbering. If only I could die as happy as an Israelite! Oh, that my end might be like theirs!”
He went back and found him stationed beside his Whole-Burnt-Offering and with him all the nobles of Moab. Then Balaam spoke his message-oracle: Balak led me here from Aram, the king of Moab all the way from the eastern mountains. “Go, curse Jacob for me; go, damn Israel.” How can I curse whom God has not cursed? How can I damn whom God has not damned? From rock pinnacles I see them, from hilltops I survey them: Look! a people camping off by themselves, thinking themselves outsiders among nations. But who could ever count the dust of Jacob or take a census of cloud-of-dust Israel? I want to die like these right-living people! I want an end just like theirs!
Here on the heights, from the rocky places where I stand, I can see them; from these hills I observe them below. And what do I see but a unique and solitary people who do not have a place among the nations.
From the highest flints I shall see him, and from the little hills I shall behold him; the people shall dwell alone, and it shall not be reckoned among heathen men. (From the highest rocks I shall see them, and from the little hills I shall behold them; these people shall live alone, and they shall not be counted among the heathen.)
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