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1 Since Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go to seek omens as on previous occasions, but turneda toward the wilderness.

References for Numbers 24:1

    • a 24:1 - Lit set his face
      2 When Balaam looked up and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of Godb descended on him,

      References for Numbers 24:2

        • b 24:2 - Nm 11:17,25-26,29; Ex 35:31; 1 Sm 10:10
          3 and he proclaimed his poem: The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eyes are opened,c

          References for Numbers 24:3

            • c 24:3 - LXX reads true; Vg reads closed
              4 the oracle of one who hears the sayings of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty,d who falls [into a trance] with [his] eyes uncovered:

              References for Numbers 24:4

                • d 24:4 - Isa 13:6,9; Ezk 30:2-3; Jl 2:1-2,11,31
                  5 How beautiful are your tents, Jacob, your dwellings, Israel.
                  6 they stretch out like river valleys,e like gardens beside a stream, like aloes the Lord has planted, like cedars beside the water.

                  References for Numbers 24:6

                    • e 24:6 - Or like date palms
                      7 Water will flow from his buckets, and his seed will be by abundant water. His king will be greater than Agag,f g and his kingdom will be exalted.

                      References for Numbers 24:7

                        • f 24:7 - Sam, LXX, Sym, Theod read Gog
                        • g 24:7 - Ex 17:14-16; 1 Sm 15:8-33
                          8 God brought him out of Egypt; He is likeh the horns of a wild ox for them.i He will feed on enemy nations and gnaw their bones; he will strike [them] with his arrows.

                          References for Numbers 24:8

                              9 He crouches, he lies down like a lion or a lioness-who dares to rouse him?j Those who bless you will be blessed, and those who curse you will be cursed.k

                              References for Numbers 24:9

                                • j 24:9 - Nm 23:24; Gn 49:9
                                • k 24:9 - Gn 12:3; 27:29
                                  10 Then Balak became furious with Balaam, struck his hands together, and said to him, "I summoned you to put a curse on my enemies, but instead, you have blessed [them these three times].
                                  11 Now go to your home! I said I would reward you richly,l but look, the Lord has denied you a reward."

                                  References for Numbers 24:11

                                      12 Balaam answered Balak, "Didn't I previously tell the messengers you sent me:
                                      13 If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go against the Lord's command, to do [anything] good or bad of my own will? I will say whatever the Lord says.m

                                      References for Numbers 24:13

                                          14 Now I am going back to my people, but first, let me warn you what these people will do to your people in the future."

                                          Balaam's Fourth Oracle

                                          15 Then he proclaimed his poem: The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eyes are opened;n

                                          References for Numbers 24:15

                                            • n 24:15 - LXX reads true; Vg reads closed
                                              16 the oracle of one who hears the sayings of God and has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who falls [into a trance] with [his] eyes uncovered:o

                                              References for Numbers 24:16

                                                  17 I see him,p but not now; I perceive him,q but not near. A star will come from Jacob, and a scepter will arise from Israel.r He will smash the foreheads of Moab and strike downt all the Shethites.u

                                                  References for Numbers 24:17

                                                    • p 24:17 - Or Him
                                                    • q 24:17 - Or Him
                                                    • r 24:17 - Gn 49:10; Mt 2:2; Rv 22:16
                                                    • s 24:17 - Or frontiers
                                                    • t 24:17 - Sam reads and the skulls of; Jr 48:45
                                                    • u 24:17 - Or Sethites
                                                      18 Edom will become a possession; Seirv will become a possession of its enemies, but Israel will be triumphant.

                                                      References for Numbers 24:18

                                                          19 One who comes from Jacob will rule; he will destroy the city's survivors.
                                                          20 Then Balaam saw Amalek and proclaimed his poem: Amalek was first among the nations,w but his future is destruction.

                                                          References for Numbers 24:20

                                                            • w 24:20 - Ex 17:8-16; 1 Sm 15
                                                              21 Next he saw the Kenites and proclaimed his poem: Your dwelling place is enduring; your nest is set in the cliffs.
                                                              22 Kain will be destroyed when Asshur takes you captive.
                                                              23 Once more he proclaimed his poem: Ah, who can live when God does this?
                                                              24 Ships will come from the coast of Kittim;x they will afflict Asshur and Eber,y but they too will come to destruction.

                                                              References for Numbers 24:24

                                                                • x 24:24 - Gn 10:4; Isa 23:1,12; Jr 2:10; Dn 11:30
                                                                • y 24:24 - Gn 10:21,24-25; 11:14-27
                                                                  25 Balaam then arose and went back to his homeland, and Balak also went his way.