And the children of Israel journeyed, and encamped in the plains of Moab on the other side of the Jordan from a Jericho.
And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.
And Moab was much afraid of the people, because they were many; and Moab was distressed b because of the children of Israel.
And Moab said to the elders of Midian, Now will this company lick up all that is round about us, as an ox licks up the green herb of the field. Now Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.
And he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is on the river in c the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, a people is come out from Egypt; behold, they cover the face d of the land, and they abide over against me.
And now come, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are mightier than I: perhaps I may be able to smite them, and drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.
And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed, having the rewards of divination in their hand. And they came to Balaam, and spoke to him the words of Balak.
And he said to them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, according as Jehovah shall speak unto me. And the princes e of Moab abode with Balaam.
And God came to Balaam, and said, Who are these men with thee?
And Balaam said to God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me,
Behold, a people is come out of Egypt, and it covers the face of the land. Now come, curse me them: perhaps I may be able to fight against them, and drive them out.
And God said to Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people; for they are blessed.
And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, Go into your land; for Jehovah refuses to give me leave to go with you.
And the princes of Moab rose up; and they went to Balak, and said, Balaam has refused to come with us.
Then sent Balak yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they.
And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: Suffer not thyself, I pray thee, to be restrained from coming to me;
for very highly will I honour thee, and whatever thou shalt say to me will I do; come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.
And Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, If Balak give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the commandment of Jehovah my God, to do less or more.
And now, I pray you, abide ye also here this night, and I shall know what Jehovah will say to me further.
Then God came to Balaam at night, and said to him, If the men have come to call thee, rise up, [and] go with them; but only what I shall say unto thee shalt thou do.
And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, f and went with the princes of Moab.
And God's anger was kindled because he went; and the Angel of Jehovah set himself in the way to withstand him. g Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two young men were with him.
And the ass saw the Angel of Jehovah standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand; and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field, and Balaam smote the ass to turn her into the way.
And the Angel of Jehovah stood in a hollow of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.
And the ass saw the Angel of Jehovah, and she pressed herself against the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall; and he smote her again.
Then the Angel of Jehovah went still further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.
And the ass saw the Angel of Jehovah, and lay down under Balaam; and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with his staff.
And Jehovah opened the mouth of the ass, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
And Balaam said to the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in my hand, for now would I kill thee!
And the ass said to Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine to this day? was I ever wont to do so to thee? And he said, No.
Then Jehovah opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the Angel of Jehovah standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed and prostrated himself on his face.
And the Angel of Jehovah said to him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, it was I who came forth to withstand thee, h for the way [thou walkest in] is for ruin before me.
And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times; had she not turned from me, I had now certainly slain thee, and saved her alive.
And Balaam said to the Angel of Jehovah, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me; and now, if it be evil in thine eyes, I will get me back again.
And the Angel of Jehovah said to Balaam, Go with the men, but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that shalt thou speak. And Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
And when Balak heard that Balaam came, he went out to meet him, to the city of Moab, which is on the border of the Arnon, which is at the extremity of the border.
And Balak said to Balaam, Did I not earnestly send to thee to call thee? why didst thou not come to me? am I not surely able to honour thee?
And Balaam said to Balak, Lo, I am come to thee; but shall I now be able at all to say anything? the word that God puts in my mouth, that shall I speak.
And Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kirjath-huzoth.
And Balak offered oxen and small cattle, and sent to Balaam and to the princes that were with him.
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up to the high places of Baal, and he saw from thence the extremity of the people.