Numbers 23 (Lexham English Bible)

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Balaam’s Oracles

1 Balaam said to Balak, "Build for me this: seven altars. And prepare for me this: seven bulls and seven rams." 2 And Balak did just as Balaam spoke, and Balak offered Balaam a bull and a ram on the altar. 3 And Balaam said to Balak, "Station yourself at your burnt offering, and I will go; perhaps Yahweh will come to meet me, and whatever he shows me I will tell to you." So he went [to] a barren height. 4 And God met with Balaam, and he said to him, "I have arranged seven altars, and I have offered a bull and a ram on the altar. 5 Yahweh put a word in the mouth of Balaam and said, "Return to Balak, and you must speak thus." 6 So he returned to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, he and all the leaders of Moab. 7 And he lifted up his oracle and said, "From Aram Balak lead me, from the mountains of the east the king of Moab, 'Go for me, curse Jacob, and go, denounce Israel.' 8 How can I curse [whom] God has not cursed, and how can I denounce [whom] Yahweh has not denounced? 9 Because from the top of [the] rocks I see him, from hilltops I watch him. Behold, a people [who] dwell alone, they do not consider themselves among the nations. 10 Who can count the dust of Jacob, or [as] a number the fourth part of Israel? Let my life die the death of an upright person, and let my end be like his!" 11 And Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and look, you have surely blessed them!" 12 He answered and said, "{Should I not speak}a what Yahweh puts in my mouth?" 13 Then Balak said, "Please walk with me to another place where you will see them, [but] you will only see part of them and will not see all of them; and curse them for me from there." 14 So he took him to the field of Zophim to the top of Pisgah, and he built seven altars, and he offered a bull and a ram on [each] altar 15 Balaamb said to Balak, "Station yourself here at the burnt offering while I myself meet with [Yahweh] there." 16 Then Yahweh met with Balaam, and he put a word in his mouth, and he said, "Return to Balak, and you must speak thus." 17 He came to him, and behold, he [was] standing at his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, "What has Yahweh spoken?" 18 Then {he uttered}c his oracle, and said, "Stand up, Balak, and hear; listen to me, son of Zippor! 19 God [is] not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of humankind, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do [it]? And has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it 20 Behold, I have received [a command] to bless; when he has blessed, I cannot cause it to return. 21 He has no regard [for] evil in Jacob, and he does not see trouble in Israel; Yahweh his God [is] with him, and a shoutd of a king [is] among them. 22 God, who brings them out from Egypt, [is] like the strengthe of a wild ox for them.f 23 Because [there is] no sorcery against Jacob, and [there is] no divination against Israel. Nowg it will be said to Jacob and Israel, what God has done! 24 Look! [the] people will rise like the lion; he raises himself and will not lie down until he eats [the] prey and drinks the blood of the slain." 25 Then Balak said to Balaam, "Do not curse themh at all, nor bless themi at all!" 26 But Balaam answered and said to Balak, "Did I not speak to you, saying, 'Whatever Yahweh speaks I will do'?" 27 Then Balak said to Balaam, "Please, come, I will take you to another place; perhaps {it will be acceptable to}j God, and you will curse for me from there." 28 So Balak took Balaam [to] the top of Peor, which looks down on the face of the Jeshimon.k 29 And Balaam said to Balak, "Build for me these seven altars, and prepare for me these seven bulls and seven rams." 30 Balak did just as Balaam said, and he offered a bull and a ram on [each] altar.
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