Balaam said to Balak, "Take up your station here beside your Whole-Burnt-Offering while I meet with him over there."
God met with Balaam and gave him a message. He said, "Return to Balak and give him the message."
Balaam returned and found him stationed beside his Whole-Burnt-Offering and the nobles of Moab with him. Balak said to him, "What did God say?"
Then Balaam spoke his message-oracle: On your feet, Balak. Listen, listen carefully son of Zippor:
God is not man, one given to lies, and not a son of man changing his mind. Does he speak and not do what he says? Does he promise and not come through?
I was brought here to bless; and now he's blessed - how can I change that?
He has no bone to pick with Jacob, he sees nothing wrong with Israel. God is with them, and they're with him, shouting praises to their King.
God brought them out of Egypt, rampaging like a wild ox.
No magic spells can bind Jacob, no incantations can hold back Israel. People will look at Jacob and Israel and say, "What a great thing has God done!"
Look, a people rising to its feet, stretching like a lion, a king-of-the-beasts, aroused, Unsleeping, unresting until its hunt is over and it's eaten and drunk its fill.
Balak said to Balaam, "Well, if you can't curse them, at least don't bless them."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)