Then the people of Israel traveled to the plains of Moab and camped east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho.
Balak son of Zippor, the Moabite king, knew what the Israelites had done to the Amorites.
And when they saw how many Israelites there were, he and his people were terrified.
The king of Moab said to the leaders of Midian, "This mob will devour everything in sight, like an ox devours grass!" So Balak, king of Moab,
sent messengers to Balaam son of Beor, who was living in his native land of Pethor a near the Euphrates River. b He sent this message to request that Balaam come to help him: "A vast horde of people has arrived from Egypt. They cover the face of the earth and are threatening me.
Please come and curse them for me because they are so numerous. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know that blessings fall on the people you bless. I also know that the people you curse are doomed."
Balak's messengers, officials of both Moab and Midian, set out and took money with them to pay Balaam to curse Israel. They went to Balaam and urgently explained to him what Balak wanted.
"Stay here overnight," Balaam said. "In the morning I will tell you whatever the LORD directs me to say." So the officials from Moab stayed there with Balaam.
That night God came to Balaam and asked him, "Who are these men with you?"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)