Then the Israelites traveled to the plains of Moab and camped along the Jordan across from Jericho.
Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites,
and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites.
The Moabites said to the elders of Midian, "This horde is going to lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field." So Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time,
sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the River, in his native land. Balak said: "A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me.
Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the country. For I know that those you bless are blessed, and those you curse are cursed."
The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.
"Spend the night here," Balaam said to them, "and I will bring you back the answer the LORD gives me." So the Moabite princes stayed with him.
God came to Balaam and asked, "Who are these men with you?"
Balaam said to God, "Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent me this message:
'A people that has come out of Egypt covers the face of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. Perhaps then I will be able to fight them and drive them away.' "
But God said to Balaam, "Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed."
The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak's princes, "Go back to your own country, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you."
So the Moabite princes returned to Balak and said, "Balaam refused to come with us."
Then Balak sent other princes, more numerous and more distinguished than the first.
They came to Balaam and said: "This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Do not let anything keep you from coming to me,
because I will reward you handsomely and do whatever you say. Come and put a curse on these people for me."
But Balaam answered them, "Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the LORD my God.
Now stay here tonight as the others did, and I will find out what else the LORD will tell me."
That night God came to Balaam and said, "Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you."
Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.
But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.
When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.
Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides.
When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam's foot against it. So he beat her again.
Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left.
When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff.
Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?"
Balaam answered the donkey, "You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now."
The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?" "No," he said.
Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.
The angel of the LORD asked him, "Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.
The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her."
Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back."
The angel of the LORD said to Balaam, "Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you." So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the Moabite town on the Arnon border, at the edge of his territory.
Balak said to Balaam, "Did I not send you an urgent summons? Why didn't you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?"
"Well, I have come to you now," Balaam replied. "But can I say just anything? I must speak only what God puts in my mouth."
Then Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath Huzoth.
Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and gave some to Balaam and the princes who were with him.
The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth Baal, and from there he saw part of the people.
The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John,
although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.
When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
Now he had to go through Samaria.
So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"8
(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. )
Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."11
"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"
Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."15
The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."
He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back."17
"I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband.18The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."19
"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet.
Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."
Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."25
The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."
Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."
Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?"
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people,
"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ ?"
They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something."
But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about."33
Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?"
34"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.35Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.37Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true.38I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."
Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did."
So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.
And because of his words many more became believers.
They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."
After the two days he left for Galilee.
(Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.)
When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, for they also had been there.
Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum.
When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
48"Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe."49
The royal official said, "Sir, come down before my child dies."
Jesus replied, "You may go. Your son will live." The man took Jesus at his word and departed.
While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.
When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, "The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour."
Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live." So he and all his household believed.
This was the second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee.