1 Balaam said, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.” 2 Balak did as Balaam said, and the two of them offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 3 Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your offering while I go aside. Perhaps the LORD will come to meet with me. Whatever he reveals to me I will tell you.” Then he went off to a barren height. 4 God met with him, and Balaam said, “I have prepared seven altars, and on each altar I have offered a bull and a ram.” 5 The LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Go back to Balak and give him this word.” 6 So he went back to him and found him standing beside his offering, with all the Moabite officials. 7 Then Balaam spoke his message: “Balak brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains. ‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me; come, denounce Israel.’ 8 How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the LORD has not denounced? 9 From the rocky peaks I see them, from the heights I view them. I see a people who live apart and do not consider themselves one of the nations. 10 Who can count the dust of Jacob or number even a fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my final end be like theirs!” 11 Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but you have done nothing but bless them!” 12 He answered, “Must I not speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?” 13 Then Balak said to him, “Come with me to another place where you can see them; you will not see them all but only the outskirts of their camp. And from there, curse them for me.” 14 So he took him to the field of Zophim on the top of Pisgah, and there he built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 15 Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your offering while I meet with him over there.” 16 The LORD met with Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, “Go back to Balak and give him this word.” 17 So he went to him and found him standing beside his offering, with the Moabite officials. Balak asked him, “What did the LORD say?” 18 Then he spoke his message: “Arise, Balak, and listen; hear me, son of Zippor. 19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? 20 I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it. 21 “No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed in Israel. The LORD their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them. 22 God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. 23 There is no divination against Jacob, no evil omens against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’ 24 The people rise like a lioness; they rouse themselves like a lion that does not rest till it devours its prey and drinks the blood of its victims.” 25 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all nor bless them at all!” 26 Balaam answered, “Did I not tell you I must do whatever the LORD says?” 27 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Come, let me take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God to let you curse them for me from there.” 28 And Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, overlooking the wasteland. 29 Balaam said, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.” 30 Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
1 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not resort to divination as at other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness. 2 When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him 3 and he spoke his message: “The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor, the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly, 4 the prophecy of one who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty,who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened: 5 “How beautiful are your tents, Jacob, your dwelling places, Israel! 6 “Like valleys they spread out, like gardens beside a river, like aloes planted by the LORD, like cedars beside the waters. 7 Water will flow from their buckets; their seed will have abundant water. “Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted. 8 “God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. They devour hostile nations and break their bones in pieces; with their arrows they pierce them. 9 Like a lion they crouch and lie down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse them? “May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed!” 10 Then Balak’s anger burned against Balaam. He struck his hands together and said to him, “I summoned you to curse my enemies, but you have blessed them these three times. 11 Now leave at once and go home! I said I would reward you handsomely, but the LORD has kept you from being rewarded.” 12 Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not tell the messengers you sent me, 13 ‘Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything of my own accord, good or bad, to go beyond the command of the LORD—and I must say only what the LORD says’? 14 Now I am going back to my people, but come, let me warn you of what this people will do to your people in days to come.” 15 Then he spoke his message: “The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor, the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly, 16 the prophecy of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened: 17 “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the people of Sheth. 18 Edom will be conquered; Seir, his enemy, will be conquered, but Israel will grow strong. 19 A ruler will come out of Jacob and destroy the survivors of the city.” 20 Then Balaam saw Amalek and spoke his message: “Amalek was first among the nations, but their end will be utter destruction.” 21 Then he saw the Kenites and spoke his message: “Your dwelling place is secure, your nest is set in a rock; 22 yet you Kenites will be destroyed when Ashur takes you captive.” 23 Then he spoke his message: “Alas! Who can live when God does this? 24 Ships will come from the shores of Cyprus; they will subdue Ashur and Eber, but they too will come to ruin.” 25 Then Balaam got up and returned home, and Balak went his own way.
1 While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, 2 who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods. 3 So Israel yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor. And the LORD’s anger burned against them. 4 The LORD said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the LORD, so that the LORD’s fierce anger may turn away from Israel.” 5 So Moses said to Israel’s judges, “Each of you must put to death those of your people who have yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor.” 6 Then an Israelite man brought into the camp a Midianite woman right before the eyes of Moses and the whole assembly of Israel while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 7 When Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, saw this, he left the assembly, took a spear in his hand 8 and followed the Israelite into the tent. He drove the spear into both of them, right through the Israelite man and into the woman’s stomach. Then the plague against the Israelites was stopped; 9 but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000. 10 The LORD said to Moses, 11 “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal. 12 Therefore tell him I am making my covenant of peace with him. 13 He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood, because he was zealous for the honor of his God and made atonement for the Israelites.” 14 The name of the Israelite who was killed with the Midianite woman was Zimri son of Salu, the leader of a Simeonite family. 15 And the name of the Midianite woman who was put to death was Kozbi daughter of Zur, a tribal chief of a Midianite family. 16 The LORD said to Moses, 17 “Treat the Midianites as enemies and kill them. 18 They treated you as enemies when they deceived you in the Peor incident involving their sister Kozbi, the daughter of a Midianite leader, the woman who was killed when the plague came as a result of that incident.”