Numbers 22:1-21

Balak summons Balaam to curse the Israelites

1 The Israelites marched and camped in the plains of Moab across the Jordan from Jericho.
2 Balak, Zippor's son, saw everything that the Israelites did to the Amorites.
3 The Moabites greatly feared the people, for they were so numerous. The Moabites were terrified of the Israelites.
4 The Moabites said to the elders of Midian, "Now this assembly will devour everything around us, as an ox eats up the grass in the field." Balak, Zippor's son, was king of Moab at that time.
5 He sent messengers to Balaam, Beor's son, at Pethor, which is by the river in the land of his people, to summon him: "A people has come out of Egypt, and they have now covered the land. They have settled next to me.
6 Now please come and curse this people for me because they are stronger than I am. Perhaps I'll be able to destroy them and drive them from the land, for I know that whomever you bless is blessed and whomever you curse is cursed."
7 So the elders of Moab and Midian went with the payment for divination in their hands. They came to Balaam and told him Balak's words.
8 He said to them, "Spend the night here and I'll bring back to you a word exactly as the LORD speaks to me." So the officials of Moab stayed with Balaam.
9 God came to Balaam and said, "Who are these men with you?"
10 Balaam said to God, "Moab's King Balak, Zippor's son, sent them to me with the message,
11 ‘A people has come out of Egypt and covered the land. Now come and curse them for me. Perhaps I'll be able to fight against them and drive them out.'"
12 God said to Balaam, "Don't go with them. Don't curse the people, because they are blessed."
13 Then Balaam arose in the morning and said to Balak's officials, "Go to your land, for the LORD has refused to allow me to go with you."
14 The officials of Moab arose, they went to Balak, and they said, "Balaam refused to come with us."
15 Balak continued to send other officials more numerous and important than these.
16 They came to Balaam and said to him, "This is what Balak, Zippor's son, says: ‘Please let nothing hold you back from coming to me,
17 for I'll greatly honor you and I'll do anything you ask of me. Please come and curse this people for me.'"
18 Balaam answered and said to Balak's servants, "If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I wouldn't be able to do anything, small or great, to break the command of the LORD my God.
19 Now you also must remain the night here so that I may know what else the LORD may say to me."
20 God came to Balaam in the night and said to him, "If the men have come to summon you, arise and go with them. But you must do only what I tell you to do."
21 So Balaam arose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the officials of Moab.