Numbers 23; Numbers 24; Numbers 25

1 Balaam said to Balak, "Build me seven altars here and prepare for me seven bulls and seven rams." 2 Balak did as Balaam had said. Then Balak and Balaam offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 3 Balaam said to Balak, "Stay by your entirely burned offering. I will go and perhaps the LORD will grant me an appearance and speak. Whatever he shows me, I will tell you." Then he went off to a high outlook. 4 God granted Balaam an appearance. Balaam said to him, "I have arranged seven altars and I have sacrificed a bull and a ram on each altar." 5 The LORD gave Balaam something to say, and said to him, "Return to Balak and say this." 6 Balaam returned to him, while he and all the officials of Moab were standing next to his entirely burned offering. 7 Then he raised his voice and made his address: "From Aram Balak led me, the king of Moab, from the eastern mountains. Come, curse Jacob for me; come, denounce Israel. 8 How can I curse whom God hasn't cursed? How can I denounce whom God hasn't denounced? 9 From the top of the rocks I see him; from the hills I gaze on him. Here is a people living alone; it doesn't consider itself among the nations. 10 Who can count the dust of Jacob, or number a fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of those who do right, and let my end be like his." 11 Then Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemy. But now you've blessed him." 12 He answered and said, "Don't I have to take care to speak whatever the LORD gives me to say?" 13 Then Balak said to Balaam, "Come with me, please, to another place where you'll see them. You'll see only part of them. You won't see all of them. Then curse them for me from there." 14 He took him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah. He built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 15 Then Balaam said to Balak, "Stand here by your entirely burned offering, while I seek an appearance over there." 16 The LORD granted Balaam an appearance and gave him a message. He said, "Return to Balak and say this." 17 Balaam approached Balak, who was standing by his entirely burned offering with the officials of Moab. Balak said to him, "What did the LORD say?" 18 Then Balaam raised his voice and made his address: "Arise, Balak, and listen; hear me out, Zippor's son. 19 God isn't a man that he would lie, or a human being that he would change his mind. Has he ever spoken and not done it, or promised and not fulfilled it? 20 I received a blessing, and he blessed. I can't take it back. 21 He hasn't envisioned misfortune for Jacob, nor has he seen trouble for Israel. The LORD his God is with him, proclaimed as his king. 22 God, who brought them out of Egypt, is like a magnificent wild bull for him. 23 There is no omen against Jacob, no divination against Israel. Instantly it is told to Jacob, and to Israel, what God performs. 24 A people now rises like a lioness, like a lion it stands up. It doesn't lie down until it eats the prey and drinks the blood of the slain." 25 Then Balak said to Balaam, "Don't curse them or bless them." 26 But Balaam answered and said to Balak, "Didn't I say to you, ‘I'll do whatever the LORD tells me to'?" 27 Balak said to Balaam, "Please come and I'll take you to another place. Perhaps God will prefer it, so that you could curse him for me from there." 28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, which overlooks Jeshimon. 29 Balaam said to Balak, "Build me seven altars here and prepare for me seven bulls and seven rams." 30 Balak did just as Balaam said. He offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
1 Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless the Israelites, so he didn't go as the other times to seek omens. Instead, he turned toward the desert. 2 Balaam looked up and saw Israel camping by tribes. Then God's spirit came on him. 3 He raised his voice and made his address: "The oracle of Balaam, Beor's son; the oracle of a man whose eye is open. 4 The oracle of one who hears God's speech, who perceives the Almighty's visions, who falls down with eyes uncovered. 5 How beautiful are your tents, Jacob, your camps, Israel! 6 Like palm groves that stretch out, like gardens next to a river, like eaglewood trees that the LORD has planted, like cedar trees next to water. 7 Water will drip from his branches; his seed will have plenty of water; his king will be higher than Agag, and his kingdom will be lifted up. 8 God, who brought him from Egypt, is like a magnificent wild bull for him. He will devour enemy nations and break their bones; he will strike with his arrows. 9 He crouched and lay down like a lion; like a lioness, who can make her rise? The one blessing you will be blessed, and the one cursing you will be cursed." 10 Balak was angry with Balaam. He pounded his fists. Balak said to Balaam, "I summoned you to curse my enemies, but now you've given a blessing these three times. 11 Now get out of here and go home. I told you I'd greatly honor you, but the LORD has denied you any honor." 12 Balaam said to Balak, "Didn't I tell your messengers, whom you sent to me, 13 ‘If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I wouldn't be able to break the LORD's command for good or ill by my own will. I'll say whatever the LORD says'? 14 So now I'm going to my people. Let me advise you what this people will do to your people in the days to come." 15 He raised his voice and made his address: "The oracle of Balaam, Beor's son, the oracle of a man whose eye is open. 16 The oracle of one who hears God's speech, and understands the Most High's knowledge, who perceives the Almighty's visions, who falls down with eyes uncovered. 17 I see him, but not now; I look at him, but not nearby. A star comes from Jacob; a scepter arises from Israel, smashing Moab's forehead, the head of all the Sethites. Seir a possession of its enemies. But Israel acts powerfully. 18 Edom will become a possession, 19 Someone from Jacob will rule and destroy the survivors from Ir." 20 He looked at Amalek and raised his voice and gave his address: "Amalek is foremost among the nations, but its end is to perish forever." 21 He looked at the Kenites and raised his voice and gave his address: "Your dwelling is secure; your nest is set in the rock. 22 Yet Kain will burn when Asshur takes you away captive." 23 He raised his voice and made his address: "How terrible! Who will live when God does this? 24 Ships from Kittim will attack Asshur; they will attack Eber, and even he will perish forever." 25 Then Balaam arose, set out, and returned home. Balak also went on his way.
1 When the Israelites lived at Shittim, the people made themselves impure by having illicit sex with Moabite women. 2 The Moabite women invited the people to the sacrifices for their god. So the people ate a meal, and they worshipped their god. 3 Israel became attached to the Baal of Peor, and the LORD was angry at the Israelites. 4 The LORD said to Moses: Take all the leaders of the people and kill them on behalf of the LORD in broad daylight, so that the LORD's anger turns away from Israel. 5 Then Moses said to Israel's officials, "Each of you: kill your men who are attached to the Baal of Peor." 6 An Israelite man brought a Midianite woman to his brothers in the sight of Moses and the entire Israelite community, who were weeping at the entrance of the meeting tent. 7 When Phinehas (Eleazar's son and Aaron the priest's grandson) saw this, he arose in the middle of the community, took a spear in his hand, 8 went after the Israelite man into the chamber, and stabbed the two of them, the Israelite man and the woman, through the stomach. Then the plague stopped spreading among the Israelites. 9 Yet those who died by the plague numbered twenty-four thousand. 10 The LORD spoke to Moses: 11 Phinehas (Eleazar's son and Aaron the priest's grandson) has turned back my rage toward the Israelites. Because he was jealous for me among you, I didn't consume the Israelites due to my jealousy. 12 Therefore, say: I'm now giving him my covenant of well-being. 13 It will be for him and his descendants a covenant of permanent priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and sought reconciliation for the Israelites. 14 The name of the slain Israelite man who was killed with the Midianite woman was Zimri the son of Salu, chief of Simeon's household. 15 The name of the slain Midianite woman was Cozbi the daughter of Zur, a tribal leader of a Midianite household. 16 The LORD spoke to Moses: 17 Go after the Midianites and destroy them 18 because they went after you by the deception they devised for you at Peor with Cozbi, the Midianite chief's daughter and their sister, who was killed on the same day as the plague during the events at Peor.
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