The children of Yisra'el journeyed, and encamped in the plains of Mo'av beyond the Yarden at Yericho.
Balak the son of Tzippor saw all that Yisra'el had done to the Amori.
Mo'av was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Mo'av was distressed because of the children of Yisra'el.
Mo'av said to the Zakenim of Midyan, Now will this multitude lick up all that is round about us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field. Balak the son of Tzippor was king of Mo'av at that time.
He sent messengers to Bil`am the son of Be'or, to Petor, which is by the River, to the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Mitzrayim: behold, they cover the surface of the eretz, and they abide over against me.
Please come now therefore curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may strike them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.
The Zakenim of Mo'av and the Zakenim of Midyan departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came to Bil`am, and spoke to him the words of Balak.
He said to them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak to me: and the princes of Mo'av abode with Bil`am.
God came to Bil`am, and said, What men are these with you?
Bil`am said to God, Balak the son of Tzippor, king of Mo'av, has sent to me, [saying],
Behold, the people that is come out of Mitzrayim, it covers the surface of the eretz: now, come curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out.
God said to Bil`am, You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people; for they are blessed.
Bil`am rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, Get you into your land; for the LORD refuses to give me leave to go with you.
The princes of Mo'av rose up, and they went to Balak, and said, Bil`am refuses to come with us.
Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honorable than they.
They came to Bil`am, and said to him, Thus says Balak the son of Tzippor, Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me:
for I will promote you to very great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Please come therefore, and curse this people for me.
Bil`am answered the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can't go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.
Now therefore, please wait also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will speak to me more.
God came to Bil`am at night, and said to him, If the men are come to call you, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak to you, that shall you do.
Bil`am rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Mo'av.
God's anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of the LORD placed himself in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.
The donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and the donkey turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Bil`am struck the donkey, to turn her into the way.
Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.
The donkey saw the angel of the LORD, and she thrust herself to the wall, and crushed Bil`am's foot against the wall: and he struck her again.
The angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.
The donkey saw the angel of the LORD, and she lay down under Bil`am: and Bil`am's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff.
The LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Bil`am, What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?
Bil`am said to the donkey, Because you have mocked me, I would there were a sword in my hand, for now I had killed you.
The donkey said to Bil`am, Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? was I ever wont to do so to you? and he said, No.
Then the LORD opened the eyes of Bil`am, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face.
The angel of the LORD said to him, Why have you struck your donkey these three times? behold, I am come forth for an adversary, because your way is perverse before me:
and the donkey saw me, and turned aside before me these three times: unless she had turned aside from me, surely now I had even slain you, and saved her alive.
Bil`am said to the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I didn't know that you stood in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease you, I will get me back again.
The angel of the LORD said to Bil`am, Go with the men; but only the word that I shall speak to you, that you shall speak. So Bil`am went with the princes of Balak.
When Balak heard that Bil`am was come, he went out to meet him to the City of Mo'av, which is on the border of the Arnon, which is in the utmost part of the border.
Balak said to Bil`am, Didn't I earnestly send to you to call you? why didn't you come to me? am I not able indeed to promote you to honor?
Bil`am said to Balak, Behold, I have come to you: have I now any power at all to speak anything? the word that God puts in my mouth, that shall I speak.
Bil`am went with Balak, and they came to Kiryat-Hutzot.
Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent to Bil`am, and to the princes who were with him.
It happened in the morning, that Balak took Bil`am, and brought him up into the high places of Ba`al; and he saw from there the utmost part of the people.