Balaam said to Balak, "Build me seven altars here. Prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me to sacrifice."
Balak did just as Balaam said. The two of them offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
Then Balaam said to Balak, "Stay here beside your offering. I'll go and try to find out what the LORD wants me to do. Maybe he'll come and meet with me. Then I'll tell you what he says to me." So Balaam went off to a bare hilltop.
God met with him there. Balaam said, "I've prepared seven altars. On each altar I've offered a bull and a ram.
The LORD put a message in Balaam's mouth. The LORD said, "Go back to Balak. Give him my message."
So Balaam went back to him. He found Balak standing beside his offering. All of the princes of Moab were with him.
Then Balaam spoke the message he had received from God. He said, "Balak brought me from the land of Aram. The king of Moab sent for me from the mountains in the east. 'Come,' he said. 'Put a curse on Jacob's people for me. Come. Speak against Israel.'
But how can I put a curse on people God hasn't cursed? How can I speak against people the LORD hasn't spoken against?
I see them from the rocky peaks. I view them from the hills. I see a group of people who live by themselves. They don't consider themselves to be one of the nations.
Jacob's people are like the dust of the earth. Can dust be counted? Who can count even a fourth of the people of Israel? Let me die as godly people die. Let my death be like theirs!"
Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? I brought you here to put a curse on my enemies! But all you have done is give them a blessing!"
He answered, "I have to speak only the words the LORD puts in my mouth."