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Balaam’s Third Oracle

1 When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness.
2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him,
3 and he took up his discourse and said, “The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,1
4 the oracle of him who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered:
5 How lovely are your tents, O Jacob, your encampments, O Israel!
6 Like palm groves2 that stretch afar, like gardens beside a river, like aloes that the Lord has planted, like cedar trees beside the waters.
7 Water shall flow from his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters; his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.
8 God brings him out of Egypt and is for him like the horns of the wild ox; he shall eat up the nations, his adversaries, and shall break their bones in pieces and pierce them through with his arrows.
9 He crouched, he lay down like a lion and like a lioness; who will rouse him up? Blessed are those who bless you, and cursed are those who curse you.”
10 And Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together. And Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them these three times.
11 Therefore now flee to your own place. I said, ‘I will certainly honor you,’ but the Lord has held you back from honor.”
12 And Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me,
13 ‘If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own will. What the Lord speaks, that will I speak’?
14 And now, behold, I am going to my people. Come, I will let you know what this people will do to your people in the latter days.”

Balaam’s Final Oracle

15 And he took up his discourse and said, “The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
16 the oracle of him who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered:
17 I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead3 of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth.
18 Edom shall be dispossessed; Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed. Israel is doing valiantly.
19 And one from Jacob shall exercise dominion and destroy the survivors of cities!”
20 Then he looked on Amalek and took up his discourse and said, “Amalek was the first among the nations, but its end is utter destruction.”
21 And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said, “Enduring is your dwelling place, and your nest is set in the rock.
22 Nevertheless, Kain shall be burned when Asshur takes you away captive.”
23 And he took up his discourse and said, “Alas, who shall live when God does this?
24 But ships shall come from Kittim and shall afflict Asshur and Eber; and he too shall come to utter destruction.”
25 Then Balaam rose and went back to his place. And Balak also went his way.
1 Or closed, or perfect; also verse 15
2 Or valleys
3 Hebrew corners [of the head]
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,1 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.”

Balaam’s Fourth Message

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 skulls2 of3 all the people of Sheth.4
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.”

Balaam’s Fifth Message

20 Then Balaam saw Amalek and spoke his message: “Amalek was first among the nations, but their end will be utter destruction.”

Balaam’s Sixth Message

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.”

Balaam’s Seventh Message

23 Then he spoke his message: “Alas! Who can live when God does this?5
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 Hebrew Shaddai; also in verse 16
2 Samaritan Pentateuch (see also Jer. 48:45); the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain.
3 Or possibly Moab, batter
4 Or all the noisy boasters
5 Masoretic Text; with a different word division of the Hebrew The people from the islands will gather from the north.
1 And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.
2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him.
3 And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
4 He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance , but having his eyes open:
5 How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel!
6 As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river' side, as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.
7 He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.
8 God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.
9 He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.
10 And Balak' anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times.
11 Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honour.
12 And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying,
13 If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the LORD, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the LORD saith, that will I speak?
14 And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.
15 And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
16 He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance , but having his eyes open:
17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
18 And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.
19 Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.
20 And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.
21 And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwellingplace, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock.
22 Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.
23 And he took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God doeth this!
24 And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever.
25 And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way.
1 Hebrew Shaddai; also in verse 16
2 Samaritan Pentateuch (see also Jer. 48:45); the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain.
3 Or possibly Moab, batter
4 Or all the noisy boasters
5 Masoretic Text; with a different word division of the Hebrew The people from the islands will gather from the north.
1 Balaam saw that the Lord was pleased to give his blessing to Israel. So he didn't try to use evil magic as he had done at other times. Instead, he turned and looked toward the desert.
2 He looked out and saw Israel. They had set up their camps tribe by tribe. The Spirit of God came on him.
3 Balaam spoke the message he had received from God. He said, “Here is the message God gave Balaam, the son of Beor. It's the message God gave to the one who sees clearly.
4 It's the message God gave to the one who hears the words of God. He sees a vision from the Mighty One. He falls down flat with his face toward the ground. His eyes have been opened by the Lord.
5 “People of Jacob, your tents are very beautiful. Israel, the places where you live are very beautiful.
6 “They spread out like valleys. They are like gardens beside a river. They are like aloes the Lord has planted. They are like cedar trees beside a stream.
7 Their water buckets will run over. Their seeds will have plenty of water. “Their king will be greater than King Agag. Their kingdom will be honored.
8 “God brought them out of Egypt. They are as strong as a wild ox. They eat up nations that are at war with them. They break their bones in pieces. They wound them with their arrows.
9 Like a male lion they lie down and sleep. They are like a female lion. Who dares to wake them up? May those who bless you be blessed! May those who call down a curse on you be cursed!”
10 Then Balak's anger burned against Balaam. He slapped his hands together. He said to Balaam, “I sent for you to put a curse on my enemies. But you have given them a blessing three times.
11 Get out of here right away! Go home! I said I'd make you very rich. But the Lord has kept you from getting rich.”
12 Balaam answered Balak, “Here is what I told the messengers you sent me.
13 I said, ‘Balak could give me his palace filled with silver and gold. Even if I wanted to, I still couldn't do anything at all that goes beyond what the Lord commands. I have to say only what the Lord tells me to say.’
14 “Now I'm going back to my people. But come. Let me warn you about what these people will do to your people in days to come.”

Balaam's Fourth Message From God

15 Then Balaam spoke the message he had received from God. He said, “Here is the message God gave Balaam, the son of Beor. It's the message God gave to the one who sees clearly.
16 It's the message God gave to the one who hears the words of God. The Most High God has given him knowledge. He sees a vision from the Mighty One. He falls down flat with his face toward the ground. His eyes have been opened by the Lord.
17 “I see him, but I don't see him now. I view him, but he isn't near. A star will come from among the people of Jacob. A king will rise up out of Israel. He'll crush the foreheads of the people of Moab. He'll crush the skulls of all of the sons of Sheth.
18 He'll win the battle over Edom. He'll win the battle over his enemy Seir. But Israel will grow strong.
19 A ruler will come from among the people of Jacob. He'll destroy those from the city who are still alive.”

Balaam's Fifth Message From God

20 Then Balaam saw the people of Amalek. He spoke the message he had received from God. He said, “Amalek was the first nation to attack Israel. But they will finally be destroyed.”

Balaam's Sixth Message From God

21 Then he saw the Kenites. He spoke the message he had received from God. He said, “The place where you live is safe. Your nest is on a high cliff.
22 But you Kenites will be destroyed. Assyria will take you as prisoners.”

Balaam's Seventh Message From God

23 Then he spoke the message he had received from God. He said, “Who can live when God does this?
24 Ships will come from the shores of Kittim. They will bring Assyria and Eber under their control. But they themselves will also be destroyed.”
25 Then Balaam got up and returned home. And Balak went on his way.
1 Hebrew Shaddai; also in verse 16
2 Samaritan Pentateuch (see also Jer. 48:45); the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain.
3 Or possibly Moab, batter
4 Or all the noisy boasters
5 Masoretic Text; with a different word division of the Hebrew The people from the islands will gather from the north.
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