Amplified Bible

Numbers 23

The Prophecies of Balaam

1Then Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars for me here, and prepare for me seven bulls and seven rams here.” Balak did just as Balaam had said, and Balak and Balaam offered a bull and a ram on each altar. Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stand beside your burnt offering and I will go. Perhaps the Lord will come to meet me; and whatever He shows me I will tell you.” So he went to a desolate hill.

Now God met Balaam, who said to Him, “I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered a bull and a ram on each altar.” Then the Lord put a speech in Balaam’s mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and you shall speak thus.” Balaam returned to Balak, and behold, he was standing by his burnt sacrifice, he and all the leaders of Moab. Balaam took up his [first] discourse (oracle) and said:

“Balak, the king of Moab, has brought me from Aram (Syria),
from the mountains of the east, [saying,]
‘Come, curse [the descendants of] Jacob for me;
And come, [violently] denounce Israel.’

“How shall I curse those whom God has not cursed?
Or how can I [violently] denounce those the Lord has not denounced?

“For from the top of the rocks I see Israel,
And from the hills I look at him.
Behold, the people [of Israel] shall dwell alone
And will not be reckoned among the nations.
10 
“Who can count the dust (the descendants) of Jacob
And the number of even the fourth part of Israel?
Let me die the death of the righteous [those who are upright and in right standing with God],
And let my end be like his!”

11 Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but here you have [thoroughly] blessed them instead!” 12 Balaam answered, “Must I not be obedient and careful to speak what the Lord has put in my mouth?”

13 Balak said to him, “Come with me, I implore you, to another place from where you can see them, although you will see only the nearest and not all of them; and curse them for me from there.” 14 So he took Balaam to the field of Zophim to the top of [Mount] Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 15 Balaam said to Balak, “Stand here beside your burnt offering while I go to meet the Lord over there.” 16 Then the Lord met Balaam and put a speech in his mouth, and said, “Go back to Balak and you shall speak thus.” 17 When Balaam returned to Balak, he was standing beside his burnt offering, and the leaders of Moab were with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the Lord spoken?” 18 Balaam took up his [second] discourse (oracle) and said:

“Rise up, O Balak, and hear;
Listen [closely] to me, son of Zippor.
19 
“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken and will He not make it good and fulfill it?
20 
“Behold, I have received His command to bless [Israel].
He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.
21 
“God has not observed wickedness in Jacob [for he is forgiven],
Nor has He seen trouble in Israel.
The Lord their God is with Israel,
And the shout of their King is among the people.
22 
“God brought them out of Egypt;
They have the strength of a wild ox.
23 
“For there is no enchantment or omen against Jacob,
Nor is there any divination against Israel.
At the proper time it shall be said to Jacob
And to Israel, what has God done!
24 
“Behold, a people rises up like a lioness
And lifts itself up like a lion;
He will not lie down until he devours the prey
And drinks the blood of the slain.”

25 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all nor bless them at all!” 26 But Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not say to you, ‘All that the Lord speaks, that I must do?’”

27 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Please come; I will take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God to let you curse them for me from there.” 28 So Balak brought Balaam to the top of [Mount] Peor, that overlooks the wasteland. 29 And Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars for me here, and prepare for me seven bulls and seven rams here.” 30 Balak did just as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.

New Living Translation

Numbers 23

Balaam Blesses Israel

1Then Balaam said to King Balak, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven young bulls and seven rams for me to sacrifice.” Balak followed his instructions, and the two of them sacrificed a young bull and a ram on each altar.

Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stand here by your burnt offerings, and I will go to see if the Lord will respond to me. Then I will tell you whatever he reveals to me.” So Balaam went alone to the top of a bare hill, and God met him there. Balaam said to him, “I have prepared seven altars and have sacrificed a young bull and a ram on each altar.”

The Lord gave Balaam a message for King Balak. Then he said, “Go back to Balak and give him my message.”

So Balaam returned and found the king standing beside his burnt offerings with all the officials of Moab. This was the message Balaam delivered:

“Balak summoned me to come from Aram;
    the king of Moab brought me from the eastern hills.
‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me!
    Come and announce Israel’s doom.’
But how can I curse those
    whom God has not cursed?
How can I condemn those
    whom the Lord has not condemned?
I see them from the cliff tops;
    I watch them from the hills.
I see a people who live by themselves,
    set apart from other nations.
10 Who can count Jacob’s descendants, as numerous as dust?
    Who can count even a fourth of Israel’s people?
Let me die like the righteous;
    let my life end like theirs.”

11 Then King Balak demanded of Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies. Instead, you have blessed them!”

12 But Balaam replied, “I will speak only the message that the Lord puts in my mouth.”

Balaam’s Second Message

13 Then King Balak told him, “Come with me to another place. There you will see another part of the nation of Israel, but not all of them. Curse at least that many!” 14 So Balak took Balaam to the plateau of Zophim on Pisgah Peak. He built seven altars there and offered a young bull and a ram on each altar.

15 Then Balaam said to the king, “Stand here by your burnt offerings while I go over there to meet the Lord.”

16 And the Lord met Balaam and gave him a message. Then he said, “Go back to Balak and give him my message.”

17 So Balaam returned and found the king standing beside his burnt offerings with all the officials of Moab. “What did the Lord say?” Balak asked eagerly.

18 This was the message Balaam delivered:

“Rise up, Balak, and listen!
    Hear me, son of Zippor.
19 God is not a man, so he does not lie.
    He is not human, so he does not change his mind.
Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
    Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
20 Listen, I received a command to bless;
    God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it!
21 No misfortune is in his plan for Jacob;
    no trouble is in store for Israel.
For the Lord their God is with them;
    he has been proclaimed their king.
22 God brought them out of Egypt;
    for them he is as strong as a wild ox.
23 No curse can touch Jacob;
    no magic has any power against Israel.
For now it will be said of Jacob,
    ‘What wonders God has done for Israel!’
24 These people rise up like a lioness,
    like a majestic lion rousing itself.
They refuse to rest
    until they have feasted on prey,
    drinking the blood of the slaughtered!”

25 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Fine, but if you won’t curse them, at least don’t bless them!”

26 But Balaam replied to Balak, “Didn’t I tell you that I can do only what the Lord tells me?”

Balaam’s Third Message

27 Then King Balak said to Balaam, “Come, I will take you to one more place. Perhaps it will please God to let you curse them from there.”

28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Mount Peor, overlooking the wasteland.[a] 29 Balaam again told Balak, “Build me seven altars, and prepare seven young bulls and seven rams for me to sacrifice.” 30 So Balak did as Balaam ordered and offered a young bull and a ram on each altar.

Notas al pie

  1. 23:28 Or overlooking Jeshimon.