Then Balak said to Balaam, “Please come, I will take you to another place; perhaps it will be [a]agreeable with God that you curse them for me from there.” So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor which overlooks the [b]wasteland. Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars for me here and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me here.” Balak did just as Balaam had said, and offered up a bull and a ram on each altar.
The Prophecy from Peor
When Balaam saw that it [a]pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go as at other times to [b]seek omens but he set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel [c]camping tribe by tribe; and the Spirit of God came upon him. He took up his [d]discourse and said,
“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
And the oracle of the man whose eye is opened;
The oracle of him who hears the [e]words of God,
Who sees the vision of [f]the Almighty,
Falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered,
How fair are your tents, O Jacob,
Your dwellings, O Israel!
“Like [g]valleys that stretch out,
Like gardens beside the river,
Like aloes planted by the Lord,
Like cedars beside the waters.
“Water will flow from his buckets,
And his seed will be by many waters,
And his king shall be higher than Agag,
And his kingdom shall be exalted.
“God brings him out of Egypt,
He is for him like the horns of the wild ox.
He will devour the nations who are his adversaries,
And will crush their bones in pieces,
And shatter them with his arrows.
“He [h]couches, he lies down as a lion,
And as a [i]lion, who [j]dares rouse him?
Blessed is everyone who blesses you,
And cursed is everyone who curses you.”
Then Balak’s anger burned against Balaam, and he struck his [k]hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, but behold, you have persisted in blessing them these three times! Therefore, [l]flee to your place now. I said I would honor you greatly, but behold, the Lord has held you back from honor.” Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you had sent to me, saying, ‘Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything contrary to the [m]command of the Lord, either good or bad, of my own [n]accord. What the Lord speaks, that I will speak’? And now, behold, I am going to my people; come, and I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the [o]days to come.”
He took up his discourse and said,
“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
And the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
The oracle of him who hears the [p]words of God,
And knows the knowledge of the [q]Most High,
Who sees the vision of [r]the Almighty,
Falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered.
“I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near;
A star shall come forth from Jacob,
A scepter shall rise from Israel,
And shall crush through the [s]forehead of Moab,
And [t]tear down all the sons of [u]Sheth.
“Edom shall be a possession,
Seir, its enemies, also will be a possession,
While Israel performs valiantly.
“One from Jacob shall have dominion,
And will destroy the remnant from the city.”
And he looked at Amalek and took up his discourse and said,
“Amalek was the first of the nations,
But his end shall be [v]destruction.”
And he looked at the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said,
“Your dwelling place is enduring,
And your nest is set in the cliff.
“Nevertheless Kain will be consumed;
How long will Asshur [w]keep you captive?”
Then he took up his discourse and said,
“Alas, who can live except God has ordained it?
“But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim,
And they shall afflict Asshur and will afflict Eber;
So they also will come to destruction.”
Then Balaam arose and departed and returned to his place, and Balak also went his way.
- Numbers 24:1 Lit was good in the eyes of
- Numbers 24:1 Lit encounter
- Numbers 24:2 Lit dwelling
- Numbers 24:3 Lit parable, and so throughout the ch
- Numbers 24:4 Lit sayings
- Numbers 24:4 Heb Shaddai
- Numbers 24:6 Or possibly palm trees
- Numbers 24:9 Lit bows down
- Numbers 24:9 Or lioness
- Numbers 24:9 Lit shall
- Numbers 24:10 Lit palms
- Numbers 24:11 Lit flee for yourself
- Numbers 24:13 Lit mouth
- Numbers 24:13 Lit heart
- Numbers 24:14 Lit end of the days
- Numbers 24:16 Lit sayings
- Numbers 24:16 Heb Elyon
- Numbers 24:16 Heb Shaddai
- Numbers 24:17 Lit corners
- Numbers 24:17 Another reading is the crown of the head of
- Numbers 24:17 I.e. tumult
- Numbers 24:20 Lit to destroying
- Numbers 24:22 Lit take
The Sin of Peor
While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab. For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel joined themselves to [a]Baal of Peor, and the Lord was angry against Israel. The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people and execute them [b]in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.” So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you slay his men who have joined themselves to [c]Baal of Peor.”
Then behold, one of the sons of Israel came and brought to his [d]relatives a Midianite woman, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, while they were weeping at the doorway of the tent of meeting. When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he arose from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand, and he went after the man of Israel into the [e]tent and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the [f]body. So the plague on the sons of Israel was checked. Those who died by the plague were 24,000.
The Zeal of Phinehas
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy. Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give him My covenant of peace; and it shall be for him and his [g]descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the sons of Israel.’”
Now the name of the [h]slain man of Israel who was [i]slain with the Midianite woman, was Zimri the son of Salu, a leader of a father’s household among the Simeonites. The name of the Midianite woman who was [j]slain was Cozbi the daughter of Zur, [k]who was head of the people of a father’s household in Midian.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Be hostile to the Midianites and strike them; for they have been hostile to you with their tricks, with which they have deceived you in the affair of Peor and in the affair of Cozbi, the daughter of the leader of Midian, their sister who was slain on the day of the plague because of Peor.”
- Numbers 25:3 Or Baal-peor
- Numbers 25:4 Lit in front of the sun
- Numbers 25:5 Or Baal-peor
- Numbers 25:6 Lit brothers
- Numbers 25:8 Or inner rooms
- Numbers 25:8 Or belly
- Numbers 25:13 Lit seed
- Numbers 25:14 Lit smitten
- Numbers 25:14 Lit smitten
- Numbers 25:15 Lit smitten
- Numbers 25:15 Lit he