Amplified Bible

Numbers 24

The Prophecy from Peor

1When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go as he had done each time before [superstitiously] to seek omens and signs [in the natural world], but he set his face toward the wilderness (desert). And Balaam raised his eyes and he saw Israel living in their tents tribe by tribe; and the Spirit of God came on him. He took up his [third] discourse (oracle) and said:

“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
And the oracle of the man whose eye is opened [at last, to see clearly the purpose and will of God],

The oracle of one who hears the words of God,
Who sees the vision of the Almighty,
Falling down, but having his eyes open and uncovered,

How fair are your tents, O Jacob,
And your tabernacles, O Israel!

“Like valleys that stretch out,
Like gardens beside the river,
Like aloes planted by the Lord,
Like cedars beside the waters.

“Water [that is, great blessings] will flow from his buckets,
And his offspring will live by many waters,
And his king will be higher than [a]Agag,
And his kingdom shall be exalted.

“God brought Israel out of Egypt;
Israel has [b]strength like the wild ox;
He will devour [Gentile] nations, his adversaries (enemies),
And will crush their bones in pieces,
And shatter them with his arrows.

“He bowed down [to rest], he lies down as a lion;
And as a lioness, who dares to rouse him?
Blessed [of God] is he who blesses you,
And cursed [of God] is he who curses you.”

10 Then 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, but behold, you have done nothing but bless them these three times. 11 Therefore now flee to your place! I had intended to honor you greatly, but behold, the Lord has held you back from honor.” 12 Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you had sent to me, 13 ‘Even if Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own accord. What the Lord speaks, that I will speak?’ 14 And now, look, I am going to my people; come, I will advise you as to what this people [Israel] will do to your people [Moab] in the days to come.”

15 He took up his [fourth] discourse (oracle) 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 [c]Most High,
Who sees the vision of the [d]Almighty,
Falling down, but having his eyes open and uncovered:
17 
“I see Him, but not now;
I behold Him, but not near.
A star shall come forth from [the descendants of] Jacob,
A scepter shall rise out of [the descendants of] Israel
And shall crush the forehead of Moab
And destroy all the sons of Sheth.
18 
“Edom shall be [taken as] a possession,
[Mount] Seir, Israel’s enemies, also will be a possession,
While Israel performs valiantly.
19 
“One from [the descendants of] Jacob shall have dominion
And will destroy the remnant from the city.”

20 Balaam looked at Amalek and took up his [fifth] discourse (oracle) and said:

“Amalek was the first of the [neighboring] nations [to oppose the Israelites after they left Egypt],
But his end shall be [e]destruction.”

21 And Balaam looked at the Kenites and took up his [sixth] discourse (oracle) and said:

“Strong is your dwelling place,
And you set your nest in the cliff.
22 
“Nevertheless the Kenites will be consumed.
How long will Asshur (Assyria) keep you (Israel) captive?”

23 Then he took up his [seventh] discourse (oracle) and said:

“Alas, who can live unless God has ordained it?
24 
“But ships shall come from the coast of [f]Kittim,
And shall afflict Asshur (Assyria) and [g]Eber;
So they (the victors) also will come to destruction.”

25 Then Balaam arose and departed and returned to his place, and Balak also went on his way.

  1. Numbers 24:7 “Agag” was the title of the Amalekite kings, and here it represents the kingdom of the Gentiles. The Amalekites at that time were the most powerful of all the desert tribes (Num 24:20).
  2. Numbers 24:8 Lit horns.
  3. Numbers 24:16 Heb Elyon.
  4. Numbers 24:16 Heb Shaddai.
  5. Numbers 24:20 After the time of David, who was forced to rescue two of his wives from Amalekite bandits (1 Sam 30:18), the Amalekites are mentioned again only in Hezekiah’s time (1 Chr 4:43).
  6. Numbers 24:24 Cyprus and the greater part of the Mediterranean’s east coast.
  7. Numbers 24:24 The Hebrews, certain Arabs, and descendants of Nahor.

New American Standard Bible

Numbers 24

The Prophecy from Peor

1When 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.”

10 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! 11 Therefore, [l]flee to your place now. I said I would honor you greatly, but behold, the Lord has held you back from honor.” 12 Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you had sent to me, saying, 13 ‘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’? 14 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.”

15 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,
16 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.
17 “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.
18 “Edom shall be a possession,
Seir, its enemies, also will be a possession,
While Israel performs valiantly.
19 “One from Jacob shall have dominion,
And will destroy the remnant from the city.”

20 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.”

21 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.
22 “Nevertheless Kain will be consumed;
How long will Asshur [w]keep you captive?”

23 Then he took up his discourse and said,

“Alas, who can live except God has ordained it?
24 “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.”

25 Then Balaam arose and departed and returned to his place, and Balak also went his way.

  1. Numbers 24:1 Lit was good in the eyes of
  2. Numbers 24:1 Lit encounter
  3. Numbers 24:2 Lit dwelling
  4. Numbers 24:3 Lit parable, and so throughout the ch
  5. Numbers 24:4 Lit sayings
  6. Numbers 24:4 Heb Shaddai
  7. Numbers 24:6 Or possibly palm trees
  8. Numbers 24:9 Lit bows down
  9. Numbers 24:9 Or lioness
  10. Numbers 24:9 Lit shall
  11. Numbers 24:10 Lit palms
  12. Numbers 24:11 Lit flee for yourself
  13. Numbers 24:13 Lit mouth
  14. Numbers 24:13 Lit heart
  15. Numbers 24:14 Lit end of the days
  16. Numbers 24:16 Lit sayings
  17. Numbers 24:16 Heb Elyon
  18. Numbers 24:16 Heb Shaddai
  19. Numbers 24:17 Lit corners
  20. Numbers 24:17 Another reading is the crown of the head of
  21. Numbers 24:17 I.e. tumult
  22. Numbers 24:20 Lit to destroying
  23. Numbers 24:22 Lit take