Numbers 23

1Balaam said, “Build seven altars here. And prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.” 2Balak did the thing that Balaam asked. Then Balak and Balaam killed a ram and a bull on each of the altars. 3Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here near this altar. I will go to another place. Then the Lord will come to me, and he will tell me what I must say.” Then Balaam went away to a higher place. 4God came to Balaam at that place. And Balaam said, “I have prepared seven altars. And I have killed a bull and a ram as a sacrifice on each altar.” 5Then the Lord told Balaam what he should say. Then the Lord said, “Go back to Balak and say these things that I have given you to say.” 6So Balaam went back to Balak. Balak was still standing near the altar. And all the leaders of Moab were standing there with them. 7Then Balaam said these things: Balak king of Moab brought me here from the eastern mountains of Aram. Balak said to me, ”Come, speak against Jacob for me. Come, speak against the people of Israel.” 8But God is not against those people, So I can’t speak against them either! The Lord has not asked for bad things to happen to those people. So I can’t do that either. 9I see those people from the mountain. I see them from the high hills. Those people live alone. They are not part of another nation. 10Who can count Jacob’s people? They are as many as the grains of dust. No one can count even a fourth of the people of Israel. Let me die like a good man. Let my life end as happy as theirs! 11Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you here to speak against my enemies. But you have only blessed them!” 12But Balaam answered, “I must say the things that the Lord tells me to say.” 13Then Balak said to him, “So come with me to another place. At that place you can see more of those people. You can’t see all of them—you can only see part of them. Maybe from that place you can speak against them for me.” 14So Balak led Balaam to Watchmen Hills. This was on top of Mount Pisgah. At that place, Balak built seven altars. And then Balak killed a bull and a ram on each altar as a sacrifice. 15So Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here by this altar. I will go meet with God over at that place.” 16So the Lord came to Balaam and told Balaam what to say. Then the Lord told Balaam to go back to Balak and say those things. 17So Balaam went to Balak. Balak was still standing near the altar. The leaders of Moab were there with him. Balak saw Balaam coming and said, “What did the Lord say?” 18Then Balaam said these things: “Stand up, Balak, and listen to me. Hear me, Balak son of Zippor. 19God is not a man; he will not lie. God is not a human being; his decisions will not change. If the Lord says he will do something, then he will do it. If the Lord makes a promise, then he will do the thing he promised. 20The Lord told me to bless those people. The Lord blessed them, so I cannot change that. 21God saw no wrong in Jacob’s people. God saw no sin in the people of Israel. The Lord is their God, and he is with them. The Great King is with them! 22God brought those people out of Egypt. They are as strong as a wild ox. 23There is no power that can defeat the people of Jacob. There is no magic that can stop the people of Israel. People will say this about Jacob and about the people of Israel: 'Look at the great things God did!’ 24The people are as strong as a lion. They fight like a lion. And that lion will not rest, until he has eaten his enemy. And that lion will not rest, until he drinks the blood of the people who are against him.” 25Then Balak said to Balaam, “You didn’t ask for good things to happen to those people. But you didn’t ask for bad things to happen to them either!” 26Balaam answered, “I told you before that I can only say the things that the Lord tells me to say.” 27Then Balak said to Balaam, “So come with me to another place. Maybe God will be pleased and will allow you to curse them from that place.” 28So Balak led Balaam to the top of Mount Peor. This mountain looks out over the desert. 29Balaam said, “Build seven altars here. Then prepare seven bulls and seven rams for the altars.” 30Balak did the thing that Balaam asked. Balak offered the bulls and rams on the altars.

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