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New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update

Numbers 23:1–25:9

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The Prophecies of Balaam

1 Then Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars for me here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me here.”

2 Balak did just as Balaam had spoken, and Balak and Balaam offered up a bull and a ram on each altar.

3 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 bare hill.

4 Now God met Balaam, and he said to Him, “I have set up the seven altars, and I have offered up a bull and a ram on each altar.”

5 Then the Lord aput a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and you shall speak thus.”

6 So he returned to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, he and all the leaders of Moab.

7 He took up his 1discourse and said,

“From aAram Balak has brought me,

Moab’s king from the mountains of the East,

bCome curse Jacob for me,

And come, denounce Israel!’

8 “aHow shall I curse whom God has not cursed?

And how can I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced?

9 “As I see him from the top of the rocks,

And I look at him from the hills;

aBehold, a people who dwells apart,

And will not be reckoned among the nations.

10 “aWho can count the dust of Jacob,

Or number the fourth part of Israel?

bLet 1me die the death of the upright,

cAnd let my end be like his!”

11 Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? aI took you to curse my enemies, but behold, you have actually blessed them!”

12 He replied, “Must I not be careful to speak awhat the Lord puts in my mouth?”

13 Then Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place from where you may see them, although you will only see the extreme end of them and will not see all of them; and curse them for me from there.”

14 So he took him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.

15 And he said to Balak, “Stand here beside your burnt offering while I myself meet the Lord over there.”

16 Then the Lord met Balaam and aput a word in his mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.”

17 He came to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, and the leaders of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the Lord spoken?”

18 Then he took up his 1discourse and said,

“Arise, O Balak, and hear;

Give ear to me, O son of Zippor!

19 “aGod is not a man, that He should lie,

Nor a son of man, that He should repent;

bHas He said, and will He not do it?

Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

20 “Behold, I have received a command to bless;

aWhen He has blessed, then bI cannot revoke it.

21 “aHe has not observed 1misfortune in Jacob;

bNor has He seen trouble in Israel;

cThe Lord his God is with him,

dAnd the shout of a king is among them.

22 “aGod brings them out of Egypt,

He is for them like the bhorns of the wild ox.

23 “aFor there is no omen against Jacob,

Nor is there any divination against Israel;

At the proper time it shall be said to Jacob

And to Israel, what God has done!

24 “aBehold, a people rises like a lioness,

And as a lion it lifts itself;

It will not lie down until it devours the prey,

And drinks the blood of the slain.”

25 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Do not curse them at all nor bless them at all!”

26 But Balaam replied to Balak, “Did I not tell you, ‘1aWhatever 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 be 1agreeable with God that you curse them for me from there.”

28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor which overlooks the 1wasteland.

29 Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars for me here and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me here.”

30 Balak did just as Balaam had said, and offered up a bull and a ram on each altar.

Chapter 24

The Prophecy from Peor

1 When Balaam saw that it 1pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go as at other times to 2seek aomens but he set his face toward the bwilderness.

2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel 1camping tribe by tribe; and athe Spirit of God came upon him.

3 He took up his 1discourse and said,

aThe oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,

And the oracle of the man whose eye is opened;

4 The oracle of him who ahears the 1words of God,

Who sees the bvision of 2the Almighty,

Falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered,

5 How fair are your tents, O Jacob,

Your dwellings, O Israel!

6 “Like 1valleys that stretch out,

Like gardens beside the river,

Like aaloes planted by the Lord,

Like bcedars beside the waters.

7 “Water will flow from his buckets,

And his seed will be by many waters,

And his king shall be higher than aAgag,

bAnd his kingdom shall be exalted.

8 “aGod brings him out of Egypt,

He is for him like the horns of the wild ox.

bHe will devour the nations who are his adversaries,

And will crush their bones in pieces,

And shatter them with his carrows.

9 “aHe 1couches, he lies down as a lion,

And as a 2lion, who 3dares rouse him?

bBlessed is everyone who blesses you,

And cursed is everyone who curses you.”

10 Then Balak’s anger burned against Balaam, and he struck his 1hands 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, 1flee 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, “aDid 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 1command of the Lord, either good or bad, aof my own 2accord. bWhat the Lord speaks, that I will speak’?

14 “And now, behold, aI am going to my people; come, and I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the 1days to come.”

15 He took up his discourse and said,

aThe 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 1words of God,

And knows the knowledge of the 2Most High,

Who sees the vision of 3the 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,

aA scepter shall rise from Israel,

bAnd shall crush through the 1forehead of Moab,

And 2tear down all the sons of 3Sheth.

18 “aEdom shall be a possession,

bSeir, 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,

aBut his end shall be 1destruction.”

21 And he looked at the aKenite, 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 aAsshur 1keep 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 aKittim,

And they shall afflict Asshur and will afflict bEber;

cSo they also will come to destruction.”

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

Chapter 25

The Sin of Peor

1 While Israel remained at aShittim, the people began bto play the harlot with the daughters of Moab.

2 For athey invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.

3 So aIsrael joined themselves to 1Baal of Peor, and the Lord was angry against Israel.

4 The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people and execute them 1in broad daylight before the Lord, aso that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.”

5 So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you aslay his men who have joined themselves to 1Baal of Peor.”

6 Then behold, one of the sons of Israel came and brought to his 1relatives a aMidianite woman, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, bwhile they were weeping at the doorway of the tent of meeting.

7 aWhen 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,

8 and he went after the man of Israel into the 1tent and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the 2body. aSo the plague on the sons of Israel was checked.

9 aThose who died by the plague were 24,000.

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a
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Lit parable

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b
a
a
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Lit my soul

c
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Lit parable

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b
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b
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Or iniquity

b
c
d
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b
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Lit saying, Whatever

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Lit right in the sight of God

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Or Jeshimon

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Lit was good in the eyes of

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Lit encounter

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b
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Lit dwelling

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Lit parable, and so throughout the ch

a
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Lit sayings

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Heb Shaddai

1

Or possibly palm trees

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b
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b
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b
c
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Lit bows down

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Or lioness

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Lit shall

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Lit palms

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Lit flee for yourself

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Lit mouth

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2

Lit heart

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Lit end of the days

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Lit sayings

2

Heb Elyon

3

Heb Shaddai

a
b
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Lit corners

2

Another reading is the crown of the head of

3

I.e. tumult

a
b
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Lit to destroying

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Lit take

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c
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a
b
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Or Baal-peor

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Lit in front of the sun

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Or Baal-peor

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Lit brothers

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b
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Or inner rooms

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Or belly

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a