1 Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.” 2 Balak did what Balaam told him, and the two of them offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
3 Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your burnt offering while I’m gone. Maybe the Lord will come and meet with me. I will tell you whatever he reveals to me.” Then Balaam went off to a higher place where there were no trees.
4 God came to him, and Balaam said, “I have set up seven altars, and I offered a bull and a ram on each altar.”
5 The Lord told Balaam, “Go back to Balak, and give him my message.”
6 So he went back to Balak and found him standing beside his burnt offering with all the princes of Moab. 7 Then Balaam delivered this message:
“Balak brought me from Aram.
The king of Moab summoned me from the eastern mountains.
‘Come, curse Jacob for me,’ he said.
‘Come, condemn Israel.’
8 How can I curse those whom God hasn’t cursed?
How can I condemn those whom the Lord hasn’t condemned?
9 I see them from the top of rocky cliffs,
I look at them from the hills.
I see a nation that lives by itself,
people who do not consider themselves
to be like other nations.
10 The descendants of Jacob are like specks of dust.
Who can count them
or number even one-fourth of the people of Israel?
Let me die the death of innocent people.
Let my end be like theirs.”
11 Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you here to curse my enemies, but all you’ve done is bless them!”
12 Balaam answered, “I must say what the Lord tells me to say.”
13 Then Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place, where you can see the Israelites. You will see only some of them, not all of them. Curse them for me from there.”
14 So he took him to the Field of Zophima on top of Mount Pisgah, where he built seven altars. He offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 15 Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your burnt offering while I meet with God over there.”
16 The Lord came to Balaam and told him, “Go back to Balak, and give him my message.”
17 He came to Balak and found him standing beside his burnt offering with the princes of Moab. Balak asked him, “What did the Lord say?” 18 Then Balaam delivered this message:
“Stand up, Balak, and listen!
Hear me, son of Zippor!
19 God is not like people. He tells no lies.
He is not like humans. He doesn’t change his mind.
When he says something, he does it.
When he makes a promise, he keeps it.
20 I have received a command to bless.
He has blessed, and I can’t change it.
21 He doesn’t want any trouble for the descendants of Jacob.
He sees no misfortune for the people of Israel.
The Lord their God is with them,
praised as their king.
22 The God who brought them out of Egypt
has the strength of a wild bull.
23 No spell can curse the descendants of Jacob.
No magic can harm the people of Israel.
Now it will be said of Jacob and Israel:
‘See what God has done!’
24 Here is a nation that attacks like a lioness
and is as ferocious as a lion.
It doesn’t lie down until it eats its prey
and drinks the blood of its victim.”
25 Balak said to Balaam, “If you won’t curse them, then at least don’t bless them!”
26 Balaam answered, “Didn’t I tell you that I must do whatever the Lord says?”
27 Balak said to Balaam, “Come, let me take you to another place. Maybe God wants you to curse them for me from there.” 28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Mount Peor, which overlooks Jeshimon.
29 Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.” 30 Balak did what Balaam told him, and he offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
About GOD’S WORD Translation
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) communicates the saving, life-changing Good News about Jesus in clear, natural English. Translated directly from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek by a committee of scholars, GOD’S WORD is an exceptional Bible that consciously combines scholarly fidelity with natural English.
By implementing the translation principles of Closest Natural Equivalence, the translation committee seeks to translate the best available texts into English with the closest possible accuracy. This commitment to accurately translating the Bible includes expressing the meaning naturally and in a style that preserves the characteristics of the source text.
The combination of accuracy and readability makes GOD’S WORD ideally suited for the following:
Devotional reading and in-depth study
Preaching, teaching, and worship
Scripture references from GOD’S WORD are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.
Up to 500 verses from GOD’S WORD may be quoted in any form (printed, written, visual, electronic, or audio) without written permission, provided that no more than half of any one book is quoted, and the verses quoted do not amount to more than 25% of the text of the work in which they are quoted.
The designation (GOD’S WORD) must always appear after each quotation. In addition, if the quotation is used in a work that is not for sale, the work must bear the following notice either on the title page or reverse thereof of each copy, or in a location where it can be readily perceived by the reader:
GOD’S WORD is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotations are used by permission.
If used in a work that is for sale, the following copyright notice must be used:
GOD’S WORD is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.
For quotation of over 500 verses and/or questions about these policies, contact God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, P.O. Box 26343, Cleveland, Ohio 44126-0343, U.S.A.