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Balaam Refuses to Curse Israel

22:1 1 The Israelites traveled on2 and camped in the plains of Moab on the side of the Jordan River3 across from Jericho.4 22:2 Balak son of Zippor saw all that the Israelites had done to the Amorites. 22:3 And the Moabites were greatly afraid of the people, because they were so numerous. The Moabites were sick with fear because of the Israelites.

22:4 So the Moabites said to the elders of Midian, “Now this mass of people5 will lick up everything around us, as the bull devours the grass of the field. Now Balak son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at this time. 22:5 And he sent messengers to Balaam6 son of Beor at Pethor, which is by the Euphrates River7 in the land of Amaw,8 to summon him, saying, “Look, a nation has come out of Egypt. They cover the face9 of the earth, and they are settling next to me. 22:6 So10 now, please come and curse this nation11 for me, for they are too powerful for me. Perhaps I will prevail so that we may conquer them12 and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed,13 and whoever you curse is cursed.”

22:7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fee for divination in their hand. They came to Balaam and reported14 to him the words of Balak. 22:8 He replied to them, “Stay15 here tonight, and I will bring back to you whatever word the Lord may speak to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. 22:9 And God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?” 22:10 Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent a message to me, saying, 22:11 “Look, a nation has come out16 of Egypt, and it covers the face of the earth. Come now and put a curse on them for me; perhaps I will be able to defeat them17 and drive them out.”18 22:12 But God said to Balaam, “You must not go with them; you must not curse the people,19 for they are blessed.”20

22:13 So Balaam got up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your land,21 for the Lord has refused to permit me to go22 with you.” 22:14 So the princes of Moab departed23 and went back to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”


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