Numbers 24

Numbers 24

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1 By now Balaam realized that the LORD intended to bless Israel, so he did not resort to divination as he often did. Instead, he turned and looked out toward the wilderness,

2 where he saw the people of Israel camped, tribe by tribe. Then the Spirit of God came upon him,

3 and this is the prophecy he delivered: "This is the prophecy of Balaam son of Beor, the prophecy of the man whose eyes see clearly,

4 who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who falls down with eyes wide open:

5 How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob; how lovely are your homes, O Israel!

6 They spread before me like groves of palms, like fruitful gardens by the riverside. They are like aloes planted by the LORD, like cedars beside the waters.

7 Water will gush out in buckets; their offspring are supplied with all they need. Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted.

8 God brought them up from Egypt, drawing them along like a wild ox. He devours all the nations that oppose him, breaking their bones in pieces, shooting them with arrows.

9 Like a lion, Israel crouches and lies down; like a lioness, who dares to arouse her? Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you."

10 King Balak flew into a rage against Balaam. He angrily clapped his hands and shouted, "I called you to curse my enemies! Instead, you have blessed them three times.

11 Now get out of here! Go back home! I had planned to reward you richly, but the LORD has kept you from your reward."

12 Balaam told Balak, "Don't you remember what I told your messengers? I said,

13 `Even if Balak were to give me a palace filled with silver and gold, I am powerless to do anything against the will of the LORD.' I told you that I could say only what the LORD says!

14 Now I am returning to my own people. But first let me tell you what the Israelites will do to your people in the future."

15 This is the prophecy Balaam delivered: "This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the prophecy of the man whose eyes see clearly,

16 who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who falls down with eyes wide open:

17 I see him, but not in the present time. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel. It will crush the foreheads of Moab's people, cracking the skulls of the people of Sheth.

18 Edom will be taken over, and Seir, its enemy, will be conquered, while Israel continues on in triumph.

19 A ruler will rise in Jacob who will destroy the survivors of Ir."

20 Then Balaam looked over at the people of Amalek and delivered this prophecy: "Amalek was the greatest of nations, but its destiny is destruction!"

21 Then he looked over at the Kenites and prophesied: "You are strongly situated; your nest is set in the rocks.

22 But the Kenites will be destroyed when Assyria* takes you captive."1

23 Balaam concluded his prophecies by saying: "Alas, who can survive when God does this?

24 Ships will come from the coasts of Cyprus*; they will oppress both Assyria and Eber, but they, too, will be utterly destroyed."2

25 Then Balaam and Balak returned to their homes.

Read Numbers 25


1: Hebrew Asshur; also in 24:24.

2: Hebrew Kittim.

New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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