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Numbers 22.36 - 23.12

posted 3 Jun 2014, 01:57 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com

36 When they neared the very edge of Moabite territory, Balak (who’d heard they were on their way) met Balaam at Moab’s city on the Arnon.

Balak (to Balaam): 37 Didn’t you understand it was I who requested you again and again? Why didn’t you come? Am I not able to give you honor?

Balaam (to Balak): 38 Well, I’m here now. But do you think I can say whatever I please? I can only say what God tells me to say. God puts the words in my mouth.

39 Nevertheless the two went off together. Balak led Balaam to Kiriath-huzoth in Moab. 40 Later on, Balak had some oxen and sheep sacrificed, which he made sure Balaam received (along with the officials who accompanied him).

41 The next day, Balak led Balaam up to a high place of Baal worship, an altar dedicated to pagan lords.[a] Looking down from there, they could see a section of the Israelite camp.

23 Balaam (to Balak): This is what I need from you. Build seven altars here, and then get seven bulls and seven rams ready to sacrifice.

Balak did just as Balaam had asked him to do. Then together they offered a bull and a ram on each of the seven altars.

Balaam (to Balak): You stay here, close to these burnt offerings. I’m going to go a little ways away, in case the Eternal wants to meet just with me. Whatever He lets me know, I’ll be sure to pass on to you.

So Balaam went over to an exposed area on the heights, and God met Balaam there.

Balaam (to the Lord): I made seven altars and set an offering of a bull and a ram on each one.

Eternal One (giving Balaam the right words to say): Go back to Balak and recite what I’ve told you.

So Balaam walked back down and over to where Balak stood waiting next to the burnt offerings, along with the officials of Moab. Balaam recited His words.

Balaam: The king of Moab got me to come here, all the way from my home in Aram.
        Balak summoned me from the eastern mountains.
    “Come, curse Jacob for me!”
        “Come, denounce Israel!”
    But I ask you, how can I curse any whom God has not cursed
        or denounce whomever the Eternal has not denounced?
    Here on the heights, from the rocky places where I stand,
        I can see them; from these hills I observe them below.
    And what do I see but a unique and solitary people
        who do not have a place among the nations.
10     Who can count the dust of Jacob
        or even a fourth of their number?
    It’s impossible to count even one quarter of Israel.
        Let me die as one who has done what is right.
    Let my end be like his!

Balak (to Balaam): 11 What are you doing to me? I brought you all the way out here to curse these people—my enemies—yet what have you done? You’ve blessed them!

Balaam: 12 But don’t you agree that I have to be very careful to make sure I say only and exactly what the Eternal has given me to say?