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1When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness. 2And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and saw Israel encamping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him, 3and he took up his discourse, and said,

“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beʹor,

the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,

4the oracle of him who hears the words of God,

who sees the vision of the Almighty,

falling down, but having his eyes uncovered:

5How fair are your tents, O Jacob,

your encampments, O Israel!

6Like valleys that stretch afar,

like gardens beside a river,

like aloes that the Lord has planted,

like cedar trees beside the waters.

7Water shall flow from his buckets,

and his seed shall be in many waters,

his king shall be higher than Agag,

and his kingdom shall be exalted.

8God brings him out of Egypt;

he has as it were the horns of the wild ox,

he shall eat up the nations his adversaries,

and shall break their bones in pieces,

and pierce them through with his arrows.

9He couched, he lay down like a lion,

and like a lioness; who will rouse him up?

Blessed be every one who blesses you,

and cursed be every one who curses you.”

10And Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them these three times. 11Therefore now flee to your place; I said, ‘I will certainly honor you,’ but the Lord has held you back from honor.” 12And Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me, 13‘If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own will; what the Lord speaks, that will I speak’? 14And now, behold, I am going to my people; come, I will let you know what this people will do to your people in the latter days.” 15And he took up his discourse, and said,

“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beʹor,

the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,

16the oracle of him who hears the words of God,

and knows the knowledge of the Most High,

who sees the vision of the Almighty,

falling down, but having his eyes uncovered:

17I see him, but not now;

I behold him, but not nigh:

a star shall come forth out of Jacob,

and a scepter shall rise out of Israel;

it shall crush the forehead of Moab,

and break down all the sons of Sheth.

18Edom shall be dispossessed,

Seʹir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed,

while Israel does valiantly.

19By Jacob shall dominion be exercised,

and the survivors of cities be destroyed!”

20Then he looked on Amʹalek, and took up his discourse, and said,

“Amʹalek was the first of the nations,

but in the end he shall come to destruction.”

21And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his discourse, and said,

“Enduring is your dwelling place,

and your nest is set in the rock;

22nevertheless Kain shall be wasted.

How long shall Asshur take you away captive?”

23And he took up his discourse, and said,

“Alas, who shall live when God does this?

24But ships shall come from Kittim

and shall afflict Asshur and Eber;

and he also shall come to destruction.”

25Then Balaam rose, and went back to his place; and Balak also went his way.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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