22Then the people of Israel traveled to the plains of Moab and camped east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho.H1121H3478H5265H2583H6160H4124H5676H3383H3405 2Balak son of Zippor, the Moabite king, had seen everything the Israelites did to the Amorites.H1111H1121H6834H7200H3478H6213H567 3And when the people of Moab saw how many Israelites there were, they were terrified.H4124H3966H1481H6440H5971H7227H4124H6973H6440H1121H3478 4The king of Moab said to the elders of Midian, "This mob will devour everything in sight, like an ox devours grass in the field!" So Balak, king of Moab,H4124H559H2205H4080H6951H3897H5439H7794H3897H3418H7704H1111H1121H6834H4428H4124H6256 5sent messengers to call Balaam son of Beor, who was living in his native land of Pethor near the Euphrates River. His message said: "Look, a vast horde of people has arrived from Egypt. They cover the face of the earth and are threatening me.H7971H4397H1109H1121H1160H6604H5104H776H1121H5971H7121H559H5971H3318H4714H3680H5869H776H3427H4136 6Please come and curse these people for me because they are too powerful for me. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people you curse."H3212H779H5971H6099H3201H5221H1644H776H3045H1288H1288H779H779 7Balak's messengers, who were elders of Moab and Midian, set out with money to pay Balaam to place a curse upon Israel. They went to Balaam and delivered Balak's message to him.H2205H4124H2205H4080H3212H7081H3027H935H1109H1696H1697H1111 8"Stay here overnight," Balaam said. "In the morning I will tell you whatever the LORD directs me to say." So the officials from Moab stayed there with Balaam.H559H3885H3915H7725H1697H7725H3068H1696H8269H4124H3427H1109 9That night God came to Balaam and asked him, "Who are these men visiting you?"H430H935H1109H559H582 10Balaam said to God, "Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent me this message.H1109H559H430H1111H1121H6834H4428H4124H7971 11'Look, a vast horde of people has arrived from Egypt, and they cover the face of the earth. Come and curse these people for me. Then perhaps I will be able to stand up to them and drive them from the land.'"H5971H3318H4714H3680H5869H776H3212H6895H3201H3898H1644 12But God told Balaam, "Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!"H430H559H1109H3212H779H5971H1288 13The next morning Balaam got up and told Balak's officials, "Go on home! The LORD will not let me go with you."H1109H6965H1242H559H8269H1111H3212H776H3068H3985H5414H1980 14So the Moabite officials returned to King Balak and reported, "Balaam refused to come with us."H8269H4124H6965H935H1111H559H1109H3985H1980 15Then Balak tried again. This time he sent a larger number of even more distinguished officials than those he had sent the first time.H1111H7971H3254H8269H7227H3513 16They went to Balaam and delivered this message to him: "This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Please don't let anything stop you from coming to help me.H935H1109H559H559H1111H1121H6834H4513H1980 17I will pay you very well and do whatever you tell me. Just come and curse these people for me!"H3513H3966H3513H3513H6213H559H3212H6895H5971 18But Balaam responded to Balak's messengers, "Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the LORD my God.H1109H6030H559H5650H1111H1111H5414H1004H4393H3701H2091H3201H5674H6310H3068H430H6213H6996H1419 19But stay here one more night, and I will see if the LORD has anything else to say to me."H3427H3915H3045H3068H1696H3254 20That night God came to Balaam and told him, "Since these men have come for you, get up and go with them. But do only what I tell you to do."H430H935H1109H3915H559H582H935H7121H6965H3212H389H1697H1696H6213 21So the next morning Balaam got up, saddled his donkey, and started off with the Moabite officials.H1109H6965H1242H2280H860H3212H8269H4124 22But God was angry that Balaam was going, so he sent the angel of the LORD to stand in the road to block his way. As Balaam and two servants were riding along,H430H639H2734H1980H4397H3068H3320H1870H7854H7392H860H8147H5288 23Balaam's donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand. The donkey bolted off the road into a field, but Balaam beat it and turned it back onto the road.H860H7200H4397H3068H5324H1870H2719H8025H3027H860H5186H1870H3212H7704H1109H5221H860H5186H1870 24Then the angel of the LORD stood at a place where the road narrowed between two vineyard walls.H4397H3068H5975H4934H3754H1447H1447 25When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, it tried to squeeze by and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall. So Balaam beat the donkey again.H860H7200H4397H3068H3905H7023H3905H1109H7272H7023H5221H3254 26Then the angel of the LORD moved farther down the road and stood in a place too narrow for the donkey to get by at all.H4397H3068H5674H3254H5975H6862H4725H1870H5186H3225H8040 27This time when the donkey saw the angel, it lay down under Balaam. In a fit of rage Balaam beat the animal again with his staff.H860H7200H4397H3068H7257H1109H1109H639H2734H5221H860H4731 28Then the LORD gave the donkey the ability to speak. "What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?" it asked Balaam.H3068H6605H6310H860H559H1109H6213H5221H7969H7272 29"You have made me look like a fool!" Balaam shouted. "If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!"H1109H559H860H5953H3863H3426H2719H3027H2026 30"But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life," the donkey answered. "Have I ever done anything like this before?" "No," Balaam admitted.H860H559H1109H860H7392H3117H5532H5532H6213H559 31Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him.H3068H1540H5869H1109H7200H4397H3068H5324H1870H2719H8025H3027H6915H7812H639 32"Why did you beat your donkey those three times?" the angel of the LORD demanded. "Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me.H4397H3068H559H5221H860H7969H7272H3318H7854H1870H3399 33Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey."H860H7200H5186H6440H7969H7272H194H5186H6440H2026H2421 34Then Balaam confessed to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned. I didn't realize you were standing in the road to block my way. I will return home if you are against my going."H1109H559H4397H3068H2398H3045H5324H1870H7125H7489H5869H7725 35But the angel of the LORD told Balaam, "Go with these men, but say only what I tell you to say." So Balaam went on with Balak's officials.H4397H3068H559H1109H3212H582H657H1697H1696H1696H1109H3212H8269H1111 36When King Balak heard that Balaam was on the way, he went out to meet him at a Moabite town on the Arnon River at the farthest border of his land.H1111H8085H1109H935H3318H7125H5892H4124H1366H769H7097H1366 37"Didn't I send you an urgent invitation? Why didn't you come right away?" Balak asked Balaam. "Didn't you believe me when I said I would reward you richly?"H1111H559H1109H7971H7971H7121H1980H3201H552H3513 38Balaam replied, "Look, now I have come, but I have no power to say whatever I want. I will speak only the message that God puts in my mouth."H1109H559H1111H935H3201H3201H1696H3972H1697H430H7760H6310H1696 39Then Balaam accompanied Balak to Kiriath-huzoth,H1109H3212H1111H935H2351H7155 40where the king sacrificed cattle and sheep. He sent portions of the meat to Balaam and the officials who were with him.H1111H2076H1241H6629H7971H1109H8269 41The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth-baal. From there he could see some of the people of Israel spread out below him.H1242H1111H3947H1109H5927H1116H1120H7200H7097H5971
New Living Translation (NLT). Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. More details.