Balaam And The King of Moab
BALAK, the son of Zippor, was king of the Moabites at that time,
and he feared the children of Israel.
For he knew of all that they had done to the Amorites.
So he sent messengers to Balaam at Pethor, in the north,
saying:"There is a people come out from Egypt.
They cover the whole land and are close to my country.
Come therefore, I beg you, and curse this people for me,
so that I may conquer them and drive them out of the land.
For I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed."
The elders of Moab and the elders of Midian came to Balaam with Balak's message.
And Balaam said to them: "Stay here this night,
and I will answer you tomorrow when the Lord has spoken to me."
The elders of Moab stayed with Balaam.
And God came to Balaam and said: "What men are these with you?"
"Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent them to me," Balaam answered,
"so that I may help him to drive out a people come from Egypt."
And God said to Balaam:"You shall not go with them.
You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed."
Balaam rose up in the morning and said to the messengers of Balak: "Go back to your land.
The Lord refuses to let me go with you."
And the elders of Moab rose and went back to Balak and told him that Balaam refused to come with them.
So Balak sent other messengers, a greater number and more honourable than the first.
They came to Balaam and said to him: "We bring a message from Balak the son of Zippor:
'Let nothing prevent you from coming to me, I beg of you.
For I will give you very great honours. I will do whatever you tell me.
I beg you then to come and curse this people for me.'"
Balaam answered the servants of Balak,
saying: "If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold,
I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord, to do less or more.
So I ask you also to stay here this night, so that I may know what the Lord will say further to me."
And God came to Balaam at night and said to him: "If the men come to call you,
rise up and go with them. But you shall do as I shall tell you."
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