Balaam Is Brought To Balak
SO Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
And when Balak heard that Balaam had come,
he went out to meet him in a city on the farthest border of Moab,
and he said to Balaam: "Did I not urgently send for you? Why did you not come to me?
Am I not able to give you great honours?"
And Balaam answered: "You see that I have come to You,
but have I now power at all to say anything? I shall speak the words that God puts into my mouth."
The next day, Balak brought Balaam up into the high places,
so that he could see all the camps of the people of Israel.
Then Balaam said to Balak: "Build here seven altars and prepare seven oxen and seven rams."
Balak did as Balaam said, and together they offered on every altar a bullock and a ram.
Then Balaam said to Balak: "Stand by your burnt offering and I will go and see whether the Lord will come to me. Whatever he commands me, I will tell you."
Balaam went to the top of a hill,
and God met him and said to him:"Return to Balak, and you shall speak the words I give you."
Balaam returned to Balak,
who was standing by the burnt sacrifice with all the princes of Moab,and Balaam spoke.
But the words that he spoke were blessings upon Israel, and not curses.
Three times the sacrifices were offered,
and each time the words God gave to Balaam were words of blessing:
"How goodly are your tents, O Jacob,
And your tabernacles, O Israel!
As the valleys they are spread forth,
As the gardens by the river's side,
As the sweet aloe trees
which the Lord has planted,
And as the cedar trees beside the waters.
God brought you forth out of Egypt,
He shall eat up the nations your enemies,
And shall crush their bones.
And pierce them through
with his arrows.
Blessed is he who blesses you,
And cursed is he who curses you.
Then Balak was very angry with
Balaam, and he said:"I called you to curse my enemies,
but now you have blessed them these three times.
Flee then to your own country: I thought I was to give you great honour,
but the Lord has kept you back from honour."
Balaam answered:"Did I not say to the messengers you sent to me, 'If Balak were to give
me his house full of silver and gold,
I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord, to do either good or bad;
but I will speak as the Lord tells me?'
And now I go back to my people, but before I go I will tell you what this nation shall do to your nation in time to come."
And Balaam made this prophecy:
"There shall come a star out of Jacob,
And a sceptre shall rise out of Israel,
And shall strike the land of Moab,
And destroy all the children of Sheth.
Edom shall be conquered,
And Israel shall do valiantly.
Out of Jacob shall come a man of great power,
And he shall destroy all that remains of the city."
Then Balaam rose and returned to his own country, and Balak also went his way.
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