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Numbers 22 :: English Standard Version (ESV)

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Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:1 - Then the people of Israel set out and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:2 - And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:3 - And Moab was in great dread of the people, because they were many. Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:4 - And Moab said to the elders of Midian, “This horde will now lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” So Balak the son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time,

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:5 - sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the people of Amaw,[fn] to call him, saying, “Behold, a people has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and they are dwelling opposite me.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:6 - Come now, curse this people for me, since they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:7 - So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand. And they came to Balaam and gave him Balak’s message.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:8 - And he said to them, “Lodge here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as the LORD speaks to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:9 - And God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:10 - And Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying,

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:11 - ‘Behold, a people has come out of Egypt, and it covers the face of the earth. Now come, curse them for me. Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them and drive them out.’”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:12 - God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:13 - So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your own land, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:14 - So the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:15 - Once again Balak sent princes, more in number and more honorable than these.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:16 - And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: ‘Let nothing hinder you from coming to me,

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:17 - for I will surely do you great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Come, curse this people for me.’”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:18 - But Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the LORD my God to do less or more.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:19 - So you, too, please stay here tonight, that I may know what more the LORD will say to me.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:20 - And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:21 - So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:22 - But God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:23 - And the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:24 - Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:25 - And when the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So he struck her again.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:26 - Then the angel of the LORD went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:27 - When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:28 - Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:29 - And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:30 - And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:31 - Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:32 - And the angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse[fn] before me.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:33 - The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:34 - Then Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:35 - And the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:36 - When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, on the border formed by the Arnon, at the extremity of the border.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:37 - And Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:38 - Balaam said to Balak, “Behold, I have come to you! Have I now any power of my own to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:39 - Then Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:40 - And Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent for Balaam and for the princes who were with him.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:41 - And in the morning Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Bamoth-baal, and from there he saw a fraction of the people.
ESV Footnotes
Or the people of his kindred
Or reckless

ESV

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

See detailed copyright information.

 
 
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