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Numbers 24 :: English Standard Version (ESV)

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Balaam’s Third Oracle

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:1 - When 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:2 - And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him,
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:3 - and he took up his discourse and said,
“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:4 - the oracle of him who hears the words of God,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
falling down with his eyes uncovered:
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:5 - How lovely are your tents, O Jacob,
your encampments, O Israel!
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:6 - Like palm groves[fn] that stretch afar,
like gardens beside a river,
like aloes that the LORD has planted,
like cedar trees beside the waters.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:7 - Water 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:8 - God brings him out of Egypt
and is for him like 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:9 - He crouched, he lay down like a lion
and like a lioness; who will rouse him up?
Blessed are those who bless you,
and cursed are those who curse you.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:10 - And 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:11 - Therefore now flee to your own place. I said, ‘I will certainly honor you,’ but the LORD has held you back from honor.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:12 - And Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me,
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:13 - ‘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’?
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:14 - And 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.”

Balaam’s Final Oracle

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:15 - And he took up his discourse and said,
“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:16 - the 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 with his eyes uncovered:
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:17 - I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near:
a star shall come out of Jacob,
and a scepter shall rise out of Israel;
it shall crush the forehead[fn] of Moab
and break down all the sons of Sheth.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:18 - Edom shall be dispossessed;
Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed.
Israel is doing valiantly.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:19 - And one from Jacob shall exercise dominion
and destroy the survivors of cities!”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:20 - Then he looked on Amalek and took up his discourse and said,
“Amalek was the first among the nations,
but its end is utter destruction.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:21 - And 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:22 - Nevertheless, Kain shall be burned
when Asshur takes you away captive.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:23 - And he took up his discourse and said,
“Alas, who shall live when God does this?
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:24 - But ships shall come from Kittim
and shall afflict Asshur and Eber;
and he too shall come to utter destruction.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 24:25 - Then Balaam rose and went back to his place. And Balak also went his way.
ESV Footnotes
Or closed, or perfect; also verse 15
Or valleys
Hebrew corners [of the head]

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

See detailed copyright information.

For more information on this translation, see the ESV Preface.

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