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Numbers 22 :: New International Version (NIV)

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Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:1 - Then the Israelites traveled to the plains of Moab and camped along the Jordan across from Jericho.

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

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:3 - and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites.

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

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:5 - sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the Euphrates River, in his native land. Balak said: “A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:6 - Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:7 - The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:8 - “Spend the night here,” Balaam said to them, “and I will report back to you with the answer the LORD gives me.” So the Moabite officials stayed with him.

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

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:10 - Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent me this message:

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:11 - ‘A people that has come out of Egypt covers the face of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. Perhaps then I will be able to fight them and drive them away.’ ”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:12 - But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:13 - The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak’s officials, “Go back to your own country, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:14 - So the Moabite officials returned to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:15 - Then Balak sent other officials, more numerous and more distinguished than the first.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:16 - They came to Balaam and said: “This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Do not let anything keep you from coming to me,

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:17 - because I will reward you handsomely and do whatever you say. Come and put a curse on these people for me.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:18 - But Balaam answered them, “Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the LORD my God.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:19 - Now spend the night here so that I can find out what else the LORD will tell me.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:20 - That night God came to Balaam and said, “Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:21 - Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:22 - But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:23 - When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:24 - Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:25 - When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.

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

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:27 - When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:28 - Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:29 - Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:30 - The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:31 - Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:32 - The angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.[fn]

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:33 - The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:34 - Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:35 - The angel of the LORD said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s officials.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:36 - When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the Moabite town on the Arnon border, at the edge of his territory.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:37 - Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send you an urgent summons? Why didn’t you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:38 - “Well, I have come to you now,” Balaam replied. “But I can’t say whatever I please. I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:39 - Then Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath Huzoth.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:40 - Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and gave some to Balaam and the officials who were with him.

Unchecked Copy BoxNum 22:41 - The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth Baal, and from there he could see the outskirts of the Israelite camp.
NIV Footnotes
The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.

NIV

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by Permission of Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.


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