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Numbers 23 :: New International Version (NIV)

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Balaam said, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.”

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Balak did as Balaam said, and the two of them offered a bull and a ram on each altar.

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Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your offering while I go aside. Perhaps the LORD will come to meet with me. Whatever he reveals to me I will tell you.” Then he went off to a barren height.

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God met with him, and Balaam said, “I have prepared seven altars, and on each altar I have offered a bull and a ram.”

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The LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Go back to Balak and give him this word.”

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So he went back to him and found him standing beside his offering, with all the Moabite officials.

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Then Balaam spoke his message: “Balak brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains. ‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me; come, denounce Israel.’

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How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the LORD has not denounced?

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From the rocky peaks I see them, from the heights I view them. I see a people who live apart and do not consider themselves one of the nations.

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Who can count the dust of Jacob or number even a fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my final end be like theirs!”

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Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but you have done nothing but bless them!”

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He answered, “Must I not speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?”

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Then Balak said to him, “Come with me to another place where you can see them; you will not see them all but only the outskirts of their camp. And from there, curse them for me.”

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So he took him to the field of Zophim on the top of Pisgah, and there he built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.

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Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your offering while I meet with him over there.”

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The LORD met with Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, “Go back to Balak and give him this word.”

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So he went to him and found him standing beside his offering, with the Moabite officials. Balak asked him, “What did the LORD say?”

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Then he spoke his message: “Arise, Balak, and listen; hear me, son of Zippor.

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God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

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I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it.

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“No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed[fn] in Israel. The LORD their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them.

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God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox.

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There is no divination against[fn] Jacob, no evil omens against[fn] Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’

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The people rise like a lioness; they rouse themselves like a lion that does not rest till it devours its prey and drinks the blood of its victims.”

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Then Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all nor bless them at all!”

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Balaam answered, “Did I not tell you I must do whatever the LORD says?”

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Then Balak said to Balaam, “Come, let me take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God to let you curse them for me from there.”

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And Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, overlooking the wasteland.

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Balaam said, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.”

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Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
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THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
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