1 And the children of Israel set out, and encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the
Jordan across from Jericho.
2 Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.
3 And Moab was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, and Moab
was sick with dread because of the presence of the children of Israel.
4 And Moab said to the elders of Midian, Now this company will lick up everything
around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of
the Moabites at that time.
5 And he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in
the land of the sons of his people, to summon him, saying: Behold, a people has come
from Egypt. Behold, they cover the eye of the earth, and are staying next to me!
6 Therefore please come, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me.
Perhaps I shall prevail and strike them and drive them out of the land, for I have perceived
that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.
7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the diviner's fee in their
hand, and they came to Balaam and spoke to him the words of Balak.
8 And he said to them, Lodge here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as Jehovah
speaks to me. So the rulers of Moab stayed with Balaam.
9 And God came to Balaam and said, Who are these men with you?
10 And Balaam said to God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me,
11 Behold, a people has come out of Egypt, and they cover the eye of the earth. Come
now, curse them for me; perhaps I shall prevail to wage war and drive them out.
12 And God said to Balaam, You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people,
for they are blessed.
13 And Balaam arose in the morning and said to the rulers of Balak, Go back to your
land, for Jehovah has refused to give me permission to go with you.
14 And the rulers of Moab arose and went to Balak, and said, Balaam refuses to come
15 And Balak again sent rulers, more numerous and more honorable than they.
16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: Please
let nothing hinder you from coming to me;
17 for I will honor you with great honor, and I will do whatever you say to me. Therefore
please come, curse this people for me.
18 And 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 mouth of Jehovah my God,
to do less or more.
19 Now therefore, please, you also stay here tonight, that I may know what more Jehovah
will say to me.
20 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, If the men have come to summon
you, arise and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you, that you shall do.
21 And Balaam arose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the rulers of
22 And God's anger burned because he went, and the Angel of Jehovah stationed
Himself in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his
two servants with him.
23 And the donkey saw the Angel of Jehovah standing in the way with His sword drawn
in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So
Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road.
24 And the Angel of Jehovah stood in a narrow path of the vineyards, with a wall on this
side and a wall on that side.
25 And when the donkey saw the Angel of Jehovah, she pushed herself against the wall
and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall; so he struck her some more.
26 And the Angel of Jehovah went farther, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.
27 And when the donkey saw the Angel of Jehovah, she lay down under Balaam; and
Balaam's anger burned, and he struck the donkey with his staff.
28 And Jehovah 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?
29 And Balaam said to the donkey, Because you have been cruel to me. I wish there were
a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!
30 And the donkey said to Balaam, Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever
since I became yours, to this day? Has it ever been my habit to do this to you? And he said,
31 Then Jehovah opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the Angel of Jehovah standing in the
way with His sword drawn in His hand; and he bowed down and prostrated himself on his
32 And the Angel of Jehovah said to him, Why have you struck your donkey these three
times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary against you, because your way is perverse
33 The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned
aside from Me, surely now I would have killed you, and let her live.
34 And Balaam said to the Angel of Jehovah, I have sinned, for I did not know You were
standing in the way against me. Now therefore, if it has been displeasing to Your eye, I will
35 And the Angel of Jehovah said to Balaam, Go with the men, but only the word that I
speak to you, that you shall speak. So Balaam went with the rulers of Balak.
36 And when Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the city
of Moab, which is in the territory at the Arnon, at the border of the territory.
37 And Balak said to Balaam, Did I not reach out to send for you, to summon you? Why
did you not come to me? Am I not truly able to honor you?
38 And Balaam said to Balak, Behold, I have come to you. Now, am I able at all to say
anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that I shall speak.
39 And Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kirjath Huzoth.
40 And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and he sent some to Balaam and to the rulers who
were with him.
41 And it was the next day, that Balak took Balaam and brought him up to the high places
of Baal, that from there he might observe the extent of the people.