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Chapter 23

1Balaam said to Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bulls and seven rams. 2Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bull and a ram. 3Balaam said to Balak, Stand by your burnt offering, and I will go: perhaps Yahweh will come to meet me; and whatever he shows me I will tell you. He went to a bare height. 4God met Balaam: and he said to him, I have prepared the seven altars, and I have offered up a bull and a ram on every altar. 5Yahweh put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak. 6He returned to him, and behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, he, and all the princes of Moab. 7He took up his parable, and said, From Aram has Balak brought me, The king of Moab from the mountains of the East: Come, curse me Jacob, Come, defy Israel. 8How shall I curse, whom God has not cursed? How shall I defy, whom Yahweh has not defied? 9For from the top of the rocks I see him, From the hills I see him: behold, it is a people that dwells alone, And shall not be reckoned among the nations. 10Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, Let my last end be like his! 11Balak said to Balaam, What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them altogether. 12He answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which Yahweh puts in my mouth? 13Balak said to him, Please come with me to another place, from whence you may see them; you shall see but the utmost part of them, and shall not see them all: and curse me them from there. 14He took him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar. 15He said to Balak, Stand here by your burnt offering, while I meet Yahweh yonder. 16Yahweh met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak. 17He came to him, and behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. Balak said to him, What has Yahweh spoken? 18He took up his parable, and said,

Rise up, Balak, and hear;

Listen to me, you son of Zippor:

19God is not a man, that he should lie,

Neither the son of man, that he should repent:

Has he said, and will he not do it?

Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good?

20Behold, I have received commandment to bless:

He has blessed, and I can’t reverse it.

21He has not saw iniquity in Jacob;

Neither has he seen perverseness in Israel:

Yahweh his God is with him,

The shout of a king is among them.

22God brings them forth out of Egypt;

He has as it were the strength of the wild ox.

23Surely there is no enchantment with Jacob;

Neither is there any divination with Israel:

Now shall it be said of Jacob and of Israel,

What has God done!

24Behold, the people rises up as a lioness,

As a lion does he lift himself up:

He shall not lie down until he eat of the prey,

Drink the blood of the slain.

25Balak said to Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all. 26But Balaam answered Balak, Didn’t I tell you, saying, All that Yahweh speaks, that I must do? 27Balak said to Balaam, Come now, I will take you to another place; peradventure it will please God that you may curse me them from there. 28Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that looks down on the desert. 29Balaam said to Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bulls and seven rams. 30Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.

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