Números 24

1 Balaam knew that Jehovah wanted him to bless the people of Israel. So he did not go to look for omens, as he had done before. He turned toward the desert.

2 There he saw the people of Israel camped tribe by tribe. The Spirit of God took control of him.

3 He uttered this prophecy: The message of Balaam son of Beor. These are the words of the man who can see clearly.

4 The oracle of him who hears the words of God and who sees the vision of the Almighty. Falling down, yet having his eyes open.

5 How good are your tents, O Jacob, Your dwellings, O Israel!

6 »They are like valleys that stretch out, like gardens beside the river, like aloes planted by Jehovah, like cedars beside the waters.

7 »Water will flow from his buckets and his seed will be by many waters. His king shall be higher than Agag. And his kingdom shall be exalted.

8 »God brings him out of Egypt. He is for him like the horns of the wild bull. He will devour the nations who are his adversaries. He will crush their bones in pieces and shatter them with his arrows.

9 »He bows down and he lies down like a lion. Like a lion, who dares rouse him? Blessed is everyone who blesses you! Cursed is everyone who curses you!«

10 Balak’s anger burned against Balaam. He struck his hands together and Balak said to Balaam: I called you to curse my enemies! But you have persisted in blessing them three times!

11 Therefore, run away to your place now. I said: »I will honor you greatly, but Jehovah has held you back from honor.«

12 Balaam replied to Balak: »Did I not tell the messengers whom you sent to me:

13 »Even if Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything contrary to the command of Jehovah either good or bad, of my own accord. What Jehovah speaks, that I will speak!

14 »Now I am going to my people. Come along and I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the days to come.«

15 He began his discourse by saying: »The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor. The oracle of the man, whose eye is opened,

16 »The oracle of him who hears the words of God, knows the knowledge of the Most High, and sees the vision of the Almighty. Falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered.

17 »I see him, but not now! I behold him, but not near! A star shall come forth from Jacob. A scepter shall rise from Israel and shall crush through the forehead of Moab. It will tear down all the sons of Sheth.

18 »Edom shall be a possession. Seir, its enemies, also will be a possession. This while Israel performs valiantly.

19 »One from Jacob will have dominion and will destroy the remnant from the city.«

20 He looked at Amalek and continued his discourse. He said: Amalek was the first of the nations but he will end in destruction.

21 And he looked at the Kenite and continued his discourse. He said: »Your dwelling place is enduring and your nest is set in the cliff.

22 »Nevertheless Kain will be consumed! How long will Asshur keep you captive?«

23 He again offered his discourse and said: »Alas, who can live except God ordain it?

24 »Ships will come from the coast of Kittim. They will afflict Asshur and will afflict Eber. They will also come to destruction.«

25 Balaam got up and went back home. Balak also went his way.