1 The children of Israel journeyed, and encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho.
2 Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.
3 Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.
4 Moab said to the elders of Midian, Now will this multitude lick up all that is round about us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field. Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.
5 He sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the surface of the earth, and they abide over against me.
6 Please come now therefore curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may strike them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.
7 The elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam, and spoke to him the words of Balak.
8 He said to them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as Yahweh shall speak to me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.
9 God came to Balaam, and said, What men are these with you?
10 Balaam said to God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, [saying],
11 Behold, the people that is come out of Egypt, it covers the surface of the earth: now, come curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out.
12 God said to Balaam, You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people; for they are blessed.
13 Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, Get you into your land; for Yahweh refuses to give me leave to go with you.
14 The princes of Moab rose up, and they went to Balak, and said, Balaam refuses to come with us.
15 Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honorable than they.
16 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 promote you to very great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Please come therefore, and curse this people for me.
18 Balaam answered the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can`t go beyond the word of Yahweh my God, to do less or more.
19 Now therefore, please wait also here this night, that I may know what Yahweh will speak to me more.
20 God came to Balaam at night, and said to him, If the men are come to call you, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak to you, that shall you do.
21 Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.
22 God`s anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of Yahweh placed himself in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.
23 The donkey saw the angel of Yahweh 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: and Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the way.
24 Then the angel of Yahweh stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.
25 The donkey saw the angel of Yahweh, and she thrust herself to the wall, and crushed Balaam`s foot against the wall: and he struck her again.
26 The angel of Yahweh went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.
27 The donkey saw the angel of Yahweh, and she lay down under Balaam: and Balaam`s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff.
28 Yahweh 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 Balaam said to the donkey, Because you have mocked me, I would there were a sword in my hand, for now I had killed you.
30 The donkey said to Balaam, Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? was I ever wont to do so to you? and he said, No.
31 Then Yahweh opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of Yahweh standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face.
32 The angel of Yahweh said to him, Why have you struck your donkey these three times? behold, I am come forth for an adversary, because your way is perverse before me:
33 and the donkey saw me, and turned aside before me these three times: unless she had turned aside from me, surely now I had even slain you, and saved her alive.
34 Balaam said to the angel of Yahweh, I have sinned; for I didn`t know that you stood in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease you, I will get me back again.
35 The angel of Yahweh said to Balaam, Go with the men; but only the word that I shall speak to you, that you shall speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
36 When Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him to the City of Moab, which is on the border of the Arnon, which is in the utmost part of the border.
37 Balak said to Balaam, Didn`t I earnestly send to you to call you? why didn`t you come to me? am I not able indeed to promote you to honor?
38 Balaam said to Balak, Behold, I have come to you: have I now any power at all to speak anything? the word that God puts in my mouth, that shall I speak.
39 Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth.
40 Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes who were with him.
41 It happened in the morning, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal; and he saw from there the utmost part of the people.