1 And the sons of Israel journeyed, and encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. 2 And 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 distressed because of the sons of Israel. 4 And 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. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. 5 And he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, a people came out from Egypt. Behold, they cover the face of the earth, and the 6 Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse for me this people, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land. For I know that he whom thou bless is blessed, a
7 And 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 And he said to them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as LORD shall speak to me. And the rulers of Moab abode with Balaam.
10 And Balaam said to God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, [saying], 11 Behold, the people came out of Egypt, it covers the face of the earth. Now, come curse them for me. Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out.
12 And God said to Balaam, Thou shall not go with them. Thou shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.
13 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the rulers of Balak, Get into your land, for LORD refuses to give me leave to go with you.
14 And the rulers of Moab rose up, and they went to Balak, and said, Balaam refuses to come with us.
15 And Balak sent yet again rulers, more, and more honorable than they. 16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming to me. 17 For I will promote thee to very great honor, and whatever thou say to me I will do. Come therefore, I pray thee, curse this people for me.
18 And Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of LORD my God, to do less or more. 19 Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what LORD will speak to me more.
20 And God came to Balaam at night, and said to him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, go with them, but only the word which I speak to thee, that shall thou do. 21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the rulers of Moab.
22 And God's anger was kindled because he went, and the agent of LORD placed himself in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the donkey saw the agent of LORD 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 smote the donkey, to turn her into the way. 24 Then the agent of LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. 25 And the donkey saw the agent of LORD, and she thrust herself to the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall. And he smote her again. 26 And the agent of LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 And the donkey saw the agent of LORD, and she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the donkey with his staff.
28 And LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to thee, that thou have smitten me these three times?
29 And Balaam said to the donkey, Because thou have mocked me, I would there were a sword in my hand, for now I would have killed thee.
30 And the donkey said to Balaam, Am not I thy donkey, upon which thou have ridden all thy life long to this day? Was I ever accustomed to do so to thee? And he said, No.
31 Then LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the agent of LORD standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand. And he bowed his head, and fell on his face. 32 And the agent of LORD said to him, Why have thou smitten thy donkey these three times? Behold, I have come forth as an adversary, because thy 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 would have even slain thee, and saved her alive.
34 And Balaam said to the agent of LORD, I have sinned, for I knew not that thou stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get back again.
35 And the agent of LORD said to Balaam, Go with the men, but only the word that I shall speak to thee, that thou shall speak. So Balaam went with the rulers of Balak.
36 And when Balak heard that Balaam came, he went out to meet him to the City of Moab, which is on the border of the Arnon, which is in the outmost part of the border. 37 And Balak said to Balaam, Did I not earnestly send to thee to call thee? Why did thou not come to me? Am I not able indeed to promote thee to honor?
38 And Balaam said to Balak, Lo, I have come to thee. Have I now any power at all to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that shall I speak. 39 And Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. 40 And Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the rulers that were with him.