Numbers 22:1-21 - Balak Hires Balaam

1 Then the children of Israel, journeying on, put up their tents in the lowlands of Moab, on the other side of Jordan at Jericho. 2 Now Balak, the son of Zippor, saw what Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 And in Moab there was great fear of the people, because their numbers were so great: and the feeling of Moab was bitter against the children of Israel. 4 Then Moab said to the responsible men of Midian, It is clear that this great people will be the destruction of everything round us, making a meal of us as the ox does of the grass of the field. At that time Balak, the son of Zippor, was king of Moab. 5 So he sent men to Balaam, son of Beor, at Pethor by the River in the land of the children of his people, saying to him, See, a people has come out of Egypt, covering all the face of the earth, and they have put up their tents opposite to me: 6 Come now, in answer to my prayer, and put a curse on this people, for they are greater than I: and then I may be strong enough to overcome them and send them out of the land: for it is clear that good comes to him who has your blessing, but he on whom you put your curse is cursed.

7 So the responsible men of Moab and Midian went away, taking in their hands rewards for the prophet; and they came to Balaam and said to him what Balak had given them orders to say. 8 And he said to them, Take your rest here tonight, and I will give you an answer after hearing what the Lord says; so the chiefs of Moab kept there with Balaam that night.

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 them to me, saying, 11 See, the people who have come out of Egypt are covering all the earth: now, put a curse on this people for me, so that I may be able to make war on them, driving them out of the land.

12 And God said to Balaam, You are not to go with them, or put a curse on this people, for they have my blessing.

13 In the morning Balaam got up and said to the chiefs of Balak, Go back to your land, for the Lord will not let me go with you.

14 So the chiefs of Moab went back to Balak and said, Balaam will not come with us.

15 So Balak sent more chiefs, greater in number and of higher position than the others. 16 And they came to Balaam and said, Balak, son of Zippor, says, Let nothing keep you from coming to me: 17 For I will give you a place of very great honour, and whatever you say to me I will do; so come, in answer to my prayer, and put a curse on this people.

18 But Balaam, in answer; said to the servants of Balak, Even if Balak gave me his house full of silver and gold, it would not be possible for me to do anything more or less than the orders of the Lord my God. 19 So take your rest here this night, till I have knowledge what more the Lord has to say to me.

20 And that night God came to Balaam and said to him, If these men have come for you, go with them: but do only what I say to you. 21 So in the morning Balaam got up and, making his ass ready, went with the chiefs of Moab.


Basic English, produced by Mr C. K. Ogden of the Orthological Institute - public domain