Numbers 22:4-21 - King Balak Of Moab Hires Balaam To Curse Israel

4 Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this horde will lick up all that is around us, just as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” And Balak the son of Zippor was the king of Moab at that time. 5 So he sent messengers to Balaam [a famous prophet-diviner] the son of Beor at Pethor, which is by the [Euphrates] River, in the land of the descendants of his people, to call for him, saying, “There is a people who have come out of Egypt; behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me. 6 Now please come, curse these people for me, for they are too powerful for me; perhaps I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know [your reputation] that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”

7 So the elders of Moab and of Midian departed with fees for divination (foretelling) in hand; and they came to Balaam and told him the words of Balak. 8 Balaam said to them, “Spend the night here and I will bring word back to you as the Lord may speak to me.” So the leaders of Moab stayed with Balaam [that night].

9 God came to Balaam, and said, “Who are these men with you?”

10 Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent word to me: 11 ‘Hear this, the people who came out of Egypt cover the surface of the land; come now, curse them for me. Perhaps I may be able to fight against them and drive them out.’”

12 God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them; you shall not curse the people [of Israel], for they are blessed.”

13 Balaam got up in the morning, and said to the leaders of Balak, “Go back to your own land [of Moab], for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.”

14 The leaders of Moab arose and went to Balak, and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”

15 Then Balak again sent leaders, more numerous and [men who were] more distinguished than the first ones. 16 They came to Balaam, and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, ‘I beg you, let nothing hinder you from coming to me. 17 For I will give you a very great honor and I will do whatever you tell me; so please come, curse these people [of Israel] for me.’”

18 Balaam answered the servants of Balak, “Even if Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the command of the Lord my God. 19 Now please, you also stay here tonight, and I will find out what else the Lord will say to me.”

20 God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, get up and go with them, but you shall still do only what I tell you.” 21 So Balaam got up in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the leaders of Moab.