Numbers 24
Good News Translation

1By now Balaam knew that the Lord 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 2and saw the people of Israel camped tribe by tribe. The spirit of God took control of him, 3and he uttered this prophecy:

“The message of Balaam son of Beor,

The words of the man who can see clearly,+

4Who can hear what God is saying.

With staring eyes I see in a trance

A vision from Almighty God.

5The tents of Israel are beautiful,

6Like long rows of palms

Or gardens beside a river,

Like aloes planted by the Lord

Or cedars beside the water.

7They will have abundant rainfall

And plant their seed in well-watered fields.+

Their king shall be greater than Agag,

And his rule shall be extended far and wide.

8God brought them out of Egypt;

He fights for them like a wild ox.

They devour their enemies,

Crush their bones, smash their arrows.

9 The nation is like a mighty lion;

When it is sleeping, no one dares wake it.

Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed,

And whoever curses Israel will be cursed.”

10Balak clenched his fists in anger and said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, but three times now you have blessed them instead. 11Now get on home! I promised to reward you, but the Lord has kept you from getting the reward.”

12Balaam answered, “I told the messengers you sent to me that 13even if you gave me all the silver and gold in your palace, I could not disobey the command of the Lord by doing anything of myself. I will say only what the Lord tells me to say.”

Balaam's Final Prophecies

14Balaam said to Balak, “Now I am going back to my own people, but before I go, I am warning you what the people of Israel will do to your people in the future.” 15Then he uttered this prophecy:

“The message of Balaam son of Beor,

The words of the man who can see clearly,+

16Who can hear what God is saying

And receive the knowledge that comes from the Most High.

With staring eyes I see in a trance

A vision from Almighty God.

17I look into the future,

And I see the nation of Israel.

A king, like a bright star, will arise in that nation.

Like a comet he will come from Israel.

He will strike the leaders of Moab

And beat down all the people of Seth.+

18He will conquer his enemies in Edom

And make their land his property,

While Israel continues victorious.

19The nation of Israel will trample them down

And wipe out the last survivors.”

20Then in his vision Balaam saw the Amalekites and uttered this prophecy:

“Amalek was the most powerful nation of all,

But at the end it will perish forever.”

21In his vision he saw the Kenites, and uttered this prophecy:

“The place where you live is secure,

Safe as a nest set high on a cliff,

22But you Kenites will be destroyed

When Assyria takes you captive.”+

23Balaam uttered this prophecy:

“Who are these people gathering in the north?+

24Invaders will sail from Cyprus;

They will conquer Assyria and Eber,

But they, in turn, will perish forever.”

25Then Balaam got ready and went back home, and Balak went on his way.


24.3: who can see clearly; or whose eyes are closed.
24.7: One ancient translation They … fields; Hebrew unclear.
24.15: who can see clearly; or whose eyes are closed.
24.17: the people of Seth; or who are proud and violent.
24.22: Verse 22 in Hebrew is unclear.
24.23: Probable text Who … north; Hebrew unclear.

Good News Translation® (Today’s English Version, Second Edition)

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