New Heart English Bible
1The children of Israel traveled, and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho.
2Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3Moab was very afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. 4Moab said to the elders of Midian, "Now this multitude will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field." Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. 5He 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, "Look, there is a people who came out from Egypt. Look, they cover the surface of the earth, and they are staying opposite me. 6And now please come, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps 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."
7The elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam, and spoke to him the words of Balak. 8And he said to them, "Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak to me." The princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. 9And God came to Balaam, and said, "Who are these men with you?" 10And Balaam said to God, "Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, 11'Look, this people has come out of Egypt and they cover the surface of the earth. Come now, curse them for me; perhaps I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out.'" 12And God said to Balaam, "You are not to go with them, and you are not to curse the people, for they are blessed." 13And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, "Go to your lord; for the LORD refuses to permit me to go with you." 14The princes of Moab rose up, and they went to Balak, and said, "Balaam refuses to come with us."
15Then Balak again sent princes, more in number and more honorable than these. 16They came to Balaam, and said to him, "Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, 'Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me: 17for I will greatly honor you, and whatever you say to me I will do for you. Please come therefore, and curse this people for me.'" 18Balaam answered the servants of Balak, "If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can't go beyond the command of the LORD my God, to do less or more. 19Now therefore, you also stay here tonight, that I may know what else the LORD will say to me." 20God came to Balaam at night, and said to him, "If the men have come to call you, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak to you, that you shall do."
21Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.
22God's anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of the LORD placed himself in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23The donkey saw the angel of the 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 struck the donkey, to turn her into the way. 24Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. 25The donkey saw the angel of the LORD, and she thrust herself to the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he struck her again. 26The angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27The donkey saw the angel of the LORD, and she lay down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28The LORD 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?" 29Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have mocked me, I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would have killed you." 30The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Was I ever in the habit of doing so to you?" He said, "No."
31Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face. 32The angel of the LORD said to him, "Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Look, I have come forth as an adversary, because your way is perverse before me: 33and the donkey saw me, and turned aside before me these three times. Unless she had turned aside from me, surely now I would have killed you, and saved her alive." 34Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned; for I did not know that you stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases you, I will go back again." 35The angel of the LORD 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.
36When Balak heard that Balaam had 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. 37Balak said to Balaam, "Did I not earnestly send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able indeed to promote you to honor?" 38Balaam said to Balak, "Look, 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." 39Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath Huzoth. 40Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes who were with him.
41It 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.