1Balaam said to Balak, 'Build me seven altars here and prepare me seven bulls and seven rams.' 2Balak did as Balaam said and offered a burnt offering of one bul and one ram on each altar. 3Balaam then said to Balak, 'Stand beside your burnt offerings while I go away. Perhaps Yahweh wilcome and meet me. If he does, I shal tel you whatever he reveals to me.' And he withdrew to a bare hil . 4God came to meet Balaam, who said to him, 'I have prepared the seven altars and offered a burntoffering of one bul and one ram on each altar.' 5Yahweh then put a prophecy into his mouth and said to him, 'Go back to Balak, and that is what youmust say to him.' 6So Balaam went back to him, and found him stil standing beside his burnt offering, with all the chiefsof Moab. 7He then declaimed his poem as fol ows: Balak has brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from thehil s of Kedem: 'Come and curse Jacob for me, come and denounce Israel!' 8How shal I curse someone whom God has not cursed, how denounce someone God has notdenounced? 9Yes, from the top of the crags I see him, from the hills I descry him: a people that dwel s on its own,not to be reckoned among other nations! 10Who can count the dust of Jacob? Who can number the cloud of Israel? May I die the death of thejust, and may my future be like theirs! 11Balak said to Balaam, 'What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, and youhave heaped blessings on them!' 12Balaam replied, 'Am I to depart from what Yahweh puts into my mouth?' 13Balak then said, 'Please come somewhere else. From here you can see only the fringe of them, youcannot see them al . Curse them for me over there.' 14He led him to the Lookouts' Field on the top of Pisgah. There he built seven altars and offered aburnt offering of one bul and one ram on each altar. 15Balaam said to Balak, 'Stand here beside your burnt offerings while I wait over there.' 16God came to meet Balaam, he put a prophecy into his mouth and said to him, 'Go back to Balak,and that is what you must say to him.' 17So Balaam went to him and found him stil standing beside his burnt offering and all the chiefs ofMoab with him. 'What did Yahweh say?' Balak said to him. 18Balaam then declaimed his poem, as fol ows: Stand up, Balak, and listen, give ear to me, son ofZippor. 19God is no human being that he should lie, no child of Adam to change his mind. Is it his to say andnot to do, is it his to speak and not fulfil? 20The charge laid on me is to bless, I shal bless, and I cannot reverse it. 21I have perceived no guilt in Jacob, have seen no perversity in Israel. Yahweh his God is with him,and a royal acclamation to greet him. 22God has brought him out of Egypt, is like the wild ox's horns to him. 23There is no omen whatever against Jacob, no augury at al against Israel. Wel may people say ofJacob, of Israel, 'What has God achieved?' 24for here is a people like a lioness rising, poised like a lion to spring; nor wil he lie down till he hasdevoured his prey and drunk the blood of his slain. 25Balak said to Balaam, 'Very wel ! Do not curse them. But at least do not bless them!' 26Balaam retorted to Balak, 'Did I not tel you? Whatever Yahweh says, I must do.' 27Balak then said to Balaam, 'Come with me now and I shal take you somewhere else. From thereperhaps it wil please God to curse them for me.' 28So Balak led Balaam to the summit of Peor, overlooking the wastelands. 29Balaam then said to Balak, 'Build me seven altars here and prepare me seven bul s and sevenrams.' 30Balak did as Balaam said and offered a burnt offering of one bull and one ram on each altar.
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