Saturday, 20 April 2024 - Beata Chiara Bosatta ( Letture di oggi)

Numbers 23


1And Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars here for me, and prepare as many calves, and the same number of rams.”2And when he had acted according to the words of Balaam, they placed a calf and a ram together on each altar.3And Balaam said to Balak: “Stand for a little while next to your holocaust, until I go, to see if perhaps the Lord will meet with me. And whatever he will command, I shall speak to you.”4And after he had quickly departed, God met with him. And Balaam, speaking to him, said: “I have set up seven altars, and I have placed a calf and a ram on each.”5Then the Lord placed the word in his mouth, and he said: “Return to Balak, and you shall say this.”6Returning, he found Balak standing next to his holocaust, with all the leaders of the Moabites.7And taking up his parable, he said: “Balak, king of the Moabites, has led me from Aram, from the mountains of the east. ‘Come forth,’ he said, ‘and curse Jacob. Hurry and condemn Israel.’8How shall I curse him, whom God has not cursed? For what reason would I condemn him, whom the Lord does not condemn?9I will look upon him from the tops of the stones, and I will consider him from the hills. This people shall dwell alone, and they shall not be counted among the nations.10Who can number the dust that is Jacob, and who can know the number of the stock of Israel? May my soul die a just death, and may my end be like theirs.”11And Balak said to Balaam: “What is this that you are doing? I called for you, in order to curse my enemies, and to the contrary, you bless them.”12He answered him, “How can I say anything other than what the Lord orders?”13Therefore, Balak said: “Come with me to another place, from where you may see a portion of Israel, though you cannot see them all. Curse them from there.”14And when he had led him to a lofty place, on the top of mount Pisgah, Balaam built seven altars, and placing upon each a calf and a ram,15he said to Balak, “Stand here next to your holocaust, while I continue on to meet him.”16And when the Lord had met him, and had put the word in his mouth, he said, “Return to Balak, and you shall say this to him.”17Returning, he found him standing next to his holocaust, and the leaders of the Moabites were with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the Lord spoken?”18But, taking up his parable, he said: “Stand, Balak, and pay attention. Listen, you son of Zippor.19God is not like a man, so that he would lie, nor is he like a son of man, so that he would be changed. Therefore, having spoken, will he not act? Has he ever spoken, and not fulfilled?20I was led here to bless, and I have no strength to hinder the blessing.21There is no idol in Jacob; neither is there a false image to be seen in Israel. The Lord his God is with him, and the resound of royal victory is in him.22God has led him away from Egypt; his strength is like that of the rhinoceros.23There is no soothsaying in Jacob, nor any divination in Israel. In their times, it shall be told to Jacob and to Israel what God has wrought.24Behold, the people will rise up like a lioness, and lie down like a lion. But they will not lie down until they devour the prey and drink the blood of the slain.”25And Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse him, nor bless him.”26And he said, “Have I not told you that whatever God would command of me, I would do?”27And Balak said to him: “Come and I will lead you to another place. If perhaps it may please God, then you may curse them from there.”28And when he had led him on to the top of mount Peor, which looks out toward the wilderness,29Balaam said to him, “Build seven altars here for me, and prepare as many calves, and the same number of rams.”30Balak did as Balaam had said, and he placed on each altar a calf and a ram.