The Fourth Book of Moses, Called Numbers

Chapter 23

Balak's sacrifices, 1-6, 13-17, 25-30. Balaam's parables, 7-12, 18-24.

1 And Balaam said to Balak, "Build me seven altars here and prepare me seven oxen and seven rams here." 2 And Balak did as Balaam had spoken. And Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bull and a ram. 3 And Balaam said to Balak, "Stand by your burnt-offering, and I will go. It may be that the LORD will come to meet me. And whatever he shows me I will tell you." And he went to a high place.

4 And God met Balaam. And he said to him, "I have prepared seven altars and I have offered upon every altar a bull and a ram." 5 And the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth and said, "Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak." 6 And he returned to him and behold, he stood by his burnt-sacrifice—he and all the princes of Moab.

7 And he took up his parable and said, "Balak the king of Moab has brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, 'Come, curse Jacob for me, and come, defy Israel.'

8 How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? Or how shall I defy whom the LORD has not defied?

9 For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him. Behold, the people shall dwell alone and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

10 Who can count the dust of Jacob and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!"

11 And Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them altogether." 12 And he answered and said, "Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD has put in my mouth?"

13 And Balak said to him, "Come, I pray you, with me to another place, from where you may see them. You shall see but the utmost part of them, and shall not see them all. And from there curse them for me." 14 And he brought him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on every altar. 15 And he said to Balak, "Stand here by your burnt-offering while I meet the LORD yonder." 16 And the LORD met Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, "Go back to Balak and say this." 17 And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt-offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, "What has the LORD spoken?"

18 And he took up his parable and said, "Rise, Balak, and hear. Listen to me, son of Zippor.

19 God is not a man that he should lie, neither the son of man that he should repent. Has he said, and shall he not do it? Or has he spoke, and shall he not make it good?

20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless. And he has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.

21 He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither has he seen perverseness in Israel. The LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.

22 God brought them out of Egypt. He has the strength as a wild ox.

23 Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel. According to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, 'What God has wrought!'

24 Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion and lift up himself as a young lion. He shall not lie down until he eats of the prey and drinks the blood of the slain."

25 And Balak said to Balaam, "Do not curse them at all, nor bless them at all." 26 But Balaam answered and said to Balak, "Did I not tell you, saying, 'All that the LORD speaks, that I must do'?"

27 And Balak said to Balaam, "Come, I pray you, I will bring you to another place. Perhaps it will please God that you may from there curse them for me." 28 And Balak brought Balaam to the top of Peor that looks toward Jeshimon. 29 And Balaam said to Balak, "Build me seven altars here and prepare me seven bulls and seven rams here." 30 And Balak did as Balaam had said and offered a bull and a ram on every altar.

Commentary

Matthew Henry Commentary - Numbers, Chapter 23

Notes

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