(Show plain text in new window)
King Balak Summons Balaam...
And the children of Yisra`el set out and camped in the desert plains of Mo`ab beyond the Yarden of Yeriho.
And Balaq son of Tsippor saw all that Yisra'el had done to the Amorites.
And Mo'ab was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, and Mo'ab was in dread because of the children of Yisra'el.
And Mo'ab said to the elders of Midyan, 'Now this company is licking up all that is around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.' Now Balaq son of Tsippor was sovereign of the Mo'abites at that time,
and he sent messengers to Bil'am son of Be'or at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, 'See, a people has come from Mitsrayim. See, they have covered the surface of the land, and are settling next to me!
'And now, please come at once, curse this people for me, for they are too strong for me. It might be that I smite them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.'
And the elders of Mo'ab and the elders of Midyan left with the fees for divination in their hand, and they came to Bil'am and spoke the words of Balaq to him.
And he said to them, 'Spend the night here, and I shall bring back word to you, as YHWH speaks to me.' So the heads of Mo'ab stayed with Bil'am.
And Elohim came to Bil'am and said, 'Who are these men with you?'
And Bil'am said to Elohim, 'Balaq, son of Tsippor, sovereign of Mo'ab, has sent to me, saying,
'See, a people has come out of Mitsrayim and cover the surface of the land. Come now, curse them for me. It might be that I am able to fight against them and drive them out.''
And Elohim said to Bil'am, 'Do not go with them. You do not curse the people, for they are blessed.'
And Bil'am rose in the morning and said to the heads of Balaq, 'Go back to your land, for YHWH has refused to allow me to go with you.'
And the heads of Mo'ab arose and went to Balaq, and said, 'Bil'am refuses to come with us.'
Then Balaq again sent heads, more numerous and more esteemed than they.
And they came to Bil'am and said to him, 'This is what Balaq son of Tsippor said: 'Do not be withheld from coming to me, please,
for I esteem you very greatly, and whatever you say to me, I do. Therefore please come, curse this people for me.''
And Bil'am answered and said to the servants of Balaq, 'Though Balaq were to give me his house filled with silver and gold, I am unable to go beyond the word of YHWH my Elohim, to do less or more.
'And now, please, you also stay here tonight, and let me find out what more YHWH says to me.'
And Elohim came to Bil'am at night and said to him, 'If the men come to call you, rise and go with them, but only the word which I speak to you that you do.'
And Bil`am rose in the morning and saddled his donkey, and went with the heads of Mo`ab.
But the displeasure of Elohim burned because he went, and the Messenger of YHWH stationed Himself in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.
And the donkey saw the Messenger of YHWH standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Bil'am beat the donkey to turn her back onto the way.
Then the Messenger of YHWH stood in a narrow passage between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side.
And when the donkey saw the Messenger of YHWH, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Bil'am's foot against the wall, so he beat her again.
And the Messenger of YHWH went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn aside, right or left.
And when the donkey saw the Messenger of YHWH, she lay down under Bil'am. So Bil'am's displeasure burned, and he beat the donkey with his staff.
Then YHWH opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Bil'am, 'What have I done to you, that you have beaten me these three times?'
And Bil'am said to the donkey, 'Because you have mocked me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for I would have killed you by now!'
And the donkey said to Bil'am, 'Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever known to do so to you?' And he said, 'No.'
Then YHWH opened Bil'am's eyes, and he saw the Messenger of YHWH standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand. And he bowed his head and fell on his face.
And the Messenger of YHWH said to him, 'Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? See, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is reckless before Me.
'And the donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, I certainly would have killed you by now, and let her live.'
And Bil'am said to the Messenger of YHWH, 'I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. And now, if evil is in Your eyes, let me turn back.'
And the Messenger of YHWH said to Bil'am, 'Go with the men, but only the word that I speak to you, that you speak.' Bil'am then went with the heads of Balaq.
And when Balaq heard that Bil'am was coming, he went out to meet him at the city of Mo'ab, which is on the border at the Arnon, which was in the extremity of the border.
And Balaq said to Bil'am, 'Did I not urgently send to you, calling for you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to esteem you?'
And Bil'am said to Balaq, 'See, I have come to you! Now, am I at all able to say somewhat? The word that Elohim puts in my mouth, that I speak.'
And Bil'am went with Balaq, and they came to Qiryath Hutsoth.
And Balaq slaughtered cattle and sheep, and he sent some to Bil'am and to the heads who were with him.
And it came to be the next day, that Balaq took Bil'am and brought him up to the high places of Ba'al, and from there he saw the extremity of the camp.