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Numbers chapter 22

New International Version

1 Then the Israelites traveled to the plains of Moab and camped along the Jordan across from Jericho.
2 Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites, 3 and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites.
4 The Moabites said to the elders of Midian, 'This horde is going to lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.' So Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time,
5 sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the Euphrates River, in his native land. Balak said: 'A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me. 6 Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.'
7 The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.
8 Spend the night here,' Balaam said to them, 'and I will report back to you with the answer the LORD gives me.' So the Moabite officials stayed with him.
9 God came to Balaam and asked, 'Who are these men with you?'
10 Balaam said to God, 'Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent me this message: 11 A people that has come out of Egypt covers the face of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. Perhaps then I will be able to fight them and drive them away.''
12 But God said to Balaam, 'Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.'
13 The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak's officials, 'Go back to your own country, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you.'
14 So the Moabite officials returned to Balak and said, 'Balaam refused to come with us.'
15 Then Balak sent other officials, more numerous and more distinguished than the first.
16 They came to Balaam and said: 'This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Do not let anything keep you from coming to me, 17 because I will reward you handsomely and do whatever you say. Come and put a curse on these people for me.'
18 But Balaam answered them, 'Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the LORD my God. 19 Now spend the night here so that I can find out what else the LORD will tell me.'
20 That night God came to Balaam and said, 'Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.'
21 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.
24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam's foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.
26 Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth, and it said to Balaam, 'What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?'
29 Balaam answered the donkey, 'You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.'
30 The donkey said to Balaam, 'Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?' 'No,' he said.
31 Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.
32 The angel of the LORD asked him, 'Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.'
34 Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, 'I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.'
35 The angel of the LORD said to Balaam, 'Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.' So Balaam went with Balak's officials.
36 When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the Moabite town on the Arnon border, at the edge of his territory. 37 Balak said to Balaam, 'Did I not send you an urgent summons? Why didn't you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?'
38 Well, I have come to you now,' Balaam replied. 'But I can't say whatever I please. I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.'
39 Then Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath Huzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and gave some to Balaam and the officials who were with him. 41 The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth Baal, and from there he could see the outskirts of the Israelite camp.
English Standard Version

1 Then the people of Israel set out and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. 2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 And Moab was in great dread of the people, because they were many. Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel. 4 And Moab said to the elders of Midian, “This horde will now lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” So Balak the son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, 5 sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the people of Amaw, to call him, saying, “Behold, a people has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and they are dwelling opposite me. 6 Come now, curse this people for me, since they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”
7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand. And they came to Balaam and gave him Balak’s message. 8 And he said to them, “Lodge here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as the LORD speaks to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. 9 And God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?” 10 And Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, 11 ‘Behold, a people has come out of Egypt, and it covers the face of the earth. Now come, curse them for me. Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them and drive them out.’” 12 God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” 13 So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your own land, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you.” 14 So the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”
15 Once again Balak sent princes, more in number and more honorable than these. 16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: ‘Let nothing hinder you from coming to me, 17 for I will surely do you great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Come, curse this people for me.’” 18 But Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the LORD my God to do less or more. 19 So you, too, please stay here tonight, that I may know what more the LORD will say to me.” 20 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you.” 21 So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.
22 But God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road. 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25 And when the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So he struck her again. 26 Then the angel of the LORD went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Then the 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?” 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”
31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. 32 And the angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.” 34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.” 35 And the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.
36 When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, on the border formed by the Arnon, at the extremity of the border. 37 And Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?” 38 Balaam said to Balak, “Behold, I have come to you! Have I now any power of my own to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak.” 39 Then Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. 40 And Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent for Balaam and for the princes who were with him.
41 And in the morning Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Bamoth-baal, and from there he saw a fraction of the people.
King James Version

1 And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho. 2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. 4 And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. 5 He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: 6 Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed. 7 And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak. 8 And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam. 9 And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee? 10 And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying, 11 Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out. 12 And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed. 13 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the LORD refuseth to give me leave to go with you. 14 And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us.
15 And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they. 16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: 17 For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people. 18 And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more. 19 Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will say unto me more. 20 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do. 21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.
22 And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. 24 But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. 25 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. 26 And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. 28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? 29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. 30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay. 31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. 32 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: 33 And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive. 34 And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again. 35 And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
36 And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost coast. 37 And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote thee to honour? 38 And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak. 39 And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kirjathhuzoth. 40 And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him. 41 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost part of the people.
New American Standard Bible

1 Then the sons of Israel journeyed on, and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan opposite Jericho.
2 Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 So Moab was in great fear because of the people, for they were numerous; and Moab was in dread of the sons of Israel. 4 Moab said to the elders of Midian, 'Now this horde will eat up all that is around us, as the ox eats up the grass of the field!' And Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. 5 So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is near the Euphrates River, in the land of the sons of his people, to call for him, saying, 'Behold, a people came out of Egypt; behold, they have covered the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me. 6 Now, therefore, please come, curse this people for me since they are too mighty for me; perhaps I will be able to defeat 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.'
7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian left with the fees for divination in their hands; and they came to Balaam and repeated Balak’s words to him. 8 And he said to them, 'Spend the night here, and I will bring word back to you just as the LORD may speak to me.' And the leaders of Moab stayed with Balaam. 9 Then God came to Balaam and said, 'Who are these men with you?' 10 Balaam said to God, 'Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent word to me: 11 ‘Behold, there is a people who came out of Egypt, and they cover the surface of the land; now come, curse them for me; perhaps I will be able to fight against them and drive them out.’?' 12 But God said to Balaam, 'Do not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.' 13 So Balaam got up in the morning and said to Balak’s representatives, 'Go back to your land, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you.' 14 And the representatives from Moab got up and went to Balak, and said, 'Balaam refused to come with us.'
15 Then Balak sent representatives once again, more numerous and more distinguished than the previous. 16 They came to Balaam and said to him, 'This is what Balak the son of Zippor says: ‘I beg you, let nothing keep you from coming to me; 17 for I will indeed honor you richly, and I will do whatever you tell me. Please come then, curse this people for me.’?' 18 But Balaam replied to the servants of Balak, 'Even if Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the command of the LORD my God. 19 Now please, you also stay here tonight, and I will find out what else the LORD will say to me.' 20 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, 'If the men have come to call you, rise and go with them; but you shall do only the thing that I tell you.'
21 So Balaam arose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the leaders of Moab.
22 But God was angry that he was going, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the road as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn in his hand, the donkey turned off from the road and went into the field; and Balaam struck the donkey to guide her back onto the road. 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path of the vineyards, with a stone wall on this side and on that side. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed herself against the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall, so he struck her again. 26 Then the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Then the 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?' 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, 'It is because you have made a mockery of me! If only there had been a sword in my hand! For I would have killed you by now!' 30 But the donkey said to Balaam, 'Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been in the habit of doing such a thing to you?' And he said, 'No.'
31 Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground. 32 Then the angel of the LORD said to him, 'Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was reckless and contrary to me. 33 But the donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away from me, I certainly would have killed you just now, and let her live.' 34 So Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, 'I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing in the way against me. Now then, if it is displeasing to you, I will turn back.' 35 But the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, 'Go with the men, but you shall speak only the word that I tell you.' So Balaam went along with the representatives of Balak.
36 When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, which is on the Arnon border, at the extreme end of the border. 37 Then Balak said to Balaam, 'Did I not urgently send word to you to call for you? Why did you not come to me? Am I really unable to honor you?' 38 So Balaam said to Balak, 'Behold, I have come to you now! Am I really able to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that only shall I speak.' 39 And Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent some to Balaam and the leaders who were with him.
41 Then it came about in the morning that Balak took Balaam and brought him up to the high places of Baal, and he saw from there a portion of the people.
New Living Translation

1 Then the people of Israel traveled to the plains of Moab and camped east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho. 2 Balak son of Zippor, the Moabite king, had seen everything the Israelites did to the Amorites. 3 And when the people of Moab saw how many Israelites there were, they were terrified.
4 The king of Moab said to the elders of Midian, 'This mob will devour everything in sight, like an ox devours grass in the field!' So Balak, king of Moab,
5 sent messengers to call Balaam son of Beor, who was living in his native land of Pethor near the Euphrates River. His message said: 'Look, a vast horde of people has arrived from Egypt. They cover the face of the earth and are threatening me. 6 Please come and curse these people for me because they are too powerful for me. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people you curse.'
7 Balak's messengers, who were elders of Moab and Midian, set out with money to pay Balaam to place a curse upon Israel. They went to Balaam and delivered Balak's message to him. 8 'Stay here overnight,' Balaam said. 'In the morning I will tell you whatever the LORD directs me to say.' So the officials from Moab stayed there with Balaam.
9 That night God came to Balaam and asked him, 'Who are these men visiting you?'
10 Balaam said to God, 'Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent me this message: 11 Look, a vast horde of people has arrived from Egypt, and they cover the face of the earth. Come and curse these people for me. Then perhaps I will be able to stand up to them and drive them from the land.''
12 But God told Balaam, 'Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!'
13 The next morning Balaam got up and told Balak's officials, 'Go on home! The LORD will not let me go with you.'
14 So the Moabite officials returned to King Balak and reported, 'Balaam refused to come with us.' 15 Then Balak tried again. This time he sent a larger number of even more distinguished officials than those he had sent the first time.
16 They went to Balaam and delivered this message to him: 'This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Please don't let anything stop you from coming to help me. 17 I will pay you very well and do whatever you tell me. Just come and curse these people for me!'
18 But Balaam responded to Balak's messengers, 'Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the LORD my God. 19 But stay here one more night, and I will see if the LORD has anything else to say to me.'
20 That night God came to Balaam and told him, 'Since these men have come for you, get up and go with them. But do only what I tell you to do.'
21 So the next morning Balaam got up, saddled his donkey, and started off with the Moabite officials. 22 But God was angry that Balaam was going, so he sent the angel of the LORD to stand in the road to block his way. As Balaam and two servants were riding along, 23 Balaam's donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand. The donkey bolted off the road into a field, but Balaam beat it and turned it back onto the road. 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood at a place where the road narrowed between two vineyard walls. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, it tried to squeeze by and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall. So Balaam beat the donkey again. 26 Then the angel of the LORD moved farther down the road and stood in a place too narrow for the donkey to get by at all. 27 This time when the donkey saw the angel, it lay down under Balaam. In a fit of rage Balaam beat the animal again with his staff.
28 Then the LORD gave the donkey the ability to speak. 'What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?' it asked Balaam.
29 'You have made me look like a fool!' Balaam shouted. 'If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!'
30 'But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life,' the donkey answered. 'Have I ever done anything like this before?' 'No,' Balaam admitted.
31 Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him.
32 'Why did you beat your donkey those three times?' the angel of the LORD demanded. 'Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. 33 Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.'
34 Then Balaam confessed to the angel of the LORD, 'I have sinned. I didn't realize you were standing in the road to block my way. I will return home if you are against my going.'
35 But the angel of the LORD told Balaam, 'Go with these men, but say only what I tell you to say.' So Balaam went on with Balak's officials. 36 When King Balak heard that Balaam was on the way, he went out to meet him at a Moabite town on the Arnon River at the farthest border of his land.
37 'Didn't I send you an urgent invitation? Why didn't you come right away?' Balak asked Balaam. 'Didn't you believe me when I said I would reward you richly?'
38 Balaam replied, 'Look, now I have come, but I have no power to say whatever I want. I will speak only the message that God puts in my mouth.' 39 Then Balaam accompanied Balak to Kiriath-huzoth, 40 where the king sacrificed cattle and sheep. He sent portions of the meat to Balaam and the officials who were with him. 41 The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth-baal. From there he could see some of the people of Israel spread out below him.
Christian Standard Bible

1 The Israelites traveled on and camped in the plains of Moab near the Jordan across from Jericho. 2 Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 Moab was terrified of the people because they were numerous, and Moab dreaded the Israelites.
4 So the Moabites said to the elders of Midian, "This horde will devour everything around us like an ox eats up the green plants in the field." Since Balak son of Zippor was Moab's king at that time, 5 he sent messengers to Balaam son of Beor at Pethor, which is by the Euphrates in the land of his people. Balak said to him: "Look, a people has come out of Egypt; they cover the surface of the land and are living right across from me. 6 Please come and put a curse on these people for me because they are more powerful than I am. I may be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that those you bless are blessed and those you curse are cursed."
7 The elders of Moab and Midian departed with fees for divination in hand. They came to Balaam and reported Balak's words to him. 8 He said to them, "Spend the night here, and I will give you the answer the LORD tells me." So the officials of Moab stayed with Balaam.
9 Then God came to Balaam and asked, "Who are these men with you?"
10 Balaam replied to God, "Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent this message to me: 11 Look, a people has come out of Egypt, and they cover the surface of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. I may be able to fight against them and drive them away.'"
12 Then God said to Balaam, "You are not to go with them. You are not to curse this people, for they are blessed."
13 So Balaam got up the next morning and said to Balak's officials, "Go back to your land, because the LORD has refused to let me go with you."
14 The officials of Moab arose, returned to Balak, and reported, "Balaam refused to come with us."
15 Balak sent officials again who were more numerous and higher in rank than the others. 16 They came to Balaam and said to him, "This is what Balak son of Zippor says: 'Let nothing keep you from coming to me, 17 for I will greatly honor you and do whatever you ask me. So please come and put a curse on these people for me!'"
18 But Balaam responded to the servants of Balak, "If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go against the command of the LORD my God to do anything small or great. 19 Please stay here overnight as the others did, so that I may find out what else the LORD has to tell me."
20 God came to Balaam at night and said to him, "Since these men have come to summon you, get up and go with them, but you must only do what I tell you." 21 When he got up in the morning, Balaam saddled his donkey and went with the officials of Moab.
22 But God was incensed that Balaam was going, and the angel of the LORD took his stand on the path to oppose him. Balaam was riding his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing on the path with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the path and went into the field. So Balaam hit her to return her to the path. 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow passage between the vineyards, with a stone wall on either side. 25 The donkey saw the angel of the LORD and pressed herself against the wall, squeezing Balaam's foot against it. So he hit her once again. 26 The angel of the LORD went ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn to the right or the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she crouched down under Balaam. So he became furious and beat the donkey with his stick.
28 Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth, and she asked Balaam, "What have I done to you that you have beaten me these three times?"
29 Balaam answered the donkey, "You made me look like a fool. If I had a sword in my hand, I'd kill you now!"
30 But the donkey said, "Am I not the donkey you've ridden all your life until today? Have I ever treated you this way before?" "No," he replied.
31 Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the path with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam knelt low and bowed in worship on his face. 32 The angel of the LORD asked him, "Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? Look, I came out to oppose you, because I consider what you are doing to be evil. 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away from me, I would have killed you by now and let her live."
34 Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing in the path to confront me. And now, if it is evil in your sight, I will go back."
35 Then the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, "Go with the men, but you are to say only what I tell you." So Balaam went with Balak's officials.
36 When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the Moabite city on the Arnon border at the edge of his territory. 37 Balak asked Balaam, "Did I not send you an urgent summons? Why didn't you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?"
38 Balaam said to him, "Look, I have come to you, but can I say anything I want? I must speak only the message God puts in my mouth." 39 So Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed cattle, sheep, and goats and sent for Balaam and the officials who were with him.
41 In the morning, Balak took Balaam and brought him to Bamoth-baal. From there he saw the outskirts of the people's camp.

What does Numbers chapter 22 mean?

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