Numbers 24

Balaam's third message from God

1 Balaam realized that the Lord wanted to bless the Israelites. So he did not use magic again to find out what the Lord wanted him to do. Instead, he looked towards the desert. 2 When he looked, he saw the Israelite people. They had put up their tents in groups for each tribe. Then the Spirit of God came on him. 3 As a result, Balaam said, ‘This is God's message that he has given to Balaam, the son of Beor. It is the words of a man who understands what God is saying. 4 It is the message of a man who hears God's words. I am a man who sees a vision that God Almighty has shown to him. I lie down on the ground, but my eyes are open! I see this:

5 The tents where the Israelites live are beautiful! 6 They are like green gardens in a valley beside a river. They are like tall trees that the Lord has put there. They are like cedar trees that grow beside water.

7 God will give them plenty of rain. Their descendants will always have plenty of water. Their king will be more powerful than Agag. Their kingdom will be great.

8 God brought them out of Egypt. God fights for them like a wild bull. He will destroy the nations who are their enemies. He will break their enemies' bones into pieces. He will shoot his arrows at them.

9 The Israelites are like a lion. When it is asleep, nobody is brave enough to wake it. God blesses those who bless you, Israel. And those who curse you are truly cursed.’

10 When Balaam said that, Balak became very angry with him. He hit his hands together and he said to Balaam, ‘I asked you to come here and to curse my enemies, the Israelites. But you have blessed them three times! 11 So go home now. I said that I would pay you very well. But the Lord has stopped me from giving you anything.’

12 Balaam said to Balak, ‘I already said this to the men that you sent to bring me. 13 I told them, “I can only speak the message that the Lord tells me. I cannot do good things or bad things just because I want to do them. Even if Balak gives his palace full of silver and gold to me, I cannot do anything different. I have to obey the Lord's command.” 14 So I will now return to my own people. But listen! Before I go, I will tell you what these Israelites will do to your people in the future.’

Balaam's fourth message from God

15 Then Balaam spoke this message from God. He said, ‘This is the message of Balaam, the son of Beor. It is the message of a man who sees clearly. 16 It is the message of a man who hears God's words. The Most High God has shown me things that only he knows. I am a man who sees a vision that God Almighty has shown to him. I lie down on the ground, but my eyes are open! I see this:

17 I see a king who will come from among the Israelites. He will not come now, but at a future time. He will appear as king, like a bright star. He will knock down the leaders of Moab. He will destroy the descendants of Sheth. 18 He will win against his enemies in Edom and Seir. The Israelites will become stronger.

24:17‘Sheth’ or ‘Seth’.

19 A descendant of Jacob will become their ruler. He will destroy all the people who are still alive in the city.’

Balaam's final messages from God

20 Then, in his vision, Balaam saw the Amalekites. He said, ‘Amalek was the most powerful of all the nations. God will destroy it now and for ever.’ 21 Then Balaam saw the Kenites. He spoke this message: ‘The place where you live seems strong and safe, high up among the rocks. 22 But Assyria's army will attack you. They will take you away as prisoners.’

23 Then Balaam spoke this message: ‘It is very bad for you! Nobody can live when God does these things! 24 Ships will come from the coast of Cyprus island. Their soldiers will attack Assyria and Eber. Then God will destroy them too.’

25 After he spoke those messages, Balaam returned to his home. King Balak also left that place.