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Numbers 24 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

24 Since Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go to seek omens as on previous occasions, but turned[a] toward the wilderness. When Balaam looked up and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him, and he proclaimed his poem:

The oracle of Balaam son of Beor,
the oracle of the man whose eyes are opened,[b]
the oracle of one who hears the sayings of God,
who sees a vision from the Almighty,
who falls into a trance with his eyes uncovered:
How beautiful are your tents, Jacob,
your dwellings, Israel.
They stretch out like river valleys,[c]
like gardens beside a stream,
like aloes the Lord has planted,
like cedars beside the water.
Water will flow from his buckets,
and his seed will be by abundant water.
His king will be greater than Agag,[d]
and his kingdom will be exalted.
God brought him out of Egypt;
He is like[e] the horns of a wild ox for them.
He will feed on enemy nations
and gnaw their bones;
he will strike them with his arrows.
He crouches, he lies down like a lion
or a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
Those who bless you will be blessed,
and those who curse you will be cursed.

10 Then Balak became furious with Balaam, struck his hands together, and said to him, “I summoned you to put a curse on my enemies, but instead, you have blessed them these three times. 11 Now go to your home! I said I would reward you richly, but look, the Lord has denied you a reward.”

12 Balaam answered Balak, “Didn’t I previously tell the messengers you sent me: 13 If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go against the Lord’s command, to do anything good or bad of my own will? I will say whatever the Lord says. 14 Now I am going back to my people, but first, let me warn you what these people will do to your people in the future.”

Balaam’s Fourth Oracle

15 Then he proclaimed his poem:

The oracle of Balaam son of Beor,
the oracle of the man whose eyes are opened;[f]
16 the oracle of one who hears the sayings of God
and has knowledge from the Most High,
who sees a vision from the Almighty,
who falls into a trance with his eyes uncovered:
17 I see him,[g] but not now;
I perceive him,[h] but not near.
A star will come from Jacob,
and a scepter will arise from Israel.
He will smash the forehead[i] of Moab
and strike down[j] all the Shethites.[k]
18 Edom will become a possession;
Seir will become a possession of its enemies,
but Israel will be triumphant.
19 One who comes from Jacob will rule;
he will destroy the city’s survivors.

20 Then Balaam saw Amalek and proclaimed his poem:

Amalek was first among the nations,
but his future is destruction.

21 Next he saw the Kenites and proclaimed his poem:

Your dwelling place is enduring;
your nest is set in the cliffs.
22 Kain will be destroyed
when Asshur takes you captive.

23 Once more he proclaimed his poem:

Ah, who can live when God does this?
24 Ships will come from the coast of Kittim;
they will afflict Asshur and Eber,
but they too will come to destruction.

25 Balaam then arose and went back to his homeland, and Balak also went his way.


  1. Numbers 24:1 Lit set his face
  2. Numbers 24:3 LXX reads true; Vg reads closed
  3. Numbers 24:6 Or like date palms
  4. Numbers 24:7 Sam, LXX, Sym, Theod read Gog
  5. Numbers 24:8 Or He has
  6. Numbers 24:15 LXX reads true; Vg reads closed
  7. Numbers 24:17 Or Him
  8. Numbers 24:17 Or Him
  9. Numbers 24:17 Or frontiers
  10. Numbers 24:17 Sam reads and the skulls of; Jr 48:45
  11. Numbers 24:17 Or Sethites

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