Numbers 22

Balak sends for Balaam
22:1-8

22:1 And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho.

22:2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.

22:3 And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.

22:4 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.

(22:1-4) Balak, the king of Moab, saw what the Israelites did to the Amorites (they killed them all) and he fears they'll do the same to him and his people.

22:5 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:

22:6 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.

22:7 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.

22:8 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.

(22:5-6) Balak sends messengers to ask Balaam to come to Moab and curse the Israelites.
God tells Balaam not to curse the Israelites
(22:9-19)

22:9 And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee?

22:10 And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying,

22:11 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.

22:12 And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.

(22:9-12) God and Balaam have a little chat. God asks Balaam what he's up to, and Balaam explains that Balak, the king of Moab, has asked him to come to Moab to curse the Israelites, who have invaded his land. God tells Balaam not to curse the Israelites because they are blessed.

(22:9) God asks Balaam the non-rhetorical question, "What men are these with thee?" You'd think God would already know, wouldn't you?
Does God know everything?

22:13 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.

(22:13) Balaam tells the princes of Balak that God won't let him go to Moab with them.

22:14 And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us.

22:15 And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they.

22:16 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:

22:17 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.

(22:14) The princes go back to Moab and tell Balak that Balaam refuses to go to Moab. So Balak sends more princes to talk to Balaam.

22:18 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.

22:19 Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will say unto me more.

(22:18) Balaam tells the second set of princes that he will not go to Moab to curse the Israelites even if Balak fills his house with silver and gold.
God tells Balaam to go with the men of Moab
22:20-27

22:20 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.

(22:20) God comes to Balaam at night and told him to go with the men from Moab.

22:21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.

22:22 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.

(22:21-22) Balaam gets on his donkey and goes with them, just as God had commanded. "And God's anger was kindled because he went" -- but he was just following God's instructions!

22:23 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.

22:24 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.

(22:23) Balaam's donkey sees the angel of the Lord standing in front of him, so he turns to go around him.

22:25 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.

22:26 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.

(22:25) The angel moved to stay in the donkey's way, so the donkey moved again to try and avoid the angel. But by doing so, he smashed Balaam foot against a wall.

22:27 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.

(22:27) The angel moved in front of the donkey again, and this time there was no room for the donkey to go around him. So the donkey gave up and fell down. This made Balaam angry, so he smote the donkey with his staff.
Balaam and his donkey have a conversation
22:28-30

22:28 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?

(22:28-30) Balaam and his donkey have a conversation. Apparently, they do this often, since Balaam isn't the least bit surprised when his donkey starts talking to him.

(22:28) 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?

22:29 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.

(22:29) 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.

22:30 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.

(22:30) 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.

Balaam goes to Moab
22:31-41

22:31 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.

(22:31) Then God opened Balaam's eyes so he could see the angel (I guess the donkey's eyes didn't need to be opened), and he "fell flat on his face."

22:32 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:

22:33 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.

22:34 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.

(22:32-33) The angel asked Balaam why he hit his donkey? If it wasn't for his donkey, Balaam and the angel would have collided, and the angel would have killed Balaam. It's a good thing he has such a clever donkey!

22:35 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.

22:36 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.

22:37 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?

(22:35) The angel tells Balaam to go to Moab, but only say what the angel tells him to say.

22:38 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.

22:39 And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kirjathhuzoth.

22:40 And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him.

22:41 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.

(28:38) Balaam arrives in Moab and tells king Balak that he will say whatever words God puts in his mouth.