Numbers 23

Balaam's first sacrifice and speech
23:1-10

23:1 And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams.

Balaam said to Balak,
Build seven altars and get seven oxen and rams.

23:2 And Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bullock and a ram.

Balak did as Balaam asked, and they sacrificed a bullock and a ram on each altar.

23:3 And Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure the LORD will come to meet me: and whatsoever he sheweth me I will tell thee. And he went to an high place.

Balaam said to Balak,

Stand by the burnt offering and I'll go away.

Maybe God will come to meet me. I'll tell you what he shows me.

So Balaam went up to a high place.

23:4 And God met Balaam: and he said unto him, I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered upon every altar a bullock and a ram.

God met Balaam, and Balaam said to God,

I prepared seven altars and offered a bullock and a ram on each of them.

23:5 And the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak.

God put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said,

Return to Balak and say this to him.

23:6 And he returned unto him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt sacrifice, he, and all the princes of Moab.

23:7 And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel.

So Balaam returned to Balak, and said this parable to him and all the princes of Moab,

Balak brought me out of Aram, saying, "Come curse Jacob for me and defy Israel."

23:8 How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?

But how can I curse whom God hasn't cursed? [1]

How can I defy whom God hasn't defied?

23:9 For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

I see God from the hills and the top of the rocks.

23:10 Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!

Who can count Jacob's dust and a quarter of Israel?

Let me die a righteous death.

Balaam's second sacrifice and speech
23:11-26

23:11 And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether.

Balak said to Balaam,

What have you done to me?

I asked you to curse my enemies, not bless them.

23:12 And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD hath put in my mouth?

Balaam said to Balak,

Don't I have to speak the words that God put into my mouth?

23:13 And Balak said unto him, Come, I pray thee, with me unto another place, from whence thou mayest see them: thou shalt see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence.

Balak said to him,

Come with me to another place, where you will see some, but not all, of the Israelites.

You can curse them from there.

23:14 And he brought him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.

Balak took Balaam to the field of Zophim. He built seven altars there, and sacrificed a bull and a ram on each altar.

23:15 And he said unto Balak, Stand here by thy burnt offering, while I meet the LORD yonder.

Balaam said to Balak,

Stand here by the burnt offering, while I meet God over yonder.

23:16 And the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus.

God met Balaak and put a word in his mouth, and said,

Go again to Balak and say this to him.

23:17 And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the LORD spoken?

Balaam returned to Balak, who asked him,
What did God say to you?

23:18 And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:

23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Balaam recited the parable that God told him:

God isn't a man, so he doesn't lie.

And he isn't the son of man, so he doesn't repent. [2]

23:20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.

God commanded me to bless, and God has blessed.

I can't undo it.

23:21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.

He hasn't seen Jacob do anything wrong or seen any perverseness in Israel.

God is with Israel and the shout of a king is among the Israelites.

23:22 God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

23:23 Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!

God brought them out of Egypt.

He is as strong as a unicorn. [3]

23:24 Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.

The people will rise up as lion and drink the blood of the slain.

23:25 And Balak said unto Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.

Balak said to Balaam,

Don't curse or bless the people.

23:26 But Balaam answered and said unto Balak, Told not I thee, saying, All that the LORD speaketh, that I must do?

Balaam said to Balak,

I told you I would say what God said to me.

Balaam's third sacrifice
23:27-30)

23:27 And Balak said unto Balaam, Come, I pray thee, I will bring thee unto another place; peradventure it will please God that thou mayest curse me them from thence.

Balak said to Balaam,

Come with me to another place.

Maybe God will make you will curse the Israelites from there.

23:28 And Balak brought Balaam unto the top of Peor, that looketh toward Jeshimon.

Balak brought Balaam to the top of Peor.

23:29 And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams.

Balaam said to Balak,

Build me seven altars and sacrifice seven bullocks and seven rams.

23:30 And Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.

And Balak did as Balaam asked, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.