0 SAB Numbers 22



Balak sends for Balaam

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

The Israelites pitched their tents in the plains of Moab.

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.

Balak, the king of Moab, saw what the Israelites did to the Amorites [1] and he feared that they'd do the same to him and his people.

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.

He said to the elders of Midian,
The Israelites will lick up everything around us, as the ox licks up the grass.

5He 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:

He sent messengers to Balaam, saying,
The Israelites are coming.

6Come 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.

Come and curse them, so I can smite them.

They are too mighty for me.

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.

The elders of Moab and Midian came to Balaam to deliver Balak's message.

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.

Balaam said to them,

Sleep here tonight and I'll tell you what God says to me.

And they stayed there with Balaam.

God tells Balaam not to curse the Israelites

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

God came to Balaam and said to him,
Who are these men with you? [2]

10And 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.

Balaam said to God,
Balak sent these men to say to me:
There are people who came out of Egypt and now cover the face of the earth.

Come to Moab and curse them, so I can drive them out.

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

God said to Balaam,
Don't go with them and don't curse the people. Because 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.

Balaam said to the princes of Balak,

Go back to Balak.

God said I can't go with you.

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

The princes returned to Balak and said,

Balaam refused to come with us.

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

Balak sent another set of princes, more honorable than the first set.

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.

The new princes said to Balaam,
This is what Balak says,

Don't let anything stop you from coming to me. I'll do whatever you say.

But come and curse these 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.

Balaam said to the second set of princes,

I won't go to Balak even if he gives me his house filled with silver and gold.

God said I can't go and that's that.

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

But stay here tonight. Maybe God will say something else to me.
God tells Balaam to go with the men of Moab
Interpretations 22:20-27

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.

God came to Balaam at night and said to him, [3]

If the men ask you to go with them, go with them.

But only do what I tell you to do.

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

So Balaam got up the next morning and went with the princes of Moab.

22And 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.

God was angry with him because he went with them.

An angel stood in his way as an adversary while he rode on his donkey. [4]

23And 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.

The donkey saw the angel standing in front of him, so he turned to go around him.

And Balaam smote the donkey to turn him the other 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.

But the angel was still in the way, and there was no room to go around him, since there was a wall on each side of the path.

25And 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.

When the donkey saw the angel in the way, she struck the wall and hurt Balaam's foot.

And Balaam smote the donkey 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.

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

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?

God opened the donkey's mouth and she said, [5]

What did I do to you to make you hit me three times?

29And 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.

Balaam said to his donkey,

You mocked me.

I wish I had a sword and I'd kill you.

30And 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.

The donkey said to Balaam,

Aren't I your donkey?

Have I ever mistreated you?

Balaam answered,

Balaam goes to Moab

31Then 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.

Then God opened Balaam's eyes so he could see the angel [6], and he 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:

The angel said to Balaam,

Why did you smite your donkey three times?

33And 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.

If she hadn't seen me and turned away, I would have killed you, and kept 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.

Balaam said to the angel,

I have sinned, because I didn't know you were standing in the way.

If you don't want me to go to Balak, I'll go home.

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.

The angel said to Balaam,

No, go with the men, but do only the things that I tell you to do.

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.

When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him.

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?

Balak said to Balaam,
Didn't I ask you to come?

Why didn't you?

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.

Balaam said,

I have come.

Whatever God tells me to say, I will say.


Copyright © 1999-2024
The Skeptic's Annotated Bible

Send comments to Steve Wells
at swwells(at)gmail.com