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Numbers 22

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

 2 Balak, the son of Zippor, saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.

 3 And Moab was greatly afraid of the people because they were so many in number, and the children of Israel distressed Moab.

 4 And Moab said to the elders of Midian, "Now is the time for this company to lick up all that are around us, like the ox licks up the grass of the field. Balak, the son of Zippor, was king of the Moabites at that time.

 5 Therefore he sent messengers to Balaam, the son of Beor, in Pethor, which is by the [Euphrates] river in the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, "Behold, there is a people that have come out from Egypt; they cover the face of the earth, and they have located next to me.

 6 Therefore please come quickly and curse me this people for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be successful in smiting them and driving them out of the land for I am aware that those whom you bless is blessed, and those whom you curse is cursed."

 7 And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination [for Balaam's requested curse] in their hand; and they came to Balaam, and spoke to him the words of Balak.

 8 And he said to them, "Lodge here tonight, and I will bring you word as the LORD shall speak to me;" and the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam.

 9 And God came to Balaam and said, "What men are these to you?"

 10 And Balaam said to God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying,

 11 Behold, there is a people that have come out of Egypt, and they cover the face of the earth; come now, curse them for me. Perhaps then I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out."

 12 And God said to Balaam, "You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people for they are blessed."

 13 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, "Go back to your own land for the LORD refuses to give me permission to go with you."

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

 15 And Balak sent yet again more princes, who were more honorable than the previous ones.

 16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him, "Thus said Balak the son of Zippor, 'Let nothing, I beg of you, hinder you from coming to me,

 17 For I will promote you to very great honor, and I will do whatever you ask of me; come therefore, I beg you, and curse this people for me.'"

 18 And Balaam answered and said to 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.

 19 Now therefore, I beg you, you also stay here tonight, that I may know if the LORD will say more to me."

 20 And God came to Balaam at night, and said to him, "If the men come to call you, rise up, and go with them; but you shall only do what I tell you to do."

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

 22 And God's anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of the LORD stood in the way to oppose him. Now Balaam was riding on his ass, and his two servants were with him.

 23 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his sword drawn in his hand; and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field. Balaam struck the ass, to turn her back into the 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.

 25 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, the ass jumped against the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall; and he struck her again.

 26 And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where there 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 struck the ass with his staff.

 28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?"1

 29 And Balaam said to the ass, "Because you have mocked me. I would there were a sword in my hand for now would I kill you."

 30 And the ass said to Balaam, "Am not I your ass, upon which you have ridden ever since I was yours to this day? Was I ever known to do so to you?" And he said, "No."

 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.

 32 And the angel of the LORD said to him, "Why have you struck your ass these three times? Behold, I went out to withstand you, because your way is perverse before me.

 33 The ass saw me and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I would have slain you and saved her alive."

 34 And Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned for I did not know not that you stood in the way against me; now therefore, if it displeases you, I will go back again."

 35 And the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, "Go with the men, but only the word that I shall speak to you, that you shall speak." So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

 36 And when Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him to a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the outer most border.

 37 And Balak said to Balaam, "Did I not earnestly send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able indeed to promote you to honor?"

 38 And Balaam said to Balak, "I have come to you; do I now have any power at all to say anything? Only the word that God puts in my mouth, that shall I speak."

 39 And Balaam went with Balak, and they came to 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 next day, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that there he might see the furthest part of the people [of Israel].


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1 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?" In his Journal, George Fox said his era's ministers' spiritual progress was less than that of Balaam's ass because the ass spoke the Word of the Lord, but the ministers could not even hear the Lord's voice, much less speak the Word of the Lord; they could only quote the Bible; exactly like the ministers today.

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