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¶ AND the children of Israel journeyed, and encamped in the plains of Moab on this side of Jordan by Jericho.
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And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.
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And the Moabites were in great fear of the people because they were many;
and Moab was distressed at the presence of the children of Israel.
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And Moab said to the elders of Midian, Now this multitude is licking up all that are around about us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.
And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time.
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So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, an interpreter of dreams, who dwelt by the river of the land of the children of Ammon, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt;
they cover the face of the land, and they are settled over against me.
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Come now therefore and curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me;
perhaps I shall be able to defeat some of them and destroy them out of the land;
for I know that he whom you bless is blessed and he whom you curse is cursed.
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And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with gifts for divination in their hands;
and they came to Balaam and told him the words of Balak.
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And he said to them, Lodge here this night and I will give you an answer as the LORD shall speak to me;
and the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam.
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And God came to Balaam and said to him, Who are these men that are with you?
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And Balaam said to God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying,
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Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt who cover the face of the earth;
come now, and curse them for me;
perhaps I shall be able to fight against them and destroy them.
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And God said to Balaam, You shall not go with them;
and you shall not curse the people;
for they are blessed.
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And Balaam rose up in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, Go to your land;
for the LORD refuses to permit me to go with you.
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So the princes of Moab rose up and went to Balak, and said to him, Balaam refused to come with us.
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¶ And again Balak sent messengers who were greater and more honorable than they.
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And they carne to Balaam and said to him, Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing hinder you from coming to me;
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For I will surely honor you exceedingly, and I will do for you whatever you say to me;
come therefore, curse this people for me.
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And Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not transgress against the word of the LORD my God, neither concerning a small matter nor concerning a great matter.
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Now, therefore, tarry you also here this night, that I may know what more the LORD will say to me.
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And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, If these men have come to call you, rise up and go with them;
but only the word which I shall say to you, that shall you do.
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So Balaam rose up in the morning and saddled his ass and went with the princes of Balak.
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¶ And God’s anger was kindled against him because he went;
and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him.
Now as he was riding on his she-ass, and his two servants with him,
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The she-ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn and held in his hand;
and the she-ass turned aside out of the way and went into the field;
and Balaam struck the she-ass to turn her into the way.
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But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyard, a wall being on this side and a wall on that side.
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And when the she-ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself against the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall;
and he struck her again.
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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 or to the left.
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And when the she-ass saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam;
and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the she-ass with a staff.
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And the LORD opened the mouth of the she-ass and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you that you have struck me these three times?
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And Balaam said to the she-ass, Because you have mocked me;
I would there were a sword in my hands, for now would I kill you.
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And the she-ass said to Balaam, Am I not your she-ass upon which you have ridden from your youth even to this day?
Have I ever behaved in this manner toward you?
And he said to her, No.
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Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his sword drawn and held in his hand;
and he bowed down his head and worshipped on his face.
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And the angel of the LORD said to him, Why have you struck your she-ass these three times?
Behold, I went out to be an adversary against you, because you have directed your course contrary to me;
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And the she-ass saw me and turned aside from me these three times;
and if she had not turned aside from me, surely now I would have slain you, and saved her alive.
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And Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, I have sinned;
for I did not know that thou didst stand in the way against me;
now therefore, if my mission is evil in thy eyes, I will turn back again.
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And the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, Go with the men;
but only the command that I shall speak to you, that shall you do.
So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
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¶ And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him in a town of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon at the uttermost end of the border.
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And Balak said to Balaam, Did I not earnestly send messengers to you to call you?
Why did you not come to me?
Perhaps you were saying that I am not able to honor you?
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And Balaam said to Balak, Lo, I have come to you;
have I now any power at all to say anything?
The word that God puts in my mouth, that shall I speak.
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And Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Koriath-Hizroth.
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And Balak slaughtered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam and to the princes who were with him.
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And in the morning Balak took Balaam and brought him to a high place of Baal, and from there he saw the uttermost part of the people of Israel.