1. And the children of Israel set out, and encamped in the plains of Moab on this side of Jordan by Jericho.
2. And 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 many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.
4. And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round 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.
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 opposite me:
6. Come now therefore, I pray you, curse for me this people; for they are too mighty for me: perhaps I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.
7. And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spoke unto him the words of Balak.
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 leaders of Moab abode with Balaam.
9. And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with you?
10. And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent unto me, saying,
11. Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, who cover the face of the earth: come now, curse them for me; perhaps I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out.
12. And God said unto 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 unto the leaders of Balak, Get you into your land: for the LORD refuses to give me permission to go with you.
14. And the leaders of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuses to come with us.
15. And Balak sent yet again leaders, more, and more honorable than they.
16. And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray you, hinder you from coming unto me:
17. For I will promote you unto very great honor, and I will do whatsoever you say unto me: come therefore, I pray you, curse for me this 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.
19. Now therefore, I pray you, tarry you also here this night, that I may know what more the LORD will say unto me.
20. And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call you, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto you, that shall you do.
21. And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the leaders of Moab.
22. And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his donkey, and his two servants were with him.
23. And the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the donkey turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the way.
24. But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on one side, and a wall on the other side.
25. And when the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto 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 donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with a staff.
28. And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto you, that you have smitten me these three times?
29. And Balaam said unto the donkey, Because you have mocked me: I would there were a sword in my hand, for now would I kill you.
30. And the donkey said unto Balaam, Am not I your donkey, upon which you have ridden ever since I became yours unto this day? was I ever accustomed to do so unto you? And he said, Nay.
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 unto him, Why have you struck your donkey these three times? behold, I went out to withstand you, because your way is perverse before me:
33. And the donkey 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 unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that you stood in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease you, I will go back again.
35. And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto you, that you shall speak. So Balaam went with the leaders of Balak.
36. And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which is on the border of Arnon, which is on the farthest boundary.
37. And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto you to call you? why came you not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote you to honor?
38. And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto you: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God puts in my mouth, that shall I speak.
39. And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kiriathhuzoth.
40. And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the leaders that were with him.
41. And it came to pass the next day, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that from there he might see the extent of the people.