Numbers 24

1Balaam was sure that the Lord would tell him to bless Israel again. So he did not use any magic to find out what the Lord wanted him to do, as he had the first two times. Instead, he looked out toward the desert 2and saw the tribes of Israel camped below. Just then, God's Spirit took control of him, 3and Balaam said:

“I am the son of Beor,

and my words are true,

so listen to my message!

4It comes from the Lord,

the God All-Powerful.

I bowed down to him

and saw a vision of Israel.

5“People of Israel,

your camp is lovely.

6It's like a grove of palm trees

or a garden beside a river.

You are like tall aloe trees

that the Lord has planted,

or like cedars

growing near water.

7You and your descendants

will prosper like an orchard

beside a stream.

Your king will rule with power

and be a greater king

than Agag the Amalekite.

8With the strength of a wild ox,

God led you out of Egypt.

You will defeat your enemies,

shooting them with arrows

and crushing their bones.

9 Like a lion you lie down,

resting after an attack.

Who would dare disturb you?

“Anyone who blesses you

will be blessed;

anyone who curses you

will be cursed.”

10When Balak heard this, he was so furious that he pounded his fist against his hand and said, “I called you here to place a curse on my enemies, and you've blessed them three times. 11Leave now and go home! I told you I would pay you well, but since the Lord didn't let you do what I asked, you won't be paid.”

12Balaam answered, “I told your messengers 13that even if you offered me a palace full of silver or gold, I would still obey the Lord. And I explained that I would say only what he told me. 14So I'm going back home, but I'm leaving you with a warning about what the Israelites will someday do to your nation.”

Balaam's Fourth Message

15Balaam said:

“I am the son of Beor,

and my words are true,

so listen to my message!

16My knowledge comes

from God Most High,

the Lord All-Powerful.

I bowed down to him

and saw a vision of Israel.

17“What I saw in my vision

hasn't happened yet.

But someday, a king of Israel

will appear like a star.

He will wipe out you Moabites

and destroy those tribes

who live in the desert.

18Israel will conquer Edom

and capture the land

of that enemy nation.

19The king of Israel will rule

and destroy the survivors

of every town there.

20“And I saw this vision

about the Amalekites:

Their nation is now great,

but it will someday

disappear forever.

21“And this is what I saw

about the Kenites:

They think they're safe,

living among the rocks,

22but they will be wiped out

when Assyria conquers them.

23“No one can survive

if God plans destruction.

24Ships will come from Cyprus,

bringing people who will invade

the lands of Assyria and Eber.

But finally, Cyprus itself

will be ruined.”

25After Balaam finished, he started home, and Balak also left.