« Numbers 22 | Numbers 23 | Numbers 24 »
Balaam’s First Oracle 23:1 And Balaam said to Balak, “Build for me here seven altars, and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams.”
2 Balak did as Balaam had said. And Balak and Balaam offered on each altar a bull and a ram.
3 And Balaam said to Balak, “Stand beside your burnt offering, and I will go. Perhaps the Lord will come to meet me, and whatever he shows me I will tell you.” And he went to a bare height,
4 and God met Balaam. And Balaam said to him, “I have arranged the seven altars and I have offered on each altar a bull and a ram.”
5 And the Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.”
6 And he returned to him, and behold, he and all the princes of Moab were standing beside his burnt offering.
7 And Balaam took up his discourse and said,“From Aram Balak has brought me,the king of Moab from the eastern mountains:‘Come, curse Jacob for me,and come, denounce Israel!’
8 How can I curse whom God has not cursed?How can I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced?
9 For from the top of the crags I see him,from the hills I behold him;behold, a people dwelling alone,and not counting itself among the nations!
10 Who can count the dust of Jacobor number the fourth part of Israel?Let me die the death of the upright,and let my end be like his!”
11 And Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have done nothing but bless them.”
12 And he answered and said, “Must I not take care to speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?”
Balaam’s Second Oracle13 And Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place, from which you may see them. You shall see only a fraction of them and shall not see them all. Then curse them for me from there.”
14 And he took him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
15 Balaam said to Balak, “Stand here beside your burnt offering, while I meet the Lord over there.”
16 And the Lord met Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak.”
17 And he came to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the Lord spoken?”
18 And Balaam took up his discourse and said,“Rise, Balak, and hear;give ear to me, O son of Zippor:
19 God is not man, that he should lie,or a son of man, that he should change his mind.Has he said, and will he not do it?Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
20 Behold, I received a command to bless:he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.
21 He has not beheld misfortune in Jacob,nor has he seen trouble in Israel.The Lord their God is with them,and the shout of a king is among them.
22 God brings them out of Egyptand is for them like the horns of the wild ox.
23 For there is no enchantment against Jacob,no divination against Israel;now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel,‘What has God wrought!’
24 Behold, a people! As a lioness it rises upand as a lion it lifts itself;it does not lie down until it has devoured the preyand drunk the blood of the slain.”
25 And Balak said to Balaam, “Do not curse them at all, and do not bless them at all.”
26 But Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not tell you, ‘All that the Lord says, that I must do’?”
27 And Balak said to Balaam, “Come now, I will take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from there.”
28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, which overlooks the desert.
29 And Balaam said to Balak, “Build for me here seven altars and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams.”
30 And Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
« Numbers 23 | Numbers 24 | Numbers 25 »
Balaam’s Third Oracle 24:1 When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness.
2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him,
3 and he took up his discourse and said,“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
4 the oracle of him who hears the words of God,who sees the vision of the Almighty,falling down with his eyes uncovered:
5 How lovely are your tents, O Jacob,your encampments, O Israel!
6 Like palm groves that stretch afar,like gardens beside a river,like aloes that the Lord has planted,like cedar trees beside the waters.
7 Water shall flow from his buckets,and his seed shall be in many waters;his king shall be higher than Agag,and his kingdom shall be exalted.
8 God brings him out of Egyptand is for him like the horns of the wild ox;he shall eat up the nations, his adversaries,and shall break their bones in piecesand pierce them through with his arrows.
9 He crouched, he lay down like a lionand like a lioness; who will rouse him up?Blessed are those who bless you,and cursed are those who curse you.”
10 And Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together. And Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them these three times.
11 Therefore now flee to your own place. I said, ‘I will certainly honor you,’ but the Lord has held you back from honor.”
12 And Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me,
13 ‘If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own will. What the Lord speaks, that will I speak’?
14 And now, behold, I am going to my people. Come, I will let you know what this people will do to your people in the latter days.”
Balaam’s Final Oracle15 And he took up his discourse and said,“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
16 the oracle of him who hears the words of God,and knows the knowledge of the Most High,who sees the vision of the Almighty,falling down with his eyes uncovered:
17 I see him, but not now;I behold him, but not near:a star shall come out of Jacob,and a scepter shall rise out of Israel;it shall crush the forehead of Moaband break down all the sons of Sheth.
18 Edom shall be dispossessed;Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed.Israel is doing valiantly.
19 And one from Jacob shall exercise dominionand destroy the survivors of cities!”
20 Then he looked on Amalek and took up his discourse and said,“Amalek was the first among the nations,but its end is utter destruction.”
21 And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said,“Enduring is your dwelling place,and your nest is set in the rock.
22 Nevertheless, Kain shall be burnedwhen Asshur takes you away captive.”
23 And he took up his discourse and said,“Alas, who shall live when God does this?
24 But ships shall come from Kittimand shall afflict Asshur and Eber;and he too shall come to utter destruction.”
25 Then Balaam rose and went back to his place. And Balak also went his way.
« Proverbs 7 | Proverbs 8 | Proverbs 9 »
The Blessings of Wisdom8:1 Does not wisdom call?Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 On the heights beside the way,at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3 beside the gates in front of the town,at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O men, I call,and my cry is to the children of man.
5 O simple ones, learn prudence;O fools, learn sense.
6 Hear, for I will speak noble things,and from my lips will come what is right,
7 for my mouth will utter truth;wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous;there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
9 They are all straight to him who understands,and right to those who find knowledge.
10 Take my instruction instead of silver,and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is better than jewels,and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,and I find knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.Pride and arrogance and the way of eviland perverted speech I hate.
14 I have counsel and sound wisdom;I have insight; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me princes rule,and nobles, all who govern justly.
17 I love those who love me,and those who seek me diligently find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,and my yield than choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,in the paths of justice,
21 granting an inheritance to those who love me,and filling their treasuries.
22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work,the first of his acts of old.
23 Ages ago I was set up,at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,before the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before he had made the earth with its fields,or the first of the dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there;when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above,when he established the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,so that the waters might not transgress his command,when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 then I was beside him, like a master workman,and I was daily his delight,rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited worldand delighting in the children of man.
32 “And now, O sons, listen to me:blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,watching daily at my gates,waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds lifeand obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find me injures himself;all who hate me love death.”
« Acts 22 | Acts 23 | Acts 24 »
23:1 And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.”
2 And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.
3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?”
4 Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?”
5 And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”
6 Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.”
7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.
8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.
9 Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?”
10 And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.
11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”
A Plot to Kill Paul12 When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.
13 There were more than forty who made this conspiracy.
14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul.
15 Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”
16 Now the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul.
17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.”
18 So he took him and brought him to the tribune and said, “Paul the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you.”
19 The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?”
20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more closely about him.
21 But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him, who have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for your consent.”
22 So the tribune dismissed the young man, charging him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of these things.”
Paul Sent to Felix the Governor23 Then he called two of the centurions and said, “Get ready two hundred soldiers, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go as far as Caesarea at the third hour of the night.
24 Also provide mounts for Paul to ride and bring him safely to Felix the governor.”
25 And he wrote a letter to this effect:
26 “Claudius Lysias, to his Excellency the governor Felix, greetings.
27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them when I came upon them with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman citizen.
28 And desiring to know the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their council.
29 I found that he was being accused about questions of their law, but charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment.
30 And when it was disclosed to me that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, ordering his accusers also to state before you what they have against him.”
31 So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris.
32 And on the next day they returned to the barracks, letting the horsemen go on with him.
33 When they had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him.
34 On reading the letter, he asked what province he was from. And when he learned that he was from Cilicia,
35 he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive.” And he commanded him to be guarded in Herod’s praetorium.
The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
ESV® Permanent Text Edition (2016). The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers.
Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.