1The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:2Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you come into the land you are to inhabit, which I am giving you,3and you make an offering by fire to the Lord from the herd or from the flock—whether a burnt offering or a sacrifice, to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering or at your appointed festivals—to make a pleasing odor for the Lord,4then whoever presents such an offering to the Lord shall present also a grain offering, one-tenth of an ephah of choice flour, mixed with one-fourth of a hin of oil.5Moreover, you shall offer one-fourth of a hin of wine as a drink offering with the burnt offering or the sacrifice, for each lamb.6For a ram, you shall offer a grain offering, two-tenths of an ephah of choice flour mixed with one-third of a hin of oil;7and as a drink offering you shall offer one-third of a hin of wine, a pleasing odor to the Lord.8When you offer a bull as a burnt offering or a sacrifice, to fulfill a vow or as an offering of well-being to the Lord,9then you shall present with the bull a grain offering, three-tenths of an ephah of choice flour, mixed with half a hin of oil,10and you shall present as a drink offering half a hin of wine, as an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to the Lord.11Thus it shall be done for each ox or ram, or for each of the male lambs or the kids.12According to the number that you offer, so you shall do with each and every one.13Every native Israelite shall do these things in this way, in presenting an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to the Lord.14An alien who lives with you, or who takes up permanent residence among you, and wishes to offer an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to the Lord, shall do as you do.15As for the assembly, there shall be for both you and the resident alien a single statute, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you and the alien shall be alike before the Lord.16You and the alien who resides with you shall have the same law and the same ordinance.17The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:18Speak to the Israelites and say to them: After you come into the land to which I am bringing you,19whenever you eat of the bread of the land, you shall present a donation to the Lord.20From your first batch of dough you shall present a loaf as a donation; you shall present it just as you present a donation from the threshing floor.21Throughout your generations you shall give to the Lord a donation from the first of your batch of dough.22But if you unintentionally fail to observe all these commandments that the Lord has spoken to Moses—23everything that the Lord has commanded you by Moses, from the day the Lord gave commandment and thereafter, throughout your generations—24then if it was done unintentionally without the knowledge of the congregation, the whole congregation shall offer one young bull for a burnt offering, a pleasing odor to the Lord, together with its grain offering and its drink offering, according to the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering.25The priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the Israelites, and they shall be forgiven; it was unintentional, and they have brought their offering, an offering by fire to the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord, for their error.26All the congregation of the Israelites shall be forgiven, as well as the aliens residing among them, because the whole people was involved in the error.27An individual who sins unintentionally shall present a female goat a year old for a sin offering.28And the priest shall make atonement before the Lord for the one who commits an error, when it is unintentional, to make atonement for the person, who then shall be forgiven.29For both the native among the Israelites and the alien residing among them—you shall have the same law for anyone who acts in error.30But whoever acts high-handedly, whether a native or an alien, affronts the Lord, and shall be cut off from among the people.31Because of having despised the word of the Lord and broken his commandment, such a person shall be utterly cut off and bear the guilt.Penalty for Violating the Sabbath
32When the Israelites were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the sabbath day.33Those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses, Aaron, and to the whole congregation.34They put him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him.35Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him outside the camp.”36The whole congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.Fringes on Garments
37The Lord said to Moses:38Speak to the Israelites, and tell them to make fringes on the corners of their garments throughout their generations and to put a blue cord on the fringe at each corner.39You have the fringe so that, when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and not follow the lust of your own heart and your own eyes.40So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and you shall be holy to your God.41I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God.Chapter 16Revolt of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram
1Now Korah son of Izhar son of Kohath son of Levi, along with Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—descendants of Reuben—took2two hundred fifty Israelite men, leaders of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men, and they confronted Moses.3They assembled against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, “You have gone too far! All the congregation are holy, everyone of them, and the Lord is among them. So why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”4When Moses heard it, he fell on his face.5Then he said to Korah and all his company, “In the morning the Lord will make known who is his, and who is holy, and who will be allowed to approach him; the one whom he will choose he will allow to approach him.6Do this: take censers, Korah and all your company,7and tomorrow put fire in them, and lay incense on them before the Lord; and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be the holy one. You Levites have gone too far!”8Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you Levites!9Is it too little for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to allow you to approach him in order to perform the duties of the Lord's tabernacle, and to stand before the congregation and serve them?10He has allowed you to approach him, and all your brother Levites with you; yet you seek the priesthood as well!11Therefore you and all your company have gathered together against the Lord. What is Aaron that you rail against him?”12Moses sent for Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab; but they said, “We will not come!13Is it too little that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also lord it over us?14It is clear you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Would you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come!”15Moses was very angry and said to the Lord, “Pay no attention to their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, and I have not harmed any one of them.”16And Moses said to Korah, “As for you and all your company, be present tomorrow before the Lord, you and they and Aaron;17and let each one of you take his censer, and put incense on it, and each one of you present his censer before the Lord, two hundred fifty censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer.”18So each man took his censer, and they put fire in the censers and laid incense on them, and they stood at the entrance of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron.19Then Korah assembled the whole congregation against them at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And the glory of the Lord appeared to the whole congregation.20Then the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying:21Separate yourselves from this congregation, so that I may consume them in a moment.22They fell on their faces, and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one person sin and you become angry with the whole congregation?”23And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:24Say to the congregation: Get away from the dwellings of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.25So Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram; the elders of Israel followed him.26He said to the congregation, “Turn away from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, or you will be swept away for all their sins.”27So they got away from the dwellings of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the entrance of their tents, together with their wives, their children, and their little ones.28And Moses said, “This is how you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works; it has not been of my own accord:29If these people die a natural death, or if a natural fate comes on them, then the Lord has not sent me.30But if the Lord creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up, with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.”31As soon as he finished speaking all these words, the ground under them was split apart.32The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, along with their households—everyone who belonged to Korah and all their goods.33So they with all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol; the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.34All Israel around them fled at their outcry, for they said, “The earth will swallow us too!”35And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred fifty men offering the incense.36 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:37Tell Eleazar son of Aaron the priest to take the censers out of the blaze; then scatter the fire far and wide.38For the censers of these sinners have become holy at the cost of their lives. Make them into hammered plates as a covering for the altar, for they presented them before the Lord and they became holy. Thus they shall be a sign to the Israelites.39So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers that had been presented by those who were burned; and they were hammered out as a covering for the altar—40a reminder to the Israelites that no outsider, who is not of the descendants of Aaron, shall approach to offer incense before the Lord, so as not to become like Korah and his company—just as the Lord had said to him through Moses.41On the next day, however, the whole congregation of the Israelites rebelled against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord.”42And when the congregation had assembled against them, Moses and Aaron turned toward the tent of meeting; the cloud had covered it and the glory of the Lord appeared.43Then Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting,44and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,45“Get away from this congregation, so that I may consume them in a moment.” And they fell on their faces.46Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer, put fire on it from the altar and lay incense on it, and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them. For wrath has gone out from the Lord; the plague has begun.”47So Aaron took it as Moses had ordered, and ran into the middle of the assembly, where the plague had already begun among the people. He put on the incense, and made atonement for the people.48He stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stopped.49Those who died by the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the affair of Korah.50When the plague was stopped, Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the tent of meeting.Chapter 17The Budding of Aaron's Rod
1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:2Speak to the Israelites, and get twelve staffs from them, one for each ancestral house, from all the leaders of their ancestral houses. Write each man's name on his staff,3and write Aaron's name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each ancestral house.4Place them in the tent of meeting before the covenant, where I meet with you.5And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout; thus I will put a stop to the complaints of the Israelites that they continually make against you.6Moses spoke to the Israelites; and all their leaders gave him staffs, one for each leader, according to their ancestral houses, twelve staffs; and the staff of Aaron was among theirs.7So Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the covenant.8When Moses went into the tent of the covenant on the next day, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted. It put forth buds, produced blossoms, and bore ripe almonds.9Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the Israelites; and they looked, and each man took his staff.10And the Lord said to Moses, “Put back the staff of Aaron before the covenant, to be kept as a warning to rebels, so that you may make an end of their complaints against me, or else they will die.”11Moses did so; just as the Lord commanded him, so he did.12The Israelites said to Moses, “We are perishing; we are lost, all of us are lost!13Everyone who approaches the tabernacle of the Lord will die. Are we all to perish?”Chapter 18Responsibility of Priests and Levites
1The Lord said to Aaron: You and your sons and your ancestral house with you shall bear responsibility for offenses connected with the sanctuary, while you and your sons alone shall bear responsibility for offenses connected with the priesthood.2So bring with you also your brothers of the tribe of Levi, your ancestral tribe, in order that they may be joined to you, and serve you while you and your sons with you are in front of the tent of the covenant.3They shall perform duties for you and for the whole tent. But they must not approach either the utensils of the sanctuary or the altar, otherwise both they and you will die.4They are attached to you in order to perform the duties of the tent of meeting, for all the service of the tent; no outsider shall approach you.5You yourselves shall perform the duties of the sanctuary and the duties of the altar, so that wrath may never again come upon the Israelites.6It is I who now take your brother Levites from among the Israelites; they are now yours as a gift, dedicated to the Lord, to perform the service of the tent of meeting.7But you and your sons with you shall diligently perform your priestly duties in all that concerns the altar and the area behind the curtain. I give your priesthood as a gift; any outsider who approaches shall be put to death.The Priests' Portion
8The Lord spoke to Aaron: I have given you charge of the offerings made to me, all the holy gifts of the Israelites; I have given them to you and your sons as a priestly portion due you in perpetuity.9This shall be yours from the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every offering of theirs that they render to me as a most holy thing, whether grain offering, sin offering, or guilt offering, shall belong to you and your sons.10As a most holy thing you shall eat it; every male may eat it; it shall be holy to you.11This also is yours: I have given to you, together with your sons and daughters, as a perpetual due, whatever is set aside from the gifts of all the elevation offerings of the Israelites; everyone who is clean in your house may eat them.12All the best of the oil and all the best of the wine and of the grain, the choice produce that they give to the Lord, I have given to you.13The first fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to the Lord, shall be yours; everyone who is clean in your house may eat of it.14Every devoted thing in Israel shall be yours.15The first issue of the womb of all creatures, human and animal, which is offered to the Lord, shall be yours; but the firstborn of human beings you shall redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem.16Their redemption price, reckoned from one month of age, you shall fix at five shekels of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary (that is, twenty gerahs).17But the firstborn of a cow, or the firstborn of a sheep, or the firstborn of a goat, you shall not redeem; they are holy. You shall dash their blood on the altar, and shall turn their fat into smoke as an offering by fire for a pleasing odor to the Lord;18but their flesh shall be yours, just as the breast that is elevated and as the right thigh are yours.19All the holy offerings that the Israelites present to the Lord I have given to you, together with your sons and daughters, as a perpetual due; it is a covenant of salt forever before the Lord for you and your descendants as well.20Then the Lord said to Aaron: You shall have no allotment in their land, nor shall you have any share among them; I am your share and your possession among the Israelites.21To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for a possession in return for the service that they perform, the service in the tent of meeting.22From now on the Israelites shall no longer approach the tent of meeting, or else they will incur guilt and die.23But the Levites shall perform the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear responsibility for their own offenses; it shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations. But among the Israelites they shall have no allotment,24because I have given to the Levites as their portion the tithe of the Israelites, which they set apart as an offering to the Lord. Therefore I have said of them that they shall have no allotment among the Israelites.25Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:26You shall speak to the Levites, saying: When you receive from the Israelites the tithe that I have given you from them for your portion, you shall set apart an offering from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe.27It shall be reckoned to you as your gift, the same as the grain of the threshing floor and the fullness of the wine press.28Thus you also shall set apart an offering to the Lord from all the tithes that you receive from the Israelites; and from them you shall give the Lord's offering to the priest Aaron.29Out of all the gifts to you, you shall set apart every offering due to the Lord; the best of all of them is the part to be consecrated.30Say also to them: When you have set apart the best of it, then the rest shall be reckoned to the Levites as produce of the threshing floor, and as produce of the wine press.31You may eat it in any place, you and your households; for it is your payment for your service in the tent of meeting.32You shall incur no guilt by reason of it, when you have offered the best of it. But you shall not profane the holy gifts of the Israelites, on pain of death.Chapter 19Ceremony of the Red Heifer
1The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:2This is a statute of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which there is no blemish and on which no yoke has been laid.3You shall give it to the priest Eleazar, and it shall be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence.4The priest Eleazar shall take some of its blood with his finger and sprinkle it seven times towards the front of the tent of meeting.5Then the heifer shall be burned in his sight; its skin, its flesh, and its blood, with its dung, shall be burned.6The priest shall take cedarwood, hyssop, and crimson material, and throw them into the fire in which the heifer is burning.7Then the priest shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterwards he may come into the camp; but the priest shall remain unclean until evening.8The one who burns the heifer shall wash his clothes in water and bathe his body in water; he shall remain unclean until evening.9Then someone who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and deposit them outside the camp in a clean place; and they shall be kept for the congregation of the Israelites for the water for cleansing. It is a purification offering.10The one who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.
This shall be a perpetual statute for the Israelites and for the alien residing among them.11Those who touch the dead body of any human being shall be unclean seven days.12They shall purify themselves with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so be clean; but if they do not purify themselves on the third day and on the seventh day, they will not become clean.13All who touch a corpse, the body of a human being who has died, and do not purify themselves, defile the tabernacle of the Lord; such persons shall be cut off from Israel. Since water for cleansing was not dashed on them, they remain unclean; their uncleanness is still on them.14This is the law when someone dies in a tent: everyone who comes into the tent, and everyone who is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days.15And every open vessel with no cover fastened on it is unclean.16Whoever in the open field touches one who has been killed by a sword, or who has died naturally, or a human bone, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.17For the unclean they shall take some ashes of the burnt purification offering, and running water shall be added in a vessel;18then a clean person shall take hyssop, dip it in the water, and sprinkle it on the tent, on all the furnishings, on the persons who were there, and on whoever touched the bone, the slain, the corpse, or the grave.19The clean person shall sprinkle the unclean ones on the third day and on the seventh day, thus purifying them on the seventh day. Then they shall wash their clothes and bathe themselves in water, and at evening they shall be clean.20Any who are unclean but do not purify themselves, those persons shall be cut off from the assembly, for they have defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. Since the water for cleansing has not been dashed on them, they are unclean.21It shall be a perpetual statute for them. The one who sprinkles the water for cleansing shall wash his clothes, and whoever touches the water for cleansing shall be unclean until evening.22Whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean, and anyone who touches it shall be unclean until evening.Chapter 20The Waters of Meribah
1The Israelites, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died there, and was buried there.2Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and against Aaron.3The people quarreled with Moses and said, “Would that we had died when our kindred died before the Lord!4Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here?5Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to bring us to this wretched place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink.”6Then Moses and Aaron went away from the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting; they fell on their faces, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them.7The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:8Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and your brother Aaron, and command the rock before their eyes to yield its water. Thus you shall bring water out of the rock for them; thus you shall provide drink for the congregation and their livestock.9So Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he had commanded him.10Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Listen, you rebels, shall we bring water for you out of this rock?”11Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff; water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their livestock drank.12But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me, to show my holiness before the eyes of the Israelites, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”13These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and by which he showed his holiness.Passage through Edom Refused
14Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, “Thus says your brother Israel: You know all the adversity that has befallen us:15how our ancestors went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians oppressed us and our ancestors;16and when we cried to the Lord, he heard our voice, and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt; and here we are in Kadesh, a town on the edge of your territory.17Now let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or vineyard, or drink water from any well; we will go along the King's Highway, not turning aside to the right hand or to the left until we have passed through your territory.”18But Edom said to him, “You shall not pass through, or we will come out with the sword against you.”19The Israelites said to him, “We will stay on the highway; and if we drink of your water, we and our livestock, then we will pay for it. It is only a small matter; just let us pass through on foot.”20But he said, “You shall not pass through.” And Edom came out against them with a large force, heavily armed.21Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through their territory; so Israel turned away from them.The Death of Aaron
22They set out from Kadesh, and the Israelites, the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor.23Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the border of the land of Edom,24“Let Aaron be gathered to his people. For he shall not enter the land that I have given to the Israelites, because you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah.25Take Aaron and his son Eleazar, and bring them up Mount Hor;26strip Aaron of his vestments, and put them on his son Eleazar. But Aaron shall be gathered to his people, and shall die there.”27Moses did as the Lord had commanded; they went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole congregation.28Moses stripped Aaron of his vestments, and put them on his son Eleazar; and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain.29When all the congregation saw that Aaron had died, all the house of Israel mourned for Aaron thirty days.Chapter 21The Bronze Serpent
1When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negeb, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, he fought against Israel and took some of them captive.2Then Israel made a vow to the Lord and said, “If you will indeed give this people into our hands, then we will utterly destroy their towns.”3The Lord listened to the voice of Israel, and handed over the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their towns; so the place was called Hormah.4From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way.5The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.”6Then the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died.7The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.8And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.”9So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.The Journey to Moab
10The Israelites set out, and camped in Oboth.11They set out from Oboth, and camped at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness bordering Moab toward the sunrise.12From there they set out, and camped in the Wadi Zered.13From there they set out, and camped on the other side of the Arnon, in the wilderness that extends from the boundary of the Amorites; for the Arnon is the boundary of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.14Wherefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of the Lord,
“Waheb in Suphah and the wadis.
The Arnon15and the slopes of the wadis
that extend to the seat of Ar,
and lie along the border of Moab.”16From there they continued to Beer; that is the well of which the Lord said to Moses, “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.”17Then Israel sang this song:
“Spring up, O well!—Sing to it!—18the well that the leaders sank,
that the nobles of the people dug,
with the scepter, with the staff.”
From the wilderness to Mattanah,19from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth,20and from Bamoth to the valley lying in the region of Moab by the top of Pisgah that overlooks the wasteland.King Sihon Defeated
21Then Israel sent messengers to King Sihon of the Amorites, saying,22“Let me pass through your land; we will not turn aside into field or vineyard; we will not drink the water of any well; we will go by the King's Highway until we have passed through your territory.”23But Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his territory. Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel to the wilderness; he came to Jahaz, and fought against Israel.24Israel put him to the sword, and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as to the Ammonites; for the boundary of the Ammonites was strong.25Israel took all these towns, and Israel settled in all the towns of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its villages.26For Heshbon was the city of King Sihon of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and captured all his land as far as the Arnon.27Therefore the ballad singers say,
“Come to Heshbon, let it be built;
let the city of Sihon be established.28For fire came out from Heshbon,
flame from the city of Sihon.
It devoured Ar of Moab,
and swallowed up the heights of the Arnon.29Woe to you, O Moab!
You are undone, O people of Chemosh!
He has made his sons fugitives,
and his daughters captives,
to an Amorite king, Sihon.30So their posterity perished
from Heshbon to Dibon,
and we laid waste until fire spread to Medeba.”31Thus Israel settled in the land of the Amorites.32Moses sent to spy out Jazer; and they captured its villages, and dispossessed the Amorites who were there.King Og Defeated
33Then they turned and went up the road to Bashan; and King Og of Bashan came out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.34But the Lord said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him; for I have given him into your hand, with all his people, and all his land. You shall do to him as you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon.”35So they killed him, his sons, and all his people, until there was no survivor left; and they took possession of his land.Chapter 22Balak Summons Balaam to Curse Israel
1The Israelites set out, and camped in the plains of Moab across the Jordan from Jericho.2Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.3Moab was in great dread of the people, because they were so numerous; Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel.4And Moab said to the elders of Midian, “This horde will now lick up all that is around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.” Now Balak son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.5He sent messengers to Balaam son of Beor at Pethor, which is on the Euphrates, in the land of Amaw, to summon him, saying, “A people has come out of Egypt; they have spread over the face of the earth, and they have settled next to me.6Come now, curse this people for me, since they are stronger than I; perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land; for I know that whomever you bless is blessed, and whomever you curse is cursed.”7So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam, and gave him Balak's message.8He said to them, “Stay here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, just as the Lord speaks to me”; so the officials of Moab stayed with Balaam.9God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?”10Balaam said to God, “King Balak son of Zippor of Moab, has sent me this message:11‘A people has come out of Egypt and has spread over the face of the earth; now come, curse them for me; perhaps I shall be able to fight against them and drive them out.’ ”12God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”13So Balaam rose in the morning, and said to the officials of Balak, “Go to your own land, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.”14So the officials of Moab rose and went to Balak, and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”15Once again Balak sent officials, more numerous and more distinguished than these.16They came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak son of Zippor: ‘Do not let anything hinder you from coming to me;17for I will surely do you great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do; come, curse this people for me.’ ”18But Balaam replied to the servants of Balak, “Although Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the Lord my God, to do less or more.19You remain here, as the others did, so that I may learn what more the Lord may say to me.”20That night God came to Balaam and said to him, “If the men have come to summon you, get up and go with them; but do only what I tell you to do.”21So Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the officials of Moab.Balaam, the Donkey, and the Angel
22God's anger was kindled because he was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the road as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him.23The donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand; so the donkey turned off the road, and went into the field; and Balaam struck the donkey, to turn it back onto the road.24Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side.25When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it scraped against the wall, and scraped Balaam's foot against the wall; so he struck it again.26Then the angel of the Lord went ahead, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left.27When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam; and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff.28Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”29Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me! I wish I had a sword in my hand! I would kill you right now!”30But the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I been in the habit of treating you this way?” And he said, “No.”31Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed down, falling on his face.32The angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? I have come out as an adversary, because your way is perverse before me.33The donkey saw me, and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let it live.”34Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now therefore, if it is displeasing to you, I will return home.”35The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men; but speak only what I tell you to speak.” So Balaam went on with the officials of Balak.36When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him at Ir-moab, on the boundary formed by the Arnon, at the farthest point of the boundary.37Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send to summon you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?”38Balaam said to Balak, “I have come to you now, but do I have power to say just anything? The word God puts in my mouth, that is what I must say.”39Then Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth.40Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent them to Balaam and to the officials who were with him.Balaam's First Oracle
41On the next day Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Bamoth-baal; and from there he could see part of the people of Israel.Chapter 231Then Balaam said to Balak, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.”2Balak did as Balaam had said; and Balak and Balaam offered a bull and a ram on each altar.3Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your burnt offerings while I go aside. Perhaps the Lord will come to meet me. Whatever he shows me I will tell you.” And he went to a bare height.4Then God met Balaam; and Balaam said to him, “I have arranged the seven altars, and have offered a bull and a ram on each altar.”5The Lord put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and this is what you must say.”6So he returned to Balak, who was standing beside his burnt offerings with all the officials of Moab.7Then Balaam uttered his oracle, saying:
“Balak has brought me from Aram,
the king of Moab from the eastern mountains:
‘Come, curse Jacob for me;
Come, denounce Israel!’8How can I curse whom God has not cursed?
How can I denounce those whom the Lord has not denounced?9For from the top of the crags I see him,
from the hills I behold him;
Here is a people living alone,
and not reckoning itself among the nations!10Who can count the dust of Jacob,
or number the dust-cloud of Israel?
Let me die the death of the upright,
and let my end be like his!”11Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but now you have done nothing but bless them.”12He answered, “Must I not take care to say what the Lord puts into my mouth?”Balaam's Second Oracle
13So Balak said to him, “Come with me to another place from which you may see them; you shall see only part of them, and shall not see them all; then curse them for me from there.”14So he took him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah. He built seven altars, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.15Balaam said to Balak, “Stand here beside your burnt offerings, while I meet the Lord over there.”16The Lord met Balaam, put a word into his mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and this is what you shall say.”17When he came to him, he was standing beside his burnt offerings with the officials of Moab. Balak said to him, “What has the Lord said?”18Then Balaam uttered his oracle, saying:
“Rise, Balak, and hear;
listen to me, O son of Zippor:19God is not a human being, that he should lie,
or a mortal, that he should change his mind.
Has he promised, and will he not do it?
Has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?20See, I received a command to bless;
he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.21He has not beheld misfortune in Jacob;
nor has he seen trouble in Israel.
The Lord their God is with them,
acclaimed as a king among them.22God, who brings them out of Egypt,
is like the horns of a wild ox for them.23Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob,
no divination against Israel;
now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel,
‘See what God has done!’24Look, a people rising up like a lioness,
and rousing itself like a lion!
It does not lie down until it has eaten the prey
and drunk the blood of the slain.”25Then Balak said to Balaam, “Do not curse them at all, and do not bless them at all.”26But Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not tell you, ‘Whatever the Lord says, that is what I must do’?”27So 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.”28So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, which overlooks the wasteland.29Balaam said to Balak, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.”30So Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.Chapter 24Balaam's Third Oracle
1Now Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, so he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness.2Balaam looked up and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. Then the spirit of God came upon him,3and he uttered his oracle, saying:
“The oracle of Balaam son of Beor,
the oracle of the man whose eye is clear,4the oracle of one who hears the words of God,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
who falls down, but with eyes uncovered:5how fair are your tents, O Jacob,
your encampments, O Israel!6Like palm groves that stretch far away,
like gardens beside a river,
like aloes that the Lord has planted,
like cedar trees beside the waters.7Water shall flow from his buckets,
and his seed shall have abundant water,
his king shall be higher than Agag,
and his kingdom shall be exalted.8God who brings him out of Egypt,
is like the horns of a wild ox for him;
he shall devour the nations that are his foes
and break their bones.
He shall strike with his arrows.9He crouched, he lay down like a lion,
and like a lioness; who will rouse him up?
Blessed is everyone who blesses you,
and cursed is everyone who curses you.”10Then Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together. Balak said to Balaam, “I summoned you to curse my enemies, but instead you have blessed them these three times.11Now be off with you! Go home! I said, ‘I will reward you richly,’ but the Lord has denied you any reward.”12And 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 says, that is what I will say’?14So now, I am going to my people; let me advise you what this people will do to your people in days to come.”Balaam's Fourth Oracle
15So he uttered his oracle, saying:
“The oracle of Balaam son of Beor,
the oracle of the man whose eye is clear,16the oracle of one who hears the words of God,
and knows the knowledge of the Most High,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
who falls down, but with his eyes uncovered:17I 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 borderlands of Moab,
and the territory of all the Shethites.18Edom will become a possession,
Seir a possession of its enemies,
while Israel does valiantly.19One out of Jacob shall rule,
and destroy the survivors of Ir.”20Then he looked on Amalek, and uttered his oracle, saying:
“First among the nations was Amalek,
but its end is to perish forever.”21Then he looked on the Kenite, and uttered his oracle, saying:
“Enduring is your dwelling place,
and your nest is set in the rock;22yet Kain is destined for burning.
How long shall Asshur take you away captive?”23Again he uttered his oracle, saying:
“Alas, who shall live when God does this?24But ships shall come from Kittim
and shall afflict Asshur and Eber;
and he also shall perish forever.”25Then Balaam got up and went back to his place, and Balak also went his way.