Numbers 23-25 Bible in Basic English

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23 1  And Balaam said to Balak, Make me here seven altars and get ready seven oxen and seven male sheep. 2  And Balak did as Balaam had said; and Balak and Balaam made an offering on every altar of an ox and a male sheep. 3  Then Balaam said to Balak, Take your place by your burned offering, and I will go and see if the Lord comes to me: and I will give you word of whatever he says to me. And he went to an open place on a hill. 4  And God came to Balaam, and Balaam said to him, I have made ready seven altars, offering an ox and a male sheep on every altar. 5  And the Lord put words in Balaam's mouth, and said, Go back to Balak, and this is what you are to say. 6  So he went back to him where he was waiting by his burned offering with all the chiefs of Moab. 7  And in the words which the Lord had given him he said, From Aram Balak has sent for me, the king of Moab from the mountains of the East: come, put curses on Jacob for me and be angry with Israel. 8  How may I put curses on him who is not cursed by God? how may I be angry with him with whom the Lord is not angry? 9  From the top of the rocks I see him, looking down on him from the hills: it is a people made separate, not to be numbered among the nations. 10  Who is able to take the measure of the dust of Jacob or the number of the thousands of Israel? May my death be the death of the upright and my last end like his! 11  Then Balak said to Balaam, What have you done to me? I sent for you so that my haters might be cursed, and see, you have given them a blessing. 12  And in answer he said, Am I not ordered to say only what the Lord puts into my mouth?

13  And Balak said to him, Come with me now into another place from which you will not be able to see them all, but only the outskirts of them; and you will send curses on them from there. 14  So he took him into the country of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and there they made seven altars, offering an ox and a male sheep on every altar. 15  Then he said to Balak, Take your place here by your burned offering, while I go over there to the Lord. 16  And the Lord came to Balaam, and put words in his mouth, and said, Go back to Balak, and this is what you are to say. 17  So he came to him where he was waiting by his burned offering with the chiefs of Moab by his side. And Balak said to him, What has the Lord said? 18  And in the words which the Lord had given him he said, Up! Balak, and give ear; give attention to me, O son of Zippor: 19  God is not a man, to say what is false; or the son of man, that his purpose may be changed: what he has said, will he not do? and will he not give effect to the words of his mouth? 20  See, I have had orders to give blessing: and he has given a blessing which I have no power to take away. 21  He has seen no evil in Jacob or wrongdoing in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the glad cry of a king is among them. 22  It is God who has taken them out of Egypt; his horns are like those of the mountain ox. 23  No evil power has effect against Jacob, no secret arts against Israel; at the right time it will be said of Jacob and of Israel, See what God has done! 24  See, Israel comes up like a she-lion, lifting himself up like a lion: he will take no rest till he has made a meal of those he has overcome, drinking the blood of those he has put to death. 25  Then Balak said to Balaam, If you will not put a curse on them, at all events do not give them a blessing. 26  But Balaam in answer said to Balak, Did I not say to you, I may only do what the Lord says? 27  Then Balak said to Balaam, Come now, I will take you to another place; it may be that God will let you put a curse on them from there. 28  So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, looking down over the waste land. 29  And Balaam said to Balak, Make me seven altars here and get seven oxen and seven male sheep ready for me. 30  And Balak did as Balaam said, offering an ox and a male sheep on every altar.

24 1  Now when Balaam saw that it was the Lord's pleasure to give his blessing to Israel, he did not, as at other times, make use of secret arts, but turning his face to the waste land, 2  And lifting up his eyes, he saw Israel there, with their tents in the order of their tribes: and the spirit of God came on him. 3  And moved by the spirit, he said, These are the words of Balaam, son of Beor, the words of the man whose eyes are open: 4  He says, whose ears are open to the words of God, who has seen the vision of the Ruler of all, falling down, but having his eyes open: 5  How fair are your tents, O Jacob, your houses, O Israel! 6  They are stretched out like valleys, like gardens by the riverside, like flowering trees planted by the Lord, like cedar-trees by the waters. 7  Peoples will be in fear before his strength, his arm will be on great nations: his king will be higher than Agag, and his kingdom made great in honour. 8  It is God who has taken him out of Egypt; his horns are like those of the mountain ox; the nations warring against him will be his food, their bones will be broken, they will be wounded with his arrows. 9  He took his sleep stretched out like a lion, and like a she-lion: by whom will his rest be broken? May a blessing be on everyone who gives you blessing, and a curse on everyone by whom you are cursed.

Balaam's Prophecy

10  Then Balak was full of wrath against Balaam, and angrily waving his hands he said to Balaam, I sent for you so that those who are against me might be cursed, but now, see, three times you have given them a blessing. 11  Go back quickly to the place you came from: it was my purpose to give you a place of honour, but now the Lord has kept you back from honour. 12  Then Balaam said to Balak, Did I not say to the men you sent to me, 13  Even if Balak gave me his house full of silver and gold, it would not be possible for me to go outside the orders of the Lord, doing good or evil at the impulse of my mind; whatever the Lord says I will say? 14  So now I will go back to my people: but first let me make clear to you what this people will do to your people in days to come.

15  Then he went on with his story and said, These are the words of Balaam, the son of Beor, the words of him whose eyes are open: 16  He says, whose ear is open to the words of God, who has knowledge of the Most High, who has seen the vision of the Ruler of all, falling down and having his eyes open: 17  I see him, but not now: looking on him, but not near: a star will come out of Jacob, and a rod of authority out of Israel, sending destruction to the farthest limits of Moab and on the head of all the sons of Sheth. 18  Edom will be his heritage, and he will put an end to the last of the people of Seir. 19  And Israel will go on in strength, and Jacob will have rule over his haters. 20  Then, turning his eyes to Amalek, he went on with his story and said, Amalek was the first of the nations, but his part will be destruction for ever. 21  And looking on the Kenites he went on with his story and said, Strong is your living-place, and your secret place is safe in the rock. 22  But still the Kenites will be wasted, till Asshur takes you away prisoner. 23  Then he went on with his story and said, But who may keep his life when God does this? 24  But ships will come from the direction of Kittim, troubling Asshur and troubling Eber, and like the others their fate will be destruction. 25  Then Balaam got up and went back to his place: and Balak went away.

Israel Worships Baal-peor

25 1  Now when Israel was living in Shittim the people became false to the Lord, doing evil with the daughters of Moab: 2  For they sent for the people to be present at the offerings made to their gods; and the people took part in their feasts and gave honour to their gods. 3  So Israel had relations with the women of Moab in honour of the Baal of Peor: and the Lord was moved to wrath against Israel. 4  Then the Lord said to Moses, Take all the chiefs of the people, hanging them up in the sun before the Lord, so that the wrath of the Lord may be turned from Israel. 5  So Moses said to the judges of Israel, Let everyone put to death those of his men who have had relations with the women of Moab in honour of the Baal of Peor.

6  Then one of the children of Israel came to his brothers, taking with him a woman of Midian, before the eyes of Moses and all the meeting of the people, while they were weeping at the door of the Tent of meeting. 7  And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, seeing it, got up from among the people and took a spear in his hand, 8  And went after the man of Israel into the tent, driving the spear through the two of them, through the man of Israel and through the stomach of the woman. So the disease was stopped among the children of Israel. 9  But twenty-four thousand of them had come to their death by the disease. 10  And the Lord said to Moses, 11  Through Phinehas, and because of his passion for my honour, my wrath has been turned away from the children of Israel, so that I have not sent destruction on them all in my wrath. 12  So say to them that I will make with him an agreement of peace: 13  And by this agreement, he and his sons after him have the right to be priests for ever; because, by his care for the honour of his God, he took away the sin of the children of Israel. 14  Now the man of Israel who was put to death with the woman of Midian was Zimri, the son of Salu, a chief of one of the families of the Simeonites. 15  And the woman of Midian who was put to death was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was the head of a family in Midian.

16  Then the Lord said to Moses, 17  Take up arms against the Midianites and overcome them; 18  For they are a danger to you with their false ways, causing sin to come on you in the question of Peor, and because of Cozbi, their sister, the daughter of the chief of Midian, who was put to death at the time of the disease which came on you because of Peor.

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