The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Numbers
But this time, seeing clearly that it was God’s purpose to bless Israel, Balaam did not go apart, as before, to look for portents; he turned towards the desert,
and there, looking about him, he saw Israel encamped, tribe upon tribe. With that, the spirit of God fell upon him,
and he prophesied: Thus speaks Balaam, the son of Beor, thus speaks the man who has seen with eyes blindfolded;✻
thus speaks the man who has heard the words of God himself, looked on a vision sent from the Almighty, who has fallen into a trance, and learned to see aright!
How lovely, Jacob, are thy tents; Israel, how fair thy dwelling!
Fair as wooded valleys, as gardens fed by running streams, as bowers of the Lord’s own planting,✻ as cedars on the river bank!
Like a bucket brimming over at the well, see how their posterity spreads from one river-frontier to the next! The king that rules over them shall rival Agag himself, and take away his kingdom from him.✻
God has rescued them from Egypt, and made them like a wild ox for strength; nations shall come and swallow up their enemies,✻ crush them utterly, shoot them down with arrows.
Though Israel takes his rest, it is but as the crouching lion sleeps; who dares disturb the lioness in her den? A blessing, Israel, on all who bless, a curse on all who curse thee!
At this, Balac clapped his hands together in vexation; It was to curse my enemies, said he to Balaam, that I summoned thee, and thrice thou hast blessed them instead;
back home with thee! It was in my mind to raise thee to high honours, but this Lord of thine has thwarted thee of thy ambition.
And Balaam still answered, Did I not warn the messengers thou sentest to me,
Though Balac should fill his house with silver and gold and offer to give it me, I have no power to go beyond the Lord’s bidding by uttering any word of my own, for good or ill; I can only deliver the Lord’s message?
I will go back, then, to my own folk; but not till I have instructed thee about the dealings there must be between this folk and thine in the days that are coming.✻
And once more Balaam prophesied: Thus speaks Balaam, the son of Beor, thus speaks the man who has seen with eyes blindfolded;
who heard speech of God, most high, the Almighty, knew his mind, had vision of him, and in a trance, learned to see aright!
My vision is not of this time, is not of the things that meet my eyes. I see a star that rises out of Jacob, a stem that springs from Israel’s root; one who shall lay low the chiefs of Moab, shall bring devastation on all the posterity of Seth.✻
Edom shall fall into his hands; the men of Seir will yield their lands to the enemy. Brave deeds in Israel;
such a ruler for Jacob as shall leave no remnant in the captured city!
Then he spoke of Amalec, Amalec, first-fruits of the nations, shall have his very gleanings destroyed;
spoke of the Cinites, Though strong be thy fastness, though high thy nest,
proud race of Cin, it shall not be for ever; Assur shall carry thee away into exile.
And once more he prophesied: Alas, who can survive when God brings all this about?
Men will come in ships of war from Italy, conquering the Assyrians, laying the Hebrew land waste, doomed themselves, last of all, to perish.✻
With that, Balaam set out and made his way home; and Balac, too, went back whence he came.
The Holy Bible