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Numbers 23 and 24 - The oracles of Bil'am

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23:1. Then Bil'am said to Balaq, “Build for me in this place seven altars, and prepare for me seven bullocks and seven rams.” wayyô’mer bil‘âm ’el-bâlâq benêy-lîy bâzeh shib‘âh mizbechôth wehâkhên lîy bâzeh shib‘âh phârîym weshib‘âh ’êylîym
23:2. So Balaq did what Bil'am ordered, and Balaq and Bil'am offered up a bullock and a ram on each altar. wayya‘as bâlâq ka’asher dibber bil‘âm wayya‘al bâlâq ûbil‘âm pâr wâ’ayil bammizbêach
23:3. Then Bil'am said to Balaq, “Take your stand by your burnt offering, and I will go over there. Perhaps I will encounter Yahweh coming to meet me. The word that he shows me, I will explain to you.” So he went to an exposed height. wayyô’mer bil‘âm lebâlâq hithyatstsêb ‘al-‘ôlâthekhâ we’êlekhâh ’ûlay yiqqâreh YHVH liqrâ’thîy ûdebar mah-yar’ênîy wehiggadetîy lâkh wayyêlekh shephîy
23:4. Elohim met with Bil'am, and he said to him, “Seven altars I have arranged for you, and offered up a bullock and ram on each altar.” wayyiqqâr ’elôhîym ’el-bil‘âm wayyô’mer ’êlâyw ’eth-shib‘ath hammizbechôth ‘ârakhetîy wâ’a‘al par wâ’ayil bammizbêach
23:5. Then Yahweh set a word in the mouth of Bil'am, saying “Return to Balaq and speak thus.” wayyâsem YHVH dâbâr bepîy bil‘âm wayyô’mer shûb ’el-bâlâq wekhôh thedabbêr
23:6. So he returned to him, and see - there he was standing by the burnt offering, and all the chiefs of Mo'ab. wayyâshab ’êlâyw wehinneh nitstsâb ‘al-‘ôlâthôw hû’ wekol-sârêy môw’âb
23:7. He presented his oracle, saying
“From Aram I was summoned by Balaq,
the king of Moab from the mountains in the east:
‘Come bind for me Ya'aqob, and come damn Yisrael’.
wayyissâ’ meshâlôw wayyô’mar
min-’aram yanechênîy bâlâq melekh-môwâb
mêharerêy-qedem
lekhâh ’ârâh-lîy ya‘aqôb ûlekhâ zô‘amâh yisrâ’êl
23:8. What can I curse that was never cursed by El?
What can I damn that was never damned by Yahweh?
mâh ’eqqôb lô’ qabbôh ’êl
ûmâh ’eze‘ôm lô’ zâ‘am YHVH
23:9. From the head of the Rocks I have seen them,
and from the hills I have watched them -
look, a people who dwell apart
and among the nations do not count themselves.
kîy-mêrô’sh tsurîym ’ere’ennû
ûmiggebâ‘ôth ’ashûrennû
hen-‘am lebâdâd yishekôn
ûbaggôwyim lô’ yithchashshab
23:10. Who can number the dust-grains of Ya'aqob
or reckon the dust-cloud of Yisrael?
Let my soul die the death of the upright
and may my ending be like theirs.”
mîy mânâh ‘aphar ya‘aqôb
ûmiçepâr ’eth-rôba‘ yisrâ’êl
tâmôth napheshîy môwth yeshârîym
ûthehîy ’acharîythîy kâmôhû
23:11. Then Balaq said to Bil'am, “What have you done to me? To curse my enemies I brought you - and see, you have surely blessed!” wayyô’mer bâlâq ’el-bil‘âm meh ‘âsîythâ lîy lâqôb ’ôybay leqachetîykhâ wehinneh bêrakhetâ bârêkh
23:12. He replied, saying “Did not I say, what Yahweh puts in my mouth, that is what I will take care to speak?” wayya‘an wayyô’mer halô’ ’êth ’asher yâsîym YHVH bepîy ’ôthôw ’eshmôr ledabber
23:13. Then Balaq said to him, “If it please you to come to another place, where you see only a part, you will not see all of them, then curse him for me from there.” wayyô’mer ’êlâyw bâlâq lekhâ-nâ’ ’el-mâqôwm ’achêr ’asher tire’ennû ’epheç qâtsêhû thire’eh wekhullôw lô’ thire’eh weqâbenôw-lîy mishshâm
23:14. So he took him to the field of Tsophim, to the head of Piçgah, and he built seven altars and offered up a bullock and a ram on each altar. wayyiqqâchêhû sedêh tsôphîym ’el-rô’sh happiçegâh wayyiben shib‘âh mizbechôth wayya‘al pâr wâ’ayil bammizbêach
23:15. And he said to Balaq, “You take your stand by your burnt offering, and as for me, I will encounter him here.” wayyô’mer ’el-bâlâq hithyatstsêb kôh ‘al-‘ôlâthekhâ we’ânôkhîy ’iqqâreh kôh
23:16. Then Yahweh met Bil'am and set a word in his mouth, saying “Return to Balaq and speak thus.” wayyiqqâr YHVH ’el-bil‘âm wayyâsem dâbâr bephîyw wayyô’mer shûb ’el-bâlâq wekôh thedabbêr
23:17. Then he went to him, and see him - standing by his burnt offering, and the chiefs of Mo'ab with him. Balaq said to him, “What has Yahweh spoken?” wayyâbô’ ’êlâyw wehinnôw nitstsâb ‘al-‘ôlâthôw wesârêy môw’ab ’ittôw wayyô’mer lôw bâlâq mah-dibber YHVH
23:18. He presented his oracle, saying
“Arise Balaq and listen,
Give ear to me, son of Tsippor.
wayyissâ’ meshâlôw wayyô’mar
qûm bâlâq ûshamâ‘
ha’azîynâh ‘adîy benôw tsippôr
23:19. No man is El that he spreads falsehood,
nor a son of man that he has to reassure himself.
Does he speak and not do?
Or promise and not arise?
lô’ ’îysh ’êl wîykhazzêb
ûben-’âdâm weyithnechâm
hahû’ ’âmar welô’ ya‘aseh
wedibber welô yeqîymennâh
23:20. Take note! To bless he picked me,
and his blessing I cannot undo.
hinneh bârêkh lâqâchetîy
ûbêrêkh welô’ ’ashîybennâh
23:21. He regards no wickedness in Ya'aqob,
no mischief perceives in Yisrael.
Yahweh his God is with him
and the shout of the king is in him.
lô’-hibbît ’âwen beya‘aqôb
welô’ râ’âh ‘âmâl beyisrâ’êl
YHVH ’elôhâyw ‘immôw
ûtherû‘ath melekh bôw
23:22. El brought him out from Egypt:
the eminence of a wild ox is his.
’êl môtsîy’âm mimmitsrâyim
kethôw‘aphôth re’êm lôw
23:23. For there is no augury with Ya'aqob
and no divination with Yisrael -
it is now being said of Ya'aqob and of Yisrael,
‘What has El done?’
kîy lô’-nachash beya‘aqôb
welô’-qeçem beyisrâ’êl
kâ‘êth yê’âmêr leya‘aqôb ûleyisrâ’êl
mâh-pâ‘al ’êl
23:24. See a people who like a lioness arise
and lion-like lift themselves up:
he will not lie down until he consumes his prey
and has the blood of the pierced to drink.”
hen-‘âm kelâbîy’ yâqûm
wekha’arîy yithnassâ’
lô’ yishekab ‘ad-yô’khal tereph
wedam-chalâlîym yisheteh
23:25. Then Balaq said to Bil'am, “Neither curse them with cursing nor bless them with blessing!” wayyô’mer bâlâq ’el-bil‘âm gam-qôb lô’ thiqqâbennû gam-bârêkh lô’ thibârakhennû
23:26. Bil'am replied, saying to Balaq, “Did not I tell you, saying, ‘All that Yahweh speaks, that I will present.’?” wayya‘an bil‘âm wayyô’mer ’el-bâlâq halô’ dibbaretîy ’êleykhâ lê’môr kôl ’asher-yedabbêr YHVH ’ôthôw ’e‘eseh
23:27. So Balaq said to Bil'am, “If it please you to come, I will take you to another place. Perhaps it will be agreeable in the eyes of the gods, that you can curse them for me from there.” wayyô’mer bâlâq ’el-bil‘âm lekhâh-nâ’ ’eqqâchakhâ ’el-mâqôwm ’achêr ’ûlay yîyshar be‘êynêy hâ’elôhîym weqabbôthôw lîy mishshâm
23:28. Balaq took Bil'am to the head of the Pe'or, the vantage point overlooking the wasteland. wayyiqqach bâlâq ’eth-bil‘âm rô’sh happe‘ôwr hannisheqâph ‘al-penêy hayeshîymôn
23:29. Then Bil'am said to Balaq, “Build for me in this place seven altars, and prepare for me seven bullocks and seven rams.” wayyô’mer bil‘âm ’el-bâlâq benêh-lîy bâzeh shib‘âh mizbechôth wehâkhên lîy bâzeh shib‘âh phârîym weshib‘âh ’êylîym
23:30. So Balaq did what Bil'am said, and he offered up a bullock and a ram on each altar. wayya‘as bâlâq ka’asher ’âmar bil‘âm wayya‘al pâr wâ’ayil bammizbêach
24:1. But Bil'am saw that it was good in the eyes of Yahweh to bless Yisrael, and he did not proceed like other times to seek after divination, but he set his face towards the wilderness. wayyare’ bil‘âm kîy tôwb be‘êynêy YHVH lebârêkh ’eth-yisrâ’êl welô’ hâlakh kepha‘am-bepha‘am liqrâ’th nechâshîym wayyâshâth ’el-hammidbâr pânâyw
24:2. Bil'am lifted up his eyes and saw Yisrael settling in his tribes, and alive upon them was the breath of God. wayyissâ’ bil‘âm ’eth-‘êynâyw wayyare’ ’eth-yisrâ’êl shôkhên lishbâtâyw wattechîy ‘âlâyw rûach ’elôhîym
24:3. He presented his oracle, saying
“A revelation of Bil'am son of B'or,
a revelation of the strong one of opened eyes
wayyissâ’ meshâlôw wayyô’mar
ne’um bile‘am benôw be‘ôr
ûne’um haggeber shethum hâ‘âyin
24:4. A revelation of he who hears the words of El,
who has the vision of Shadday,
one who falls and sees, uncovered of eyes.
ne’um shômêa‘ ’imerêy-’êl
asher machazêh shadday
yechezeh nôphêl ûgelûy ‘êynâyim
24:5. How pleasing are your tents, Ya'aqob!
Your settlements, Yisrael!
mah-tôbû ’ôhâleykhâ ya‘aqôb
mishkenôtheykhâ yisrâ’êl
24:6. Like rushing torrents they are spread out,
like orchards beside a stream,
like cardamoms planted by Yahweh,
like cedars beside the waters.
kinechâlîym nittâyû
kegannôth ‘alêy nâhâr
ka’ahâlîym nâta‘ YHVH
ka’arâzîym ‘alêy-mâyim
24:7. Flowing water from his branches
and sowing seed in great waters.
Elevated above Agag may his king be
and exalted be his kingdom.
yizzal-mayim middâleyâw
wezare‘û bemayim rabbîym
weyârôm me’agag malkôw
wethinnassê’ malkhuthôw
24:8. El brought them out from Egypt:
the eminence of a wild ox is his.
He consumes nations that are his adversaries,
casts aside their bones,
shatters their arrows.
’êl môtsîy’û mimmitsrayim
kethôw‘aphôth re’êm lô’
yô’khal gôwyim tsârâyw
we‘atsmôthêyhem yegârêm
wechitstsâyw yimechâts
24:9. He bows and settles lion-like,
and like a lioness, who can stir him to stand?
Those who bless you are blessed,
and those who curse you are cursed.”
kâra‘ shâkhab ka’arîy
ûkhelâbîy’ mîy yeqîmennû
mebârakheykhâ bârûkh
we’ôrareykhâ ’ârûr
24:10. Then Balaq burned with anger towards Bil'am and slapped his hands. Balaq said to Bil'am “To curse my enemies I met with you, and see! you have abundantly blessed these three times. wayyichar-’aph bâlâq ’el-bil‘âm wayyiçpôq ’eth-kappâyw wayyô’mer bâlâq ’el-bil‘âm lâqôb ’ôybay qerâ’thîykhâ wehinneh bêrakhetâ bârêkh zeh shâlôsh pe‘âmîym
24:11. As for you, you run away to your home. I said I would greatly honour you, and see! Yahweh has held you back you from honour.” we‘attâh berach-lekhâ ’el-meqôwmekhâ ’âmaretîy kabbêd ’akhabbedekhâ wehinnêh menâ‘akhâ YHVH mikkâbôd
24:12. Then Bil'am said to Balaq, “Even to your messengers who you sent to me, did I not explain, saying wayyô’mer bil‘âm ’el-bâlâq halô’ gam ’el-mal’âkheyikhâ ’asher-shâlachetâ ’êlay dibbaretîy lê’môr
24:13. ‘Even if Balaq gives me silver and gold filling his palace, I am not able to go beyond the mouth of Yahweh, to do either good or evil from my own heart.’ That which Yahweh speaks, that is what I will speak. ’im-yitten-lîy bâlâq melô’ bêythôw keçeph wezâhâb lô’ ’ûkhal la‘abôr ’eth-pîy YHVH la‘asôwth tôwbâh ’ôw râ‘âh millibbîy ’asher-yedabbêr YHVH ’ôthôw ’adabbêr
24:14. And now see, I am going to my people. As for you, let me inform you what this people will do to your people in the days that follow.” we‘attâh hinenîy hôwlêkh le‘ammîy lekhâh ’îy‘âtsekhâ ’asher ya‘aseh hâ‘âm hazzeh le‘ammekhâ be’acharîyth hayyâmîym
24:15. He presented his oracle, saying
“A revelation of Bil'am son of B'or,
a revelation of the strong one of opened eyes
wayyissâ’ meshâlôw wayyô’mar
ne’um bile‘am benôw be‘ôr
ûne’um haggeber shethum hâ‘âyin
24:16. A revelation of he who hears the words of El,
he who knows the knowledge of Elyon,
the vision of Shadday,
one who falls and sees, uncovered of eyes.
ne’um shômêa‘ ’imerêy-’êl
weyôdêa‘ da‘ath ‘elyôwn
machazêh shadday
yechezeh nôphêl ûgelûy ‘êynâyim
24:17. I have seen them - but not at present,
I have watched them - but not close.
Comes a star out from Ya'aqob,
arises a ruler's staff from Yisrael.
He breaks the temples of Moab,
the crowns of all the children of Sheth.
’ere’ennû welô’ ‘attâh
ashûrennû welô’ qârôwb
dârakh kôwkhâb miyya‘aqôb
weqâm shêbet miyyisrâ’êl
ûmâchats pa’athêy môw’âb
weqareqar kol-benêy-shêth
24:18. And then Edom shall be a possession,
and then a possession Se'ir his enemy.
Yisrael shall work valour.
wehâyâh ’edôwm yerêshâh
wehâyâh yerêshâh sê‘îyr ’ôyebâyw
weyisrâ’êl ‘ôseh châyil
24:19. May a man have dominion from Ya'aqob
and put to death survivors from the city.”
weyêrde miyya‘aqôb
wehe’ebîd sârîyd mê‘îyr
24:20. He saw Amaleq and presented his oracle, saying
“Head of the nations was Amaleq,
but his destiny is to disappear.”
wayyare’ ’eth-‘amâlêq wayyissâ’ meshâlôw wayyô’mar
rê’shîyth gôwyim ‘amâlêq
we’acharîythôw ‘adêy ’ôbêd
24:21. He saw the Qenites and presented his oracle, saying
“Enduring your dwelling place,
and found in the crag are your nests:
wayyare’ ’eth-haqqêynîy wayyissâ’ meshâlôw wayyô’mar
’êythân môwshâbekhâ
wesîym baççela‘ qinnekhâ
24:22. yet there is destruction for Qayin
when Ashur takes you captive.”
kîy ’im-yiheyeh lebâ‘êr qâyin
‘ad-mâh ’ashshûr tishebekhâ
24:23. He presented his oracle, saying
“Ah, who can live when this is ordained by El?
wayyissâ’ meshâlôw wayyô’mar
’ôwy mîy yicheyeh missumû ’êl
24:24. Ships from the hand of Kittiym -
they will humble Ashur, and they will humble 'Eber,
yet they will be destroyed.”
wetsîym miyyad kittîym
we‘innû ’ashshûr we‘innû-‘êber
wegam hû’ ‘adêy ’ôbêd
24:25. Then Bil'am stood, departed, and returned to his own place, and Balaq also went his own way. wayyâqâm bil‘âm wayyêlekh wayyâshâb limeqômôw wegam-bâlâq hâlakh ledarekôw

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