¶ And the children of Israel removed and pitched in the fields of Moab, on the other side of Iordan, by Iericho. And Balac the son of Ziphor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites, and the Moabites were sore afraid of the people, because they were many, and abhorred the children of Israel: And Moab said unto the elders of Madian, now this company hath licked up all that are round about us, as an ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balac the son of Ziphor was king of the Moabites at that time. And he sent messengers unto Balam the son of Beor, the interpreter which dwelt upon the river of the land of the children of his folk, to call him saying: behold, there is a people come out of Egypt which covereth the face of the earth and lie even hard by me. Come now a fellowship and curse me this people. For they are too mighty for me, so peradventure I might be able to smite them and to drive them out of the land. For I wot that whom thou blessest shall be blessed, and whom thou cursest shall be cursed. And the elders of Moab went with the elders of Madian, and the reward of the soothsaying in their hands. And they came unto Balam and told him the words of Balac. And he said unto them: tarry here all night and I will bring you word, even as the LORD shall say unto me. And the lords of Moab abode with Balam. And God came unto Balam and said: what men are these which are with thee? And Balam said unto God: Balac the son of Ziphor king of Moab hath sent unto me saying: behold, there is a people come out of Egypt and covereth the face of the earth: come now therefore and curse me them, that so peradventure I may be able to overcome them in battle, and to drive them out. And God said unto Balam: thou shalt not go with them, neither curse the people, for they are blessed. And Balam rose up in the morning and said unto the lords of Balac: get you unto your land, for the LORD will not suffer me to go with you. And the lords of Moab rose up and went unto Balac and said, Balam would not come with us.
¶ And Balac sent again a greater company of lords and more honourable than they. And they came to Balam and told him: Thus sayeth Balac the son of Ziphor: oh, let nothing let thee to come unto me, for I will greatly promote thee unto great honour, and will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me, come therefore I pray thee, curse me this people. And Balam answered and said unto the servants of Balac: If Balac would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can go no further than the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more. Nevertheless tarry ye here all night: that I may wete, what the LORD will say unto me once more. And God came to Balam by night and said unto him: If the men come to fetch thee, rise up and go with them: but what I say unto thee, that only thou shalt do. And Balam rose up early and saddled his ass and went with the lords of Moab.
¶ But God was angry because he went. And the angel of the LORD stood in the way against him. And he rid upon his ass and two servants with him. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD stond in the way and his sword drawn in his hand, she turned aside out of the way and went out into the field. And Balam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. And the angel of the LORD went and stood in a path between the vineyards, where was a wall on the one side and another on the other. When the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she wrenched unto the wall and thrust Balam's foot unto the wall, and he smote her again. And the angel of the LORD went further and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn, either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balam: and Balam was wroth and smote the ass with a staff. And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balam: what have I done unto thee, that thou smitest me thus three times? And Balam said unto the Ass: because thou hast mocked me? I would that I had a sword in mine hand, that I might now kill thee. And the ass said unto Balam: am not I thine Ass which thou hast ridden upon since thou wast born unto this day? Was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, nay. And the LORD opened the eyes of Balam that he saw the angel of the LORD stonding in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand. And he bowed himself and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the LORD said unto him: Wherefore smitest thou thine ass this three times? behold, I came out to resist thee, for the way is contrary unto me, and the ass saw me and avoided me three times: or else (had she not turned from me) I had surely slain thee and saved her alive. And Balam said unto the angel of the LORD: I have sinned: for I wist not that thou stoodest in the way against me. Now therefore if it displease thine eyes, I will turn again. And the angel said unto Balam, go with the men: but in any wise, what I say unto thee, that say. And Balam went with the lords of Balac.
¶ And when Balac heard that Balam was come he went out against him unto a city of Moab that stood in the border of Arnon, which was the utmost part of his country. And Balac said unto Balam: did I not send for thee, to call thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? thinkest thou that I am not able to promote thee unto honour? And Balam said unto Balac: Lo I am come unto thee. But I can say nothing at all save what God putteth in my mouth that must I speak. And Balam went with Balac, and they came unto the city of Huzoth. And Balac offered oxen and sheep and sent for Balam and for the lords that were with him. And on the morning Balac took Balam and brought him up into the high place of Baal, and thence he saw unto the utmost part of the people.