Numbers 22:1-41, NLT
Balak Sends for Balaam
1Then the people of Israel traveled to the plains of Moab and camped east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho.
So Balak, king of Moab,
“Look, a vast horde of people has arrived from Egypt. They cover the face of the earth and are threatening me.
7Balak’s messengers, who were elders of Moab and Midian, set out with money to pay Balaam to place a curse upon Israel.*22:7 Hebrew set out with the money of divination in their hand. They went to Balaam and delivered Balak’s message to him.
9That night God came to Balaam and asked him, “Who are these men visiting you?”
10Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent me this message:
12But God told Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!”
13The next morning Balaam got up and told Balak’s officials, “Go on home! The Lord will not let me go with you.”
14So the Moabite officials returned to King Balak and reported, “Balaam refused to come with us.”
“This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Please don’t let anything stop you from coming to help me.
18But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord my God.
20That night God came to Balaam and told him, “Since these men have come for you, get up and go with them. But do only what I tell you to do.”
Balaam and His Donkey
21So the next morning Balaam got up, saddled his donkey, and started off with the Moabite officials.
28Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam.
29“You have made me look like a fool!” Balaam shouted. “If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!”
30“But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life,” the donkey answered. “Have I ever done anything like this before?”
“No,” Balaam admitted.
31Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him.
32“Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me.
34Then Balaam confessed to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I didn’t realize you were standing in the road to block my way. I will return home if you are against my going.”
35But the angel of the Lord told Balaam, “Go with these men, but say only what I tell you to say.” So Balaam went on with Balak’s officials.
37“Didn’t I send you an urgent invitation? Why didn’t you come right away?” Balak asked Balaam. “Didn’t you believe me when I said I would reward you richly?”
38Balaam replied, “Look, now I have come, but I have no power to say whatever I want. I will speak only the message that God puts in my mouth.”