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ZionTimes Torah Archive Torah Archive - Parashas Balak ZionTimes Torah Archive
 

Bamidbar/Numbers  22:2 - 25:9

Chapter 22

2 Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorite.  3 Moab became very frightened of the people, because it was numerous, and Moab was disgusted in the face of the Children of Israel.  4 Moab said to the elders of Midian, " Now the congregation will lick up our entire surroundings, as an ox licks up the greenery of the field." Balak son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.

5 He sent messengers to Balaam son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the River of the land of the members of his people, to summon him, saying, "Behold! a people has come out of Egypt, behold! it has covered the surface of the earth and it sits opposite me.  6 So now — please come and curse this people for me, for it is too powerful for me; perhaps I will be able to strike it and drive it away from the land. For I know that whomever you bless is blessed and whomever you curse is accursed."

7 The elders of Moab and the elders of Midian went with charms in their hand; they came to Balaam and spoke to him the words of Balak.  8 He said to them, "Spend the night here and I shall give you a response, as Hashem shall speak to me." So the officers of Moab stayed with Balaam.

9 God came to Balaam and said, "Who are these men with you?"

10 Balaam said to God, "Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent to me.  11 'Behold! the people coming out of Egypt has covered the surface of the earth. Now go and curse it for me; perhaps I will be able to make war against it and drive it away.' "

12 God said to Balaam, "You shall not go with them! You shall not curse the people, for it is blessed!"

13 Balaam arose in the morning and said to the officers of Balak, "Go to your land, for Hashem refuses to let me go with you."

14 The officers of Moab arose and came to Balak and said, "Balaam refused to go with us."

15 Balak kept on sending officers — more, and higher ranking than these.  16 They came to Balaam and said to him, "So said Balak son of Zippor, 'Do not refrain from going to me,  17 for I shall honor you greatly, and everything that you say to me I shall do; so go now and curse this people for me.' "

18 Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, "If Balak will give me his houseful of silver and gold, I cannot transgress the word of Hashem, my God, to do anything small or great.  19 And now, you, too, stay here for the night, and I will know what more Hashem will speak with me."

20 Hashem came to Balaam at night and said to him, "If the men came to summon you, arise and go with them, but only the thing that I shall speak to you — that shall you do."

21 Balaam arose in the morning and saddled his she-donkey and went with the officers of Moab.  22 God's wrath flared because he was going, and an angel of Hashem stood on the road to impede him. He was riding on his she-donkey and his two young men were with him.  23 The she-donkey saw the angel of Hashem standing on the road with his sword drawn in his hand, so the she-donkey turned away from the road and went into the field; then Balaam struck the she-donkey to turn it back onto the road.  24 The angel of Hashem stood in the path of the vineyards, a fence on this side and a fence on that side.  25 The she-donkey saw the angel of Hashem and pressed against the wall, and it pressed Balaam's leg against the wall — and he continued to strike it.  26 The angel of Hashem went further and stood in a narrow place, where there was no room to turn right or left.  27 The she-donkey saw the angel of Hashem and crouched beneath Balaam. Balaam's anger flared and he struck the she-donkey with the staff.

28 Hashem opened the mouth of the she-donkey and it said to Balaam, "What have I done to you that you struck me these three times?"

29 Balaam said to the she-donkey, "Because you mocked me! If only there were a sword in my hand I would now have killed you!"

30 The she-donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your she-donkey that you have ridden all your life until this day? Have I been accustomed to do such a thing to you?" He said, "No."

31 Then Hashem uncovered Balaam's eyes and he saw the angel of Hashem standing on the road with his sword drawn in his hand. He bowed his head and prostrated himself on his face.

32 The angel of Hashem said to him, "For what reason did you strike your she-donkey these three times? Behold! I went out to impede, for you hastened on a road to oppose me.  33 The she-donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. Had it not turned away from me, I would now even have killed you and let it live!"

34 Balaam said to the angel of Hashem, " I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing opposite me on the road. And now, if it is evil in your eyes, I shall return."

35 The angel of Hashem said to Balaam, "Go with the men, but only the word that I shall speak to you — that shall you speak." So Balaam went with the officers of Balak.

36 Balak heard that Balaam had come, so he went out toward him to the city of Moab, which is on the border of Arnon, which is at the edge of the border.  37 Balak said to Balaam, "Did I not urgently send to you to summon you? Why did you not go to me? Am I not capable of honoring you?"

38 Balaam said to Balak, "Behold! now I have come to you — am I empowered to say anything? Whatever word God puts into my mouth, that shall I speak!"

39 Balaam went with Balak and they came to Kiriath-huzoth.  40 Balak slaughtered cattle and sheep and sent to Balaam and to the officers who were with him.  41 And it was in the morning - Balak took Balaam and brought him up to the heights of Baal, and from there he saw the edge of the people.

Chapter 23

1 Balaam said to Balak, "Build for me here seven altars and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams."

2 Balak did as Balaam had spoken, and Balak and Balaam brought up a bull and a ram on each altar.  3 Balaam said to Balak, "Stand by your burnt-offering while I go; perhaps Hashem will happen toward me and show me something that I can tell you." He went alone.

4 God happened upon Balaam and he said to Him, "I have prepared the seven altars and brought up a bull and ram on each altar."

4 Hashem put an utterance in Balaam's mouth, and said, "Go back to Balak, and thus shall you say."

6 He returned to him and behold! he was standing by his burnt-offering, he and all the officers of Moab.  7 He declaimed his parable and said - "From Aram, Balak, king of Moab, led me, from the mountains of the east, 'Come curse Jacob for me, come bring anger upon Israel.'

8 How can I curse? — God has not cursed. How can I anger? — God is not angry.

9 For from its origins, I see it rock-like, and from hills do I see it. Behold! it is a nation that will dwell in solitude and not be reckoned among the nations.  10 "Who has counted the dust of Jacob or numbered a quarter of Israel? May my soul die the death of the upright, and may my end be like his!"

11 Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me! To curse my enemy have I brought you, — but behold! you have even blessed!"

12 He spoke up and said, "Is it not so that whatever Hashem puts in my mouth, that I must take heed to speak?"

13 Balak said to him, "Go now with me to a different place from which you will see them; however, you will see its edge but not see all of it — and you will curse it for me from there."  14 He took him to the field of the lookouts, to the summit of the height, and he built seven altars and brought up a bull and a ram on each altar.  15 He said to Balak, "Stand here by your burnt-offering, and I will be happened upon here."

16 Hashem happened upon Balaam and put an utterance in his mouth; and said, "Go back to Balak and so shall you say."

17 He came to him and — behold! he was standing by his burnt-offering and the officers of Moab were with him.Balak said to him, "What did Hashem speak?"

18 He declaimed his parable and said - "Stand erect, O Balak, and hear; give ear to me, O son of Zippor.

19 "God is not a man that He should be deceitful, nor a son of man that He should relent. Would He say and not do, or speak and not confirm?

20 "Behold! to bless have I received — He has blessed, and I shall not contradict it.

21 "He perceived no iniquity in Jacob, and saw no perversity in Israel. Hashem his God is with him, and the friendship of the King is in him.

22 "It is God Who brought them out of Egypt according to the power of His loftiness,  23 for there is no divination in Jacob and no sorcery in Israel. Even now it is said to Jacob and Israel what God has wrought.

24 Behold! the people will arise like a lion cub and raise itself like a lion; it will not lie down until it consumes prey, and drinks the blood of the slain."

25 Balak said to Balaam, "Neither shall you curse them at all, nor shall you bless them at all!"

26 Balaam answered and said to Balak, "Have I not spoken to you, saying, 'Whatever Hashem shall speak, that I shall do'? "

27 Balak said to Balaam, "Go, now, I shall take you to a different place, perhaps it will be proper in God's eyes that you will curse them for me from there."  28 Balak took Balaam to the summit of the height that overlooks the face of the wasteland.

29 Balaam said to Balak, "Build for me here seven altars and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams."  30 Balak did as Balaam said, and he brought up a bull and a ram on each altar.

Chapter 24

1 Balaam saw that it was good in God's eyes to bless Israel, so he did not go as every other time toward divinations, but he set his face toward the Wilderness.  2 Balaam raised his eyes and saw Israel dwelling according to its tribes, and the spirit of God was upon him.  3 He declaimed his parable and said - "The words of Balaam son of Beor, the words of the man with the open eye;

4 "the words of the one who hears the sayings of God, who sees the vision of Shaddai, while fallen and with uncovered eyes.

5 "How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel;

6 "stretching out like brooks, like gardens by a river, like aloes planted by Hashem, like cedars by water.

7 "Water shall flow from his wells, and his seed shall be by abundant waters.His king shall be exalted over Agag, and his kingdom shall be upraised.

8 "It is God Who took him out of Egypt according to the power of His loftiness. He will consume the nations that oppress him and crush their bones, and his arrows shall pierce them.

9 "He crouched and lay down like a lion, and, like a lion cub — who can stand him up? Those who bless you are blessed and those who curse you are accursed."

10 Balak's anger flared against Balaam and he clapped his hands. Balak said to Balaam, "To curse my enemies did I summon you, and behold! you have continually blessed them these three times.  11 Now, flee to your place.I said I would honor you, but — behold! Hashem has withheld you from honor."

12 Balaam said to Balak, "Did I not speak to your emissaries whom you sent to me, saying,  13 'If Balak were to give me his houseful of silver and gold, I cannot transgress the word of Hashem to do good or bad on my own. Whatever Hashem speaks, that shall I speak.'  14 And now, behold! I go to my people. Come, I shall advise you what this people will do to your people in the End of Days."  15 He declaimed his parable and said - "The words of Balaam son of Beor, the words of the man with the open eye.

16 The words of one who hears the sayings of God, and knows the knowledge of the Supreme One, who sees the vision of Shaddai, while fallen and with uncovered eyes.

17 I shall see him, but not now, I shall look at him, but it is not near. A star has issued from Jacob and a scepter-bearer has risen from Israel, and he shall pierce the nobles of Moab and undermine the children of Seth.

18 Edom shall be a conquest and Seir shall be the conquest of his enemies — and Israel will attain success.

19 One from Jacob shall rule and destroy the remnant of the city."

20 He saw Amalek and declaimed his parable and said - "Amalek is the first among nations, but its end will be eternal destruction."

21 He saw the Kenite and declaimed his parable and said - "Strong is your dwelling, and set in a rock is your nest.

22 For if the Kenite should be laid waste, till where can Assyria take you captive?"

23 He declaimed his parable and said - "Who will survive when He imposes these.

24 "Big ships from the coast of Kittim will afflict Assyria and afflict the other bank — but it, too, will be forever destroyed."

25 Then Balaam rose up and went and returned to his place, and Balak also went on his way.

Chapter 25

1 Israel settled in the Shittim and the people began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moab.

2 They invited the people to the feasts of their gods; the people ate and prostrated themselves to their gods.  3 Israel became attached to Baal-peor, and the wrath of Hashem flared up against Israel.

4 Hashem said to Moses, "Take all the leaders of the people. Hang them before Hashem against the sun — and the flaring wrath of Hashem will withdraw from Israel."

5 Moses said to the judges of Israel, "Let each man kill his men who were attached to Baal-peor."

6 Behold! a man of the Children of Israel came and brought a Midianite woman near to his brothers in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the entire assembly of the Children of Israel; and they were weeping at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.

7 Phineas son of Elazar son of Aaron the Kohen saw, and he stood up from amid the assembly and took a spear in his hand.  8 He followed the Israelite man into the tent and pierced them both, the Israelite man and the woman into her stomach — and the plague was halted from the Children of Israel.  9 Those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand.

 


Haftarah for Balak




 
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