Balaam arose in the morning and said to Balak’s dignitaries, “Go back to your own country, for the Lord will not let me go with you.” The Moabite dignitaries left, and they came to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”
Then Balak sent other dignitaries, more numerous and distinguished than the first. 16 They came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak son of Zippor: Please do not refuse to come to me. I will reward you richly and I will do anything you ask of me. Only come and damn this people for me.” Balaam replied to Balak’s officials, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, big or little, contrary to the command of the Lord my God. So you, too, stay here overnight, and let me find out what else the Lord may say to me.” That night God came to Balaam and said to him, “If these men have come to invite you, you may go with them. But whatever I command you, that you shall do.”
From Parshat Balak. From THE TANAKH: The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society. Used by permission.