Balaam went with Balak and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and had them served to Balaam and the dignitaries with him. In the morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth-baal. From there he could see a portion of the people.
Balaam said to Balak, "Build me seven altars here and have seven bulls and seven rams ready here for me." Balak did as Balaam directed; and Balak and Balaam offered up a bull and a ram on each altar. Then Balaam said to Balak, "Stay here beside your offerings while I am gone. Perhaps the Lord will grant me a manifestation, and whatever He reveals to me I will tell you." And he went off alone.
God manifested Himself to Balaam, who said to Him, "I have set up the seven altars and offered up a bull and a ram on each altar." And the Lord put a word in Balaam's mouth and said, "Return to Balak and speak thus." So he returned to him and found him standing beside his offerings, and all the Moabite dignitaries with him. He took up his theme, and said:
From Aram has Balak brought me, Moab's king from the hills of the East: Come, curse me Jacob, come, tell Israel's doom! How can I damn whom God has not damned, how doom when the Lord has not doomed? As I see them from the mountain tops, gaze on them from the heights, there is a people that dwells apart, not reckoned among the nations, who can count the dust of Jacob, number the dust-cloud of Israel? May I die the death of the upright, may my fate be like theirs!
Then Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? Here I brought you to damn my enemies, and instead you have blessed them!" He replied, "I can only repeat faithfully what the Lord puts in my mouth." Then Balak said to him, "Come with me to another place from which you can see them--you will see only a portion of them; you will not see all of them--and damn them for me from there." With that, he took him to Sedehzophim, on the summit of Pisgah. He built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. And [Balaam] said to Balak, "Stay here beside your offerings, while I seek a manifestation yonder."
The Lord manifested Himself to Balaam and put a word in his mouth, saying, "Return to Balak and speak thus." He went to him and found him standing beside his offerings, and the Moabite dignitaries with him. Balak asked him, "What did the Lord say?" And he took up his theme, and said:
Up, Balak, attend, give ear unto me, son of Zippor! God is not man to be capricious, or mortal to change His mind. Would He speak and not act, promise and not fulfill? My message was to bless: when He blesses, I cannot reverse it. No harm is in sight for Jacob, no woe in view for Israel. The Lord their God is with them, and their King's acclaim in their midst. God who freed them from Egypt is for them like the horns of the wild ox. Lo, there is no augury in Jacob, no divining in Israel: Jacob is told at once, yea Israel, what God has planned.
Lo, a people that rises like a lion, leaps up like the king of beasts, rests not till it has feasted on prey and drunk the blood of the slain.
Thereupon Balak said to Balaam, "Don't curse them and don't bless them!" In reply, Balaam said to Balak, "But I told you: Whatever the Lord says, that I must do."