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The Fourth Book of Moses

also called Numbers if from middle English, French from the Latin

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Chapter 23

Yes Word (Tyndale-Modern English)

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      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. And Balam said unto Balac: build me here seven altars and provide here seven bullock and seven rams. And Balac did as Balam said. And Balac and Balam offered on every altar an bullock and a ram. And Balam said unto Balac: stand by the sacrifice, while I go to know whether the Lord will come and meet me, and whatsoever he sheweth me, I will tell thee, and he went forthwith. And God came unto Balam, and Balam said unto him: I have prepared seven altars, and have offered upon every altar, an bullock and a ram. And the Lord put a saying in Balams mouth and said: go again to Balac and say on this wise. And he went again unto him and lo, he stood by his sacrifice, both he and all the lords of Moab. And he began his parable and said: Balac the king of Moab hath fetched me from Mesopotamia out of the mountains of the east saying: come and curse me Jacob, come and defy me Israel. How shall I curse whom God curseth not and how shall I defy whom the Lord defieth not? from the top of the rocks I see him and from the hills I behold him: Lo, the people, shall dwell by himself and shall not be reckoned among other nations. Who can tell the dust of Jacob and the number of the fourth part of Israel. I pray God that my soul, may die the death of the righteous, and that my last end may be like his. And Balac said unto Balam, what hast thou done unto me? I fetched thee to curse mine enemies: and behold, thou blessest them. And he answered and said: must I not keep that and speak it, which the Lord hath put in my mouth? And Balac said unto him: Come I pray thee with me unto another place, whence thou shalt see them, and shalt see but the utmost part of them and shalt not see them all and curse me them there. And he brought him into a plain field where men might see far, even to the top of Phasgah, and built seven altars and offered an bullock and a ram on every altar. And he said unto Balac: stand here by thy sacrifice while I go yonder. And the Lord met Balam and put words in his mouth and said: go again unto Balac and thus say. And when he came to him: behold, he stood by his sacrifice and the lords of Moab with him. And Balac said unto him: what sayeth the Lord?
      And he took up his parable and said: rise up Balac and hear, and hearken unto me thou son of Ziphor. The Lord is not a man, that he can lie, neither the son of a man that he can repent: should he say and not do, or should he speak and not make it good? behold, I have begun to bless and have blessed, and cannot go back therefrom. He beheld no wickedness in Jacob nor saw Idolatry in Israel: The Lord his God is with him, and the triumph of a king among them. God that brought them out of Egypt, is as the strength of an unicorn unto them, for there is no sorcerer, in Jacob, nor soothsayer in Israel. When the time cometh, it will be said of Jacob and of Israel, what God hath wrought. Behold, the people shall rise up as a lioness and heave up himself as a lion, and shall not lie down again, until he have eaten of the prey and drunk of the blood of them that are slain.
      And Balac said unto Balam: neither curse them nor bless them. And Balam answered and said unto Balac: told not I thee saying, all that the Lord biddeth me, that I must do? And Balac said unto Balam: come I pray thee, I will bring thee yet unto another place: so peradventure it shall please God, that thou mayst curse them there. And Balac brought Balam unto the top of Peor, that boweth toward the wilderness. And Balam said unto Balac: make me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams. And Balac did as Balam had said, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.


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