Balaam now realized that Yahweh wanted to bless the Israeli people, not curse them. So he did not use magic/divination like a shaman would do to find out what Yahweh wanted, as he often did. Instead, he turned toward the desert. He saw the Israeli people camped there in their tents, with each tribe gathered in its own group. Then the Spirit of God took control of him, and enabled him to give this prophetic message to Balak:
“I, Balaam, the son of Beor, am giving this prophecy;
I am speaking as a man who sees what will happen in the future clearly speaks.
I hear this message from God;
I see a vision from him who is all-powerful.
My eyes are open as I prostrate myself in front of him.
You descendants of Jacob, your tents are very beautiful;
they are truly lovely!
Your tents are spread out in front of me like groves of palm trees in valleys,
like gardens alongside a river.
They are like strong aloe trees/plants that Yahweh has planted,
like strong cedar trees that grow along the rivers.
Your water buckets will always be full;
the seeds that you plant will always have plenty of water to make them grow.
The Israelis' king will be greater than King Agag;
the kingdom that he rules will be honored.
God brought the Israelis out of Egypt,
leading them along with his great power [MTY] like a wild ox has.
He devastates all the nations that oppose him;
he breaks all those people's bones into pieces,
and shoots them with his arrows.
The Israelis are like lions that crouch and lie down, ready to pounce on their prey [SIM].
They are like lionesses that are resting, but ready to attack;
no one [RHQ] would dare to arouse them!
God will bless everyone who blesses you Israelis,
and he will curse everyone who curses you.”
10 Then King Balak was extremely angry with Balaam. He showed with his hands that he was very angry, and he shouted at Balaam, “I summoned you here to curse my enemies! Instead, you have ◄blessed/asked God to bless► them three times! 11 So now, get out of here! Go back home! I said that I would pay you a lot of money if you cursed them, but Yahweh has prevented you from getting any pay!”
12 Balaam said to Balak, “ Do you not remember [RHQ] what I told the messengers that you sent to me? I said, 13 ‘Even if Balak would give me a palace filled with silver and gold, I would not disobey Yahweh. I cannot do anything bad or anything that is good that he does not approve of.’ And I told you that I could say only what Yahweh says to me. 14 So yes, I will return to my people, but first, allow me to tell you what will happen to you Moab people in the future.”
Balaam prophesied a fourth time
15 So Balaam said this to Balak:
“I, Balaam, son of Beor, am again giving a prophecy,
speaking as a man who sees what will happen in the future clearly speaks.
16 I hear a message from God;
I know things that God, who lives in heaven, has revealed to me.
I see a vision from him who is all-powerful.
My eyes are open as I prostrate myself in front of him.
17 The things that I see in the vision are not going to happen now;
I see things that God will cause to happen in the future.
A man who is a descendant of Jacob will appear like a star [MET];
a king who holds a scepter will be one of the Israeli people.
He will crush the heads of you people of Moab;
he will wipe out the descendants of Seth.
18 The Israelis will occupy Edom,
and they will conquer their enemies who live near Seir Mountain.
The Israeli people will be victorious/strong.
19 A ruler who is a descendant of Jacob will come;
he will get rid of the people who still live in the city where Balaam first met Balak.”
Balaam's final prophecies
20 Then Balaam looked out over where the Amalek people-group lived, and he prophesied this:
“The Amalek people-group were the greatest nation,
but they will be wiped out.”
21 Then he looked out over the area where the Ken people-group lived, and he prophesied this:
“You think that the place where you live is secure/safe
like a nest that is made in the cliffs [MET],
22 but you will be wiped out
when the army of Assyria conquers you.”
23 Balaam ended his prophecies by saying,
“Also, ◄who can ‘survive/escape’ when God does all these things?/no one will be able to ‘survive/escape’ when God does all these things!► [RHQ]
24 Ships will come from Cyprus Island,
and the men in those ships will defeat the armies of Assyria and Eber.
But God will get rid of those men, too.”
25 Then Balaam and Balak returned to their homes.