Balaam blesses the Israelites

Num 22:1    The Israelites set up camp in c.1406BC on the Plains of Moab east of the River Jordan opposite Jericho (see 3 on Map 46).

Num 22:2-8    King Balak of Moab hears of the defeat of the Amorites and sends for Balaam - a soothsayer and prophet - who is living at Pethor near the River Euphrates in Aram (see Numbers 23:7) so he can pour curses on the Israelites.

Num 22:9-35    God appears to Balaam and forbids him to curse the Israelites. Balaam, nevertheless, attempts to travel to Moab, but the angel of the LORD stands in the way of Balaam’s donkey. The donkey lies down, so Balaam hits it with his stick. But the donkey says "What have I done to make you hit me three times?" (Numbers 22:28). The angel reveals himself to Balaam, and tells him to say to Balak only what he commands.

Num 22:36-38    King Balak meets Balaam at Ar, a border town on the River Arnon.

Num 22:39-41    Balak and Balaam go to Kiriath Huzoth where they sacrifice cattle and sheep. They look out over the Israelites on the Plains of Moab from a pisgah (a hilltop viewpoint) at Bamoth Baal (an altar to Baal).

View from Mt Nebo to the Plains of Moab

View towards the Plains of Moab from Mt Nebo  (Effi Schweizer)

Num 23:1-12    King Balak wants Balaam to curse the Israelites, but instead Balaam blesses them.

Num 23:13-26    Balaam is taken by King Balak to the Field of Zophim on top of another pisgah. Again, he refuses to curse the Israelites.

Num 23:27-24:25    Balaam is then taken to the top of Mt Peor (see 4 on Map 46). He blesses the Israelites and foretells their victory over the King of Moab.

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