Numbers 24

1Now Balaam, seeing that it pleased Hashem to bless Yisrael, did not, as on previous occasions, go in search of omens, but turned his face toward the wilderness.

אוַיַּרְא בִּלְעָם כִּי טוֹב בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה לְבָרֵךְ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא־הָלַךְ כְּפַעַם־בְּפַעַם לִקְרַאת נְחָשִׁים וַיָּשֶׁת אֶל־הַמִּדְבָּר פָּנָיו׃

2As Balaam looked up and saw Yisrael encamped tribe by tribe, the spirit of Hashem came upon him.

בוַיִּשָּׂא בִלְעָם אֶת־עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל שֹׁכֵן לִשְׁבָטָיו וַתְּהִי עָלָיו רוּחַ אֱלֹהִים׃

3Taking up his theme, he said: Word of Balaam son of Beor, Word of the man whose eye is true,

גוַיִּשָּׂא מְשָׁלוֹ וַיֹּאמַר נְאֻם בִּלְעָם בְּנוֹ בְעֹר וּנְאֻם הַגֶּבֶר שְׁתֻם הָעָיִן׃

4Word of him who hears Hashem's speech, Who beholds visions from the Almighty, Prostrate, but with eyes unveiled:

דנְאֻם שֹׁמֵעַ אִמְרֵי־אֵל אֲשֶׁר מַחֲזֵה שַׁדַּי יֶחֱזֶה נֹפֵל וּגְלוּי עֵינָיִם׃

5How fair are your tents, O Yaakov, Your dwellings, O Yisrael!

ma TO-vu o-ha-LE-kha ya-a-KOV mish-k'-no-TE-kha yis-ra-AYL

המַה־טֹּבוּ אֹהָלֶיךָ יַעֲקֹב מִשְׁכְּנֹתֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

 24:5   How fair are your tents, O Yaakov, your dwellings, O Yisrael

Ramban points out that when referring to the homes of the Children of Israel, the verse first mentions tents of Yaakov and then dwellings of Israel. He explains that “tents” are temporary living quarters, referring to Israel’s sojourn in the desert, while “dwellings” implies a permanent living space, hinting to the established life of the Jews in the Holy Land. Just as they are taken care of and protected in the desert, the Children of Israel will ultimately be blessed with success, prosperity and security in Eretz Yisrael.

6Like palm-groves that stretch out, Like gardens beside a river, Like aloes planted by Hashem, Like cedars beside the water;

וכִּנְחָלִים נִטָּיוּ כְּגַנֹּת עֲלֵי נָהָר כַּאֲהָלִים נָטַע יְהֹוָה כַּאֲרָזִים עֲלֵי־מָיִם׃

7Their boughs drip with moisture, Their roots have abundant water. Their king shall rise above Agag, Their kingdom shall be exalted.

זיִזַּל־מַיִם מִדָּלְיָו וְזַרְעוֹ בְּמַיִם רַבִּים וְיָרֹם מֵאֲגַג מַלְכּוֹ וְתִנַּשֵּׂא מַלְכֻתוֹ׃

8Hashem who freed them from Egypt Is for them like the horns of the wild ox. They shall devour enemy nations, Crush their bones, And smash their arrows.

חאֵל מוֹצִיאוֹ מִמִּצְרַיִם כְּתוֹעֲפֹת רְאֵם לוֹ יֹאכַל גּוֹיִם צָרָיו וְעַצְמֹתֵיהֶם יְגָרֵם וְחִצָּיו יִמְחָץ׃

9They crouch, they lie down like a lion, Like the king of beasts; who dare rouse them? Blessed are they who bless you, Accursed they who curse you!

טכָּרַע שָׁכַב כַּאֲרִי וּכְלָבִיא מִי יְקִימֶנּוּ מְבָרֲכֶיךָ בָרוּךְ וְאֹרְרֶיךָ אָרוּר׃

10Enraged at Balaam, Balak struck his hands together. “I called you,” Balak said to Balaam, “to damn my enemies, and instead you have blessed them these three times!

יוַיִּחַר־אַף בָּלָק אֶל־בִּלְעָם וַיִּסְפֹּק אֶת־כַּפָּיו וַיֹּאמֶר בָּלָק אֶל־בִּלְעָם לָקֹב אֹיְבַי קְרָאתִיךָ וְהִנֵּה בֵּרַכְתָּ בָרֵךְ זֶה שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים׃

11Back with you at once to your own place! I was going to reward you richly, but Hashem has denied you the reward.”

יאוְעַתָּה בְּרַח־לְךָ אֶל־מְקוֹמֶךָ אָמַרְתִּי כַּבֵּד אֲכַבֶּדְךָ וְהִנֵּה מְנָעֲךָ יְהֹוָה מִכָּבוֹד׃

12Balaam replied to Balak, “But I even told the messengers you sent to me,

יבוַיֹּאמֶר בִּלְעָם אֶל־בָּלָק הֲלֹא גַּם אֶל־מַלְאָכֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַחְתָּ אֵלַי דִּבַּרְתִּי לֵאמֹר׃

13‘Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not of my own accord do anything good or bad contrary to Hashem's command. What Hashem says, that I must say.'

יגאִם־יִתֶּן־לִי בָלָק מְלֹא בֵיתוֹ כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב לֹא אוּכַל לַעֲבֹר אֶת־פִּי יְהֹוָה לַעֲשׂוֹת טוֹבָה אוֹ רָעָה מִלִּבִּי אֲשֶׁר־יְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֹתוֹ אֲדַבֵּר׃

14And now, as I go back to my people, let me inform you of what this people will do to your people in days to come.”

ידוְעַתָּה הִנְנִי הוֹלֵךְ לְעַמִּי לְכָה אִיעָצְךָ אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה הָעָם הַזֶּה לְעַמְּךָ בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים׃

15He took up his theme, and said: Word of Balaam son of Beor, Word of the man whose eye is true,

טווַיִּשָּׂא מְשָׁלוֹ וַיֹּאמַר נְאֻם בִּלְעָם בְּנוֹ בְעֹר וּנְאֻם הַגֶּבֶר שְׁתֻם הָעָיִן׃

16Word of him who hears Hashem's speech, Who obtains knowledge from the Most High, And beholds visions from the Almighty, Prostrate, but with eyes unveiled:

טזנְאֻם שֹׁמֵעַ אִמְרֵי־אֵל וְיֹדֵעַ דַּעַת עֶלְיוֹן מַחֲזֵה שַׁדַּי יֶחֱזֶה נֹפֵל וּגְלוּי עֵינָיִם׃

17What I see for them is not yet, What I behold will not be soon: A star rises from Yaakov, A scepter comes forth from Yisrael; It smashes the brow of Moab, The foundation of all children of Shet.

יזאֶרְאֶנּוּ וְלֹא עַתָּה אֲשׁוּרֶנּוּ וְלֹא קָרוֹב דָּרַךְ כּוֹכָב מִיַּעֲקֹב וְקָם שֵׁבֶט מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל וּמָחַץ פַּאֲתֵי מוֹאָב וְקַרְקַר כָּל־בְּנֵי־שֵׁת׃

18Edom becomes a possession, Yea, Seir a possession of its enemies; But Yisrael is triumphant.

יחוְהָיָה אֱדוֹם יְרֵשָׁה וְהָיָה יְרֵשָׁה שֵׂעִיר אֹיְבָיו וְיִשְׂרָאֵל עֹשֶׂה חָיִל׃

19A victor issues from Yaakov To wipe out what is left of Ir.

יטוְיֵרְדְּ מִיַּעֲקֹב וְהֶאֱבִיד שָׂרִיד מֵעִיר׃

20He saw Amalek and, taking up his theme, he said: A leading nation is Amalek; But its fate is to perish forever.

כוַיַּרְא אֶת־עֲמָלֵק וַיִּשָּׂא מְשָׁלוֹ וַיֹּאמַר רֵאשִׁית גּוֹיִם עֲמָלֵק וְאַחֲרִיתוֹ עֲדֵי אֹבֵד׃

21He saw the Kenites and, taking up his theme, he said: Though your abode be secure, And your nest be set among cliffs,

כאוַיַּרְא אֶת־הַקֵּינִי וַיִּשָּׂא מְשָׁלוֹ וַיֹּאמַר אֵיתָן מוֹשָׁבֶךָ וְשִׂים בַּסֶּלַע קִנֶּךָ׃

22Yet shall Kain be consumed, When Assyria takes you captive.

כבכִּי אִם־יִהְיֶה לְבָעֵר קָיִן עַד־מָה אַשּׁוּר תִּשְׁבֶּךָּ׃

23He took up his theme and said: Alas, who can survive except Hashem has willed it!

כגוַיִּשָּׂא מְשָׁלוֹ וַיֹּאמַר אוֹי מִי יִחְיֶה מִשֻּׂמוֹ אֵל׃

24Ships come from the quarter of Kittim; They subject Assyria, subject Eber. They, too, shall perish forever.

כדוְצִים מִיַּד כִּתִּים וְעִנּוּ אַשּׁוּר וְעִנּוּ־עֵבֶר וְגַם־הוּא עֲדֵי אֹבֵד׃

25Then Balaam set out on his journey back home; and Balak also went his way.

כהוַיָּקָם בִּלְעָם וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיָּשָׁב לִמְקֹמוֹ וְגַם־בָּלָק הָלַךְ לְדַרְכּוֹ׃