Chapter 23: Balaam Blesses Israel
Balak finally has Balaam in his presence to complete the cursing of the Israelites. Balaam instructs Balak to build seven altars, and sacrifice a bull and ram on each altar. Then Balaam goes off to a barren hill to see if the Lord will meet him.
Balaam then returns to a very impatient Balak who desires him to curse the Israelites, which Balaam essentially responds: How can I curse a people that God blesses? Balak gets angry and asks Balaam why he has come all that distance to only help bless the Israelites, instead of cursing them.
Balaam gives it another shot, but warns Balak again that he can only speak the words that the Lord puts in his mouth. So they try it again, another 7 altars with the sacrifice of a bull and a ram. Balaam goes off to meet with the Lord and comes back with a message for Balak:
“…Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor; God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed and I cannot reverse it ” (Numbers 23:18-20)
Balak gets upset, but Balaam can only speak the words that the Lord permits.
Chapter 24: Vision of Balaam
Balaam sees in vision and prophecies about the destiny of Israel. He prophesies about the birth of the Messiah (Jesus Christ). See verse: 17.