Study Guide

Book of Numbers Chapter 23

Chapter 23

Mixed Blessings

  • Balaam tells King Balak to build him seven altars and then he sacrifices seven bulls and seven rams. Looks like Balaam has a lucky number.
  • Afterwards, God gives Balaam a message. He's to tell King Balak that the Israelites are God's people and can't be cursed. In fact they're blessed. So take that.
  • King Balak is totally annoyed. Seriously, Balaam! I brought you here to curse people and now you're doling out blessings. I want a refund.
  • But Balaam explains that he only said what God told him to.
  • King Balak tries again. He asks Balaam to move to a different place and then has altars built and animals sacrificed in that spot.
  • Again, Balaam blesses the Israelites instead of cursing them on God's command. Hey, he's gotta listen to God, Balak.
  • Naturally, King Balak is even more annoyed this time. But because he's not the sharpest knife in the royal drawer, he decides to try one more time. They move to a different place and build seven more altars and slaughter even more animals. Seriously? Is King Balak ever gonna learn?

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