“The King of Moab from the eastern mountains

Has brought me from afar his words like kindling:

‘Come, curse this Jacob, make their blood as fountains;

Denounce Israel, make their numbers dwindling!’

His words spat sparks to light my lips perverse

And eagerly I’d on this evil pounce –

But can I curse whom the LORD does not curse?

Can I denounce whom God does not denounce?

For from the top of crags the LORD I see,

And from the hills their God do I behold;

Apart, this people knows prosperity,

The dust of Jacob countless and untold.

Now let me die as those who are God’s friend

And let my death be as their thrice-blest end!”

Balaam’s 1st Oracle (Numbers 23:7-10)
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