In Numbers 22:1-7 the Israelites move again to the plains of Moab along side the Jordan river near Jericho. By the way, what’s the point of conquering all these cities if the Israelites are just going to move on in a day or two? Anyway, Balak, king of the Moabites, sees that the Israelites have entered his territory and, knowing their brutal history, decides to call in reinforcements from the Midians. But rather than ask them for additional troops, Balak asks them to put a curse on the Israelites, because, as he says, he knows that whomever the Midians bless will be blessed, and whomever they curse will be cursed.
As silly as this sounds, keep in mind that, as a reader of this comic, you’re probably pretty down-to-earth and science-minded, but you probably know somebody who is superstitious. Just think how they would react if they suddenly discovered that a powerful conclave of witches put a hex on them using eye of newt and toe of frog! They would probably become noticeably terrified. Now, if many of the Israelites are equally as superstitious, even if a curse doesn’t do anything in reality, it could still greatly influence their military prowess, as an army of scaredy-cats isn’t very effective.
So, Balak gives the Midians an undisclosed fee, and they take the money to their leader, Balaam to see what he wants to do.