In 1123 he was captured by Balak of Mardin, and confined in Kharput with Joscelin, his successor in the county of Edessa, who had been captured in the previous year.
When Balaam reached the frontier of Moab Balak was waiting to welcome him, but could not refrain from asking why he had not come with the first embassy.
According to J, Balaam was among his own people the BneAmmon when Balak sent messengers to him with presents such as soothsayers generally received, asking him to come and curse a people that had come up out of Egypt.
Balaam reminded Balak of his declaration that he could not go beyond the word of Yahweh, and then boldly announced the respective destinies of Israel and Moab, xxiv.
As the journey was not a long or dangerous one, the servants of Balak returned at once to inform their master of their success, leaving Balaam to follow at his own convenience.