What does Balaam mean in the Bible?

Greek / Hebrew Translation Occurance
בִּלְעָ֔ם the son of Beor 13
בִּלְעָם֙ the son of Beor 9
בִּלְעָ֑ם the son of Beor 7
בִּלְעָ֖ם the son of Beor 6
בִּלְעָ֗ם the son of Beor 5
בִּלְעָ֣ם the son of Beor 4
בִּלְעָ֜ם the son of Beor 3
בִלְעָ֑ם the son of Beor 2
βαλαὰμ A native of Pethor a city in Mesopotamia 2
בִלְעָם֒ the son of Beor 1
וּבִלְעָ֛ם the son of Beor 1
לְבִלְעָ֔ם the son of Beor 1
βαλαάμ A native of Pethor a city in Mesopotamia 1
לְבִלְעָם֙ the son of Beor 1
בִּלְעָם֮ the son of Beor 1
בִּלְעָֽם the son of Beor 1
לְבִלְעָ֑ם the son of Beor 1
לְבִלְעָ֥ם the son of Beor 1
בִּלְעָ֥ם the son of Beor 1
בִלְעָ֜ם the son of Beor 1

Definitions Related to Balaam

H1109


   1 the son of Beor, a man endowed with the gift of prophecy.
   2 a town in Manasseh.
   Additional Information: Balaam = “not of the people”.
   

G903


   1 A native of Pethor a city in Mesopotamia, endued by Jehovah with prophetic power.
   He was hired by Balak to curse the Israelites; and influenced by the love of reward, he wished to gratify Balak; but he was compelled by Jehovah’s power to bless them.
   Hence later the Jews saw him as a most abandoned deceiver.
   Additional Information: Balaam meaning “perhaps”.
   

Frequency of Balaam (original languages)

Frequency of Balaam (English)

Dictionary

Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Balaam
(Hebrew balam ) "not of the people" (Israel), a "foreigner"; else bilam , "the destroyer of the people," corresponding to the Greek Νicolaos , "conqueror of the people" (Revelation 2:14-15), namely, by having seduced them to fornication with the Moabite women (Numbers 25), just as the Nicolaitanes sanctioned the eating of things sacrificed to idols and fornication. The -am , however, may be only a formative syllable. He belonged to Pethor, a city of Aram Naharaim, i.e. Mesopotamia (Deuteronomy 23:4). "Balak, the king of Moab" (he says, Numbers 23:7), "hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the E.," a region famous for soothsayers (Isaiah 2:6). Pethor, from pathar , "to reveal," was the head quarters of oriental magi, who used to congregate in particular spots (Daniel 2:2; Matthew 2:1), Phathusae, S. of Circesium. It is an undesigned propriety, which marks the truth of Scripture, that it represents Balak of Moab, the descendant of Lot, as having recourse to a diviner of the land from which Lot came when he accompanied Abraham to Canaan.
It was a practice of ancient nations to devote their enemies to destruction at the beginning of their wars; the form of execration is preserved in Macrobius, Saturnalia, 3:9. The traditional knowledge of the true God lingered among the descendants of Laban and Bethuel. Abimelech of Gerar, Melchizedek, Job, Jethro, are all instances of the truth that knowledge of the one true God was not restricted to Abraham's descendants. Balaam was son of Beor. The same name (omitting the last part, -am, of Balaam), Bela, (and he also "son of Beor," front baar , to "burn up,) occurs among the Edomites connected with Midian by a victory recorded in Genesis 36:32-37; also with the "river" Euphrates through Saul of Rehoboth which was on it, king of Edom. Now Balaam is mentioned in conjunction with the five kings of Midian (Numbers 31:8; Numbers 31:16).
A dynasty of Balaam's ancestors from near the great river probably reigned once over Edom. Moab in his application to him was not alone. "Moab was sore afraid ... because of the children of Israel, and Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field" (how natural the image in the mouth of a shepherd king, as "the king of Moab was a sheep master," 2 Kings 3:4). So "the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand." It is natural that Balaam, living amidst idolaters, should, like Laban of old in the same region (Genesis 31:20), have been somewhat tainted. Hence, while owning Jehovah for his God and following patriarchal tradition (Job 42:8, who is thought by the decipherers of the Assyrian and Babylonian monuments to have lived in the region about the mouth of the Euphrates, Uz, the early seat of the first Babylonian empire) in offering victims by sevens.
Balaam had recourse to "enchantments" also, so that he is called "the soothsayer" (Joshua 13:22) (ha -kosem , distinguished, from the true prophet, Isaiah 3:2), a practice denounced as "an abomination to the Lord" (Deuteronomy 18:10; Deuteronomy 18:12). In the portion that follows (Numbers 22:7-24) no further mention of Midian occurs, but only of Moab. But after Balaam's vain effort to curse, and God's constraining him to bless, Israel, "he went and returned to his place" (Numbers 24:14; Numbers 24:25). He had said: "Behold, I go unto my people." But then follows (Numbers 25) Israel's whoredom, not only with Moabite women but also with Midianite women, of whom Cozbi, daughter of Zur (slain by Phinehas. with Zimri her paramour), was principal; and in Numbers 31:8; Numbers 31:16, Israel's slaughter of the Midianites with their five kings (Zur was one), and also of Balaam, son of Beor, because of his "counsel." Beside those kings that fell in battle, Israel slew five Midianite kings and executed Balaam judicially after the battle (Numbers 31:8).
So after all Balaam did not return as he had said, to his own place, Mesopotamia. Dismissed by the Moabites in dissatisfaction, He suffered his mind to dwell on the honors and riches which he had lost by blessing Israel, and so instead of going home he turned to the Midianites, who were joined with Moab in the original application to him. Availing himself of his head knowledge of divine truth, he, like Satan in Eden, used it with fiendish wisdom to break the union between God and Israel by tempting the latter to sin by lust. They fell into his trap: but staying among the Midianites, who doubtless rewarded with mammon his hellish counsel which succeeded so fatally against Israel, he in turn fell into the righteous judgment executed by Moses and Israel on his guilty patrons, Israel's seducers. The undesigned dovetailing together of these scattered incidents into such a harmonious whole is a strong confirmation of the truth of the Scripture history.
In Numbers 22:12, at the first inquiry of Balaam, God said, "Thou shalt not go with them, thou shalt not curse the people." Balaam acquiesced, although in language betraying the revolt of his covetous will against God's will he told Balak's princes, "Jehovah refuseth to give me leave to go with you." Hence, instead of going back to Pethor, he begs them to tarry another night to see "what Jehovah will say unto him more." In the very moment of saying "I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God," he tempts the Lord as if He might change His purpose, and allow him to earn "the wages of iniquity"; yet himself, with strange inconsistency, such as marks those who "hold the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18), declares what condemns his perverse thought, "God is not a man that He should lie, nor 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?" (Numbers 23:19.)
God did come that night, and seems to contradict His former command, "If the men come to call thee, rise up and go with them." But God' s unchangeable principle is, with the pure to show Himself pure (Psalms 18:26), with the froward to show Himself froward. He at first speaks plainly to the conscience His will; if the sinner resists the voice of His Spirit and His word He "answers the fool according to his folly," and "gives him up to his own desire" (Psalms 78:29-30; compare Romans 1:25-26; Romans 1:28; Proverbs 1:31); after long resistance by man, God's Spirit ceases to strive with him (Genesis 6:3). Balaam rose up in the morning, and it is not written he waited for the "men to come and call" him. Certainly, "God's anger was kindled because he went"; for his going was in spite of the former plain prohibition; and the second voice was a permission giving him up in judicial anger to his own perversity (compare 1 Kings 22:15), a permission too resting on the condition, which Balaam did not wait for, "if the men come to call thee." Judges 1:11 saith the "error of Balaam" was his" running greedily for reward."
The apostle Peter (2 Peter 2:15) says, "Balaam the son of Bosor" (the same as Beor; Bosor is akin to basar , "flesh," and Balaam showed himself the "son of carnality." Bosor is probably the Aramaic or Chaldee equivalent of Beor, Τsade ( צ ) being submitted for 'Αyin ( ע ). Peter residing at Babylon would naturally adopt the name usual in the Aramaic tradition) "loved the wages of unrighteousness: but was rebuked for his iniquity, the mute (voiceless) donkey, speaking with man's voice, forbad the madness of the prophet": an awful contrast, a dumb beast forbidding an inspired prophet. The donkey turned aside at the sight of the angel; but Balaam, after God had said "thou shalt not go," persevered in wishing to go for gain. Not what the donkey said, but its speaking at all, withstood his perversity. The donkey indirectly, the angel directly, rebuked his worse than asinine obstinacy.
The miracle, the object of the infidel's scoff, has a moral fitness which stamps its truth. He who made the cursing prophet bless could make an ass, His own creature, speak (Nehemiah 13:2; Joshua 24:9-10). The "seer" lacks the spiritual eye to discern the angel of the Lord, because it was blinded by lust of riches and honor. God opens the mouth of the irrational brute to show the seer his blindness in not seeing what even the brute could see. Even a beast can discern the spiritual world better than a man blinded by lust. Balaam's worse than brutish mind must be taught by the. brute, in order to chastize his vainly. Not until after the Lord opened the donkey's mouth is it written that" his eyes were opened" (Numbers 24:3-4), whereas they had been "shut" (margin): "falling" refers to his falling with his donkey (not as KJV: "into a trance") and then having his eyes "opened."
No more efficient agent than Balaam could have been chosen to testify to his friends, Israel's enemies, the hopelessness of their conflict with the people whom Jehovah marks as His own. This famed diviner, brought to curse, blesses; lured by love of gain which depended on his cursing, he contradicts his own nature by forfeiting the promised gain, to bless a people from whom he expected no gain. A master of enchantments, he confesses "there is no enchantment (which can avail) against Jacob, neither any divination against Israel" (Numbers 23:23). The miracle wrought on him, whereby he belied his whole nature, is greater than that wrought on the ass. This truth moreover came with more weight, from him than from any other, and this publicly before a king and a whole people, the most esteemed soothsayer in spite of himself proclaiming Israel's blessedness.
Balak first feasted Balaam at Kirjath Huzoth, a place of reputed sanctity on the borders. Thence Balaam was taken to "the high places (bamot ) of Baal," called Beth Bamoth in the Moabite stone. Thence to Pisgah's top by the field of Zophim. Thence to Peor's top looking toward Jeshimon. Then Balaam, seeing God's determinate counsel, stopped seeking further enchantments, but looking at Israel in their beautiful order by tribes, he compares them to the rows of lign aloes and cedars by the waters, and foretells the advent of a Hebrew prince who should smite Moab and Edom (David, 2 Samuel 8, the type), and of the Messiah, the Star out of Jacob" (compare Revelation 22:16; Matthew 2, announced to the Gentile wise men from the E., Balaam's country, by the star in the sky) whose "scepter shall have dominion" (Revelation 2:27-28; Psalms 110:2; He shall restore "the scepter departed from Judah," Genesis 49:10).
Balaam foretold also (See AMALEK'S utter ruin; the Kenites' being carried captive by Assyria; and Assyria in its turn being afflicted by the Greeks and Romans from Chittim (Cyprus, put for all western lands whence the approach to Palestine was by sea); and these, the last destroying power, in turn, "shall perish for ever" before Messiah's kingdom. "Eber," who was to be "afflicted" by Assyria, includes Eber's descendants through Peleg, and also through Joktan; the western Semites, sprung from Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram (Genesis 10:21). Balaam's prophecy is a comprehensive germ, which Isaiah and the prophets, especially Daniel, develop, concerning the four successive world empires which, after their successive rise and fall, shall be superseded by the universal and everlasting kingdom of Messiah (Daniel 2; 7).
Jacob saw the dominion of the victorious Lion out of Judah attaining its perfection in Shiloh's (the Prince of peace) peaceful reign. Balaam, in the face of Israel's foes seeking to destroy her, declares that it is they who shall be destroyed. Appropriately the seer that God appoints to announce this belonged to Mesopotamia, the center of the great world powers whose doom he foretells, as rebels against Jehovah's purpose concerning Israel and Israel's Messianic king (Psalm 2). As a Judas was among the apostles, so Balaam among the prophets, a true seer but a bad man; at the transition to the Mosaic from the patriarchal age witnessing to the truth in spite of himself, as Caiaphas did at the transition from the legal to the Christian dispensation. Head knowledge without heart sanctification increases one's condemnation. Making "godliness a source of gain" is the damning sin of all such as Balaam and Simon Magus: 1 Timothy 6:5 (Greek).
In Micah 6:5 ("O My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beer answered him from Shittim)," the sense is, Remember the fatal effects at Shittim of Israel's joining Baal Peer and committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab, and how but for God's sparing mercy Israel would have been given to utter destruction. Like Judas and Ahithophel, Balaam set in motion the train of events which entailed his own destruction. Balak's summons was the crisis in his history, bringing him into contact with God's people and so giving him the possibility of nearer communion with God than before. Trying to combine prophecy and soothsaying, the service of God and the wages of iniquity, he made the choice that ruined him for ever! He wanted to do opposite things at once, to curse and to bless (James 3:10-12), to earn at once the wages of righteousness and unrighteousness, if possible not to offend God, yet not to lose Balak's reward.
Easton's Bible Dictionary - Balaam
Lord of the people; foreigner or glutton, as interpreted by others, the son of Beor, was a man of some rank among the Midianites (Numbers 31:8 ; Compare 16). He resided at Pethor (Deuteronomy 23:4 ), in Mesopotamia (Numbers 23:7 ). It is evident that though dwelling among idolaters he had some knowledge of the true God; and was held in such reputation that it was supposed that he whom he blessed was blessed, and he whom he cursed was cursed. When the Israelites were encamped on the plains of Moab, on the east of Jordan, by Jericho, Balak sent for Balaam "from Aram, out of the mountains of the east," to curse them; but by the remarkable interposition of God he was utterly unable to fulfil Balak's wish, however desirous he was to do so. The apostle Peter refers (2 Peter 2:15,16 ) to this as an historical event. In Micah 6:5 reference also is made to the relations between Balaam and Balak. Though Balaam could not curse Israel, yet he suggested a mode by which the divine displeasure might be caused to descend upon them ( Numbers 25 ). In a battle between Israel and the Midianites (q.v.) Balaam was slain while fighting on the side of Balak (Numbers 31:8 ). The "doctrine of Balaam" is spoken of in Revelation 2:14 , in allusion to the fact that it was through the teaching of Balaam that Balak learned the way by which the Israelites might be led into sin. (See NICOLAITANES .) Balaam was constrained to utter prophecies regarding the future of Israel of wonderful magnificence and beauty of expression ( Numbers 24:5-9,17 ).
Webster's Dictionary - Balaam
(n.) A paragraph describing something wonderful, used to fill out a newspaper column; - an allusion to the miracle of Balaam's ass speaking.
Holman Bible Dictionary - Balaam
(bay' luhuhm) A non-Israelite prophet whom Balak, king of Moab, urged to curse the invading Israelites for a fee.
Old Testament Balaam was one of many prophets of eastern religions who worshiped all the gods of the land. Many of these false teachers had great power and influence. When they pronounced a blessing or a curse, it was considered as true prophecy. When Moses led his people across the wilderness, God commanded him not to attack Edom or Moab (Deuteronomy 2:4-9 ). He did not. When Edom attacked, “Israel turned away from him” (Numbers 20:21 ). As the great nation journeyed north on the east side of Jordan, King Balak of Moab faced the invasion of Israel. Balak sought a strategy other than battle to stop Moses. He decided to use a prophet to curse Israel. Balaam was chosen. Balak sent his messengers with fees to secure Balaam's services. Balaam asked God's permission to curse Israel. Permission was refused, but Balaam journeyed to confer further with Balak. On this journey, Balaam's donkey talked with him as he traveled a narrow trail (Numbers 22:21-30 ; 2 Peter 2:16 ). Here Balaam clearly understood that an angel's drawn sword enforced his obedience to speak only God's message to Balak. Later in four vivid messages Balaam insisted that God would bless Israel (Numbers 23-24 ). God used Balaam to preach truth. He even spoke of a future star and scepter (Numbers 24:17 ) a prophecy ultimately fulfilled in the coming of Jesus as the Messiah. Balak's actions brought God's anger upon Moab (Deuteronomy 23:3-6 ). In a battle against the Midianites, Balaam died (Numbers 31:8 ; Joshua 13:22 ). Balaam could not curse Israel, but he taught the Moabites to bring the men of Israel into Baal worship with its immorality. For this God would punish Israel. What Balaam could not accomplish with a curse he did so through seductive means.
New Testament Peter warned against false teachers and described their destruction. He referred to the fallen angels, the watery destruction of the unbelievers in Noah's time, and the fiery judgment on lawless Sodom and Gomorrah in Lot's day. Peter described his generation of false leaders as those with eyes full of adultery, who never stop sinning by seducing the unstable. He further said that they bore a curse as experts in greed. Peter wrote that they left the straight way and followed the way of Balaam (2 Peter 2:15 ). In Revelation 2:14 , the church at Pergamos was complimented for faithfulness under persecution, but also warned that some followed after Balaam in offering meat to idols and in immorality. Balaam was a money hungry false prophet who had a close encounter with the God of Israel, but not close enough. God is sovereign and did not allow Balaam to curse His people. As God wills, He changes curses into blessings.
Lawson Hatfield
Hitchcock's Bible Names - Balaam
The ancient of the people; the destruction of the people
Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Balaam
2 Peter 2:15 (b) This man is typical of one who claims to be a servant of GOD and is sometimes used of GOD, but for the sake of permanence and prosperity is willing to lead his flock astray and to invite worldliness to come in among the members.
Judges 1:11 (b) The meaning is somewhat the same as mentioned above. Balaam was willing to go wrong and do wrong so long as he received ample payment for his services. This is typical of modern-day preachers who will promote and permit wicked, worldly things and who will teach error because of the pay they receive from those who like to hear them. Read Numbers 22,23.
Revelation 2:14 (b) Here we see a type of those in the church who invite unsaved men of the world to bring in their ideas and to lead the church to engage in things which are not according to the Scriptures, and which are quite opposed to the will of GOD.
Morrish Bible Dictionary - Balaam
A Midianite prophet who resided at Pethor, son of Beor or Bosor. He was hired by Balak king of Moab to curse Israel, but God compelled him to bless instead of curse His chosen people. Though he talked piously his heart was evidently set on getting the reward from Balak. Jude 11 . The angel of Jehovah withstood him, and he was rebuked by his ass, yet he was allowed to go on his way. Numbers 22,23,24 ; Deuteronomy 23:4,5 ; Joshua 24:9,10 . Though compelled by God to bless Israel, he most treacherously counselled Balak to seduce them by means of the Midianitish women, Numbers 31:16 ; 2 Peter 2:15 ; Revelation 2:14 , which led to their gross idolatry. Numbers 25:1,2 : see BAAL-PEOR. After Israel was punished for their sin, they were avenged on Moab, and among the slain was Balaam. In Joshua 13:22 he is called a soothsayer, and when he was with Balak he sought enchantments. In Numbers 23:15 the words 'the LORD' are added by the translators. Numbers 24:1 says that he went not then as at other times to meet enchantments. But he was overpowered by God. In the passages in the N.T. he is held up as an example of consummate wickedness and apostasy.
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Balaam
The somewhat prominent place that Balaam holds in the Apostolic Age may be appraised by the three references to him in the NT (2 Peter 2:15, Judges 1:11, and Revelation 2:14); by the legends which grew round his name in Hellenistic and Haggadic literature, and later in Muhammadanism; and perhaps by the apparent popularity of the discussion of the ‘Blessings of Balaam’ by Hippolytus. Balaam has become the representative of false teachers and sorcerers, and we may suspect a play on his name in Revelation 2:14 (perhaps = ‘lord of the people’), in order to brand certain Gnostic teachers as making gain for themselves out of the simple folk by the use of magic and by the teaching of a gnosis which tended to laxity of practice. (It is not improbable that in the Nicodemus of John 3 is enshrined a counter-play of words-the Jewish party also, it is hinted, had a false and carnal doctrine of their own.) Balaam becomes in legend a counsellor of Pharaoh; he and his two sons Jannes and Jambres (q.v. [1] ) were compelled to flee from Egypt to Ethiopia, where Balaam reigned as king till conquered by Moses. On this he and his sons returned to Egypt and became the master-magicians who opposed Moses. Finally, Phinehas attacked Balaam, who by his magic flew into the air, but was killed by Phinehas in the power of the Holy Name. See Nicolaitans; also Jewish Encyclopedia ii. 468f.
W. F. Cobb.
The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Balaam
This was the famous, or rather infamous conjuror of the East, whose awful history is so fully recorded in the book of Numbers, and whose most awful end is given to us in the 31chapter of the same book, and 8th verse. Numbers 31:8 (See also Joshua 13:22) His name, it should seem, is derived from Balel, and signifies old age. For his history, I refer the reader to Numbers 20:1-29 and the two following chapters. In relation to the character of Balaam, it will be proper for me to beg the reader's attention to what the word of God hath left upon record concerning him, in order to have a clear apprehension of the subject; comparing Scripture with Scripture, as we are commanded to do, 1 Corinthians 2:13.
It appears from the accounts given of Balaam, in the opening of his history, (Numbers 22:1, etc.) that Balak, prince of Moab, fearful of the growing power of Israel, invited this Balaam from the East, to come to Moab and to use enchantments against Israel. It should seem from the history of Egypt, in the magicians we read of in that history, that this custom of using enchantments among idolatrous nations, was very common. (Exodus 7:11) Prompted by the love of gain, Balaam readily listened to the messengers of Balak, and lodged them for the night, pretending that he would conconsult the Lord upon the subject, and go with them if permitted. But the Lord commanding him not to go, for that the people, the prince of Moab wished him to curse, were blessed; Balaam sent the messengers away, without going with them. We are not informed by what means the Lord communicated to Balaam his command: probably by a vision of the night; but, certainly, in such a way as left Balaam with full impressions on his mind, had he not heard the history of Israel before, that they were "a people blessed of the Lord."
Balak, not discouraged by Balaam's refusal, sent again to him: and the wretch, earnest to go, pretended again to ask the Lord's leave. And the sequel of this embassy from Balak was, that he arose and went. There seems to occur some little difficulty in the relation, as given in the Bible concerning Balaam's going; because it is said by the Lord, If the men come to call thee, arise and go. But the thing had been determined before by the Lord's telling Balaam, that the people were blessed. How then could he dare to tempt the Lord by any farther enquiry? and how could he presume to go forth, at the call of this idolatrous prince, to curse those whom the Lord had told him were blessed? We cannot but suppose that Balaam, coming out of the East, must have heard of Israel, and the Lord's care over them. Indeed his pretending to consult the Lord, at the first invitation of Balak, very fully proves, that he was no stranger to the history of Israel; and the Lord's bringing them out of Egypt, which all the people of the East had heard of with trembling. (Exodus 15:14, etc.) So that Balaam could not be ignorant of the Lord's love for Israel.
But what decides the infamy of Balaam's character is this, that under all the impressions that the Lord had blessed Israel, and would bless them, Balaam was still so very earnest to oblige Balak, and get his promised reward, that he set off expressly the purpose of cursing Israel; neither, as the apostle saith, did "the dumb ass, speaking with man's voice, forbidding the madness of the prophet," keep back his feet from the evil of his journey; so much did he love the wages of unrighteousness? (See 2 Peter 2:16)
I need not go through with a comment on the several interesting particulars of Balaam's tampering with his conscience while with Balak, in seeking enchantments, and in using every effort to curse God's people, while all he said and did the Lord over-ruled to make him bless them. But there is one feature in the history and character of this man, which will serve to explain the whole; and to shew, that when disappointed of all the means he had used to gratify Balak, though compelled by a power he could not resist, to bless those he wished to curse; yet he gave Balak an advice concerning Israel, by way of accomplishing their ruin, which, but for the Lord's preventing and pardoning grace, would indeed have tended to the ruin of Israel more than all Balak's arms, or Balaam's enchantments; namely, in counseling Balak to tempt Israel to come to the sacrifices, and to open an intercourse of Israel's sons with the daughters of Moab. This plan, therefore, Balak adopted; and soon after we find Israel at the feast of their infamous sacrifices. The Psalmist, speaking of this sad history, (Psalms 106:28-29) saith, "they joined themselves unto Baal-peor, and did eat the sacrifices of the dead." This Baal-peor was an obscene idol, before which image, the votaries offered the most horrid prostitution of their bodies, and wrought such abomination as would be shocking to the feelings of chastity to relate. (See Baal-peor. See Numbers 25:1-18 throughout.)
We should not have known that it was from the advice of Balaam, the Moabites enticed Israel to sin, in the matter of Baal-peor, had not the Holy Ghost graciously informed us of it, in his holy word. But, if the reader will turn to the second chapter of Revelations, and read the fourteenth verse, there the whole matter is explained. (See also Numbers 31:15-16)
The awful termination of the life of Balaam is just as might be expected. I refer the reader to the Scripture account of it. (Numbers 31:8) How Balaam came to be amongst the Midianites when the Lord's judgments overtook them, is not said; for we are told, in the former history, (Numbers 24:25) that he rose up and went unto his place. Probably, he returned afterwards to live with the Midianites, to see if he might be farther helpful to them by his enchantments. And, perhaps, as Balak had promised to reward him with very great honours, he might have quitted his home, in the east of Aram, to be made a prince among the Midianites. But be this as it may, here he was, by the overruling power and providence of God, when Moab and Midian were destroyed; and fell with, them, unpitied, and with infamy on his name for ever.
We must not close our view of Balaam, without a short observation of the awfulness of such a character. When we read the many blessed things which the Lord, as he had graciously said, compelled Balaam to utter concerning his Israel, "the word that I shall speak unto thee, (said the Lord) that thou shalt speak." (Numbers 22:20-35) When we hear this impious man's confession, that "he had heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High; had seen the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open." (Numbers 24:15-16) When we hear such things dropping from his lips, and in the same moment hiring himself out for the honours of this world, as an enchanter, to curse the people of God, whom God had told him were blessed; what an awful picture doth this afford of human depravity! Many of God's dear children, from mistaken views of such characters, have been frequently tempted to call in question their own sincerity, and to fear, lest like Balaam, they should be found apostates in the end. But all this from the misapprehension of things, and not from the smallest likeness between their circumstances and Balaam's. There may be, and indeed there often is, a natural apprehension which natural men often have, concerning divine things, where there is no one work of the Lord upon the heart. Men, by reading, or by hearing, may acquire great knowledge in the truths of God, so as to speak and discourse, as Balaam did very sweetly on the subject; but whose souls never felt any love of God, nor desire of salvation. This is head knowledge, not heart influence. This is all nature, not grace. Devils know more, in point of doctrine and the truths of Jesus, to their eternal sorrow, than many of God's dear children do, to their eternal joy, while here below. Witness what they said, Luke 4:41. at a time when his people were, many of them, ignorant of him. How shall we mark the difference? The thing is very easy, under the blessed Spirits teaching; "when the Spirit witnesseth to our spirits that we are his children." There is a pleasure, a delight, an holy joy, in the soul of the regenerated, in the view of Christ and his salvation. Not all the riches of the earth would tempt such to curse the people of God, or even to hear the people of God cursed, but with the utmost indignation. In their darkest hours, and under the dullest of their frames, there is still a secret desire within to the love of Jesus, and the remembrance of his name, (Isaiah 26:9) And while such as Balaam write their own mittimus for everlasting misery, as in those soul-piercing words, when speaking of Christ, "I shall see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but not nigh;" (Numbers 24:17) the hope and expectation of the poorest and humblest child of God is expressed in those sweet words, "As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness." (Psalms 17:15)
There is one thing more I wish to drop a word of observation upon, respecting the history of Balaam. The reader will, probably, anticipate the circumstance to which I refer; namely, the conversation which Balaam held with his ass. I do not hesitate to say, that I wholly agree with St. Austin, and accept the fact simply as it is related, and believe it to have been a miracle of the Lord's. I form my opinion on the authority of the Holy Ghost, who, by his servant the apostle Peter, expressly saith, that "the dumb ass, speaking with man's voice, forbad the madness of the prophet." (2 Peter 2:16) The occasion was as extraordinary and interesting, as the event of the animal being so commissioned to reprove; and for such an occasion, as in numberless other instances in life, the ordinary appointments in the Lord's providences may be well supposed to be superseded. The only, or at least, the most striking circumstance in the whole relation is, the loss of the wonderful event on Balaam's mind, that he should have been so addressed, and give such an answer, and yet persist in his iniquitous journey. But even here again, similar effects on the minds of sinners, in every age, are continually produced, and the end is the same. What conviction was frequently wrought upon the minds of the Jews, when beholding the miracles of Christ. But yet, what lasting effect did that conviction ultimately produce! He who well knew the human heart, void of sovereign grace, hath left it upon record as an unerring conclusion, that where the word of God is despised and set at nought, no higher evidences, even of miracles, will succeed: "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither would they be persuaded, though one should rise from the dead." (Luke 16:31)
Whyte's Dictionary of Bible Characters - Balaam
THE ERROR OF BALAAM
I SHALL take it for granted that you all have the Balaam chapters in the Book of Numbers by heart. You certainly ought to have those chapters by heart; for, taken together, they make up a narrative which Ewald pronounces to be unparalleled in effectiveness and unsurpassable in artistic finish. I shall assume, then, that you all have that artistic and effective narrative by heart, and I shall enter at once on some of the lessons I have been enabled to gather out of Balaam's awful history.
In the first place, then, that True Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world kindled up in Balaam to an extraordinary brilliance and beauty. Balaam stands out in the selectest rank of those patriarchs and princes, those prophets and priests, who were raised up outside of the house of Israel in order that men might nowhere be left to live without a divine witness. To keep to the Old Testament-Melchizedek, and Jethro, and Balaam, and Job were all such divine witnesses to the profane lands in which they lived. Balaam, then, in his place, and to begin with, was a true and a greatly gifted prophet of Almighty God. Just listen to some passages out of Balaam's prayers and prophecies and exhortations, and judge for yourselves whether he was a man of divine gifts or no. 'And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. And he took up his parable and said, Balak hath brought me out of Aram, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come defy Israel. But how shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? Or how shall I defy, whom God hath not defied? Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!' And, again, on the top of Pisgah, he takes up his parable in a way not unworthy of the place of Moses' grave: '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? He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen perverseness in Israel. Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel; according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!' And on the top of Peor, that looketh toward Jeshimon, Balaam positively saw the day of Christ Himself afar off. 'I shall see Him, but not now; I shall behold Him, but not nigh. There shall come a star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and out of Jacob shall come He that shall have the dominion.' And, to crown all. When Balak consulted Balaam, 'Wherewith shall I come unto the Lord, and bow down myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased,' inquired Balak, 'with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?' 'He,' answered Balaam-'He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.' Could Moses, could Isaiah, could Paul himself have answered Balak better? No. The Great Prophet Himself never answered Balak better than that. Calvin is the prince of commentators, and Calvin has this on this passage: 'Certain it is that though Balaam was an impostor and full of deceits, yet he was endued with the gift of prophecy. This was the case, no doubt. God has often so distributed the gifts of His Spirit that He has honoured with the prophetic power even the ungodly and the unbelieving. The prophetic office was at that time a special gift, quite distinct from the grace of regeneration. Balaam, then, was a prophet.' A thing terrible to any man to think about; but terrible to a minister above all men to read and to think, and to take home to his heart. For the gift of preaching, too, is a special and an official gift, altogether distinct from the gift of a new heart or a holy life. A man may be an impostor, as Calvin says; he may be full of deceit, and yet may be an eloquent preacher. Moses, as we have seen, could not preach at all, as our fault-finding people would have said. And even Aaron, who was Moses' mouth, never came within sight of the sacred eloquence of Balaam. In fact, I have a remorseful feeling within myself that Balaam's pulpit eloquence, and the dust that his pulpit eloquence cast in his own and other men's eyes, largely helped him to bis ruin. Some eloquent preachers put all their religion into their eloquence. Some impressive preachers put all their tears into their pulpit voice, and all their repentance and reformation into those powerful appeals they periodically make to their own and to other flocks. That burning passage in the Book of Numbers should be appointed to all divinity students to make an exegesis and a homily upon it before they receive licence. They should have to bring out and exhibit from Balaam, and from other instances in church history, how fine natural gifts, and great learning, and great eloquence in the pulpit may all lie like so much far-shining whitening on the surface of a sepulchre. One of their points should be that official excellence often consists in a preacher with much secret corruption, and that a minister may have a great name, and may make a great income, who has no name at all, and no reward at all with God. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name have cast out devils‚ and in Thy name have done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you. What we ministers are in our closets, says John Owen, and not in our pulpits, just that we are in the scales of God: just that, and no more. Let us, then, who are ministers, or who are looking to be ministers, so live, lest, by any means, when we have preached to others, we ourselves should be cast away as reprobate Balaam was cast away.
Balaam's importunity in prayer: Balaam on his knees all night to know God's will, when he knew it all the time-a great deal of our own anxiety, and perplexity, and prayer, and importunity in prayer is made up out of the same self-deceit. 'I am afraid I cannot go; but tarry over the night till I see.' And Balaam actually went all night to God again about going to Balak. He was up a great while before day about going to Balak. Had God been a man, as Balaam in a fine sermon warned Balak He was not, then we would have said that Balaam was imposing upon God, and was laughing at Him behind His back. Had Balaam been a sincere and an honest man, he would have refused so much as to see Balak's second deputation of princes. He would have said to his servants that he was engaged and could not come down. He would have said to his servants to see that the princes of Moab and their companions and their camels had proper supper and lodging, as became a king's embassy; but that Balak had his last answer from him already. Had Balaam not been given over to making a great name for himself and a great fortune; had this prophet been working out his own salvation with fear and trembling, instead of making beautiful pictures of salvation, and astonishing people with his eloquence on salvation, then Balaam would have put on strength when he saw that long string of camels on their way to his house. Now is my time! Balaam would have said to himself-Now is my accepted time! Now is the day of my salvation! A thorough honest man, as Butler says in his celebrated sermon on Balaam-a thorough honest man would have known how set upon the praises of men and the wages of unrighteousness his own heart was, and had all along been; and he would have acted that day accordingly. But Balaam, with all his talents and with all his opportunities, was a thorough dishonest man.
With all his fine sermons Balaam has his price, said Balak to himself when his first princes came back without Balaam. And Balak sent again princes, more, and more honourable than they. And with a profanity and an impudence that might well have made Balaam blush and become a new man, Balak said to Balaam, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming to me. Neither thy God nor anything else. For I will promote thee to very great honour, and I will do for thee whatsoever thou askest of me. Come, therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people. The salmon is the king of fish; but, all the time, he is ridiculously easily taken. Ridiculously. Two or three inches of a sufficiently red rag drawn over a sufficiently sharp hook, and, with half an hour of a sufficiently strong and supple wrist, the fool is in your basket. In that self-same, bare-faced, and rag-hooked way did Balak angle for Balaam, ay, and took him too. And in that self-same, bare-faced, and rag-hooked way are men and women being angled for and taken every day. A ribbon, a tassel, a shoulder-knot, a rosette, a garter, a feather, two or three empty letters before or after an equally empty name, and the fish is yours.
Yes, surely; go, if you would so much like to go, God said to Balaam as the day broke. At any rate, you may go so far. As you would have Me go against you, if you go all the way, take care what you say and do when you go. Beholding Balaam's insincerity, and being angry at it, says Philo, God said, By all means go. And Balaam's God is our God. And thus it is that as often as Balaam's insincerity, hesitation, sleepless anxiety about duty, prayer, and importunity in prayer are seen in us, He who gave way to Balaam gives way to us also, and says, Yes, surely. Our Maker does not place us under lock and key. He does not tie up our hands. He does not strike us lame or blind to make us obedient. He made us in His own image. He endowed us with free will. He did not intend us to be so many stocks and stones in His hands. Yes, certainly, He says; choose for yourself. What would you like best? Where is your treasure? Well, you are your own master. You are in this matter entirely in your own hands. There it stands in Holy Writ for all you who are in hesitation,-If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them.
But the angel of the Lord stood in a path in the vineyard, a wall being on this side and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord she thrust herself into the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall. The dumb ass was doing her best to arrest and to save her eloquent master. And, had he not preached himself long past all hope of salvation, he would have divined the accident and interpreted the providence. Had he not been bereft of all sense and honesty, he would have turned his ass's head in that narrow lane, and would have carried his crushed foot home to rest it and to heal it, and to begin a new life after it. And ever after he would have caparisoned that ass with gold and silver, and would all but have made her his household god. And she would have deserved it all; for she did all she could do to save her devoted master, who had ridden her without a single swerve or stumble of hers to that day. But Balaam was too far gone for a bruised foot to bring him back. And, besides, the prevaricating angel practised upon the prophet, and perplexed the prophet's intellect and judgment, till he did not know what to do. We would never have taken that angel for an angel of the Lord had he not been so named of the sacred writer. For it is surely not usual with such angels at once to oppose a man and to push him on. I pity Balaam-what with his ass; what with that angel of the Lord; what with his crushed foot; and then with all his other bones out of joint, since his ass fell down under him. If it displease thee, said the so pious and so perplexed prophet to the two-faced angel-if it displease thee for me to go on, then I will turn and get me back again. By no means, said the angel. By no means. Having come so far, you are not to lose all your travel and go back. No; go with the men. They are waiting till you mount. Come, and I will help you to your seat. And Balaam mounted his ass with the help of the angel and came to Balak. Have any of you a crushed foot tonight? I have. I can scarcely stand before you to finish for pain and for loss of blood. And, as the Lord liveth, all His angels, with all their irony and all their evil help, shall not sophisticate me out of my soul tonight. I, for one, am to turn tonight in the path between the vineyards. I shall not ask any angel, from heaven or from hell, whether it displeases him or no. I am determined to turn tonight. I have gone far too far already. I bless God for my crushed foot. Indeed I do. I know what I am saying, if you do not know. But, if you do, then come with me. Come, let us return to the Lord our God; for He hath torn, hut He will heal us; He hath smitten, but He will bind us up. Only, Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
And then, look and learn how Balak, once he had got a hold of Balaam, cadged the prophet about from one hill-top to another to get the proper place from which to curse Israel. The first point of view to which Balak took Balaam was to one of the high places of Baal. But, when Balaam saw Israel shining in her tents below, his curses all stuck in his throat. He could not do it. Come, then, said Balak, to a better place. I will take thee this time to a hill where thou shalt not see all their tents, and thou shalt curse them from thence. And Balak, not knowing what he was doing, brought Balaam to the top of Pisgah, till Moses' mantle fell on Balaam, and till Balaam was carried on in the Spirit to prophesy good things, and better things than ever, concerning Israel. Let us try the top of Peor this time, suggested Balak in his discomfiture. Build me then three altars there, said Balaam, and I will see what I can do. But, no. The sight of Israel lying below made the spirit of blessing to come upon Balaam again, till Balak smote his hands together, and in his anger dismissed Balaam to his home without his wages, since he had not done his work. Yes, truly, this narrative is unparalleled in its effectiveness. For, with what sure effect it discovers Balaam's seed to this day. Do you know Balaam's seed when you see them, or when you are yourself one of them? That is one of Balaam's seed in the ministry, that preacher who does his best to tune his pulpit to please the king. He cannot do it; but, as Davison says of Balaam, the will is not wanting. Do you remember how James Stuart dragged Robert Bruce about, seeking a place and a point of view from which that great preacher and great patriot might be got to preach and to pray to the king's dictation? If our young ministers would have a life-long lesson and illustration in fearlessness, in fidelity, and in a good conscience to the end of a life of bribes on the one hand, and of persecution and banishment on the other, let them read themselves deeply into those two narratives so unsurpassable in effectiveness for a minister, the Life of Balaam in the history of Israel, and the Life of Bruce in the history of Scotland and of England. That church member also who changes his minister in the interests of his business, he is of the offspring of Balaam. And that other who changes his minister for the peace of his conscience, he also is Balak and Balaam seeking a spot where they can get at their sin without that restraint. You can live a life of uttermost selfishness, and worldliness, and wicked tempers, and idleness, and vanity, and vice, and total and absolute neglect of prayer in one church, and under one minister, that you could not long live under another. We cannot shut our eyes to men and women choosing their hill-tops and building and kindling their altars all around us every day, exactly as Balak and Balaam chose their hilltops and built and kindled their altars in their day. And some of you may be strongly tempted sometimes to try a change of church or a change of minister for liberty of action and for peace of mind. But you cannot do it. Like Balaam, you know too much, and you have seen too many of the tents of Israel. You may try to shut your eyes, and you may let Balak lead you about promising you your wages, but you shall never see the place where you can give your whole heart to evil, or where you can sin on without an inward rebuke.
But, Balaam,-ass, and angel, and crushed foot, and Almighty God Himself notwithstanding, he would have the wages of unrighteousness. He would have Balak's gold. After his foot was whole again,-Balaam was a very clever man,-and he somehow got expectation and hope kindled again in Balak that Balaam might have changed his mind by this time. And, after some underground management, they met once again, Balak and Balaam, in the dark. You who know your Milton have there the identical advice that Balaam gave to Balak. It was the very same advice, to the letter, that Belial, the dissolutest spirit that fell, gave to the old serpent. Set women in their eye, counselled the old reprobate. And for his so late but so successful counsel Balaam got his house filled with Balak's silver and gold when Israel sinned and fell in the wilderness.
Let me die the death of the righteous! That was Balaam's noble peroration on the high place of Baal. But as we pass on from the Book of Numbers, with its unparalleled effectiveness, to the end of the history in the Book of Joshua, we find in that book this: Balaam also, the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them. And then, the apostle Jude, in denouncing certain evil men who had crept into the ministry and into the membership of the church of his day, says, Woe unto them! For they have run greedily after the error of Balaam. They are spots in your feasts of charity, feeding themselves without fear; clouds they are without water; trees without fruit; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. Such are some of the lessons of Balaam's lost life.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Balaam
a prophet of the city of Pethor, or Bosor, upon the Euphrates, whose intercourse with Balak, king of the Moabites, who sent for him to curse the Israelites, is recorded at large by Moses, Numbers 22-24. It has been a subject of controversy, whether Balaam was a true prophet or a mere diviner, magician, or fortune teller. Origen says that his whole power consisted in magic and cursing. Theodoret is of opinion that Balaam did not consult the Lord, but that he was supernaturally inspired, and constrained to speak against his own inclination. Cyril says that he was a magician, an idolater, and a false prophet, who spoke truth against his will; and St. Ambrose compares him to Caiaphas, who prophesied without being aware of the import of what he said. Jerom seems to have adopted the opinion of the Hebrews; which was, that Balaam knew the true God, erected altars to him, and that he was a true prophet, though corrupted by avarice, Numbers 22:18 . St. Austin and other commentators have inclined to this opinion. Dr. Jortin supposes that Balaam was a worshipper of the true God, and a priest and prophet of great reputation; and that he was sent for by Balak from a notion which generally prevailed, that priests and prophets could sometimes, by prayers and sacrifices duly and skilfully applied, obtain favours from God, and that their imprecations were efficacious. He conceives that the prophet had been accustomed to revelations, and that he used to receive them in visions, or in dreams of the night. It cannot be denied that the Scripture expressly calls him a prophet, 2 Peter 2:15 , and therefore those are probably right who think that he had once been a good man and a true prophet, till, loving the wages of unrighteousness, and prostituting the honour of his office to covetousness, he apostatized from God, and, betaking himself to idolatrous practices, fell under the delusion of the devil, of whom he learned all his magical enchantments; though at this juncture, when the preservation of his people was concerned, it might be consistent with God's wisdom to appear to him and overrule his mind by the impulse of real revelations. As to what passed between him and his ass, when that animal was miraculously enabled to speak to its master, commentators are divided in their opinions; whether it really and literally happened as Moses relates it, or whether it be an allegory only, or was the mere imagination or vision of Balaam. But St. Peter evidently mentions it as a fact literally, and certainly occurring: "the dumb ass, speaking with man's voice, when she forbade the madness of the prophet," 2 Peter 2:16 . This, it is true, has frequently been made the subject of profane banter by those whose skepticism leads them to scoff at all prodigies. But how absurd is it to subject a miraculous event to the ordinary rules of reasoning! "Say what you will of the formation of the tongue and jaws being unfit for speaking," says Bishop Newton, "yet an adequate cause is assigned for this wonderful event; for it is expressly said that ‘the Lord opened the mouth of the ass;' and who that believes a God, can doubt his power to do this and much more? The miracle was by no means needless or superfluous; it was well adapted to convince Balaam that the mouth and tongue were under God's direction, and that the same divine power which caused the dumb ass to speak contrary to its nature, could, in like manner, make him utter blessings contrary to his inclination. And, accordingly, he was overruled to bless the people, though he came prepared and disposed to curse them; which was the greater miracle of the two; for the ass was merely passive, but Balaam resisted the good motions of God." The prophecy which Balaam delivered concerning Israel on this remarkable occasion, and which is contained in Numbers 24:5-9 , has been greatly admired by critics. Bishop Lowth, in particular, remarks that he knows nothing in the whole scope of the Hebrew poetry more exquisite or perfect. "It abounds," says he, "in splendid imagery, copied immediately from the tablet of nature; and is chiefly conspicuous for the glowing elegance of the style and the form and diversity of the figures."
After his predictions, Balaam returned into his own country; but before he left the land of Moab, as if vexed with his own disappointment in missing the promised reward, and with a purpose of revenging himself on the Israelites, as the cause of it, he instructed the Moabites and Midianites in a wicked scheme, which was to send their daughters into the camp of the Israelites, in order to draw them first into lewdness, and then into idolatry, the certain means of depriving them of the help of that God who protected them. This artifice succeeded; for as the Israelites lay encamped at Shittim, many of them were deluded by these strange women, not only to commit whoredom with them, but to assist at their sacrifices, and worship their god Baal-Peor, Numbers 25:1-3 ; Numbers 31:16 ;
Micah 6:5 ; 2 Peter 2:15 ; Judges 1:11 ; Revelation 2:14 ; Deuteronomy 23:4-5 ; Joshua 24:9-10 ; Nehemiah 13:2 . God commanded Moses to avenge this crime. He therefore declared war against the Midianites, killed five of their princes, and a great number of other persons without distinction of age or sex, among whom was Balaam himself.
Moses says that Balaam consulted the Lord, and calls the Lord his God: "I
cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord my God," Numbers 22:18 . The reason why Balaam calls Jehovah, "my God" may be, because he was of the posterity of Shem, who maintained the worship of Jehovah, not only in his own person, but among his descendants, so that while the posterity of Ham fell into idolatry, and the posterity of Japhet were settled at a distance in Europe, the Shemites generally, though not universally, retained the worship of God.
People's Dictionary of the Bible - Balaam
Balaam (bâ'lam, or bâ'la-am), not of the people, i.e., a foreigner. The son of Beor or Bosor, and a native of Pethor, on the Euphrates. Numbers 22:5. Evidently he was an unrighteous man, but was selected for a special mission, as in some other cases. See 1 Samuel 10:10; 1 Kings 13:18-20; Matthew 7:22; John 11:51. He had the reputation of a famous diviner. When the Hebrews were journeying to Canaan, Balak king of Moab, sent for Balaam, to curse the Hebrew armies. Balaam ultimately accepted the tempting offer, and returned with the messengers to Moab. On his way he was miraculously informed that his course was wicked and perverse; and he was effectually restrained by the beast on which he rode from doing what Balak had sent for him to do. So far from cursing, he was led to pronounce a prophetic blessing on the Hebrews, in language which, for eloquence and force, is hardly surpassed in the whole range of Hebrew poetry. Balaam, however, seems to have suggested to Balak a much more certain method of destroying them. This was by causing the young women of Moab to inveigle the Hebrews into the impure and idolatrous worship of Baal-Peor. The stratagem was successful, and 24,000 Hebrews were slain. Numbers 31:16; 2 Peter 2:15; Judges 1:11; Revelation 2:14. Balaam himself fell shortly afterwards in an engagement between the Hebrews and the Midianites. Numbers 31:8; Joshua 13:22.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Balaam
A celebrated diviner, of the city Pethor, on the Euphrates, Numbers 22:5 . Balak, king of Moab, having seen the multitudes of Israel, and fearing they would attack his country, sent for Balaam, who was famous for his supposed supernatural powers, to come and curse them. Balaam, though eager for gain, was led to ask counsel of God, who forbade his going. Balak afterwards sent other deputies, whom Balaam finally accompanied without the approval of God, who sent an angel to meet and warn him in the way. Here occurred the miracle of Balaam's ass, Numbers 22:22,35 . But instead of cursing, he was constrained by the Spirit of God to bless the children of Israel. This he did a second and a third time, to the extreme mortification of Balak, who dismissed him in great anger. Balaam subsequently foretold what Israel should in future times do to the nations round about; and after having advised Balak to engage Israel in idolatry and whoredom, that they might offend God and be forsaken by him, quitted his territories for his own land. This bad counsel was pursued; the young women of Moab inveigled the Hebrews to the impure and idolatrous worship of Baal-Peor, for which 24,000 Israelites were slain, Numbers 25:1-9 31:16 2 Peter 2:15 Jude 1:11 Revelation 2:14 .
Balaam was probably a descendant of Shem, and possessed many just ideas of the true God. He calls Him "the Lord my God," Numbers 22:18 ; and yet he seems to have been only an enchanter and false prophet, like many in the times of the kings of Israel, until he came in collision with the people of God. In this transaction he was made a bearer, against his own will, of the sublime messages of Jehovah; yet his heart remained unchanged, and he did not "the death of the righteous," Numbers 31:8 Joshua 13:22 .
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Balaam
A prophet in Old Testament history. As he was a sorcerer of wide repute, the help of his curses was invoked by King Balac of Moab against the hosts of Israel who were massing on the Dead Sea and the Jordan. On the road to Balac, Balaam beat the ass he rode for starting in fear from the roadway. The ass startled him by rebuking him for his cruelty. He then suddenly became aware of the presence of an angel who warned him not to disobey God. All his efforts at enchantment against Israel only ended in multiplied benedictions on the Hebrews. His seer's vision showed him a glorious star and a mighty scepter to rise out of Jacob. By his advice, however, women were used to seduce the Hebrews into idolatry, not without success. In the resulting war many of the chosen people as well as many of the Madianites, with Balac and Balaam, lost their lives (Numbers 22-24,31).
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Balaam
BALAAM is the subject of a remarkable and intricate narrative in Numbers 22:1-41 ; Numbers 23:1-30 ; Numbers 24:1-25 , connected with the arrival of Israel in the Promised Land, and the relationship of the chosen people to Moab and Ammon. Balaam was a soothsayer of Pethor on the Euphrates, called by Balak, king of Moab, to curse the Israelites, who were lying encamped in the Jordan valley. He had difficulty in undertaking the task, and he found, whenever he essayed to curse Israel, that the Lord had forbidden him to do so, and that his burden must be blessing instead. At the request of Balak he changed his position again and again on the heights above the Dead Sea, in the hope of obtaining a different oracle, but the message he had to deliver remained the same, and he foretold the future splendour of Israel ( Numbers 24:2 ff.). Sent away by Balak without the reward promised to him if he would deliver an oracle adverse to Israel, he returned to his own land. According to one narrative, his end was full of shame. He was accused of having induced Israel to commit immorality in connexion with religious worship, a feature common in the Semitic nature-cults. It was through this charge that he became known to subsequent ages, and his name became a name of infamy ( Numbers 31:8 ; Num 31:16 , 2 Peter 2:15 , Revelation 2:14 ; Jos. [1] Ant . VI. vi, 6). The inspiration of Balaam, contrasted with his subsequent sin and disgraceful death, his knowledge of the will of God, together with his intense desire to grasp the rewards of unrighteousness, have given rise to a notable sermon literature. Bishop Butler speaks of the self-deception by which he persuades himself that the sin he commits can be justified to conscience and to God; Newman regards him as an instance of the trouble that can come on a character, otherwise noble, when the thought of material advancement is always allowed to dwell with it; Arnold adduces him as an instance of the familiar truth that the purest form of religious belief may coexist with a standard of action immeasurably below it; F. W. Robertson makes him the text for a sermon on the perversion of gifts.
This complexity of character is, however, greatly simplified by the recognition of the various strata in the narrative. It is clear that the account of P [2] connecting Balaam with Israel’s uncleanness has nothing to do with the original narrative. This original narrative is contained in Numbers 22:1-41 ; Numbers 23:1-30 ; Numbers 24:1-25 . According to it, Balaam was a prophet of Pethor on the river Euphrates. His fame had spread across the wilderness, and, when Balak found himself in straits through the advance of Israel, he sent for Balaam to come and curse Israel. Balaam asked God whether he should go, and was refused permission. Balak therefore sent yet greater gifts, and once again Balaam asked counsel of God. This time permission was granted. So far there had been no indication of God’s displeasure; but now follows ( Numbers 22:22-34 ) the story of the ass, through which God’s anger at the refusal of the seer to accept His answer, given once and for all, is manifested. If, however, the reader will pass from Numbers 22:21 to Numbers 22:35 he will find that the narrative runs smoothly, and that he is still viewing Balaam’s character from the same not unfavourable standpoint ( Numbers 22:35 [3] is the effort to join up the threads of the story after the interpolation). When Balaam is brought in sight of Israel, he breaks out into a burst of praise ( Numbers 24:5-9 ) which rouses the wrath of Balak. Balaam justifies himself by reminding the king that he had warned him of the constraint of the Lord ( Numbers 24:13 ). He then utters another oracle predicting the glory of Israel and the destruction of Moah and Ammon ( Numbers 24:17-19 ).
This analysis leaves out of account Numbers 22:22-34 ; Numbers 22:23 , which seem to belong to a narrative dealing with the same facts, but placing a more sinister interpretation on the conduct of Balaam. The story of the ass is plainly out of harmony with the narrative just outlined. It is a story belonging not to the wilderness, but to a land of vineyards. It ignores the embassy that has been sent to bring Balaam back across the wilderness ( Numbers 22:15 ; Numbers 22:21 ), for it represents Balaam as travelling alone. It is also extremely unlikely that so long a journey as that from the Euphrates to Moab would be attempted upon an ass. Then ch. 23, with its elaborate building of altars and offering of sacrifices, seems to belong to a later date; while the constant shifting of position in the effort to secure a more favourable oracle presents Balaam in a much more unfavourable light than before. Although the details of this analysis are not certain, we may take it that the original story proceeds from J [4] , and that the second narrative, more complicated both in psychology and ritual, is from E [5] .
The narrative of P [2] ascribing the sin of Baal-peor to Balaam is out of touch with both the other narratives. According to it, Balaam was a Midianitish seer who tried to bring about the ruin of Israel, in default of other means, by persuading them to give way to lust (Numbers 31:8 ; Numbers 31:16 , Jos. [1] Ant . VI. 6. 6). ‘It has been conjectured that this story arose partly out of a difficulty on the part of the priestly narrator in conceiving of a heathen being an inspired prophet of God, partly from the need of accounting for the great sin of the Israelites’ ( DB [8] I. 233 a ). Balaam thus seems to have fallen in the estimation of Israel from being a seer of alien race, who distinguished himself by his faithfulness to the truth he knew, to becoming synonymous with temptation of a kind that was always especially insidious for Israel.
R. Bruce Taylor.
Chabad Knowledge Base - Balaam
An anti-Semitic gentile necromancer and prophet. Commissioned by Balak, King of Moab, to curse the Israelites. Despite his attempts to comply with Balak's wishes, G-d only allowed blessings to emit from his mouth. He was eventually slain by the Israelites when they destroyed Midian.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Balaam
At the time of Israel’s migration to Canaan, the Moabite king Balak, fearing the Israelites, sent to Mesopotamia asking the soothsayer Balaam to come and put a curse on them. Balak hoped that Balaam’s curse would ensure Israel’s defeat (Numbers 22:1-6). (For the significance of a curse among Israelites and other ancient peoples see CURSE.)
God showed Balaam that he was not to go, because Israel was not to be cursed. Despite this, Balaam wanted to go, because he hoped to gain the reward Balak offered. God was angry with Balaam but in the end allowed him to go, in order to teach him some lessons (Numbers 22:7-20). Only God’s mercy prevented Balaam from being killed along the way (Numbers 22:21-34).
Balak took Balaam to a place from where he could see the vastness of the Israelite camp. His purpose was to convince Balaam that the Israelites were a serious threat. But God had warned Balaam to speak only the words that God told him to speak. Balaam obeyed, and instead of announcing a curse on Israel he announced a blessing (Numbers 22:35; Numbers 22:41; Numbers 23:1-12).
Disappointed at this result, Balak took Balaam to another place, where he could get a better view and so be persuaded to pronounce a destructive curse. But again Balaam announced a blessing on Israel (Numbers 23:13-26). A third attempt, from a third place, brought further blessing (Numbers 23:27; Numbers 24:1-9). Angrily Balak dismissed Balaam, but in response Balaam announced yet another lengthy blessing on Israel (Numbers 24:10-25).
However, Balaam too was angry. His failure to curse Israel meant that he did not receive the payment from Balak that he so much wanted. He therefore decided on a plan of his own. This plan had nothing to do with either blessing or cursing, but Balaam hoped it might bring destruction to Israel and so earn Balak’s reward. He used foreign women to seduce Israelite men, and soon the Israelite camp was a scene of widespread immorality and idolatry. When God sent a plague that killed thousands, Balaam must have thought his plan was working, but swift action from the Israelite priest Phinehas saved Israel and brought death to Balaam (Numbers 25:1-9; Numbers 31:16; 2 Peter 2:14-16).
The people of Old Testament Israel never forgot the evil of Balaam (Deuteronomy 23:5; Joshua 24:9; Nehemiah 13:2; Micah 6:5). Even in the New Testament, writers likened false teachers of their time to Balaam. Like Balaam, such teachers were concerned solely with personal gain, even though their teaching was morally and religiously damaging to God’s people (Joshua 13:22; Judges 1:10-11). They encouraged God’s people to join in idolatrous practices and to engage in immoral behaviour (Revelation 2:14-15). God assured those who followed the way of Balaam that they were heading for destruction, but he promised those who resisted that they would enjoy his special reward (Revelation 2:15-17; cf. Numbers 25:10-13).

Sentence search

Beor - Father of Balaam. (See Balaam
Balak - (bay' lak) In Numbers 22:2 , the king of Moab who sent for Balaam the prophet to pronounce a curse on the Israelites. Balaam, however, spoke no curse; and Balak was denied a military victory over Israel. See Moab; Balaam
Balaam - At the time of Israel’s migration to Canaan, the Moabite king Balak, fearing the Israelites, sent to Mesopotamia asking the soothsayer Balaam to come and put a curse on them. Balak hoped that Balaam’s curse would ensure Israel’s defeat (Numbers 22:1-6). )...
God showed Balaam that he was not to go, because Israel was not to be cursed. Despite this, Balaam wanted to go, because he hoped to gain the reward Balak offered. God was angry with Balaam but in the end allowed him to go, in order to teach him some lessons (Numbers 22:7-20). Only God’s mercy prevented Balaam from being killed along the way (Numbers 22:21-34). ...
Balak took Balaam to a place from where he could see the vastness of the Israelite camp. His purpose was to convince Balaam that the Israelites were a serious threat. But God had warned Balaam to speak only the words that God told him to speak. Balaam obeyed, and instead of announcing a curse on Israel he announced a blessing (Numbers 22:35; Numbers 22:41; Numbers 23:1-12). ...
Disappointed at this result, Balak took Balaam to another place, where he could get a better view and so be persuaded to pronounce a destructive curse. But again Balaam announced a blessing on Israel (Numbers 23:13-26). Angrily Balak dismissed Balaam, but in response Balaam announced yet another lengthy blessing on Israel (Numbers 24:10-25). ...
However, Balaam too was angry. This plan had nothing to do with either blessing or cursing, but Balaam hoped it might bring destruction to Israel and so earn Balak’s reward. When God sent a plague that killed thousands, Balaam must have thought his plan was working, but swift action from the Israelite priest Phinehas saved Israel and brought death to Balaam (Numbers 25:1-9; Numbers 31:16; Joshua 13:22). ...
The people of Old Testament Israel never forgot the evil of Balaam (Deuteronomy 23:5; Joshua 24:9; Nehemiah 13:2; Micah 6:5). Even in the New Testament, writers likened false teachers of their time to Balaam. Like Balaam, such teachers were concerned solely with personal gain, even though their teaching was morally and religiously damaging to God’s people (2 Peter 2:14-16; Judges 1:10-11). God assured those who followed the way of Balaam that they were heading for destruction, but he promised those who resisted that they would enjoy his special reward (Revelation 2:15-17; cf
Balak - The king of Moab who hired Balaam, Numbers 22:1-41 ; Numbers 23:1-30 ; Numbers 24:1-25 . See Balaam
Beor - Father of prophet Balaam (Numbers 22:5 ). See Balaam
Balaam - ...
Old Testament Balaam was one of many prophets of eastern religions who worshiped all the gods of the land. Balaam was chosen. Balak sent his messengers with fees to secure Balaam's services. Balaam asked God's permission to curse Israel. Permission was refused, but Balaam journeyed to confer further with Balak. On this journey, Balaam's donkey talked with him as he traveled a narrow trail (Numbers 22:21-30 ; 2 Peter 2:16 ). Here Balaam clearly understood that an angel's drawn sword enforced his obedience to speak only God's message to Balak. Later in four vivid messages Balaam insisted that God would bless Israel (Numbers 23-24 ). God used Balaam to preach truth. In a battle against the Midianites, Balaam died (Numbers 31:8 ; Joshua 13:22 ). Balaam could not curse Israel, but he taught the Moabites to bring the men of Israel into Baal worship with its immorality. What Balaam could not accomplish with a curse he did so through seductive means. Peter wrote that they left the straight way and followed the way of Balaam (2 Peter 2:15 ). In Revelation 2:14 , the church at Pergamos was complimented for faithfulness under persecution, but also warned that some followed after Balaam in offering meat to idols and in immorality. Balaam was a money hungry false prophet who had a close encounter with the God of Israel, but not close enough. God is sovereign and did not allow Balaam to curse His people
Balak - See Balaam
Magicians - Balaam, the son of Bozor, was of the same class. Daniel 1:20)...
See Balaam
Balaam - When the Israelites were encamped on the plains of Moab, on the east of Jordan, by Jericho, Balak sent for Balaam "from Aram, out of the mountains of the east," to curse them; but by the remarkable interposition of God he was utterly unable to fulfil Balak's wish, however desirous he was to do so. In Micah 6:5 reference also is made to the relations between Balaam and Balak. Though Balaam could not curse Israel, yet he suggested a mode by which the divine displeasure might be caused to descend upon them ( Numbers 25 ). ) Balaam was slain while fighting on the side of Balak (Numbers 31:8 ). The "doctrine of Balaam" is spoken of in Revelation 2:14 , in allusion to the fact that it was through the teaching of Balaam that Balak learned the way by which the Israelites might be led into sin. ) Balaam was constrained to utter prophecies regarding the future of Israel of wonderful magnificence and beauty of expression ( Numbers 24:5-9,17 )
Zophim, Field of - To this place Balak brought Balaam, that he might from thence curse the children of Israel. Balaam could only speak the word of the Lord, and that was blessing
Balaam - The somewhat prominent place that Balaam holds in the Apostolic Age may be appraised by the three references to him in the NT (2 Peter 2:15, Judges 1:11, and Revelation 2:14); by the legends which grew round his name in Hellenistic and Haggadic literature, and later in Muhammadanism; and perhaps by the apparent popularity of the discussion of the ‘Blessings of Balaam’ by Hippolytus. Balaam has become the representative of false teachers and sorcerers, and we may suspect a play on his name in Revelation 2:14 (perhaps = ‘lord of the people’), in order to brand certain Gnostic teachers as making gain for themselves out of the simple folk by the use of magic and by the teaching of a gnosis which tended to laxity of practice. ) Balaam becomes in legend a counsellor of Pharaoh; he and his two sons Jannes and Jambres (q. ]'>[1] ) were compelled to flee from Egypt to Ethiopia, where Balaam reigned as king till conquered by Moses. Finally, Phinehas attacked Balaam, who by his magic flew into the air, but was killed by Phinehas in the power of the Holy Name
Pethor - Dwelling place of Balaam in Mesopotamia
Balak - Balak is named in Revelation 2:14 along with Balaam. Like Balaam (q. The former teaches doctrine which is false in itself, corrupt in its motive, and immoral in its fruits; while Balak is, as in the OT, the heathen power which thrusts Balaam’s sorceries on the faithful. It is difficult to resist the conclusion that, if Balaam is the teacher of Gnosticism, Balak is the Roman power which has adopted syncretism and seeks to compel the Christians to adopt its ways also, and so makes them fall into the corruptions attendant on pagan worship
Bosor - The Chaldee or Aramaic form of the name Beor, the father of Balaam (2 Peter 2:15 )
City of Moab - City where Balak went to meet Balaam (Numbers 22:36 )
Balak - After the Israelites conquered the neighboring Emorite kingdoms, he hired Balaam to curse the Israelites
Beor - Beor, the father of Balaam, is named in 2 Peter 2:15 (Authorized Version , with some ancient authorities, Bosor, which may be a corruption of Pethor [1], or may be due to the Greek sibilant taking the place of the Heb. Balaam by his great wisdom became vain, so a fool (ben be‘ôr), said Jerus
Balak - He was filled with terror lest they should attack and destroy him, as they had Sihon and Og, and implored the soothsayer Balaam to come and curse them. See Balaam
Beor - Father of Balaam the prophet
Balaam - Balaam (bâ'lam, or bâ'la-am), not of the people, i. When the Hebrews were journeying to Canaan, Balak king of Moab, sent for Balaam, to curse the Hebrew armies. Balaam ultimately accepted the tempting offer, and returned with the messengers to Moab. Balaam, however, seems to have suggested to Balak a much more certain method of destroying them. Balaam himself fell shortly afterwards in an engagement between the Hebrews and the Midianites
Balaam - THE ERROR OF Balaam...
I SHALL take it for granted that you all have the Balaam chapters in the Book of Numbers by heart. I shall assume, then, that you all have that artistic and effective narrative by heart, and I shall enter at once on some of the lessons I have been enabled to gather out of Balaam's awful history. ...
In the first place, then, that True Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world kindled up in Balaam to an extraordinary brilliance and beauty. Balaam stands out in the selectest rank of those patriarchs and princes, those prophets and priests, who were raised up outside of the house of Israel in order that men might nowhere be left to live without a divine witness. To keep to the Old Testament-Melchizedek, and Jethro, and Balaam, and Job were all such divine witnesses to the profane lands in which they lived. Balaam, then, in his place, and to begin with, was a true and a greatly gifted prophet of Almighty God. Just listen to some passages out of Balaam's prayers and prophecies and exhortations, and judge for yourselves whether he was a man of divine gifts or no. 'And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel; according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!' And on the top of Peor, that looketh toward Jeshimon, Balaam positively saw the day of Christ Himself afar off. When Balak consulted Balaam, 'Wherewith shall I come unto the Lord, and bow down myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased,' inquired Balak, 'with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?' 'He,' answered Balaam-'He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God. Calvin is the prince of commentators, and Calvin has this on this passage: 'Certain it is that though Balaam was an impostor and full of deceits, yet he was endued with the gift of prophecy. Balaam, then, was a prophet. And even Aaron, who was Moses' mouth, never came within sight of the sacred eloquence of Balaam. In fact, I have a remorseful feeling within myself that Balaam's pulpit eloquence, and the dust that his pulpit eloquence cast in his own and other men's eyes, largely helped him to bis ruin. They should have to bring out and exhibit from Balaam, and from other instances in church history, how fine natural gifts, and great learning, and great eloquence in the pulpit may all lie like so much far-shining whitening on the surface of a sepulchre. Let us, then, who are ministers, or who are looking to be ministers, so live, lest, by any means, when we have preached to others, we ourselves should be cast away as reprobate Balaam was cast away. ...
Balaam's importunity in prayer: Balaam on his knees all night to know God's will, when he knew it all the time-a great deal of our own anxiety, and perplexity, and prayer, and importunity in prayer is made up out of the same self-deceit. ' And Balaam actually went all night to God again about going to Balak. Had God been a man, as Balaam in a fine sermon warned Balak He was not, then we would have said that Balaam was imposing upon God, and was laughing at Him behind His back. Had Balaam been a sincere and an honest man, he would have refused so much as to see Balak's second deputation of princes. Had Balaam not been given over to making a great name for himself and a great fortune; had this prophet been working out his own salvation with fear and trembling, instead of making beautiful pictures of salvation, and astonishing people with his eloquence on salvation, then Balaam would have put on strength when he saw that long string of camels on their way to his house. Now is my time! Balaam would have said to himself-Now is my accepted time! Now is the day of my salvation! A thorough honest man, as Butler says in his celebrated sermon on Balaam-a thorough honest man would have known how set upon the praises of men and the wages of unrighteousness his own heart was, and had all along been; and he would have acted that day accordingly. But Balaam, with all his talents and with all his opportunities, was a thorough dishonest man. ...
With all his fine sermons Balaam has his price, said Balak to himself when his first princes came back without Balaam. And with a profanity and an impudence that might well have made Balaam blush and become a new man, Balak said to Balaam, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming to me. In that self-same, bare-faced, and rag-hooked way did Balak angle for Balaam, ay, and took him too. ...
Yes, surely; go, if you would so much like to go, God said to Balaam as the day broke. Beholding Balaam's insincerity, and being angry at it, says Philo, God said, By all means go. And Balaam's God is our God. And thus it is that as often as Balaam's insincerity, hesitation, sleepless anxiety about duty, prayer, and importunity in prayer are seen in us, He who gave way to Balaam gives way to us also, and says, Yes, surely. And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord she thrust herself into the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall. But Balaam was too far gone for a bruised foot to bring him back. I pity Balaam-what with his ass; what with that angel of the Lord; what with his crushed foot; and then with all his other bones out of joint, since his ass fell down under him. And Balaam mounted his ass with the help of the angel and came to Balak. Only, Balaam went with the princes of Balak. ...
And then, look and learn how Balak, once he had got a hold of Balaam, cadged the prophet about from one hill-top to another to get the proper place from which to curse Israel. The first point of view to which Balak took Balaam was to one of the high places of Baal. But, when Balaam saw Israel shining in her tents below, his curses all stuck in his throat. And Balak, not knowing what he was doing, brought Balaam to the top of Pisgah, till Moses' mantle fell on Balaam, and till Balaam was carried on in the Spirit to prophesy good things, and better things than ever, concerning Israel. Build me then three altars there, said Balaam, and I will see what I can do. The sight of Israel lying below made the spirit of blessing to come upon Balaam again, till Balak smote his hands together, and in his anger dismissed Balaam to his home without his wages, since he had not done his work. For, with what sure effect it discovers Balaam's seed to this day. Do you know Balaam's seed when you see them, or when you are yourself one of them? That is one of Balaam's seed in the ministry, that preacher who does his best to tune his pulpit to please the king. He cannot do it; but, as Davison says of Balaam, the will is not wanting. Do you remember how James Stuart dragged Robert Bruce about, seeking a place and a point of view from which that great preacher and great patriot might be got to preach and to pray to the king's dictation? If our young ministers would have a life-long lesson and illustration in fearlessness, in fidelity, and in a good conscience to the end of a life of bribes on the one hand, and of persecution and banishment on the other, let them read themselves deeply into those two narratives so unsurpassable in effectiveness for a minister, the Life of Balaam in the history of Israel, and the Life of Bruce in the history of Scotland and of England. That church member also who changes his minister in the interests of his business, he is of the offspring of Balaam. And that other who changes his minister for the peace of his conscience, he also is Balak and Balaam seeking a spot where they can get at their sin without that restraint. We cannot shut our eyes to men and women choosing their hill-tops and building and kindling their altars all around us every day, exactly as Balak and Balaam chose their hilltops and built and kindled their altars in their day. Like Balaam, you know too much, and you have seen too many of the tents of Israel. ...
But, Balaam,-ass, and angel, and crushed foot, and Almighty God Himself notwithstanding, he would have the wages of unrighteousness. After his foot was whole again,-Balaam was a very clever man,-and he somehow got expectation and hope kindled again in Balak that Balaam might have changed his mind by this time. And, after some underground management, they met once again, Balak and Balaam, in the dark. You who know your Milton have there the identical advice that Balaam gave to Balak. And for his so late but so successful counsel Balaam got his house filled with Balak's silver and gold when Israel sinned and fell in the wilderness. ...
Let me die the death of the righteous! That was Balaam's noble peroration on the high place of Baal. But as we pass on from the Book of Numbers, with its unparalleled effectiveness, to the end of the history in the Book of Joshua, we find in that book this: Balaam also, the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them. And then, the apostle Jude, in denouncing certain evil men who had crept into the ministry and into the membership of the church of his day, says, Woe unto them! For they have run greedily after the error of Balaam. Such are some of the lessons of Balaam's lost life
Bosor - The Aramaic form of BEOR, the father of Balaam, the name being altered by changing the ﬠ into צ
re'ba - (four ), one of the five kings of the Midianites slain by the children of Israel when Balaam fell
pe'Thor - (soothsayer ), a town of Mesopotamia, where Balaam resided, and situated "upon the river," possibly the Euphrates
ba'Laam - Such was his reputation that when the Israelites were encamped in the plains of Moab, Balak, the king of Moab, sent for Balaam to curse them. Balaam at first was prohibited by God from going. See (2 Peter 2:16 ) Balaam predicted a magnificent career for the people whom he was called to curse, but he nevertheless suggested to the Moabites the expedient of seducing them to commit fornication. A battle was afterwards fought against the Midianites, in which Balaam sided with them, and was slain by the sword of the people whom he had endeavored to curse
Balaam - Balaam is the subject of a remarkable and intricate narrative in Numbers 22:1-41 ; Numbers 23:1-30 ; Numbers 24:1-25 , connected with the arrival of Israel in the Promised Land, and the relationship of the chosen people to Moab and Ammon. Balaam was a soothsayer of Pethor on the Euphrates, called by Balak, king of Moab, to curse the Israelites, who were lying encamped in the Jordan valley. The inspiration of Balaam, contrasted with his subsequent sin and disgraceful death, his knowledge of the will of God, together with his intense desire to grasp the rewards of unrighteousness, have given rise to a notable sermon literature. ]'>[2] connecting Balaam with Israel’s uncleanness has nothing to do with the original narrative. According to it, Balaam was a prophet of Pethor on the river Euphrates. His fame had spread across the wilderness, and, when Balak found himself in straits through the advance of Israel, he sent for Balaam to come and curse Israel. Balaam asked God whether he should go, and was refused permission. Balak therefore sent yet greater gifts, and once again Balaam asked counsel of God. If, however, the reader will pass from Numbers 22:21 to Numbers 22:35 he will find that the narrative runs smoothly, and that he is still viewing Balaam’s character from the same not unfavourable standpoint ( Numbers 22:35
This analysis leaves out of account Numbers 22:22-34 ; Numbers 22:23 , which seem to belong to a narrative dealing with the same facts, but placing a more sinister interpretation on the conduct of Balaam. It ignores the embassy that has been sent to bring Balaam back across the wilderness ( Numbers 22:15 ; Numbers 22:21 ), for it represents Balaam as travelling alone. 23, with its elaborate building of altars and offering of sacrifices, seems to belong to a later date; while the constant shifting of position in the effort to secure a more favourable oracle presents Balaam in a much more unfavourable light than before. ]'>[2] ascribing the sin of Baal-peor to Balaam is out of touch with both the other narratives. According to it, Balaam was a Midianitish seer who tried to bring about the ruin of Israel, in default of other means, by persuading them to give way to lust (Numbers 31:8 ; Numbers 31:16 , Jos. Balaam thus seems to have fallen in the estimation of Israel from being a seer of alien race, who distinguished himself by his faithfulness to the truth he knew, to becoming synonymous with temptation of a kind that was always especially insidious for Israel
ba'Lak - (spoiler ), son of Zippor, king of the Moabites, who hired Balaam to curse the Israelites; but his designs were frustrated int he manner recorded in ( Numbers 22:24 ) (B
Pethor - a city of Mesopotamia, of which the Prophet Balaam was a native
Balaam - Balak, king of Moab, having seen the multitudes of Israel, and fearing they would attack his country, sent for Balaam, who was famous for his supposed supernatural powers, to come and curse them. Balaam, though eager for gain, was led to ask counsel of God, who forbade his going. Balak afterwards sent other deputies, whom Balaam finally accompanied without the approval of God, who sent an angel to meet and warn him in the way. Here occurred the miracle of Balaam's ass, Numbers 22:22,35 . Balaam subsequently foretold what Israel should in future times do to the nations round about; and after having advised Balak to engage Israel in idolatry and whoredom, that they might offend God and be forsaken by him, quitted his territories for his own land. ...
Balaam was probably a descendant of Shem, and possessed many just ideas of the true God
Beor - ...
...
The father of Balaam (Numbers 22:5 ; 24:3,15 ; 31:8 )
Rekem - King of Midian, slain by the Israelites, when Balaam was also killed
Pethor - Home of Balaam (Numbers 22:5 ; Deuteronomy 23:4 )
Balak - ...
See Balaam...
Zophim - A 'field' near the top of Pisgah to which Balak brought Balaam to curse Israel
Feast of Asses - Scene in the medieval miracle play, Processus prophetarum, in which Balaam and his ass figured prominently
Asses, Feast of - Scene in the medieval miracle play, Processus prophetarum, in which Balaam and his ass figured prominently
Pethor - (See Balaam
Balak - From fear of the Israelites, who were encamped near the confines of his territory, he applied to Balaam (q
Caiaphas - A name and person, memorable in Scripture from being overruled by God the Ho1y Ghost to deliver a prophecy the very reverse of his own wishes, and like another Balaam, to pronounce good when he intended evil
Bela - The close resemblance of this name to that of ‘Balaam, the son of Beor,’ the seer, is noteworthy, and has given rise to the Targum of Jonathan reading ‘Balaam, the son of Beor’ in Genesis 36:32
Peor -
A mountain peak (Numbers 23:28 ) to which Balak led Balaam as a last effort to induce him to pronounce a curse upon Israel. Balak was more than ever enraged at Balaam, and bade him flee for his life
Kir'Jath-hu'Zoth - (city of streets ), a place to which Balak accompanied Balaam immediately after his arrival in Moab, ( Numbers 22:39 ) and which is nowhere else mentioned
Balaam - Balaam was son of Beor. The same name (omitting the last part, -am, of Balaam), Bela, (and he also "son of Beor," front baar , to "burn up,) occurs among the Edomites connected with Midian by a victory recorded in Genesis 36:32-37; also with the "river" Euphrates through Saul of Rehoboth which was on it, king of Edom. Now Balaam is mentioned in conjunction with the five kings of Midian (Numbers 31:8; Numbers 31:16). ...
A dynasty of Balaam's ancestors from near the great river probably reigned once over Edom. " It is natural that Balaam, living amidst idolaters, should, like Laban of old in the same region (Genesis 31:20), have been somewhat tainted. ...
Balaam had recourse to "enchantments" also, so that he is called "the soothsayer" (Joshua 13:22) (ha -kosem , distinguished, from the true prophet, Numbers 22:7-240), a practice denounced as "an abomination to the Lord" (Deuteronomy 18:10; Deuteronomy 18:12). But after Balaam's vain effort to curse, and God's constraining him to bless, Israel, "he went and returned to his place" (Numbers 24:14; Numbers 24:25). with Zimri her paramour), was principal; and in Numbers 31:8; Numbers 31:16, Israel's slaughter of the Midianites with their five kings (Zur was one), and also of Balaam, son of Beor, because of his "counsel. " Beside those kings that fell in battle, Israel slew five Midianite kings and executed Balaam judicially after the battle (Numbers 31:8). ...
So after all Balaam did not return as he had said, to his own place, Mesopotamia. ...
In Numbers 22:12, at the first inquiry of Balaam, God said, "Thou shalt not go with them, thou shalt not curse the people. " Balaam acquiesced, although in language betraying the revolt of his covetous will against God's will he told Balak's princes, "Jehovah refuseth to give me leave to go with you. Balaam rose up in the morning, and it is not written he waited for the "men to come and call" him. Certainly, "God's anger was kindled because he went"; for his going was in spite of the former plain prohibition; and the second voice was a permission giving him up in judicial anger to his own perversity (compare 1 Kings 22:15), a permission too resting on the condition, which Balaam did not wait for, "if the men come to call thee. " Judges 1:11 saith the "error of Balaam" was his" running greedily for reward. "...
The apostle Peter (2 Peter 2:15) says, "Balaam the son of Bosor" (the same as Beor; Bosor is akin to basar , "flesh," and Balaam showed himself the "son of carnality. The donkey turned aside at the sight of the angel; but Balaam, after God had said "thou shalt not go," persevered in wishing to go for gain. Balaam's worse than brutish mind must be taught by the. "...
No more efficient agent than Balaam could have been chosen to testify to his friends, Israel's enemies, the hopelessness of their conflict with the people whom Jehovah marks as His own. ...
Balak first feasted Balaam at Kirjath Huzoth, a place of reputed sanctity on the borders. Thence Balaam was taken to "the high places (bamot ) of Baal," called Beth Bamoth in the Moabite stone. Then Balaam, seeing God's determinate counsel, stopped seeking further enchantments, but looking at Israel in their beautiful order by tribes, he compares them to the rows of lign aloes and cedars by the waters, and foretells the advent of a Hebrew prince who should smite Moab and Edom (David, 2 Samuel 8, the type), and of the Messiah, the Star out of Jacob" (compare Revelation 22:16; Matthew 2, announced to the Gentile wise men from the E. , Balaam's country, by the star in the sky) whose "scepter shall have dominion" (Revelation 2:27-28; Psalms 110:2; He shall restore "the scepter departed from Judah," Genesis 49:10). ...
Balaam foretold also (See AMALEK'S utter ruin; the Kenites' being carried captive by Assyria; and Assyria in its turn being afflicted by the Greeks and Romans from Chittim (Cyprus, put for all western lands whence the approach to Palestine was by sea); and these, the last destroying power, in turn, "shall perish for ever" before Messiah's kingdom. Balaam's prophecy is a comprehensive germ, which Isaiah and the prophets, especially Daniel, develop, concerning the four successive world empires which, after their successive rise and fall, shall be superseded by the universal and everlasting kingdom of Messiah (Daniel 2; 7). Balaam, in the face of Israel's foes seeking to destroy her, declares that it is they who shall be destroyed. As a Judas was among the apostles, so Balaam among the prophets, a true seer but a bad man; at the transition to the Mosaic from the patriarchal age witnessing to the truth in spite of himself, as Caiaphas did at the transition from the legal to the Christian dispensation. Making "godliness a source of gain" is the damning sin of all such as Balaam and Simon Magus: 1 Timothy 6:5 (Greek). ...
In Micah 6:5 ("O My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beer answered him from Shittim)," the sense is, Remember the fatal effects at Shittim of Israel's joining Baal Peer and committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab, and how but for God's sparing mercy Israel would have been given to utter destruction. Like Judas and Ahithophel, Balaam set in motion the train of events which entailed his own destruction
Balak - (See Balaam; HUR (2). ) His employment of Balaam to curse Israel was near the close of Israel's journeying. Finding Israel "too mighty" for him (Numbers 22:6), and his hope of prevailing by Balaam's enchantments being disappointed, he let them alone thenceforth
Peor - A mountain of Moab, from which Balaam surveyed the camp of Israel, Numbers 23:28
be'or - (Genesis 36:32 ; 1 Chronicles 1:43 ) ...
Father of Balaam
Balaam - It has been a subject of controversy, whether Balaam was a true prophet or a mere diviner, magician, or fortune teller. Theodoret is of opinion that Balaam did not consult the Lord, but that he was supernaturally inspired, and constrained to speak against his own inclination. Jerom seems to have adopted the opinion of the Hebrews; which was, that Balaam knew the true God, erected altars to him, and that he was a true prophet, though corrupted by avarice, Numbers 22:18 . Jortin supposes that Balaam was a worshipper of the true God, and a priest and prophet of great reputation; and that he was sent for by Balak from a notion which generally prevailed, that priests and prophets could sometimes, by prayers and sacrifices duly and skilfully applied, obtain favours from God, and that their imprecations were efficacious. As to what passed between him and his ass, when that animal was miraculously enabled to speak to its master, commentators are divided in their opinions; whether it really and literally happened as Moses relates it, or whether it be an allegory only, or was the mere imagination or vision of Balaam. But how absurd is it to subject a miraculous event to the ordinary rules of reasoning! "Say what you will of the formation of the tongue and jaws being unfit for speaking," says Bishop Newton, "yet an adequate cause is assigned for this wonderful event; for it is expressly said that ‘the Lord opened the mouth of the ass;' and who that believes a God, can doubt his power to do this and much more? The miracle was by no means needless or superfluous; it was well adapted to convince Balaam that the mouth and tongue were under God's direction, and that the same divine power which caused the dumb ass to speak contrary to its nature, could, in like manner, make him utter blessings contrary to his inclination. And, accordingly, he was overruled to bless the people, though he came prepared and disposed to curse them; which was the greater miracle of the two; for the ass was merely passive, but Balaam resisted the good motions of God. " The prophecy which Balaam delivered concerning Israel on this remarkable occasion, and which is contained in Numbers 24:5-9 , has been greatly admired by critics. "...
After his predictions, Balaam returned into his own country; but before he left the land of Moab, as if vexed with his own disappointment in missing the promised reward, and with a purpose of revenging himself on the Israelites, as the cause of it, he instructed the Moabites and Midianites in a wicked scheme, which was to send their daughters into the camp of the Israelites, in order to draw them first into lewdness, and then into idolatry, the certain means of depriving them of the help of that God who protected them. He therefore declared war against the Midianites, killed five of their princes, and a great number of other persons without distinction of age or sex, among whom was Balaam himself. ...
Moses says that Balaam consulted the Lord, and calls the Lord his God: "I...
cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord my God," Numbers 22:18 . The reason why Balaam calls Jehovah, "my God" may be, because he was of the posterity of Shem, who maintained the worship of Jehovah, not only in his own person, but among his descendants, so that while the posterity of Ham fell into idolatry, and the posterity of Japhet were settled at a distance in Europe, the Shemites generally, though not universally, retained the worship of God
Balak, Balac - King of Moab, son of Zippor, who sought to resist Israel in advancing to the promised land, and hired Balaam to curse them: he was taught by that false prophet to seduce Israel to idolatry by means of fornication with their women
Zophim - The field of Zophim was the place on the "top of Pisgah" to which Balak brought Balaam
Kiriath-Huzoth - ” A city of Moab to which Balak took Balaam to offer a sacrifice (Numbers 22:39 )
zo'Phim - (watchers ) , The field of, a spot on or near the top of Pisgah, from which Balaam had his second view of the encampment of Israel
Balaam - On the road to Balac, Balaam beat the ass he rode for starting in fear from the roadway. In the resulting war many of the chosen people as well as many of the Madianites, with Balac and Balaam, lost their lives (Numbers 22-24,31)
Balaam - In relation to the character of Balaam, it will be proper for me to beg the reader's attention to what the word of God hath left upon record concerning him, in order to have a clear apprehension of the subject; comparing Scripture with Scripture, as we are commanded to do, 1 Corinthians 2:13. ...
It appears from the accounts given of Balaam, in the opening of his history, (Numbers 22:1, etc. ) that Balak, prince of Moab, fearful of the growing power of Israel, invited this Balaam from the East, to come to Moab and to use enchantments against Israel. (Exodus 7:11) Prompted by the love of gain, Balaam readily listened to the messengers of Balak, and lodged them for the night, pretending that he would conconsult the Lord upon the subject, and go with them if permitted. But the Lord commanding him not to go, for that the people, the prince of Moab wished him to curse, were blessed; Balaam sent the messengers away, without going with them. We are not informed by what means the Lord communicated to Balaam his command: probably by a vision of the night; but, certainly, in such a way as left Balaam with full impressions on his mind, had he not heard the history of Israel before, that they were "a people blessed of the Lord. "...
Balak, not discouraged by Balaam's refusal, sent again to him: and the wretch, earnest to go, pretended again to ask the Lord's leave. There seems to occur some little difficulty in the relation, as given in the Bible concerning Balaam's going; because it is said by the Lord, If the men come to call thee, arise and go. But the thing had been determined before by the Lord's telling Balaam, that the people were blessed. How then could he dare to tempt the Lord by any farther enquiry? and how could he presume to go forth, at the call of this idolatrous prince, to curse those whom the Lord had told him were blessed? We cannot but suppose that Balaam, coming out of the East, must have heard of Israel, and the Lord's care over them. ) So that Balaam could not be ignorant of the Lord's love for Israel. ...
But what decides the infamy of Balaam's character is this, that under all the impressions that the Lord had blessed Israel, and would bless them, Balaam was still so very earnest to oblige Balak, and get his promised reward, that he set off expressly the purpose of cursing Israel; neither, as the apostle saith, did "the dumb ass, speaking with man's voice, forbidding the madness of the prophet," keep back his feet from the evil of his journey; so much did he love the wages of unrighteousness? (See 2 Peter 2:16)...
I need not go through with a comment on the several interesting particulars of Balaam's tampering with his conscience while with Balak, in seeking enchantments, and in using every effort to curse God's people, while all he said and did the Lord over-ruled to make him bless them. But there is one feature in the history and character of this man, which will serve to explain the whole; and to shew, that when disappointed of all the means he had used to gratify Balak, though compelled by a power he could not resist, to bless those he wished to curse; yet he gave Balak an advice concerning Israel, by way of accomplishing their ruin, which, but for the Lord's preventing and pardoning grace, would indeed have tended to the ruin of Israel more than all Balak's arms, or Balaam's enchantments; namely, in counseling Balak to tempt Israel to come to the sacrifices, and to open an intercourse of Israel's sons with the daughters of Moab. )...
We should not have known that it was from the advice of Balaam, the Moabites enticed Israel to sin, in the matter of Baal-peor, had not the Holy Ghost graciously informed us of it, in his holy word. (See also Numbers 31:15-16)...
The awful termination of the life of Balaam is just as might be expected. (Numbers 31:8) How Balaam came to be amongst the Midianites when the Lord's judgments overtook them, is not said; for we are told, in the former history, (Numbers 24:25) that he rose up and went unto his place. ...
We must not close our view of Balaam, without a short observation of the awfulness of such a character. When we read the many blessed things which the Lord, as he had graciously said, compelled Balaam to utter concerning his Israel, "the word that I shall speak unto thee, (said the Lord) that thou shalt speak. " (Numbers 24:15-16) When we hear such things dropping from his lips, and in the same moment hiring himself out for the honours of this world, as an enchanter, to curse the people of God, whom God had told him were blessed; what an awful picture doth this afford of human depravity! Many of God's dear children, from mistaken views of such characters, have been frequently tempted to call in question their own sincerity, and to fear, lest like Balaam, they should be found apostates in the end. But all this from the misapprehension of things, and not from the smallest likeness between their circumstances and Balaam's. Men, by reading, or by hearing, may acquire great knowledge in the truths of God, so as to speak and discourse, as Balaam did very sweetly on the subject; but whose souls never felt any love of God, nor desire of salvation. In their darkest hours, and under the dullest of their frames, there is still a secret desire within to the love of Jesus, and the remembrance of his name, (Isaiah 26:9) And while such as Balaam write their own mittimus for everlasting misery, as in those soul-piercing words, when speaking of Christ, "I shall see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but not nigh;" (Numbers 24:17) the hope and expectation of the poorest and humblest child of God is expressed in those sweet words, "As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness. " (Psalms 17:15)...
There is one thing more I wish to drop a word of observation upon, respecting the history of Balaam. The reader will, probably, anticipate the circumstance to which I refer; namely, the conversation which Balaam held with his ass. The only, or at least, the most striking circumstance in the whole relation is, the loss of the wonderful event on Balaam's mind, that he should have been so addressed, and give such an answer, and yet persist in his iniquitous journey
Sheth - Moabite clan whose destruction Balaam prophesied (Numbers 24:17 )
Bamoth-Baal - There Balak and Balaam could see all Israel
Beor - Father of Balaam, Numbers 22:5 ; Numbers 24:3 ; Numbers 24:15 ; J pe'or - (cleft ), a mountain peak in Moab belonging to the Abarim range, and near Pisgah, to which, after having ascended Pisgah, the prophet Balaam was conducted by Balak that he might look upon the whole host of Israel and curse them
Kirjath-Huzoth - Balak here received and entertained Balaam, whom he had invited from Pethor, among the "mountains of the east," beyond the Euphrates, to lay his ban upon the Israelites, whose progress he had no hope otherwise of arresting
Zophim - The ‘field of Zophim’ was one of the spots to which Balak took Balaam to view Israel, Numbers 23:14 (JE Pisgah - Balaam offered sacrifices there, and it was the spot from which Moses viewed the promised land, and near to which he died
Peor - Balak brought Balaam there to curse the camp of the Israelites which was visible from the site (Numbers 23:28 ; Numbers 24:2 )
Bamoth, Bamoth-Baal - ]'>[3] ‘the high places of Baal’), to which Balaam was led by Balak
Agag -
A king of the Amalekites referred to by Balaam (Numbers 24:7 )
Baalpeor - It was to Peor that Balaam was called to curse Israel, and where the people were ensnared to sacrifice to the gods of Moab, to eat of things sacrificed to their idols, and commit fornication
Amaw - It was located west of Euphrates River south of Carchemish and included Pethor, the home town of Balaam, the prophet
Agag - The name also occurs in Numbers 24:7 , where Balaam said of Israel "his king shall be higher than Agag
Kain - A clan mentioned in the fourth oracle of Balaam (Numbers 24:22 ; KJV has Kenite)
Nicolaitans - The Nicolaitans have been linked to the type of heresy taught by Balaam (Numbers 25:1-2 ; 2 Peter 2:15 ), especially the pagan feasts and orgies that they apparently propagated in the first-century church
Hazezon Tamar - Thus, Balaam standing on a height opposite Jericho, and seeing the western shore of the Dead Sea to Engedi, appropriately speaks of the Kenite as having fixed his "nest" in the cliff there (Numbers 24:21)
Aloe - Balaam used the beauty of the aloe tree to describe the beauty of Israel's camp as he blessed them (Numbers 24:6 )
Trance - Numerous instances are mentioned in Scripture: as that of Balaam, Numbers 24:4,16 ; those of Peter and Paul, Acts 10:10 22:17 2 Corinthians 12:1-4
Pethor - Mentioned in Numbers 22:5 and Deuteronomy 23:4 as the home of Balaam, in N
Enchantments - The words so translated have several signification: the practice of secret arts, (Exodus 7:11,22 ; 8:7 ); "muttered spells," (2 Kings 9:22 ; Micah 5:12 ) the charming of serpents, (Ecclesiastes 10:11 ) the enchantments sought by Balaam, (Numbers 24:1 ) the use of magic, (Isaiah 47:9,12 ) Any resort to these methods of imposture was strictly forbidden in Scripture, (Leviticus 19:26 ; Isaiah 47:9 ) etc
Pisgah - Balak brought Balaam "into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah," and there "built seven altars
Aram-Naharaim - Balaam, the prophet Balak hired to curse Israel as they entered Moab from the wilderness, came from Aram-Naharaim
Midian, Midianites - ...
The next reference to them is where they joined with Moab in soliciting Balaam to curse Israel when on the border of the land; and it was with the Midianites that Israel committed fornication. Moses was told to make war with them, and we read that the Israelites slew all the males, burnt all their cities and goodly castles, and afterwards put the women to death; on which occasion Balaam also was slain
Enchantments - ...
...
Hebrew Nehashim , The enchantments or omens used by Balaam ( Numbers 24:1 ); his endeavouring to gain omens favourable to his design
Pergamos - The church of Pergamos was rebuked for swerving from the truth and embracing the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitanes
Ships - Moses (Deuteronomy 28:68 ) and (Job 9:26 ) make reference to them, and Balaam speaks of the "ships of Chittim" (Numbers 24:24 )
Pisgah - Balak took Balaam to its height so the prophet could see Israel and curse them (Numbers 23:14 )
Nicola'Itans - They may have been identical with those who held the doctrine of Balaam. The men who did and taught such things were followers of Balaam
Eber - Numbers 24:24 apparently refers to him as the original ancestor of a people associated with the Assyrians and threatened by Balaam with destruction by Kittim
East - Balaam, Cyrus, and the wise men who visited Bethlehem at the time Christ was born, are said to come from the east, Numbers 23:7 ; Isaiah 46:11 ; Matthew 2:1
Peor - of the Jordan to which Balak led Balaam ( Numbers 23:28 )
Swallow - Balaam could not curse Israel whom God had blessed (Deuteronomy 23:5), nor Shimei David, nay God requited David good instead (2 Samuel 16:5-12; Psalms 109:28)
Chittim - Balaam foretold (Numbers 24:24 ) "that ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and afflict Eber
Shittim - While at Shittim, they were blessed by Balaam (whom Balak had hired to curse Israel; Numbers 22-24 ; compare Micah 6:5 ), committed sin with the Moabite and Midianite women (Numbers 25:1 ), and Joshua was announced as Moses' successor (Deuteronomy 34:9 )
Hur - One of the kings or princes of Midian, slain with Balaam
Nicolaitans - John saying to the church in Pergamos, "I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication,"...
Revelation 2:14 . " There seems here to be some comparison between the doctrine of Balaam and that of the Nicolaitans: and I would also point out, that to the church in Thyatira the Apostle writes, "I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols," Revelation 2:20 . ...
These two sins are compared to the doctrine of Balaam: and though the Bible tells us little of Balaam's history, beyond his prophecies and his death, yet we can collect enough to enable us to explain this allusion of St. But we read further, that when the Midianites were spoiled and Balaam slain, Moses said of the women who were taken, "Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor," Numbers 31:16 . This, then, was the insidious policy and advice of Balaam. John calls "the doctrine of Balaam," or the wicked artifice which he taught the king of Moab: and so he says, that in the church of Pergamos there were some who held the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. John directed his Gospel against the Nicolaitans as well as against Cerinthus: and the comparison which is made between their doctrine and that of Balaam, may perhaps authorize us to refer to this sect what is said in the second Epistle of St
Balaam - Balaam was willing to go wrong and do wrong so long as he received ample payment for his services
Pisgah - Hither the Israelites journeyed from Bamoth, and there took place the extraordinary episode of Balaam, who on the top of Pisgah built seven altars ( Numbers 23:14 )
Say, Utter, Affirm - In Numbers the utterances of Balaam are introduced with the formula “and he uttered his oracle”: “The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened” ( Divine, Practice Divination - Balaam was well-known among the pagans as a diviner; at the same time, he recognized Yahweh as his God ( Balaam was resolved to please his clients
Midian - It was at this time that the Midianites, alarmed at the numbers and the progress of the Israelites, united with the Moabites in sending into Syria for Balaam, the soothsayer; thinking to do that by incantation which they despaired of effecting by force. The result of this measure, the constraint imposed on Balaam to bless instead of to curse, and the subsequent defeat and slaughter of the Midianites, forms one of the most interesting narratives in the early history of the Jews, Numbers 22-25, 31
Magi - , the region toward the Euphrates from whence Balaam came (Numbers 23:7; Numbers 22:5). (See Balaam. ) Balaam' s prophecy seems to have been known to them: "there shall come a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall arise out of Israel. " The peculiarity of Balaam was, he stood partly on pagan magic and soothsaying augury, partly on true revelation. (See Balaam
ko'Rah - ) In the New Testament (Jude 1:11 ) Korah is coupled with Cain and Balaam
Camp - That it failed not to produce effect upon the richly endowed and poetic mind of Balaam, appears from Numbers 24:2 ; "And Balaam lifted up his eyes and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he took up his parable and said, How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river side, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar trees beside waters
Hur - Fourth of the five Midianite kings slain with Balaam after the affair of Peor (Numbers 31:8)
Nebo - They camped in the area of Mount Nebo opposite Jericho when the Balaam incident occurred (Numbers 22-24 )
Balaam - After Israel was punished for their sin, they were avenged on Moab, and among the slain was Balaam
Magi - By the scattering of the Jews they may have heard of the prophecy of Balaam (Numbers 24:17 ) or of Daniel's prophecy
Hup'Pim - (Exodus 31:2 ; 35:30 ; 38:22 ) ...
The fourth of the five kings of Midian who were slain with Balaam after the "matter of Peor
Nicolaitans - ’ They are mentioned twice in the NT (Revelation 2:6; Revelation 2:15) as a party at Ephesus and also at Pergamum, whose tenets were similar, it seems, in the judgment of the writer, to those of Balaam (q. The word is probably a nickname, as are Balaam and Nicodemus
Aloes - ...
The use of the word (translated ‘lign aloes,’ Numbers 24:6 ) by Balaam creates a difficulty
Caiaphas - Like Balaam of the Old Testament, he is a melancholy instance of light resisted, privilege, station, and opportunity abused, and prophetic words concerning Christ joined with a life of infidelity and crime and a fearful death
Midianite - Balaam, who had been sent for to curse Israel, having utterly failed to do so, was dismissed by the king of Moab; nevertheless he still tarried among the Midianites, and induced them to enter into correspondence with the Israelites, so as to bring them into association with them in the licentious orgies connected with the worship of Baal-Peor. Balaam also perished by the sword, receiving the "wages of his unrighteousness" (Numbers 31:8 ; 2 Peter 2:15 )
Nebo - Close below it are the plains of Moab, where Balaam, and afterwards Moses, saw the tents of Israel spread along
Camp, Encampments - Balaam, standing on the heights of Moab, viewed the imposing spectacle with admiration and awe: "How godly are thy tents, O Jacob! the Lord his God is with him," Numbers 23:1-24:25
Kenites - This would account for God's denunciation of the Kenites by Balaam (Numbers 24:21-22 margin). The Canaanite Kenites Balaam denounces; or else more probably Balaam's prophecy is "Kain (the Midianite Kenites) shall not be exterminated until Asshur shall carry him away into captivity" (Keil)
Amalekites - A remnant, however, escaped and subsided afterwards; David defeated them on several occasions, 1 Samuel 27:8 30:1 2 Samuel 8:12 ; and they were finally blotted out by the Simeonites, in the time of Hezekiah, 1 Chronicles 4:43 , thus fulfilling the prediction of Balaam, Numbers 24:20
Delilah - So Israel, strong while faithful to Jehovah, incurs the curse which Balaam, however wishing it, could not inflict, the moment that the people commits whoredom with the daughters of Moab (Numbers 25:1; Numbers 25:6; Numbers 31:15-16)
Chittim - Balaam foretold that a fleet from Chittim should "afflict Asshur" (Numbers 24:24)
Kenites - Balaam pronounced doom and captivity for them (Numbers 24:21-22 )
Kenites - There were Kenites whom Balaam saw dwelling in the rocks, and who were to be carried away by Asshur
Caiaphas, Joseph - Balaam similarly was a bad man, yet uttered under the Spirit true and holy prophecies
Vision - First, a vision was given for immediate direction, as with Abram in Genesis 12:1-3 ; Lot, Genesis 19:15 ; Balaam, Numbers 22:22-40 ; and Peter, Acts 12:7
Offering, Offering up - ' The word alah is frequently translated 'to offer,' but only twice in Leviticus (Leviticus 14:20 ; Leviticus 17:8 ); and four times in Numbers (Numbers 23:2,4,14,30 ), when Balaam and Balak offered up sacrifices
Kenites - ) Balaam, when invited by Balak, king of Moab, to curse Israel, stood upon a mountain, whence he addressed the Kenites, and said, "Strong is thy dwelling place, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock; nevertheless, the Kenite shall be wasted until Asher shall carry thee away captive," Numbers 24:21-22
Place (His Own) - ’ The phrase seems to remind us of the frequent OT phrase ‘to go (or return) unto his place,’ though no doubt with a special significance of its own here, to which the case of Balaam (ὃς μισθὸν ἀδικίας ἠγάπησεν, 2 Peter 2:16) supplies the nearest but still inexact parallel (Numbers 24:25); cf
Ammon - Ammon and Moab appear continually together; both are said to have hired Balaam (Deuteronomy 13:4), though Moab alone is mentioned in the detailed account (Numbers 22; 23). Their unwillingness to help Israel, and their joining Moab in hiring Balaam (Deuteronomy 23:2; Deuteronomy 23:46; Nehemiah 13:2), caused their exclusion (like that of a bastard) from the Lord's congregation for ten generations; whereas Edom, who had not hired him, was only excluded for three
Jannes And Jambres - They were sons of Balaam, and accompanied him on his journey to Balak; they perished in the Red Sea; they were among the ‘mixed multitude’; they were killed in the matter of the golden calf; they flew up into the air to escape the sword of Phinehas, but were brought down by the power of the Ineffable Name and slain. , further, articles Balaam, Nicolaitans)
Ass - They are frequently spoken of as having been ridden upon, as by Abraham (Genesis 22:3 ), Balaam (Numbers 22:21 ), the disobedient prophet (1 Kings 13:23 ), the family of Abdon the judge, seventy in number (Judges 12:14 ), Zipporah (Exodus 4:20 ), the Shunammite (1 Samuel 25:30 ), etc
Messiah - As in ancient times not only the king, but also the priest and the prophet, was consecrated to his calling by being anointed, the word "Messiah" often occurs in the Old Testament in its literal sense, signifying one who has been anointed, 1 Samuel 24:6; Lamentations 4:1-22 :' 20; Ezekiel 28:14; Psalms 105:15; hut generally it has a more specific application, signifying the One who was anointed, the supreme Deliverer who was promised from the beginning, Genesis 3:15, and about whom a long series of prophecies runs through the whole history of Israel from Abram, Genesis 12:3; Genesis 22:18; Jacob, Genesis 49:10; Balaam, Numbers 24:17; Moses, Deuteronomy 18:15; Deuteronomy 18:18; and Nathan, 2 Samuel 7:16; through the psalmists and prophets, Psalms 2:1-12; Psalms 16:1-11; Psalms 22:1-31; Psalms 40:1-17; Psalms 45:1-17; Psalms 110:1-7; Isaiah 7:10-16; Isaiah 9:1-7; Isaiah 11:1-16; Isaiah 13:1-22; Isaiah 53:1-12; Isaiah 61:1-11; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Micah 5:2; Malachi 3:1-4, to his immediate precursor, John the Baptist
Stumbling Block, - ...
The same word is used for the snare that Balaam taught Balak to lay for the Israelites
Stumbling (Block And Stone) - ...
Revelation 2:14 (b) Balak found that he could not persuade Balaam to curse Israel, so he therefore made it easy for the men of Israel to go astray with the women of Moab, and for the men of Moab to entice and attract the women of Israel
Jannes - The paraphrast Jonathan says they were the sons of Balaam, who accompanied him to Balak, king of Moab
Moabite - It was while they were here that the visit of Balaam (q
Ammonite - Both of these tribes hired Balaam to curse Israel (Deuteronomy 23:4 )
Wages - Balaam, for example, was paid “fees for divination” in exchange for his cursing of Israel (Numbers 22:7 ), and Shemaiah was hired by Sanballat to trap Nehemiah with a false prophecy (Nehemiah 6:10-13 )
Peter, Second Epistle of - While in Jude the gainsaying of Core is shown to be the culminating point of apostasy, here the incitement to abominable wickedness by Balaam is before the mind of the Spirit, indicating how corrupting the influence of those who held the place of 'prophet' would become
Cain - ) ...
...
A town of the Kenites, a branch of the Midianites ( Joshua 15:57 ), on the east edge of the mountain above Engedi; probably the "nest in a rock" mentioned by Balaam (Numbers 24:21 )
Magic, Magicians - (Exodus 7:11 ; 8:18,19 ) Balaam also practiced magic
Jude, Epistle of - The error of Balaam for reward — ecclesiastical corruption: cf
Pergamos - As Phinehas was rewarded for his zeal against idol compliances and fornication (to which Balaam seduced Israel), with "an everlasting priesthood," so the heavenly priesthood is the reward of those zealous against New Testament Balaamites
Numbers, Book of - The rebellion narratives (Numbers 11:1-12:16 ; Numbers 14:1 ; Numbers 16:1 ; Numbers 17:1 ; Numbers 20:1 ; Numbers 21:4-9 ; and Numbers 25:1-18 ), as well as the account of Balaam the wizard (22–24), serve to show how God's plan and provision cannot be thwarted by any rival possibility or power. See Aaron ; Balaam ; Eleazer; Joshua ; Moses ; Pentateuch ; Holy War; Sacred Calendar; Tabernacle ; Tribal Confederation
Divination - Of false prophets (Deuteronomy 18:10,14 ; Micah 3:6,7,11 ), of necromancers (1 Samuel 28:8 ), of the Philistine priests and diviners (1 Samuel 6:2 ), of Balaam (Joshua 13:22 )
Almighty - Balaam uses the name in Numbers 24:4 ; Naomi also in her lamentations
Amalek, Amalekites - They dwelt in the south of the land, Numbers 13 :29, and Balaam called them "the first of the nations," but predicted that they should perish for ever
Moab, Moabites - The Moabites were however filled with terror when they heard that the Amorites had been smitten, and Balak their king hired Balaam to curse Israel. Balaam was compelled by God to bless them instead of cursing them, buthe gave to Balak the fatal advice to try to weaken them by seductive alliances (which would cause them to fall under the Lord's discipline), and this, alas, was only too successful: cf
Numbers, Book of - ...
Numbers 22 — Numbers 25 give the history of Balak hiring Balaam the prophet to curse Israel. Balaam saw in his successive visions the elect people of God, and announced their sanctification (Numbers 23:8-10 ); justification ( Numbers 23:19-24 ); acceptance and consequent blessing (Numbers 24:5-9 ); the rise of a Star out of Jacob, and the destruction of the hereditary enemies of Israel. ) The evil advice of Balaam, however, led the children of Israel into sin by allying themselves with the daughters of Moab, and so falling into idolatry. ...
Numbers 31 : The Midianites are smitten, among whom Balaam is slain: special directions are given as to the division of the spoil. We have following this the prophesies of Balaam, which speak of the elect people of God
Most High - Whatever the origin of the title Elyon , it never occurs in strictly prose passages of the OT, though we find it in the Songs of Balaam ( Numbers 24:16 ), Moses ( Deuteronomy 32:8 ), and David ( 2 Samuel 22:14 )
Bela - A king of Edom, son of Beor, a Chaldean probably by birth (like Balaam also descended from Beor, and originally residing in Pethor of Aram by the Euphrates: Numbers 22:5; Numbers 23:7), and reigning in Edom by conquest (Genesis 36:31-39; 1 Chronicles 1:43-51)
Moab - When the Hebrews advanced to Canaan, they did not enter the territory of Moab proper, Deuteronomy 2:9; Judges 11:18; but there was always a great antipathy between the two peoples, which arose from Balaam having seduced the Hebrews to sin by the daughters of Moab
Gold - ...
Zâhâb was used as a costly gift: “And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I [2] …” ( Messi'ah - The next passage usually quoted is the prophecy of Balaam
Trance - ( Genesis 15:12 ) Balaam, as if overcome by the constraining power of a Spirit mightier than his own, "sees the vision of God, falling, but with opened eyes
Kenites - Balaam, with a play on the resemblance of the name to the Heb
Shiloh (1) - Balaam refers to this prophecy of Jacob (Numbers 24:17; Isaiah 11:1-9; Zechariah 9:10; Ephesians 2:14; Revelation 5:5)
Chromatius, Bishop of Aquileia - Ambrose expounded the prophecy of Balaam in an epistolary form (Ambros
Metals - Among the spoils of the Midianites taken by the Israelites in their bloodless victory when Balaam was slain were earrings and jewels to the amount of 16,750 shekels of gold, (Numbers 31:48-54 ) equal in value to more than ,000
Midian - So, by Jehovah's command, 1,000 warriors of every tribe, 12,000 in all, of Israel "vexed and smote" their five kings (Zur included, father of Cozbi the Midianite woman slain with Zimri by Phinehas in the act of sin) and Balaam the giver of the wicked counsel which brought Jehovah's wrath on Israel for the sin (Numbers 31:2-17). Their inferior position as tributary dependents on Moab accounts for their omission from Balaam's prophecy
Jude, the Book of - ...
The second set appeals to:...
(1) Cain (2) Balaam (who in Rabbinic tradition is the father of the libertines) (3) Korah (who challenged Moses' authority)
Midian, Mtdianites - ]'>[3] ) also shows that in an early form of the narrative it was Midian, not Moab, that was said to have hired Balaam to curse Israel (cf
Arden - Numbers 24:6 (a) A word which is used to describe the fragrant and fruitful nation of Israel as seen by the Lord through the eyes of Balaam from the mountain top
Hang - Sir Balaam hangs
Pergamum - The Church at Pergamus is charged with having ‘them that hold the doctrine of Balaam , who taught Balak to cast a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication’; and also ‘them that hold the doctrine of the Nic olaitans
Numbers, the Book of - ...
Their defeat caused Balak to summon Balaam to curse Israel from "Pethor, which was on the river (Euphrates) in his native land" (so, Numbers 22:5), at least 350 miles distant. Two months suffice for his ambassadors to go and return twice, and for Balaam's prophesying (Numbers 22-24). Six weeks thus remain for Midian's seduction of Israel, the plague (Numbers 25), the second numbering on the plains of Moab (Numbers 26), and the attack on Midian (Numbers 31), God retributively scourging the tempters by their own victims: "beside those (kings) that fell in the battle they put to death the kings of Midian (five, namely) Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba" (Numbers 31:8), "Balaam also they slew" judicially, not in battle. ...
He used also existing materials, as in Numbers 21:14; Numbers 21:17; Numbers 21:27-30, "the book of the wars of the Lord" (the writers piously and truly call them "Jehovah's wars," not Israel's; compare Exodus 17:14; Exodus 17:16), a collection of sacred odes commemorating Israel's triumphs, from Egyptian days downward, including the passage of Arnon, the Song of the Well, the Conquest of Sihon, and the story and prophecies of Balaam, perhaps found in writing among the spoils of Midian when Balaam was slain (Numbers 31:8)
Oracles - However, Balaam's oracle (Numbers 24:3-9 ) is a blessing. (But, see comments below on Balaam's oracle. ...
Balaam's oracle (Numbers 24:1 ) is a special case. Balak sought a pronouncement through the prophet Balaam. God did not allow this but gave Balaam an oracle of blessing to pronounce. Balaam's oracle, then, was positive and sought—a positive pronouncement oracle. Balaam spoke when the Spirit came upon him (Numbers 24:2 )
Thirteen - ...
jos13 - Here is recorded the death of Balaam, the false prophet
Way - unto life," Matthew 7:14 ; of peace, Luke 1:79 ; Romans 3:17 ; of Paul's "ways" in Christ, 1 Corinthians 1:17 (plural); "more excellent" (of love), 1 Corinthians 12:31 ; of truth, 2 Peter 2:2 ; of the right "way," 2 Peter 2:15 ; of Balaam (id); of Cain, Jude 1:11 ; of a "way" consisting in what is from God, e
Lion - Balaam compares Israel to "a great lion (labiy ) and a young lion" ('arieh ): Numbers 23:24; Numbers 24:9
Theophany - In vision Even self-seeking Balaam was allowed of God to see the Lord in vision (Numbers 24:3-4 )
Prophet - In Joshua 13:22 Balaam is called (Heb
Japheth - ...
Japheth signifies enlargement; and how wonderfully did Providence enlarge the boundaries of Japheth! His posterity diverged eastward and westward; from the original settlement in Armenia, through the whole extent of Asia, north of the great range of Taurus, distinguished by the general names of Tartary and Siberia, as far as the Eastern Ocean: and in process of time, by an easy passage across Behring's straits, the entire continent of America; and they spread in the opposite direction, throughout the whole of Europe, to the Atlantic Ocean; thus literally encompassing the earth, within the precincts of the northern temperate zone, while the enterprising and warlike genius of this hardy hunter race frequently led them to encroach on the settlements, and to dwell in "the tents of Shem," whose pastoral occupations rendered them more inactive, peaceable, and unwarlike; as when the Scythians invaded Media, and overran western Asia southwards, as far as Egypt, in the days of Cyaxares; and when the Greeks, and afterward the Romans, subdued the Assyrians, Medes, and Persians, in the east, and the Scythians and Jews in the south, as foretold by the Assyrian Prophet Balaam:...
"And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, And shall afflict the Assyrians, and afflict the Hebrews; ...
But he [1] shall perish himself at last
Magnificat - Balaam, Numbers 24:25 ; Moses, Deuteronomy 32:44 ; Deuteronomy 34:1 Hymenaeus - Antipas, Balaam, Nicolaitans
Jude, Epistle of - Sceptical like Cain, greedy inciters to lust like Balaam, rebellious like Korah, they are plunging into destruction. ), and when the Apocalypse was written the churches of Asia were distressed by the Nicolaitans and those who, like Balaam, led the Israelites into idolatrous fornication ( Revelation 2:2 ; Revelation 2:6 ; Revelation 2:14-15 )
Stars - Thus Balaam prophesied ‘There shall come forth a star out of Jacob’ ( Numbers 24:17 ), and this was afterwards interpreted as applying to the Epiphany star ( Matthew 2:2 ; see Star of the Magi); and so in 2 Peter 1:19 we read of the day-star arising in men’s hearts
Jezebel - These passages, taken in connexion with the references to the teaching of Balaam in Revelation 2:14 and of the Nicolaitans in Revelation 2:15, favour the interpretation of Jezebel which sees in the name a term of opprobrium applied dyslogistically to a heretical sect or form of doctrine
Amalekites - ...
Next we find them leagued with Midian (Judges 6:3; Judges 6:7), and defeated by Gideon: Balaam's prophecy (Numbers 24:20 Heb. The execution was delayed; but the original sentence at Rephidim was repeated by Balaam, and 400 years subsequently its execution was enjoined at the very beginning of the regal government as a test of obedience; compare 1 Samuel 12:12-15
Strength - 24:17-18, where Balaam prophesied the destruction of Moab and Edom at the hands of Israel: “And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and lsrael shall do valiantly” (v
Satan - ” When Balaam went to curse the sons of Israel, God warned him not to do so
Amalekites - This more early origin of the Amalekites will likewise explain why Balaam called them the "first of the nations
Gilgal - consulted, and what Balaam . the scene of Balaam's wicked counsel taking effect in Israel's sin, from the fatal effects of which I saved thee, all along to Gilgal where I renewed the covenant with Israel by circumcision (2 Samuel 19:15)
Ass - Peter used the term to refer to the animal which spoke to Balaam (2 Peter 2:16 )
How the Prophetic Gift Was Received - ( Genesis 3:15 ) By degrees the area is limited: it is to come through the family of Shem, (Genesis 9:26 ) through the family of Abraham, (Genesis 12:3 ) of Isaac, (Genesis 25:18 ) of Jacob, (Genesis 28:14 ) of Judah, (Genesis 49:10 ) Balaam seems to say that it will be wrought by a warlike Israelitish King, (Numbers 24:17 ) Jacob, by a peaceful Ruler of the earth, (Genesis 49:10 ) Moses, by a Prophet like himself, i
Serpent - ...
The objection arising from the Serpent's being endowed with speech and reined in conversing with our first mother, and persuading her by argument, is no more in reality an objection than that of the ass possessing both in the instance of Balaam's history. And of the two examples of the kind, surely, the great event of man's apostacy became a much more important occasion for such a miracle than the condemnation of a single character like Balaam
Set On, Set Up - 24:23, where Balaam said: “Alas, who shall live when God doeth this!”...
This verb means “to make,” as it does in Oracle - Balaam, at the instigation of his own spirit, and urged on by his avarice, fearing to lose thy recompence that he was promised by Balak, king of the Moabites, suggests a diabolical expedient to this prince of making the Israelites fall into idolatry and fornication, (Numb
Exaltation - As early as the time of Balaam, when Israel was about to conquer Canaan, God announced that their kingdom would be exalted (Numbers 24:7 )
Rock - Hidden, or sunken, rocks is an eminently appropriate metaphor by which to describe the ungodly character of those who, like Balaam and Korah, were inclined to mar the fellowship of Christian believers
Rebels - So Balaam said of himself: "I go, said he to Balak, unto my people
Mouth - 22:28 this word represents an animal’s “mouth”: “And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam
Messiah - However, to facilitate the success of this bold enterprise, he changed his name from Caziba, which it was at first, to that of Barchocheba, alluding to the star foretold by Balaam; for he pretended to be the star sent from heaven to restore his nation to its ancient liberty and glory
Moab - Balaam seduced the Hebrews to idolatry and uncleanness, by means of the daughters of Moab, Numbers 25:1-2 ; and Balak, king of this people, endeavoured to prevail on Balaam to curse Israel
Unicorn - Balaam, a priest of Midian, and so in the neighbourhood of the haunts of the rhinoceros, and intimately connected with Ethiopia, for they themselves were shepherds of that country, in a transport, from contemplating the strength of Israel, whom he was brought to curse, says, that they had as it were the strength of the reem, Numbers 23:22
Israel - ...
In the Book of Revelation ancient Israel is referred to historically in connexion with Balaam, ‘who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel’ (Revelation 2:14)
Saul - The Spirit of God came upon Jesus at the Jordan, but He came also upon Samson at the camp of Dan, and upon Balaam beside the altar of Baal. But he has gone away and left us to deal with such characters as Esau, and Balaam, and Saul, and Judas for ourselves
Moses - The story of Balaam (parts of Numbers 21:22-24 )
Magic - Even Balaam, both a magician and prophet, could only do God's will (Numbers 23:12 )
Great, To Be; Heavy - 5:16); Balak promised “honor” to Balaam ( Joshua, Book of - There were minor conquests in taking possession, and mention is made of Balaam the soothsayer being slain: God's judgement had reached the wicked man
Prophet, Prophetess, Prophecy - " Many others could be included in this list of those who exercised this gift prior to the days of Samuel, including Moses, Aaron, Miriam (Exodus 15:20 ), Eldad, Medad, the seventy elders (Numbers 11:24-29 ), Balaam (Numbers 21-24 ), Deborah (Ezekiel 4:1-38 ), and Minoah and his wife (Judges 13:3,10,21 ). ...
In Deuteronomy 18:15-22 and Deuteronomy 13:1-5 God listed five certifying signs by which a true prophet of God could be recognized: (1) a prophet must be an Israelite, "from among [10] own brothers" ( Deuteronomy 18:15 ) (Balaam is the exception that proves this rule); (2) he must speak in the name of the Lord ("If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name" [15]3); (3) he must be able to predict the near as well as the distant future ("If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken" [17]); (4) he must be able to predict signs and wonders (Deuteronomy 13:2 ); and (5) his words must conform to the previous revelation that God has given (Deuteronomy 13:2-3 ). Thus, just as the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam's donkey so that she saw what Balaam at first could not see (Numbers 22:31 ), so God opened the eyes of the prophet Elisha's servant so that he could see the angelic armies of the Lord that surrounded Samaria were indeed greater in number than the Syrian armies (2 Kings 6:15-17 )
Word - Balaam, for example, speaks as "one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High" (Numbers 24:16 ; cf. Balaam "hears the words of God, has knowledge from the Most High, and sees a vision from the Almighty " (Numbers 24:16 )
Hadrianus, Publius Aelius, Emperor - Such persistent defiance of national feeling roused widespread indignation which burst out under a leader whom we know by his assumed name of Bar-Cocheba ("the son of a star")—a name probably suggested by the imagery of Balaam (Num_24:17) possibly also by the recollection of the "star in the east" of Mat_2:2
Eagle - When Balaam delivered his predictions respecting the fate that awaited the nations which he then particularized, he said of the Kenites, "Strong is thy dwelling, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock," Numbers 24:21 ; alluding to that princely bird, the eagle, which not only delights in soaring to the loftiest heights, but chooses the highest rocks, and most elevated mountains, as desirable situations for erecting its nest, Habakkuk 2:9 ; Obadiah 1:4
Feasting - The letters to Pergamos and Thyatira meet it with forcible denunciation and threatening (see such articles as Balaam, Jezebel, Nicolaitans), and in 2 Peter and Jude we have an attitude similar to that of St
Magic, Divination, And Sorcery - ...
Without any indication of the method of divination, operations denoted by the word qesem appear among the Moabites (Balaam, Numbers 23:23 , payment being made for the service, Numbers 22:7 ), among the Philistines ( 1 Samuel 6:2 ), and among the Babylonians ( Isaiah 44:25 ). It would be quite in accordance with this that Balaam’s ass should see what was hidden from her master ( Numbers 22:27 ); a similar belief in the significance of the movements of animals is shown in the lords of the Philistines watching the way the kine took with the ark of God ( 1 Samuel 6:12 ). It does not appear to have been in use among the Israelites; the sacrifices of Balaam ( Numbers 23:1 ; Numbers 23:14 ) were not for this purpose, but to propitiate the deity consulted
Moab - It was only when Moab seduced Israel to idolatry and impurity (Numbers 25), and hired Balaam to curse them, that they were excluded from Jehovah's congregation to the tenth generation (Deuteronomy 23:3-4). Probably some act of perfidy of Moab, as the murder or treacherous delivering of his parents to Saul, caused David 20 years afterward to slay two thirds of the people, and make bondmen and tributaries of the rest (2 Samuel 8:2; in this war Benaiah slew two lion-like men, 2 Samuel 23:20; compare also Psalms 60:8, "Moab is my washpot"; yet among David's heroes was "Ithmah the Moabite," 1 Chronicles 11:22; 1 Chronicles 11:46), fulfilling Balaam's prophecy, Numbers 24:17; Numbers 24:19; "out of Jacob shall come he that shall destroy him that remaineth of Ar" (Hebrew, namely, of Moab)
Name, Names - ‘Dawn’]'>[1] is brother’), Baal ( 1 Chronicles 5:5 ; 1 Chronicles 8:30 ), Bildad ( Job 2:11 ), Balaam, Obed-edom (‘servant of [2] Edom’), Reu and Reuel ( Genesis 11:18 , Exodus 2:18 )
Antichrist - ...
The Hebrew letters of Balaam (type of the false prophet whose spiritual knowledge shall be perverted to Satanic ends; Revelation 2:14 favors this, also the fact that Antichrist mainly shall oppress Israel, Daniel 8; 9; 11; 12) amount to 666
Jephthah - Further, Jephthah reasons, Balak did not strive against Israel for the once Moabite land taken by the Amorites then transferred to Israel; he bribed Balaam indeed to curse them, but never fought against them
Angel - Sometimes angels addressed people in dreams, as with Jacob (Genesis 28:12 ; 31:11 ), and could be recognized by animals before human beings became aware of them, as with Balaam (Numbers 22:22 )
Gideon - Midian had long before with Moab besought Balaam to curse Israel, and through his counsel, by tempting Israel to whoredom with their and the Moabite women, had brought a plague on Israel, and had then by God's command been smitten sorely by Israel (Numbers 25:17-18; Numbers 31:1-16, etc
Ammonites - However, neither the one nor the other were to be admitted into the congregation to the tenth generation, because they did not come out to relieve them in the wilderness, and were implicated in hiring Balaam to curse them
Numbers, Book of - Balaam
Parable - for figurative language where no distinct parable is related, as when Balaam 'took up his parable,' Numbers 23:7,18 , etc
Christ in Jewish Literature - He (under the name of Balaam) was put to death by Pinhas the Robber (Pontius Pilatus), and at the time was thirty-three years old (Bab. Under the name of Balaam he was excluded from the world to come (M
Satan (2) - In this sense it is used in Numbers 22:22 even of the angel of the Lord, who is said to go forth to be a Satan to Balaam
Job - To which may be added, that the style of Job, as Bishop Lowth has remarked, is materially different from the poetical style of Moses; for it is much more compact, concise, or condensed, more accurate in the poetical conformation of the sentences; as may be observed also in the prophecies of Balaam the Mesopotamian, a foreigner, indeed, with respect to the Israelites, but not unacquainted either with their language, or with the worship of the true God
Jeroboam - Contrast Balaam's tempting God (through desire of reward) by asking again, as if God would change His once for all declared will (Numbers 22-24; 1 Peter 5:2). " Balaam like (Numbers 23:10), desiring at death to lie with the man of God, he utters no self reproach, though having caused his death
Peter, Second Epistle of - Sensual, irreverent, brutish, and ignorant of spiritual things, they destroy even the sacred Christian feasts by their revelry, and, like Balaam, seek, for their selfish purposes, to lead their victims into fornication, deluding recently converted believers with a false doctrine of freedom
Priest - )...
Job (Job 1:5), Jethro (Exodus 2:16; Exodus 3:1), and Balaam represent the patriarchal priest (Numbers 23:2)
Achan - Balak's gold had long before now brought Balaam the soothsayer across the plains of Mesopotamia, and the gold and silver of Jericho had also drawn toward that city the travelling dealers in the woven work of the Babylonian looms
Pronunciation of Proper Names - The first syllables of Canaan, Pharaoh, Balaam, must have the â as in fate or fair
Parable - it is used of the figurative discourse of Balaam (cf
Type - And the history of Israel furnishes types not only of the living Christianity within the churches, but of a false doctrine and debased morality that were making the lamps of the churches burn dim-Balaam has his antitype in the contemporary Balaamites (Revelation 2:14) and Jezebel in the false and wicked prophetess by whom God’s servants are seduced (Revelation 2:20)
Inspiration - To the idea that knowledge is supernaturally conveyed to persons who are not in the historic line of Scriptural revelation, sanction is given in the OT by the instances of Abimelech, Pharaoh, and Balaam
Magi - xxxvii); nor is it probable that an independent tradition of Balaam’s prophecy (Numbers 24:17) had been preserved by their ancestors and handed down to them (Origen, c. ’ This tractate relates that the prophecy of Balaam about the star was recorded in a letter written by Balak to the king of Assyria, and preserved in the Assyrian archives
Revelation, the - We have here very distinct indications of the toleration of evil — first in the allowing those that held the teaching of Balaam, which led to corrupt commerce with the world, and then that there were also those that held the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, hateful to Christ
Messiah - the prophecy of Balaam ( Numbers 24:17-19 ), Song of Moses ( Deuteronomy 32:6-10 ), the expectation of ‘the prophet’ ( Deuteronomy 18:16-19 )
Messiah - However, to facilitate the success of this bold enterprise, he changed his name from Caziba, which it was at first, to that of Barchocheba, alluding to the star foretold by Balaam; for he pretended to be the star sent from heaven to restore his nation to its ancient liberty and glory