Numbers 23

Balaam tries to curse Israel from two locations. Instead they are blessed.
 1 ¶ And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams.
 2  And Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bullock and a ram.
.3  And Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure the LORD will come to meet me: and whatsoever he sheweth me I will tell thee. And he went to an high place.
  Build me here seven altars This was at the place for the worship of Baal nu2241. Balaam's mind was corrupted by heathen concepts of God. A "perfect" number of sacrifices would not impress the true God to grant his wishes.
  High place Should be translated "smooth" or "level" place. He wanted to be alone.
.4  And God met Balaam: and he [Balaam] said unto him, I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered upon every altar a bullock and a ram.
.5  And the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak.
 6  And he returned unto him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt sacrifice, he, and all the princes of Moab.
  4 - Seven altars See 1sa1311, ho1211.
  5 - Put a word Prophets for the Lord speak His words de1818, je0109. God put words into the donkey's mouth, too.
.7  And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel.
 8  How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?
9  For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.
.10  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!
  9 - Dwell alone This was God's plan of being secure and separate de3228, mi0714.
  10 - Count the dust of Jacob Compare the promise to Abraham and Israel (Jacob) ge1316, ge2814.
  10 - Die the death of the righteous Unfortunately, Balaam did not live the life of the righteous. nu3108, pr2809. Compare de0706-8.
 11  And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether.
 12  And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD hath put in my mouth?
 13 ¶ And Balak said unto him, Come, I pray thee, with me unto another place, from whence thou mayest see them: thou shalt see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence.
 14  And he brought him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.
  13 - Another place This was obviously not a ten-minute donkey ride away. Balaam could have gracefully declined to go. God had already made it clear that He was in control but Balaam was blinded by greed.
.15  And he said unto Balak, Stand here by thy burnt offering, while I meet the LORD yonder.
 16  And the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus.
 17  And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the LORD spoken?
  17 - What hath the Lord spoken Balak realized the source of the communication.
 18  And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:
.19  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?
.20  Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
.21  He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.
  18 - Rise up The king was already standing physically v17. Perhaps he was to rise up in respect for the Hebrew God. "Hearken" means listen and consider.
  19 - God is not a man Although Balaam was acting as if He were.
  19 - God is not a man, to say what is false; or the son of man, that his purpose may be changed: what he has said, will he not do? and will he not give effect to the words of his mouth? (BBE)
.22  God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
 23  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!
.24  Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.
 22 - Strength of a unicorn This animal may have been thought to be a rhinoceros, but it has two horns as seen in de3317 and ps02221. See on jb3909.
 25  And Balak said unto Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.
 26  But Balaam answered and said unto Balak, Told not I thee, saying, All that the LORD speaketh, that I must do?
 27  And Balak said unto Balaam, Come, I pray thee, I will bring thee unto another place; peradventure it will please God that thou mayest curse me them from thence.
.28  And Balak brought Balaam unto the top of Peor, that looketh toward Jeshimon.
 29  And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams.
 30  And Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.
  28 - Peor The place has not been located. It was apparently a mountain of Moab in the vicinity of Pisgah. An altar or a temple may have been on its top. See "Beth-peor" de0329, de3406, jos1320. See map for Moab.
  28 - Jeshimon The word means solitude or desolation. "...probably some high waste land to the south of the Dead Sea (Nu 21:20; 23:28; 1Sa 23:19,24); or rather not a proper name at all, but simply "the waste" or "wilderness," the district on which the plateau of Ziph (q.v.) looks down." (Easton's Bible Dictionary).
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