Numbers 24

Balaam accepts the will of God  1
The fourth utterance or oracle of him "who heard the words of God"  3
Balak is angry and Balaam uses his limited promise as an excuse  10
The oracle about the star and scepter  15
Curses on Amalek and the Kenites  20
Ships from Cyprus; who shall live?; Balaam and Balak part and go home  23
Text
Comments
.1 ¶ And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.
 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.
  Saw that it pleased the Lord Not a new idea nu2320.
  Seek for enchantments Balaam was trying to be a double agent, working for the enemy, but this verse may not mean getting information from the occult. Compare nu2303, nu2315
.3  And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
 4  He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
 5  How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel!
 6  As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.
  4 - Almighty This translates Shaddai. Some Hebrew scholars believe the word comes from "to be bountiful." If so, it is a pictures of God who offers grace. 
  4 - Trance ... eyes open Words have been added by translators. The phrase reads literally, "falling down and his eyes uncovered." Compare ez0128, da0817.
.7  He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.
.8  God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.
.9  He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.
  6 - By the river's side he saw predicted the plan of God for His people. At the time, they were in the wilderness (desert) v1.
  8 - Strength May also be translated as "horns" in the phrase "horns like the wild ox."
.10 ¶ And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times.
 11  Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honour.
 12  And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying,
 13  If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the LORD, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the LORD saith, that will I speak?
 14  And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.

"The man whose eyes are open" v15.
From art by Harold Munson.
.15 ¶ And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
.16  He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
.17  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 shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
.18  And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.
 19  Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.
  17 - Star ... sceptre The Messiah would be their king a prophecy partly fulfilled at Christ's first coming. On "star" see re2216. On scepter (rod) see re1915-ro.
  18 - Edom a possession This happened in the time of David 2sa0813f, but will ultimately be fulfilled in Christ's kingdom in the new earth is6301ff.
.20  And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.
 21  And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwellingplace, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock.
 22  Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.
  20 - He perish for ever Or "he shall come to destruction, RSV." See 1ki15.
  21 - Kenites ... rock "Though securely established among the clefts in the high rocks of En-gedi towards the west, they should be gradually reduced by a succession of enemies till the Assyrian invader carried them into captivity (Jg 1:16; 4:11,16,17; also 2Ki 15:29; 17:6)." (JFB)
.23  And he took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God doeth this!
 24  And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever.
 25  And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way.
  23 - Who shall live? Few did.
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