Numbers 23-24 Studies and Notes …
The Prophecies of Balaam
23 Then Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars for me here, and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams.”
2 And Balak did just as Balaam had spoken, and Balak and Balaam offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 3 Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stand by your burnt offering, and I will go; perhaps the Lord will come to meet me, and whatever He shows me I will tell you.” So, he went to a desolate height. 4 And God met Balaam, and he said to Him, “I have prepared the seven altars, and I have offered on each altar a bull and a ram.”
5 Then the Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.” 6 So he returned to him, and there he was, standing by his burnt offering, he and all the princes of Moab.
7 And he took up his [a]oracle and said:
“Balak the king of Moab has brought me from Aram, From the mountains of the east. ‘Come, curse Jacob for me, And come, denounce Israel!’
8 “How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how shall I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced? 9 For from the top of the rocks I see him, And from the hills I behold him; There! A people dwelling alone, Not reckoning itself among the nations.
10 “Who can count the [b]dust of Jacob, Or number one-fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, And let my end be like his!”
11 Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and look, you have blessed them bountifully!”
12 So he answered and said, “Must I not take heed to speak what the Lord has put in my mouth?”
Balaam’s Second Prophecy
13 Then Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place from which you may see them; you shall see only the outer part of them and shall not see them all; curse them for me from there.” 14 So he brought him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
15 And he said to Balak, “Stand here by your burnt offering while I [c]meet the Lord over there.”
16 Then the Lord met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, “Go back to Balak, and thus you shall speak.” 17 So he came to him, and there he was, standing by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab were with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the Lord spoken?”
18 Then he took up his oracle and said:
“Rise up, Balak, and hear! Listen to me, son of Zippor!
19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? 20 Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.
21 “He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, Nor has He seen [d]wickedness in Israel. The Lord his God is with him, And the shout of a King is among them. 22 God brings them out of Egypt; He has strength like a wild ox.
23 “For there is no [e]sorcery against Jacob, Nor any [f]divination against Israel. It now must be said of Jacob And of Israel, ‘Oh, what God has done!’ 24 Look, a people rises like a lioness, And lifts itself up like a lion; It shall not lie down until it devours the prey, And drinks the blood of the slain.”
25 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all!”
26 So Balaam answered and said to Balak, “Did I not tell you, saying, ‘All that the Lord speaks, that I must do’?”
Balaam’s Third Prophecy
27 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Please come, I will take you to another place; perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from there.” 28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that overlooks the [g]wasteland. 29 Then Balaam said to Balak, “Build for me here seven altars, and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams.” 30 And Balak did as Balaam had said and offered a bull and a ram on every altar.
Notes Numbers 23
23:5: God the Word PUT A WORD IN BALAAM’S MOUTH, just as He said He would in – (Numbers 22:35) …
23:7: THE SPIRIT is the Holy Spirit, and God is God the Father … The Holy Spirit spoke by the prophet Balaam – (The Holy Spirit … who spoke by the prophets” – Creed) … Therefore, the Holy Trinity is revealed in vv. 5 and 7, for where One of the Persons is present, present also are the other Two …
23:10: Speaking by the Spirit of God, Balaam could wish the greatest possible good for himself, namely, for his soul to DIE WITH THE SOULS OF THE RIGHTEOUS, for in this there is no fear of death … For he who dies in Christ is made a partaker of His righteousness in baptism … (AmbM) …
Balaam Foretells the Happiness of Israel
24 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go as at other times, to seek to use [a]sorcery, but he set his face toward the wilderness. 2 And Balaam raised his eyes, and saw Israel encamped according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him.
3 Then he took up his oracle and said:
“The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor, The utterance of the man whose eyes are opened, 4 The utterance of him who hears the words of God, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Who falls down, with eyes wide open:
5 “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob! Your dwellings, O Israel! 6 Like valleys that stretch out, Like gardens by the riverside, Like aloes planted by the Lord, Like cedars beside the waters. 7 He shall pour water from his buckets, And his seed shall be in many waters.
“His king shall be higher than Agag, And his kingdom shall be exalted.
8 “God brings him out of Egypt; He has strength like a wild ox; He shall consume the nations, his enemies; He shall break their bones And pierce them with his arrows. 9 ‘He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him?’
“Blessed is he who blesses you, And cursed is he who curses you.”
10 Then Balak’s anger was aroused against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and look, you have bountifully blessed them these three times! 11 Now therefore, flee to your place. I said I would greatly honor you, but in fact, the Lord has kept you back from honor.”
12 So Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not also speak to your messengers whom you sent to me, saying, 13 ‘If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the Lord, to do good or bad of my own will. What the Lord says that I must speak’? 14 And now, indeed, I am going to my people. Come, I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the latter days.”
Balaam’s Fourth Prophecy
15 So he took up his oracle and said:
“The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor, And the utterance of the man whose eyes are opened; 16 The utterance of him who hears the words of God, And has the knowledge of the Most High, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Who falls down, with eyes wide open:
20 Then he looked on Amalek, and he took up his oracle and said:
“Amalek was first among the nations, But shall be last until he perishes.”
21 Then he looked on the Kenites, and he took up his oracle and said:
“Firm is your dwelling place, And your nest is set in the rock; 22 Nevertheless Kain shall be burned. How long until Asshur carries you away captive?”
23 Then he took up his oracle and said:
25 So Balaam rose and departed and returned to his place; Balak also went his way.
Notes Numbers 24 Study
24:7: THE MAN is the Word become flesh – (John 1:14) … He is True Man and true god … He became Man to bring man into His kingdom if they willingly follow Him there …
24:9: In His burial, this Man was like a lion resting in a cave … Those who bless this Man are blessed, but those who curse Him bring the curse on themselves …
24:17: Christ is the STAR – (Matthew 2:2) and the Man who rose from the dead – (rise out of Jacob and out of Israel) … The three wise men of the East knew this prophecy, and when they saw His star, they followed it to the cave where He was born …
24:25: Balaam counseled Israel through Balak “to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols” – (Revelation 2:14; see Numbers 31:16) … Soon afterward, the Israelites killed Balaam with the sword when they killed the kings of Midian – (Numbers 31:8; and Joshua 13:22) …
But I have a few things against you because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the
children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.
16 Look, these women caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.
8 They killed the kings of Midian with the rest of those who were killed—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. Balaam the son of Beor they also killed with the sword.
22 The children of Israel also killed with the sword Balaam the son of Beor, the [a]soothsayer, among those who were killed by them.