Numbers chapter 23

Balaam blesses Israel. Balaam blesses Israel again. Balaam blesses Israel a third time.

 


 

BALAAM BLESSES ISRAEL

 

VERSE 1. Balaam said to Balak, “Build here seven altars for me, and prepare here seven bulls and seven rams for me.”

seven altars … seven bulls … seven rams. We assume this Balaam’s own contrivance.

We are not aware of any such requirement in the Law of Moses.

 

VERSE 2. Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bull and a ram.

 

VERSE 3. Balaam said to Balak, “Stand by your burnt offering, and I will go. Perhaps the LORD will come to meet me. Whatever he shows me I will tell you.” He went to a bare height.

Perhaps the LORD will come to meet me. This is the willingness necessary for discipleship.

We invest time in the practices of discipleship, whether they are beneficial or not.

 

VERSE 4. God met Balaam, and he said to him, “I have prepared the seven altars, and I have offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.”

God met Balaam. The LORD God met Balaam.

 

VERSE 5. The LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.”

put a word in Balaam’s mouth. The LORD God “put a word” in Balaam’s mouth.

The imagery is rich. It is a parallel of how we put food in our mouths.

Maybe that is how prophets know what to say.

 

VERSE 6. He returned to him, and behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, he, and all the princes of Moab.

 

VERSE 7. He took up his parable, and said, “From Aram has Balak brought me, the king of Moab from the mountains of the East. Come, curse Jacob for me. Come, defy Israel.

 

VERSE 8. How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? How shall I defy whom the LORD has not defied?

Balaam will not curse the people of the LORD God.

 

VERSE 9. For from the top of the rocks I see him. From the hills I see him. Behold, it is a people that dwells alone, and shall not be listed among the nations.

I see him. Who is the “him”?

  • the LORD God?
  • The Israelites?

 

VERSE 10. Who can count the dust of Jacob, or count the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous! Let my last end be like his!”

 

VERSE 11. Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them altogether.”

What have you done to me? King Balak shouts out hatred and curses. But a godly person blesses their enemies.

In our day, cultures are increasingly based on hatred and rage. But the Lord Jesus Christ commands us to love our enemies. And bless them. Read more »

 

VERSE 12. He answered and said, “Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD puts in my mouth?”

 

BALAAM BLESSES ISRAEL AGAIN

 

VERSE 13. Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place, where you may see them. You shall see just part of them, and shall not see them all. Curse them from there for me.”

 

VERSE 14. He took him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.

seven altars … seven bulls … seven rams. We assume this Balaam’s own contrivance.

We are not aware of any such requirement in the Law of Moses.

 

VERSE 15. He said to Balak, “Stand here by your burnt offering, while I meet God over there.”

 

VERSE 16. The LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and say this.”

put a word in his mouth. The LORD God “put a word” in Balaam’s mouth.

The imagery is rich. It is a parallel of how we put food in our mouths.

Maybe that is how prophets know what to say.

 

VERSE 17. He came to him, and behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. Balak said to him, “What has the LORD spoken?”

 

VERSE 18. He took up his parable, and said, “Rise up, Balak, and hear! Listen to me, you son of Zippor.

 

VERSE 19. God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and he won’t do it? Or has he spoken, and he won’t make it good?

This verse is great! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Book of Numbers and from the entire Bible.

 

VERSE 20. Behold, I have received a command to bless. He has blessed, and I can’t reverse it.

I have received a command to bless. And so have we!

In our day, cultures are increasingly based on hatred and rage. But the Lord Jesus Christ commands us to love our enemies. And bless them. Read more »

 

VERSE 21. He has not seen iniquity in Jacob. Neither has he seen perverseness in Israel. The LORD his God is with him. The shout of a king is among them.

 

VERSE 22. God brings them out of Egypt. He has as it were the strength of the wild ox.

 

VERSE 23. Surely there is no enchantment with Jacob; Neither is there any divination with Israel. Now it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘What has God done!’

 

VERSE 24. Behold, a people rises up as a lioness. As a lion he lifts himself up. He shall not lie down until he eats of the prey, and drinks the blood of the slain.”

 

VERSE 25. Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.”

nor bless them at all. King Balak tries to stop Balaam from blessing the Israelites.

 

VERSE 26. But Balaam answered Balak, “Didn’t I tell you, saying, ‘All that the LORD speaks, that I must do?’ ”

 

BALAAM BLESSES ISRAEL A THIRD TIME

 

VERSE 27. Balak said to Balaam, “Come now, I will take you to another place; perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from there.”

 

VERSE 28. Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that looks down on the desert.

 

VERSE 29. Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars for me here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me here.”

seven altars … seven bulls … seven rams. We assume this Balaam’s own contrivance.

We are not aware of any such requirement in the Law of Moses.

 

VERSE 30. Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.

 


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