|Numbers 24 |
1 And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not depart like the two previous times to seek for the Lord's approval for enchantments [curses], but he looked 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.
3 And he took up his parable, and said, "Balaam, the son of Beor has said, and the man whose eyes are open has said:
4 He who has heard the words of God, who saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, while having his eyes open:
5 'How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob, and your dwellings, O Israel!
6 As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of lignaloes that the LORD has planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.
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 has the strength of an wild ox. He shall eat up the nations of his enemies; and he 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 blesses you, and cursed is he that curses you.'"
10 And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together said to Balaam, "I called you to curse my enemies, and, behold, you have completely blessed them these three times.
11 Therefore now flee you to your place. I planned to promote you to great honor; but, lo, the LORD has kept you back from honor."
12 And Balaam said to Balak, "Did I not also advise your messengers whom you sent to me, by 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 by my own mind; only what the LORD has said, that I will speak?'
14 And now, behold, I go to my people. Come therefore, and I will advise you what this people shall do to your people in the coming days."
15 And he took up his parable, and said, "Balaam, the son of Beor has said, and the man whose eyes are open has said.
16 He has said, who heard the words of God and knew the knowledge of the most High, who saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, while having his eyes open:
17 'I shall see him, but not now. I shall behold him, but not near. There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter 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, and Seir shall also be a possession; both were his [Jacob's] enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.
19 Out of Jacob he shall come who shall have dominion, and he shall destroy all who remain in the city.'"
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 perishes forever."
21 And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, "Strong is your dwelling place, and you put your nest in a rock.
22 Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry you away captive."
23 And he took up his parable, and said, "Alas, who shall live when God does this!
24 And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish forever."
25 And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place; and Balak also went his way.1
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
1 Balaam is an interesting study. First, he was a Gentile, yet he heard and spoke the Word of God. Second, he is the example of Peter and Jude in their severe warnings against listening to anyone who preaches for gain; and they were warning against anyone who could speak the Word of God and preach for gain. Today, Christendom's preachers do not speak the word of God, or hear the Word of God; they only quote the Bible and speculate on its meanings from their vain imaginations and training from their sect's college. However, they do preach for a salary; they do preach for the honor of the office; and they do Lord it over their followers. So, the warnings of Peter, Jude, Jesus, and Paul apply to today's preachers too, particularly since they are not even as far advanced as Balaam, or Balaam's ass. The following warnings reference Balaam:
For there are certain men who have crept in unnoticed, whose condemnation was predicted long ago, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into a license for immorality, and deny and disown our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ....Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and have run greedily after the error of Balaam for pay, and have perished in the gainsaying [rebellion] of Korah. These are spots in your feasts of love, where they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear. They are clouds without water, carried along by the wind; trees without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom the blackness of darkness is reserved forever. Jude 1:4,11-13.
But just as there were false prophets among the people in those times, so there will be false teachers among you, who will subtly and elusively introduce destructive, distorted teachings, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their destructive ways, and because of them the way of truth will be maligned. And in their covetousness they will make merchandise of you with invented words; from long ago their judgment has not been idle, and their damnation has not slumbered.......Having eyes full of adultery [lovers of money, not God], who cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls. They have exercised their heart in covetous practices, they are cursed children, who have forsaken the right way and have gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, who was rebuked for his iniquity by the dumb ass speaking with a man's voice forbidding the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a storm, to whom black darkness is reserved. For speaking great swelling words of vanity, they lure through the lusts of the flesh and much wantonness, those who were barely escaping from those who live in error. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in it and overcome, the latter is worse for them than the beginning. 2 Pet 2:1-3,14-19.
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter