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Balaam and Balak [2] (Numbers 24,25)

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CHAPTER 24 Apr. 7 
Balaam Continues to Bless Israel and Speaks of their Messiah
When Balaam perceived that it pleased Yahweh to bless Israel, he didn’t go as at the other times to meet with enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness. 2Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came on him. 3He took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor says, the man whose eye was closed says; 4he says, who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down, and having his eyes open: 5How beautiful are your tents, Jacob, and your tents, Israel! 6As valleys they are spread forth, as gardens by the riverside, as aloes which Yahweh has planted, as cedar trees beside the waters. 7Water shall flow from his buckets, his seed shall be in many waters, his king shall be higher than Agag; his kingdom shall be exalted. 8God brings him out of Egypt; he has as it were the strength of the wild ox. He shall eat up the nations his adversaries, shall break their bones in pieces and pierce them with his arrows. 9He couched, he lay down as a lion, as a lioness; who shall rouse him up? Everyone who blesses you is blessed, everyone who curses you is cursed. 10Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, I called you to curse my enemies, and, behold, you have altogether blessed them these three times. 11Therefore now flee you to your place! I thought to promote you to great honour; but, behold, Yahweh has kept you back from honour. 12Balaam said to Balak, Didn’t I also tell your messengers whom you sent to me, saying, 13‘If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can’t go beyond the word of Yahweh, to do either good or bad of my own mind. I will say what Yahweh says?’ 14Now, behold, I go to my people. Come, I will inform you what this people shall do to your people in the latter days. 15He took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor says, the man whose eye was closed says; 16he says, who hears the words of God, knows the knowledge of the Most High, and who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down, and having his eyes open: 17I see him, but not now; I see him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob, a sceptre will rise out of Israel, and shall strike through the corners of Moab, and break down all the sons of Sheth. 18Edom shall be a possession. Seir, his enemies, also shall be a possession, while Israel does valiantly. 19Out of Jacob shall come one who shall have dominion, and shall destroy the remnant from the city. 20He looked at Amalek and took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations, but his latter end shall come to destruction. 21He looked at the Kenite, and took up his parable and said, Your dwelling place is strong, your nest is set in the rock. 22Nevertheless Kain shall be wasted, until Asshur carries you away captive. 23He took up his parable and said, Alas, who shall live when God does this? 24But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim; they shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber. He also shall come to destruction. 25Balaam rose up and went and returned to his place, and Balak also went his way.


24:5 How beautiful are your tents, Jacob- God is described in the prophets as being in love with Israel at this time (Ez. 16:8)- just as He is with us on our wilderness journey towards His Kingdom. He didn’t ‘see’ their sin (see on 23:21). 
24:10 These three times- Balaam ought to have perceived that each time he tried to curse Israel and ended up blessing them, it was like him trying those three times to ride his donkey down the lane with God standing in the way to block him. The same phrase “these three times” occurs three times in that record (22:28,32,33).
24:17 This star and sceptre would seem to refer to Israel’s Messiah, the Lord Jesus. It seems He will yet win a resounding victory against Israel’s Arab enemies, represented here by Moab, and be higher than Agag (:7), or Gog. Ez. 38:1-7 speaks of Christ’s latter day conflict with Gog. It seems there will be a final conflict around the time of Christ’s return, in which He will finally save Israel from all their surrounding enemies.
24:25 We learn from 31:16 and Rev. 2:14 that at this time, Balaam advised Balak to entice Israel with Moabite prostitutes, so that the people would be cursed by their God for immorality. The events of chapter 25 were therefore on Balaam’s advice. This desperate strategy reflects how headlong was Balaam’s desire to receive the wealth promised him, and how he sacrificed the welfare of God’s people upon that altar. In essence we can do the same today.