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Numbers 22:5

Context
22:5 And he sent messengers to Balaam 1  son of Beor at Pethor, which is by the Euphrates River 2  in the land of Amaw, 3  to summon him, saying, “Look, a nation has come out of Egypt. They cover the face 4  of the earth, and they are settling next to me.

1 sn There is much literature on pagan diviners and especially prophecy in places in the east like Mari (see, for example, H. B. Huffmon, “Prophecy in the Mari Letters,” BA 31 [1968]: 101-24). Balaam appears to be a pagan diviner who was of some reputation; he was called to curse the Israelites, but God intervened and gave him blessings only. The passage forms a nice complement to texts that deal with blessings and curses. It shows that no one can curse someone whom God has blessed.

2 tn Heb “by the river”; in most contexts this expression refers to the Euphrates River (cf. NAB, NCV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT).

3 tn Heb “in the land of Amaw” (cf. NAB, NRSV, TEV); traditionally “in the land of the sons of his people.” The LXX has “by the river of the land.”

4 tn Heb “eye.” So also in v. 11.



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