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Numbers 24:20-21

Context
Balaam’s Final Prophecies

24:20 Then Balaam 1  looked on Amalek and delivered this oracle: 2 

“Amalek was the first 3  of the nations,

but his end will be that he will perish.”

24:21 Then he looked on the Kenites and uttered this oracle:

“Your dwelling place seems strong,

and your nest 4  is set on a rocky cliff.

1 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Balaam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Heb “and he lifted up his oracle and said.” So also in vv. 21, 23.

3 sn This probably means that it held first place, or it thought that it was “the first of the nations.” It was not the first, either in order or greatness.

4 sn A pun is made on the name Kenite by using the word “your nest” (קִנֶּךָ, qinnekha); the location may be the rocky cliffs overlooking Petra.



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