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Numbers 22:6-11

Context
22:6 So 1  now, please come and curse this nation 2  for me, for they are too powerful for me. Perhaps I will prevail so that we may conquer them 3  and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, 4  and whoever you curse is cursed.”

22:7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fee for divination in their hand. They came to Balaam and reported 5  to him the words of Balak. 22:8 He replied to them, “Stay 6  here tonight, and I will bring back to you whatever word the Lord may speak to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. 22:9 And God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?” 22:10 Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent a message to me, saying, 22:11 “Look, a nation has come out 7  of Egypt, and it covers the face of the earth. Come now and put a curse on them for me; perhaps I will be able to defeat them 8  and drive them out.” 9 

1 tn The two lines before this verse begin with the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh), and so they lay the foundation for these imperatives. In view of those circumstances, this is what should happen.

2 tn Heb “people.” So also in vv. 10, 17, 41.

3 tn The construction uses the imperfect tense אוּכַל (’ukhal, “I will be able”) followed by the imperfect tense נַכֶּה (nakkeh, “we will smite/attack/defeat”). The second verb is clearly the purpose or the result of the first, even though there is no conjunction or particle.

4 tn The verb is the Piel imperfect of בָּרַךְ (barakh), with the nuance of possibility: “whomever you may bless.” The Pual participle מְבֹרָךְ (mÿvorakh) serves as the predicate.

5 tn Heb “spoke.”

6 tn The verb לִין (lin) means “to lodge, spend the night.” The related noun is “a lodge” – a hotel of sorts. Balaam needed to consider the offer. And after darkness was considered the best time for diviners to consult with their deities. Balaam apparently knows of the Lord; he testifies to this effect in 22:18.

7 tn In this passage the text differs slightly; here it is “the nation that comes out,” using the article on the noun, and the active participle in the attributive adjective usage.

8 tn Here the infinitive construct is used to express the object or complement of the verb “to be able” (it answers the question of what he will be able to do).

9 tn The verb is the Piel perfect with vav (ו) consecutive. It either carries the force of an imperfect tense, or it may be subordinated to the preceding verbs.



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