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Numbers 24:2-4

Context
24:2 When Balaam lifted up his eyes, he saw Israel camped tribe by tribe; 1  and the Spirit of God came upon him. 24:3 Then he uttered this oracle: 2 

“The oracle 3  of Balaam son of Beor;

the oracle of the man whose eyes are open; 4 

24:4 the oracle of the one who hears the words of God,

who sees a vision from the Almighty,

although falling flat on the ground 5  with eyes open: 6 

1 tn Heb “living according to their tribes.”

2 tn Heb “and he took up his oracle and said.”

3 tn The word נְאֻם (nÿum) is an “oracle.” It is usually followed by a subjective genitive, indicating the doer of the action. The word could be rendered “says,” but this translations is more specific.

4 tn The Greek version reads “the one who sees truly.” The word has been interpreted in both ways, “shut” or “open.”

5 tn The phrase “flat on the ground” is supplied in the translation for clarity. The Greek version interprets the line to mean “falling asleep.” It may mean falling into a trance.

6 tn The last colon simply has “falling, but opened eyes.” The falling may simply refer to lying prone; and the opened eyes may refer to his receiving a vision. See H. E. Freeman, An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophets, 37-41.



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