NETBible KJV GRK-HEB XRef Arts Hymns
  Discovery Box

Numbers 24:2

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.

Numbers 24:14-25

Context
24:14 And now, I am about to go 2  back to my own people. Come now, and I will advise you as to what this people will do to your people in the future.” 3 

Balaam Prophesies a Fourth Time

24:15 Then he uttered this oracle: 4 

“The oracle of Balaam son of Beor;

the oracle of the man whose eyes are open;

24:16 the oracle of the one who hears the words of God,

and who knows the knowledge of the Most High,

who sees a vision from the Almighty,

although falling flat on the ground with eyes open:

24:17 ‘I see him, but not now;

I behold him, but not close at hand. 5 

A star 6  will march forth 7  out of Jacob,

and a scepter 8  will rise out of Israel.

He will crush the skulls 9  of Moab,

and the heads 10  of all the sons of Sheth. 11 

24:18 Edom will be a possession,

Seir, 12  his enemies, will also be a possession;

but Israel will act valiantly.

24:19 A ruler will be established from Jacob;

he will destroy the remains of the city.’” 13 

Balaam’s Final Prophecies

24:20 Then Balaam 14  looked on Amalek and delivered this oracle: 15 

“Amalek was the first 16  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 17  is set on a rocky cliff.

24:22 Nevertheless the Kenite will be consumed. 18 

How long will Asshur take you away captive?”

24:23 Then he uttered this oracle:

“O, who will survive when God does this! 19 

24:24 Ships will come from the coast of Kittim, 20 

and will afflict Asshur, 21  and will afflict Eber,

and he will also perish forever.” 22 

24:25 Balaam got up and departed and returned to his home, 23  and Balak also went his way.

1 tn Heb “living according to their tribes.”

2 tn The construction is the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) suffixed followed by the active participle. This is the futur instans use of the participle, to express something that is about to happen: “I am about to go.”

3 tn Heb “in the latter days.” For more on this expression, see E. Lipinski, “באחרית הימים dans les textes préexiliques,” VT 20 (1970): 445-50.

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

5 tn Heb “near.”

6 sn This is a figure for a king (see also Isa 14:12) not only in the Bible but in the ancient Near Eastern literature as a whole. The immediate reference of the prophecy seems to be to David, but the eschatological theme goes beyond him. There is to be a connection made between this passage and the sighting of a star in its ascendancy by the magi, who then traveled to Bethlehem to see the one born King of the Jews (Matt 2:2). The expression “son of a star” (Aram Bar Kochba) became a title for a later claimant to kingship, but he was doomed by the Romans in a.d. 135.

7 tn The verb is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive; it is equal to the imperfect expressing the future. The verb דָּרַךְ (darakh), related to the noun “way, road,” seems to mean something like tread on, walk, march.”

8 sn The “scepter” is metonymical for a king who will rise to power. NEB strangely rendered this as “comet” to make a parallel with “star.”

9 tn The word is literally “corners,” but may refer to the corners of the head, and so “skull.”

10 tc The MT reads “shatter, devastate.” Smr reads קֹדְקֹד (qodqod, “head; crown; pate”). Smr follows Jer 48:45 which appears to reflect Num 24:17.

11 sn The prophecy begins to be fulfilled when David defeated Moab and Edom and established an empire including them. But the Messianic promise extends far beyond that to the end of the age and the inclusion of these defeated people in the program of the coming King.

12 sn Seir is the chief mountain range of Edom (Deut 33:2), and so the reference here is to the general area of Edom.

13 tn Or, understanding the Hebrew word for “city” as a place name, “of Ir” (cf. NRSV, NLT).

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

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

16 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.

17 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.

18 tc Heb “Nevertheless Cain will be wasted; how long will Asshur take you captive?” Cain was believed to be the ancestor of the Kenites. The NAB has “yet destined for burning, even as I watch, are your inhabitants.” Asshur may refer to a north Arabian group of people of Abrahamic stock (Gen 25:3), and not the Assyrian empire.

19 tc Because there is no parallel line, some have thought that it dropped out (see de Vaulx, Les Nombres, 296).

20 tc The MT is difficult. The Kittim refers normally to Cyprus, or any maritime people to the west. W. F. Albright proposed emending the line to “islands will gather in the north, ships from the distant sea” (“The Oracles of Balaam,” JBL 63 [1944]: 222-23). Some commentators accept that reading as the original state of the text, since the present MT makes little sense.

21 tn Or perhaps “Assyria” (so NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).

22 tn Or “it will end in utter destruction.”

23 tn Heb “place.”



TIP #09: Tell your friends ... become a ministry partner ... use the NET Bible on your site. [ALL]
created in 0.19 seconds
powered by bible.org