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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 22

Bullinger's Companion Bible NotesBullinger's Companion Notes

Verse 1

children = sons.

plains of Moab: i.e. which had belonged to Moab.

Verse 2

done to the Amorites. Compare Numbers 21:35 .

Verse 4

all that are round about us: Hebrew all our circuits. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject). App-6 .

Verse 5

Balaam. So written after the Greek. In Hebrew bis name is Bil'am. Compare Joshua 13:22 with Joshua 24:9 , Joshua 24:10 ; 2Pe 2:15 , 2 Peter 2:16 . He was a spiritist or medium. He is identified by Sayce with Bela, Genesis 36:31 , Genesis 36:32 , where Moses incorporates a list of Edomite kings. According to the Tel-el-Amama tablets he was a Hittite chieftain, who established a kingdom for himself: and he died fighting against Israel by the side of his Midianite allies (Numbers 31:8 . Joshua 13:22 ).

his people: i.e. whom he had banded together and led. Some codices, with Samaritan Pentateuch, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "sons of Ammon".

Verse 6

curse. Hebrew. 'arar. To wish or speak evil against, as to effect rather than as to the act.

wot = know.

Verse 7

rewards of divination. Hebrew "divinations". Figure of speech Metonymy (of Effect), App-6 , put for the money which procures it. Compare 2 Peter 2:15 .

Verse 8

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 .

Verse 9

God . . . said. Note the change to 'Elohim. said. Only four times: in verses: Numbers 9:12 , Numbers 9:20 in connection with Balaam. See App-4 , and notes on Numbers 1:1 ; Numbers 3:40 .

Verse 11

there is a People. Hebrew = the People.

now. Some codices, with Samaritan Pentateuch, The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel and Septuagint, read "now therefore".

curse. Hebrew. kabab, to pierce with words. Note that this word is found only in Balak's and Balaam's mouths. Here, first occurrence, and later in seven other places. See note on Numbers 23:8 .

peradventure = perhaps.

Verse 12

not go. This is absolute. Compare Numbers 22:20 , where the permission is conditional. See Structure above.

thou shalt not curse. A special various reading called Sevir (see App-34 ), with Samaritan Pentateuch, The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "neither shalt thou".

Verse 13

Balaam . . . said. Note what he suppressed,

Verse 14

they . . . said. Note what they suppressed.

Verse 17

promote thee unto very great honour. Figure of speech Polyptoton ( App-6 ), for the emphasis rightly shown in the translation. Hebrew an honouring I will honour thee. See note on Genesis 26:28 .

Verse 20

If the men come to call thee. This was the condition with which Balaam did not comply. See Numbers 22:21 .

Verse 21

went. Without waiting for the condition given by the LORD in Numbers 22:20 . Hence God's anger. See Numbers 22:22 .

Verse 22

God's anger. Note 'Elohim, not Jehovah.

went = was really going. Emphasized to show that even this condition was not meant as a condition, but was to be taken rather as irony. It shows also Balaam's determination to go, whether or no.

stood = stationed himself.

Verse 23

His sword drawn. As in 1 Chronicles 21:16 . Balaam was going to have Israel killed with the sword.

Verse 24

path = a narrow or hollow way. Hebrew. mish'ol. Occurs only here.

wall. Especially the wall of a vineyard. Compare Isaiah 6:8 .

Verse 26

narrow. Hebrew. zarar. Occurs only here, Proverbs 23:27 , and Isaiah 28:20 .

Verse 28

opened the mouth, &c. Hebrew. patah. Compare Numbers 22:31 . This was Jehovah's work (as in Numbers 22:31 ). But how could Satan open the mouth of the serpent, which has no organs of speech? See Genesis 3:1 , &c, and App-19 .

Verse 31

opened = uncover. Hebrew. galah. Compare Numbers 22:28 .

Verse 32

said. See note on Numbers 3:40 .

Wherefore . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6 .

behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .

to withstand = to be an adversary, as in Numbers 22:22 .

perverse. Hebrew. 'avil. Occurs only here and Job 16:11 (ungodly).

Verse 33

thee . . . her. Note the emphasis on these pronouns.

Verse 34

sinned. Hebrew. chata. App-44 .

Verse 35

Go. Jehovah now overrules the evil for Israel's good.

men = Hebrew, plural of 'ish , or 'enosh. App-14 .

only the word. Permission limited.

Verse 36

coast = border.

Verse 37

Did I not earnestly send. Figure of speech Polyptoton ( App-6 ), Hebrew "a sending did I not send". See note on Genesis 26:28 .

am I not able . . . ? Vain boast! Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6 .

Verse 38

Lo. Figure of speech Asterismos ( App-6 ).

have I. ? Figure of speech Erotesis ( App-6 ).

God = 'Elohim. Not Jehovah. Note this, and see App-4 .

Verse 41

the utmost part = the extremity of the camp.

Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 22". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/numbers-22.html. 1909-1922.
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