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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 22

Geneva Study BibleGeneva Study Bible

Verse 1

22:1 And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on {a} this side Jordan [by] Jericho.

(a) Being at Jericho, it was beyond the Jordan, but where the Israelites were, it was on this side.

Verse 4

22:4 And Moab said unto the {b} elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all [that are] round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor [was] king of the Moabites at that time.

(b) Who were the heads and governors.

Verse 5

22:5 He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which [is] by the {c} river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me:

(c) That is, Euphrates, upon which stood this city Pethor.

Verse 7

22:7 And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with {d} the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak.

(d) Thinking to bribe him with gifts to curse the Israelites.

Verse 8

22:8 And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak unto me: and {e} the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.

(e) Whom before he called elders: meaning the governors, and later calls them servants: that is, subjects to their king.

Verse 12

22:12 And God {f} said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they [are] blessed.

(f) He warned him by a dream, that he should not consent to the kings wicked request.

Verse 13

22:13 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the LORD refuseth to give {g} me leave to go with you.

(g) Or else he would have been willing, covetousness had so blinded his heart.

Verse 16

22:16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, {h} Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me:

(h) The wicked seek by all means to further their naughty enterprises, though they know that God is against them.

Verse 19

22:19 Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will say unto me {i} more.

(i) Because he tempted God to require him contrary to his commandment, his petition was granted, but it turned to his own condemnation.

Verse 22

22:22 And God’s anger was kindled because he {k} went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants [were] with him.

(k) Moved rather with covetousness than to obey God.

Verse 24

22:24 {l} But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall [being] on this side, and a wall on that side.

(l) The second time.

Verse 28

22:28 And the LORD {m} opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

(m) Gave her power to speak.

Verse 30

22:30 And the ass said unto Balaam, [Am] not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever {n} since [I was] thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.

(n) Since you have been my master.

Verse 31

22:31 Then the LORD {o} opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.

(o) For if the Lord does not open your eyes, you can see neither his anger or his love.

Verse 32

22:32 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because [thy] {p} way is perverse before me:

(p) Both your heart is corrupt and your enterprise wicked.

Verse 35

22:35 And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the {q} word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

(q) Because his heart was evil, his charge was renewed, that he should not pretend ignorance.

Verse 36

22:36 And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which [is] in the {r} border of Arnon, which [is] in the utmost coast.

(r) Near the place where the Israelites camped.

Verse 38

22:38 And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say {s} any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.

(s) On my own I can say nothing, I will only speak what God reveals, whether it is good or bad.

Verse 41

22:41 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of {t} Baal, that thence he might see the utmost [part] of the people.

(t) Where the idol Baal was worshipped.

Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Numbers 22". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gsb/numbers-22.html. 1599-1645.
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