Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Numbers 24

Introduction

1Balaam, leaving divinations, prophesies the happiness of Israel.
10Balak, in anger, dismisses him.
15He prophesies of the Star of Jacob, and the destruction of some nations.

Verse 1

And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.
saw
22:13; 23:20; 31:16; 1 Samuel 24:20; 26:2,25; Revelation 2:14
at other times
23:3,15
to seek for enchantments
Heb. to the meeting of enchantments.
23:23
Reciprocal: Genesis 19:37 - Moabites;  Genesis 31:21 - set his;  Numbers 3:17 - Gershon;  Numbers 23:16 - GeneralJoshua 13:22 - Balaam;  Isaiah 19:25 - the Lord

Verse 2

And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him.
abiding
5; 2:2-34; 23:9,10; Song of Solomon 6:4,10
the spirit
11:25-29; 1 Samuel 10:10; 19:20,23; 2 Chronicles 15:1; Matthew 7:22; 10:4,8; Luke 10:20; John 11:49-51
Reciprocal: Leviticus 23:42 - GeneralNumbers 1:52 - GeneralNumbers 2:34 - so they;  Numbers 23:7 - parable;  1 Kings 13:11 - an old prophet;  2 Chronicles 20:14 - came the Spirit;  Daniel 8:3 - I lifted;  John 11:51 - he prophesied

Verse 3

And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
he took up
23:7,18
whose eyes are open hath said
Heb. who had his eyes shut, but now opened.
4,16; 22:31
Reciprocal: Numbers 24:15 - GeneralJob 27:1 - Job;  Micah 2:4 - shall;  1 Corinthians 14:37 - any;  Hebrews 6:4 - were once

Verse 4

He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
saw
12:6; Genesis 15:12; Psalms 89:19; Daniel 8:26,27; Acts 10:10,19; 22:17; 2 Corinthians 12:1-4
falling
22:31; 1 Samuel 19:24; Ezekiel 1:28; Daniel 8:17,18; 10:15,16; Revelation 1:10,17
Reciprocal: Genesis 46:2 - in the visions;  Numbers 10:28 - according;  Numbers 24:3 - whose eyes are open hath said;  Numbers 24:15 - GeneralNumbers 24:16 - General1 Samuel 9:19 - the seer;  1 Kings 13:20 - the word of the Lord;  Isaiah 1:1 - vision;  Matthew 7:22 - have we;  1 Corinthians 14:37 - any;  Revelation 1:8 - the Almighty

Verse 6

As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.
as gardens
Genesis 2:8-10; 13:10; Song of Solomon 4:12-15; 6:11; Isaiah 58:11; Jeremiah 31:12; Joel 3:18
as the trees
Ahalim, "lign-aloe trees." This tree, which grows in the East Indies, is described as being eight or ten feet in height, with a stem the thickness of a man's thigh. At the top grows a large tuft of jagged and thick leaves, thick and indented, broad at the bottom, but growing narrower towards the point, and about four feet in length. The blossoms are red, intermingled with yellow, and double like cloves; from which comes a red and white fruit, of the size of a pea, oblong and triangular, with three apartments filled with seed. The tree has a very beautiful appearance; and a forest of them is said to bear a resemblance to a numerous encampment.
Psalms 1:3; Jeremiah 17:18
which the
Psalms 104:16; Isaiah 41:19
as cedar
Psalms 92:12-14; Ezekiel 31:3,4; 47:12
Reciprocal: Numbers 2:34 - so they;  1 Kings 4:33 - the cedar tree;  Song of Solomon 4:14 - trees;  Ezekiel 19:10 - she was

Verse 7

He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.
pour
Psalms 68:26; Proverbs 5:16-18; Isaiah 48:1
many waters
Psalms 93:3,4; Jeremiah 51:13; Revelation 17:1,15
his king
Ezra 4:20; Psalms 2:6-10; 18:43; John 1:49; Philippians 2:10,11; Revelation 19:16
Agag
1 Samuel 15:8,9,32,33
his kingdom
2 Samuel 5:12; 1 Kings 4:21; 1 Chronicles 14:2; Isaiah 2:2; 9:7; Daniel 2:44; Revelation 11:15
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 22:49 - thou also;  2 Kings 1:1 - Moab;  Esther 3:1 - Agagite;  Psalm 89:27 - higher;  Ezekiel 19:10 - she was;  Ezekiel 19:11 - she had

Verse 8

God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.
God
21:5; 23:22
shall eat
14:9; 23:24; Deuteronomy 7:1
break
Psalms 2:9; Isaiah 38:13; Jeremiah 50:17; Daniel 6:24
pierce
Deuteronomy 32:23,42; Psalms 21:12; 45:5; Jeremiah 50:9
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 33:17 - his horns;  2 Samuel 17:10 - heart;  Psalm 18:14 - Yea;  Psalm 92:10 - an unicorn;  Isaiah 31:4 - Like as;  Isaiah 34:7 - unicorns;  Matthew 2:15 - Out;  Acts 5:13 - of

Verse 9

He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.
couched
Genesis 49:9; Job 38:39,40
who shall
23:24; Job 41:10; Psalms 2:12
Blessed
Genesis 12:3; 27:29; Psalms 122:6; Matthew 25:40,45; Acts 9:5
Reciprocal: Genesis 12:2 - GeneralExodus 23:22 - an enemy;  Numbers 22:6 - curse me;  Deuteronomy 23:5 - Nevertheless;  1 Samuel 26:25 - Blessed;  2 Samuel 17:10 - heart;  1 Kings 10:20 - lions;  2 Chronicles 9:18 - two lions;  Job 4:11 - old lion;  Isaiah 5:29 - roaring;  Isaiah 31:4 - Like as;  Ezekiel 32:2 - Thou art like;  Revelation 4:7 - the first beast;  Revelation 5:5 - the Lion

Verse 10

And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times.
he smote
Job 27:23; Ezekiel 21:14,17; 22:13
I called
22:6,11,17; 23:11; Deuteronomy 23:4,5; Joshua 24:9,10; Nehemiah 13:2
Reciprocal: Genesis 12:2 - GeneralJudges 7:14 - his fellow;  1 Samuel 26:25 - Blessed;  Ezekiel 6:11 - Smite;  Matthew 2:16 - when;  Acts 11:10 - three

Verse 11

Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honour.
I thought
22:17,37
the Lord
Matthew 19:28-30; Acts 8:20; Philippians 3:8; Hebrews 11:24-26; 1 Peter 5:2,3; 2 John 1:8
Reciprocal: Numbers 24:25 - General2 Kings 5:5 - and took;  Daniel 2:6 - ye shall;  Daniel 2:48 - a great;  Daniel 5:7 - be clothed

Verse 12

And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying,
22:18,38
Reciprocal: Numbers 23:26 - General

Verse 14

And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.
I will advertise
17; 31:7-18; Micah 6:5; Revelation 2:10,14
the latter
Genesis 49:1; Isaiah 24:22; Jeremiah 48:47; 49:39; Daniel 2:28; 10:14; Hosea 3:5; Acts 2:17; 2 Timothy 3:1
Reciprocal: Numbers 31:16 - these caused;  Deuteronomy 2:4 - they shall;  Deuteronomy 30:7 - GeneralIsaiah 2:2 - in the last;  Isaiah 30:8 - the time to come;  Jeremiah 30:24 - in;  Ezekiel 38:8 - many days;  John 11:51 - he prophesied;  1 Timothy 4:1 - the latter;  Hebrews 1:2 - these

Verse 15

And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
3,4; 23:7,18; Job 27:1; Matthew 13:35
Reciprocal: Proverbs 18:2 - but;  Micah 2:4 - shall;  1 Corinthians 13:2 - I have the;  Hebrews 6:4 - were once

Verse 16

He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
4; 2 Samuel 23:1,2; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 13:2
Reciprocal: Numbers 22:31 - opened;  Numbers 24:3 - whose eyes are open hath said;  Deuteronomy 32:8 - Most;  1 Samuel 9:19 - the seer;  1 Kings 13:20 - the word of the Lord;  Proverbs 18:2 - but;  Isaiah 1:1 - vision;  Acts 10:10 - he fell;  1 Corinthians 14:37 - any;  Titus 1:16 - profess;  Hebrews 6:4 - were once

Verse 17

I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
I shall see him
The Targum of Onkelos translates this passage in the following manner: "I shall see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but he is not near. When a king shall arise from the house of Jacob, and the Messiah be anointed from the house of Israel; he shall slay the princes of Moab, and rule over all the children of men." The marginal references will direct the reader to the fulfilment of these remarkable prophecies.
Job 19:25-27; Zechariah 12:10; Jude 1:11,14,15; Revelation 1:7
a Star
Matthew 2:2-9; Luke 1:78; 2 Peter 1:19; Revelation 22:16
a Sceptre
Genesis 49:10; Psalms 45:6; 78:70-72; 110:2; Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:32,33; Hebrews 1:8
smite the corners of Moab
or, smite through the princes of Moab.
1 Samuel 14:38; *marg:; Zechariah 10:4
Moab
2 Samuel 8:2; 2 Kings 3:5,26,27; 1 Chronicles 18:2; Jeremiah 48:45
all the children
Genesis 4:25,26; 5:3-29
Seth
Psalms 72:8-11; Revelation 11:15
Reciprocal: Genesis 22:17 - thy seed;  Genesis 36:31 - the kings;  Numbers 22:4 - Now shall;  Numbers 23:24 - he shall;  Numbers 24:14 - I will advertise;  2 Samuel 22:49 - thou also;  2 Kings 3:19 - And ye;  1 Chronicles 1:43 - the kings;  Job 19:27 - I shall;  Psalm 18:37 - GeneralIsaiah 11:14 - them of the east;  Isaiah 16:12 - when;  Isaiah 19:13 - stay;  Isaiah 25:10 - Moab;  Isaiah 46:10 - the end;  Jeremiah 48:1 - Moab;  Jeremiah 49:7 - Edom;  Ezekiel 19:11 - she had;  Ezekiel 25:8 - Moab;  Amos 2:3 - GeneralAmos 9:12 - Edom;  Matthew 11:3 - Art;  John 5:46 - for;  Hebrews 11:13 - but

Verse 18

And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.
Genesis 27:29,40; 2 Samuel 8:14; Psalms 60:1; *title; Psalms 60:8-12; Isaiah 34:5; 63:1; Amos 9:12
Reciprocal: Genesis 36:12 - Amalek;  Genesis 36:31 - the kings;  Deuteronomy 28:13 - the head;  1 Kings 11:15 - after he had;  1 Chronicles 18:13 - all the Edomites;  Psalm 60:12 - we shall;  Isaiah 21:11 - me out;  Jeremiah 49:7 - Edom;  Obadiah 1:2 - GeneralObadiah 1:19 - the south;  John 5:46 - for

Verse 19

Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.
Of Jacob
Genesis 49:10; Psalms 2:1-12; 72:10,11; Isaiah 11:10; Micah 5:2,4; Matthew 28:18; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Ephesians 1:20-22; Philippians 2:10,11; Hebrews 1:8; 1 Peter 3:22; Revelation 19:16
shall destroy
Psalms 21:7-10; Matthew 25:46; Luke 19:12,27
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 28:13 - the head;  1 Kings 11:15 - after he had;  Psalm 60:12 - we shall;  Ezekiel 21:27 - until;  Obadiah 1:19 - the south;  Micah 4:8 - the first;  Matthew 2:6 - a Governor;  Matthew 21:5 - thy King

Verse 20

And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.
the first of the nations
or, the first of the nations that warred against Israel.
Exodus 17:8,16
his latter end
Judges 6:3; 1 Samuel 14:48; 15:3-8; 27:8,9; 30:1,17; 1 Chronicles 4:43; Esther 3:1; Esther 7:9,10; 9:14
shall be that he perish for ever
or, shall be even to destruction.
Exodus 17:14; 1 Samuel 15:3,8
Reciprocal: Genesis 14:7 - Amalekites;  Numbers 13:29 - Amalekites;  Deuteronomy 4:30 - in the latter;  Deuteronomy 25:17 - General1 Samuel 15:2 - Amalek;  2 Samuel 1:8 - an Amalekite;  2 Peter 2:20 - the latter

Verse 21

And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwellingplace, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock.
the Kenites
Genesis 15:19; Judges 1:16; Job 29:18
Reciprocal: Judges 4:11 - Heber;  1 Samuel 15:6 - the Kenites;  1 Samuel 27:10 - Kenites;  Jeremiah 22:23 - makest

Verse 22

Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.
the Kenite
Heb. Kain. until Asshur shall carry thee away captive. or, how long shall it be ere Asshur carry thee away captive?
Genesis 10:11; Ezra 4:2; Psalms 83:8; Hosea 14:3
Reciprocal: Genesis 15:19 - Kenites;  Judges 1:16 - the Kenite;  1 Samuel 15:6 - the Kenites;  1 Chronicles 1:17 - Asshur;  Ezekiel 27:23 - Asshur

Verse 23

And he took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God doeth this!
when God
23:23; 2 Kings 5:1; Malachi 3:2
Reciprocal: Numbers 23:7 - he took;  Joel 2:11 - who;  Acts 15:17 - who

Verse 24

And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever.
Chittim
Genesis 10:4; Isaiah 23:1; Daniel 7:19,20; 8:5-8,21; 10:20; 11:30
and shall afflict Eber
Genesis 10:21-25; 14:13; Daniel 9:26,27; Matthew 24:15; Luke 20:24; 23:29-31; John 11:48
and he also
Daniel 2:35,45; 7:23-26; 11:45; Revelation 18:2-24
Reciprocal: Genesis 10:11 - Asshur;  Genesis 11:16 - Eber;  Deuteronomy 28:49 - bring a nation;  1 Chronicles 1:7 - Kittim;  1 Chronicles 1:19 - Eber;  Isaiah 23:12 - pass;  Jeremiah 2:10 - the isles;  Ezekiel 27:6 - the isles;  Ezekiel 32:22 - GeneralDaniel 8:23 - in the

Verse 25

And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way.
11; 31:8; Joshua 13:22 Reciprocal: Genesis 31:55 - returned;  2 Samuel 19:39 - returned

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsk/numbers-24.html.