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Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: Numbers 22

Chapter 22

And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho.

the children

21:20 33:48-50 36:13 Deuteronomy 34:1,8

on this side

32:19 34:15 Deuteronomy 1:5 3:8 Joshua 3:16

And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.

21:3,20-35 Judges 11:25

And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.

Exodus 15:15 Deuteronomy 2:25 Joshua 2:10,11,24 9:24 Psalms 53:5 Isaiah 23:5

And Moab said unto the 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.


7 25:15-18 31:8 Joshua 13:21,22

Now shall

24:17 Jeremiah 48:38

And Balak

2 Judges 11:25

He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the 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:


Deuteronomy 23:4 Joshua 13:22 24:9 Nehemiah 13:1,2 Micah 6:5 2 Peter 2:15,16

son of Bosor

Jude 1:11 Revelation 2:14


Dr. Kennicott justly remarks, that "the description now given of Balaam's residence, instead of being particular, agrees with any place, in any country where there is a river; for he lived by 'Pethor, which is by the river of the land of his people.' But was Pethor, then, near the Nile in Egypt? Or in Canaan, near Jordan? Or in Mesopotamia, near the Euphrates, and belonging to the Ammonites? This last was in fact the case; and therefore, it is well that twelve Hebrew MSS. (with two of De Rossi's) confirm the Samaritan text here, in reading instead of ‚mmo, 'his people,' Ammon, with the Syriac and Vulgate versions." Houbigant justly contends for this reading; and necessity urges the propriety of adopting it: and it thus agrees with De 23:4. Ptolemy calls Pethor, Pachura, and Eusebius, Pathura; who places it in upper Mesopotamia. Calmet is of opinion, that it was situated towards Thapsacus, beyond the Euphrates.

23:7 Deuteronomy 23:4

they cover

Genesis 13:16 Exodus 1:7-10 Psalms 105:24


Heb. eye.

Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.

curse me

23:7,8 24:9 Genesis 12:3 27:29 Deuteronomy 23:4 Joshua 24:9 1 Samuel 17:43 Nehemiah 13:2 Psalms 109:17,18

I wot

1 Kings 22:6,8,13 Psalms 109:28 Proverbs 26:2 Isaiah 47:12,13 Ezekiel 13:6 Acts 8:9,10 16:16

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

rewards of divination

1 Samuel 9:7,8 Isaiah 56:11 Ezekiel 13:19 Micah 3:11 Romans 16:18 1 Timothy 6:9,10 Titus 1:11 2 Peter 2:15 Jude 1:11

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

19,20 12:6 23:12 Jeremiah 12:2 Ezekiel 33:31

And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee?


20 Genesis 20:3 31:24 41:25 Daniel 2:45 4:31,32 Matthew 7:22 24:24 John 11:51

What men

Genesis 3:9-11 4:9 16:8 Exodus 4:2 2 Kings 20:14,15

Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out.

able to overcome them

Heb. prevail in fighting against them.

And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.

Balaam, Thou shalt

20 Job 33:15-17 Matthew 27:19

thou shalt not curse

19 23:3,13-15,19,23 Micah 6:5

for they

23:20 Genesis 12:2 22:16-18 Deuteronomy 23:5 33:29 Psalms 144:15 146:5 Romans 4:6,7 11:29 Ephesians 1:3

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 me leave to go with you.

for the Lord

14 Deuteronomy 23:5

And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us.

Balaam refuseth


And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they.


7,8 Acts 10:7,8

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

Let nothing, etc

Heb. Be not thou letted from, etc.

For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.

I will promote

24:11 Deuteronomy 16:9 Esther 5:11 7:9 Matthew 4:8,9 16:26

and I will do

23:2,3,29,30 Matthew 14:7


curse me

An erroneous opinion prevailed, both in those days and in after ages, that some men had the power, by the help of their gods, to devote, not only particular persons, but cities and whole armies, to destruction. This they are said to have done sometimes by words of imprecation; of which there was a set form among some people, which ∆schines calls [diorizomenen aran ] "the determinate curse." Macrobius has a whole chapter on this subject. He gives us two of the ancient forms used in reference to the destruction of Carthage; the first, which was only pronounced by the dictator, or general, was to call over the protecting deities to their side, and the other to devote the city to destruction, which they were supposed to have abandoned. The Romans held, that no city would be taken till its tutelary god had forsaken it; or if it could be taken, it would be unlawful, as it would be sacrilege to lead the gods into captivity. Virgil intimates, that Troy was destroyed because Excessere omnes adytis, arisque relictis dii, quibus imperium hoc steterat, "All the gods, by whose assistance the empire had hitherto been preserved, forsook their altars and temples." See more on this subject in Dr. A. Clarke, Bp. Patrick, and Burder's Oriental Customs, No. 734.

And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.

If Balak

24:13 Titus 1:16

I cannot

23:26 24:13 1 Kings 22:14 2 Chronicles 18:13 Daniel 5:17 Acts 8:20

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

7,8 1 Timothy 6:9,10 2 Peter 2:3,15 Jude 1:11

And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.


If the men

1 Samuel 8:5-9 12:12-19 Psalms 81:12 Ezekiel 14:2-5 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

but yet

35 23:12,26 24:13 Psalms 33:10,11 78:30,31 Isaiah 37:29 Hosea 13:11

And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.

Proverbs 1:15,16

And God's anger was kindled because he 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.


2 Kings 10:20 Hosea 1:4

and the angel

35 Genesis 48:15,16 Exodus 3:2-6 Hosea 12:4,5


32 Exodus 4:24 Lamentations 2:4

And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

the ass saw

2 Kings 6:17 1 Chronicles 21:16 Daniel 10:7 Acts 22:9 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 2 Peter 2:16 Jude 1:11

the ass turned

Jeremiah 8:7

And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again.

crushed Balaam's

Job 5:13-15 Isaiah 47:12

And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.

where was no way

Isaiah 26:11 Hosea 2:6

And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.

and Balaam's anger

Proverbs 14:16 27:3,4

And the LORD 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?

the Lord opened

And where is the wonder of all this? If the ass had opened her own mouth, and reproved the rash prophet, we might well be astonished; but when God opens the mouth, an ass can speak as well as a man. It is to no purpose to speak of the construction of the ass's mouth, of the formation of the tongue and jaws being unfit for speaking; for an adequate cause is assigned for this wonderful effect, "The Lord opened the mouth of the ass"; and no one who believes in a God, can doubt of his power to do this and much more.

Exodus 4:11 Luke 1:37 1 Corinthians 1:19 2 Peter 2:16

What have I

Romans 8:22

And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.

for now would

Proverbs 12:10,16 Ecclesiastes 9:3

And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.

the ass said

2 Peter 2:16

upon which thou hast ridden

Heb. who hast ridden upon me. ever since I was thine. or, ever since thou wast, unto, etc.

1 Corinthians 1:27,28

Then the LORD 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.


24:4 *marg:; 24:16 Genesis 21:19 2 Kings 6:17-20 1 Chronicles 21:16 Luke 24:16,31 Acts 26:18

bowed down

Exodus 34:8 Psalms 9:20 John 18:6

fell flat on his face

or, bowed himself.

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 way is perverse before me:


28 Deuteronomy 25:4 Psalms 36:6 145:9 147:9 Jonah 4:11

withstand thee

Heb. be an adversary unto thee.

thy way

Deuteronomy 23:4 Proverbs 28:6 Micah 6:5 Acts 13:10 2 Peter 2:14,15

before me

20,22,35 Exodus 3:2-6 Proverbs 14:2 28:18

And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.


14:37 16:33-35 1 Kings 13:24-28

And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.

I Have sinned

Exodus 9:27 10:16,17 1 Samuel 15:24,30 24:17 26:21 2 Samuel 12:13 Job 34:31,32 Psalms 78:34 Matthew 27:4,5

if it displease thee

Heb. be evil in thine eyes.

12 11:1 1 Chronicles 21:7 Proverbs 24:18 *margins

I will get

Job 34:31,32

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


20 Psalms 81:12 Isaiah 37:26-29 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

I shall speak


And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost coast.


Genesis 14:17 18:2 46:29 Exodus 18:7 1 Samuel 13:10 Acts 28:15

the border

21:13,14 Deuteronomy 2:24 3:8 Judges 11:18 Isaiah 16:2 Jeremiah 48:20

And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote thee to honour?

I am not able

16,17 24:11 Psalms 75:6 Matthew 4:8,9 Luke 4:6 John 5:44

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

have I

18 Psalms 33:10 76:10 Proverbs 19:21 Isaiah 44:25 46:10 47:12

the word

23:16,26 24:13 1 Kings 22:14 2 Chronicles 18:13

And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kirjathhuzoth.


or, a city of streets. Probably Rabbath-Moab, now called Rabba, the capital of the Moabites; and being the royal city, distinguished by its streets.

And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him.

23:2,14,30 Genesis 31:54 Proverbs 1:16

And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost part of the people.

high places

Bamoth baal, "the high places of Baal," probably the same as Bamoth mentioned in ch. 21.19, 20; evidently not far from Baal-meon, in the mountains of Abarim: for the Israelites were now encamped in the plains of Moab, which these mountains overlook. Baal, which signifies a lord or governor, was a name common to many idols; and probably here was the same as Chemosh, the god of Moab.

25:2,3 Deuteronomy 12:2 2 Chronicles 11:15 Jeremiah 48:35