|New International Version (©2011)|
My people, remember what Balak king of Moab plotted and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD."
New Living Translation (©2007)
Don't you remember, my people, how King Balak of Moab tried to have you cursed and how Balaam son of Beor blessed you instead? And remember your journey from Acacia Grove to Gilgal, when I, the LORD, did everything I could to teach you about my faithfulness."
English Standard Version (©2001)
O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the saving acts of the LORD.”
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"My people, remember now What Balak king of Moab counseled And what Balaam son of Beor answered him, And from Shittim to Gilgal, So that you might know the righteous acts of the LORD."
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
My people, remember what Balak king of Moab proposed, what Balaam son of Beor answered him, and what happened from the Acacia Grove to Gilgal so that you may acknowledge the LORD's righteous acts.
International Standard Version (©2012)
"My people, recall how king Balak of Moab deliberated, and how Beor's son Balaam counseled him from Shittim to Gilgal, so that you may know the righteousness of the LORD."
NET Bible (©2006)
My people, recall how King Balak of Moab planned to harm you, how Balaam son of Beor responded to him. Recall how you journeyed from Shittim to Gilgal, so you might acknowledge that the LORD has treated you fairly."
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
My people, remember what King Balak of Moab planned [to do to you] and how Balaam, son of Beor, responded to him. Remember [your journey] from Shittim to Gilgal so that you may know the victories of the LORD."
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, from Shittim unto Gilgal; that you may know the righteousness of the LORD.
American King James Version
O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim to Gilgal; that you may know the righteousness of the LORD.
American Standard Version
O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him; remember from Shittim unto Gilgal, that ye may know the righteous acts of Jehovah.
O my people, remember, I pray thee, what Balach the king of Moab purposed: and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, from Setim to Galgal, that thou mightest know the justices of the Lord.
Darby Bible Translation
My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, from Shittim unto Gilgal, that ye may know the righteousness of Jehovah.
English Revised Version
O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him; remember from Shittim unto Gilgal, that ye may know the righteous acts of the LORD.
Webster's Bible Translation
O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim to Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.
World English Bible
My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of Yahweh."
Young's Literal Translation
O My people, remember, I pray you, What counsel did Balak king of Moab, What answer him did Balaam son of Beor, (From Shittim unto Gilgal,) In order to know the righteous acts of Jehovah.'
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-5 The people are called upon to declare why they were weary of God's worship, and prone to idolatry. Sin causes the controversy between God and man. God reasons with us, to teach us to reason with ourselves. Let them remember God's many favours to them and their fathers, and compare with them their unworthy, ungrateful conduct toward him.
Verse 5. - The Lord reminds the people of another great benefit subsequent to the Exodus, viz. the defeat of the designs of Balak, and the sorceries of Balaam. Consulted. United with the elders of Midian in a plot against thee (see Numbers 22. etc.). Answered him. There ought to be a stop here. The answer of Balaam was the blessing which he was constrained to give, instead of the curse which he was hired to pronounce (comp. Joshua 24:10). From Shittim unto Gilgal. This is a fresh consideration, referring to mercies under Joshua, and may be made plainer by inserting "remember" (which has, perhaps, dropped out of the text), as in the Revised Version. Shittim was the Israelites' last station before crossing the Jordan, and Gilgal the first in the land of Canaan; and so God bids them remember all that happened to them between those places - their sin in Shittim and the mercy then shown them (Numbers 25.), the miraculous passage of the Jordan, the renewal of the covenant at Gilgal (Joshua 5:9). Shittim; the acacia meadow (Abel-Shittim), hod. Ghor-es-Seisaban, was at the southeastern corner of the Ciccar, or Plain of Jordan, some seven miles from the Dead Sea. Gilgal (see note on Amos 4:4). That ye may know the righteousness (righteous acts) of the Lord. All these instances of God's interposition prove how faithful he is to his promises, how he cares for his elect, what are his gracious counsels towards them (see the same expression, Judges 5:11; 1 Samuel 12:7).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted,.... What a scheme he had laid; what contrivances he had formed; what consultations he had with a soothsayer or diviner he sent for to curse Israel; how he sought to get the God of Israel on his side, and to set him against them, that he might be rid of them, and they be ruined and destroyed. The Moabites were the descendants of Moab, a son of Lot, by one of his daughters; when they first set up their kingdom is not certain; nor who their kings in succession were before Balak: it appears there was a former king, whom the king of the Amorites fought with, and took away his land from him, Numbers 21:26; who probably was Zippor, the father of Balak, and whom he succeeded; the kingdom being recovered by him, or by this his son; however, he was on the throne when Israel was upon the borders of his kingdom, which threw him into a panic; upon which he sent messengers to a neighbouring magician next mentioned, to advise with him what to do in this his extremity; and the Jews have a tradition, that, because of the multitude of sacrifices he offered, he was worthy to have Ruth, the descendant from him; who, they say, was the daughter of Eglon, the grandson of Balak, king of Moab (s):
and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him; this man is called a soothsayer, Joshua 13:22; The Jews say he was first a prophet; and so the Apostle Peter calls him, 2 Peter 2:16; and afterwards became a diviner (t): they differ very much about him, who he was, and from whom he descended. Beor his father is sometimes said to be the son of Laban (u); and, at other times, Balaam himself is said to be Laban the Syrian (w), whose soul they suppose transmigrated into Balaam, as it afterwards did into Nabal, according to them. Some (x) take him to be the same with Elihu, who interposed in the dispute between Job and his friends; and others say that he was one of the eunuchs, counsellors, and magicians of Pharaoh, both when Moses was a child, and when he wrought his miracles in Egypt; and that Jannes and Jambres, of whom the Apostle Paul makes mention, 2 Timothy 3:8; were his two sons (y): he was an inhabitant of Pethor, which was situated on the river Euphrates, thought by Junius to be the Pacoria of Ptolemy: he seems to have been a Mesopotamian, though some say a Midianite; but, whether one or the other, he did not live at any great distance from the king of Moab: he was slain by the sword the children of Israel, in the times of Joshua, Joshua 13:22; and, as the Jews say (z) he was, when he was but thirty three or thirty four years of age; they observing upon it, that bloody and deceitful men do not live out, half their days; but this does not seem so well to agree with other things they say of him; however, this soothsayer and sorcerer Balak sent for to curse Israel; whose heart and tongue, though a wicked man, and would fain have done according to Balak's wish and desire, were so overruled by the power of God, that instead of cursing Israel he was obliged to bless them, and to prophesy of their future happiness and prosperity, and of the Messiah, that should spring from them; see history of all this in Numbers 22:1;
from Shittim unto Gilgal, that ye may know the righteousness of the Lord; here something must be supplied to make sense of the words; either, "remember what good things I did for you (a), from Shittim to Gilgal"; the former was the place where the children of Israel committed whoredom and idolatry, and was on the other side Jordan; and the latter was the place they came to when they had passed over Jordan, where the covenant of circumcision was renewed, and the first passover kept; now they are called upon to remember the goodness of God unto them from one place to another, and what were done between them; how that at Shittim, though they provoked the Lord to anger, yet he did not cut them all off, but spared a number of them, to enter and possess the land of Canaan; and though Moses died by the way, yet be raised up Joshua to go before them, and in a miraculous manner led them through the river Jordan, and brought them to Gilgal--favours ever to he had in remembrance. So the Targum,
"were not great things done for you in the plain of Shittim unto the house of Gilgal, that the righteousness of the Lord might be known?''
both his justice in punishing offenders at Shittim, and his bounty and kindness, as well as his truth and faithfulness, in sparing others; bestowing his favours on them, and bringing them into the promised land: or it may be supplied thus, as by some, "remember what Balak consulted (b) from Shittim to Gilgal"; that is, with Balaam, and what answer and advice he gave him; which was to send beautiful women among the Israelites, and so tempt them to adultery, and by that means to idolatry; and which scheme and consultation took place at Shittim, by means of which several thousands were slain; and the device was to have continued the temptation even to Gilgal, which, had it not been prevented, in all likelihood would have issued in the destruction of that people; and therefore they had reason to know, own, and acknowledge the goodness and faithfulness of God unto them: or rather, taking the phrase "from Shittim to Gilgal" to be a proverbial one (c), of going from place to place, it may have respect to Balak's having Balaam from place to place, to take a view of the people, and curse them; or how he might set the God of Israel against them, and gain him over to him; and then the sense is this,
"remember how Balak consulted Balaam from place to place, and what answers he returned him; all which was done, that "he (Balak) might know the righteousness of the Lord";''
and so the Syriac version renders it, and it will bear to be so rendered: the thing which Balak chiefly consulted was, how he should get the God of Israel on his side; as it was usual with Heathen princes, when at war, to attempt to get the gods of their enemies from them, and on their side; and inquires of Balaam how this was to be effected; what righteousness it was the Lord required; what duties of religion to be performed; what rites or sacrifices were acceptable to him; and the sum of his questions on this head, and Balaam's answer to them, are contained in the following verses.
(s) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 105. 2.((t) Ib. fol. 106. 1.((u) Shalshelet Hakabala, fol. 7. 1.((w) Targum Jon. in Numbers 22.5. Targum in 1 Chron. 44. Vid. Burkium ib. (x) Hieron. Quaeat. Hebr. in Genesim, fol. 69. D. (y) Dibre Hayamim Shel Moseh, fol. 4. 2. & 6. 2. Targum Jon. in Exod. ix. 21. Shemot Rabba, sect. 1. fol. 90. 1. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 106. (z) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 106. 2. Shalshelet Hakabala, fol. 7. 2.((a) "Recordare qualia bona exhibuerim tibi", Munster; "memento eorum quae gesta sunt", Vatablus; "quae contigerint tibi", Calvin; "memento eorum quae fecerim", Grotius; "recordare quid evenerit tibi", Piscator. (b) "Memento quid cogifaverit contra te Balac, et quid responderit ei Balaam a Settim", &c. Ribera; so Menochius, Tirinus. (c) See Bishop Chandler's Defence of Christianity, p. 290.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. what Balak … consulted—how Balak plotted to destroy thee by getting Balaam to curse thee (Nu 22:5).
what Balaam … answered—how the avaricious prophet was constrained against his own will, to bless Israel whom he had desired to curse for the sake of Balak's reward (Nu 24:9-11) [Maurer]. Grotius explains it, "how Balaam answered, that the only way to injure thee was by tempting thee to idolatry and whoredom" (Nu 31:16). The mention of "Shittim" agrees with this: as it was the scene of Israel's sin (Nu 25:1-5; 2Pe 2:15; Re 2:14).
from Shittim unto Gilgal—not that Balaam accompanied Israel from Shittim to Gilgal: for he was slain in Midian (Nu 31:8). But the clause, "from Shittim," alone applies to Balaam. "Remember" God's kindnesses "from Shittim," the scene of Balaam's wicked counsel taking effect in Israel's sin, whereby Israel merited utter destruction but for God's sparing mercy, "to Gilgal," the place of Israel's first encampment in the promised land between Jericho and Jordan, where God renewed the covenant with Israel by circumcision (Jos 5:2-11).
know the righteousness—Recognize that, so far from God having treated thee harshly (Mic 6:3), His dealings have been kindness itself (so "righteous acts" for gracious, Jud 5:11; Ps 24:5, 112:9).
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