Numbers 22:5
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New International Version
sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the Euphrates River, in his native land. Balak said: "A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me.

New Living Translation
sent messengers to call Balaam son of Beor, who was living in his native land of Pethor near the Euphrates River. His message said: "Look, a vast horde of people has arrived from Egypt. They cover the face of the earth and are threatening me.

English Standard Version
sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the people of Amaw, to call him, saying, “Behold, a people has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and they are dwelling opposite me.

New American Standard Bible
So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is near the River, in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, "Behold, a people came out of Egypt; behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me.

King James Bible
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:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
he sent messengers to Balaam son of Beor at Pethor, which is by the Euphrates in the land of his people. Balak said to him: "Look, a people has come out of Egypt; they cover the surface of the land and are living right across from me.

International Standard Version
He sent messengers to Beor's son Balaam in Pethor, near the Euphrates River, the land where the descendants of his people originated, to summon his aid. He said, "Look! A group of people have escaped from Egypt. They cover the surface of the whole earth, and are sitting here right in front of me.

NET Bible
And he sent messengers to Balaam son of Beor at Pethor, which is by the Euphrates River in the land of Amaw, to summon him, saying, "Look, a nation has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and they are settling next to me.

New Heart English Bible
He sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, "Look, there is a people who came out from Egypt. Look, they cover the surface of the earth, and they are staying opposite me.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He sent messengers to summon Balaam, son of Beor, who was at Pethor, on the Euphrates River, in the land where his people lived. Balak's message was, "A nation has just come here from Egypt. They've spread out all over the countryside and are setting up their camp here in front of me.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And he sent messengers unto Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to 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.

New American Standard 1977
So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is near the River, in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, “Behold, a people came out of Egypt; behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore he sent messengers unto Balaam, the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the river Eufrates in the land of the sons 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.

King James 2000 Bible
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 opposite me:

American King James Version
He sent messengers therefore to 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:

American Standard Version
And he sent messengers unto Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to 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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He sent therefore messengers to Balaam the son of Beer, a soothsayer, who dwelt by the river of the land of the children of Ammon, to call him, and to say: Behold a people is come out of Egypt, that hath covered the face of the earth, sitting over against me.

Darby Bible Translation
And he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is on the river in the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, a people is come out from Egypt; behold, they cover the face of the land, and they abide over against me.

English Revised Version
And he sent messengers unto Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to 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:

Webster's Bible Translation
He sent messengers therefore to 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 has a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me:

World English Bible
He sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, "Behold, there is a people who came out from Egypt. Behold, they cover the surface of the earth, and they are staying opposite me.

Young's Literal Translation
and he sendeth messengers unto Balaam son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River of the land of the sons of his people, to call for him, saying, 'Lo, a people hath come out of Egypt; lo, it hath covered the eye of the land, and it is abiding over-against me;
Study Bible
Balak Summons Balaam
4Moab said to the elders of Midian, "Now this horde will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field." And Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. 5So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is near the River, in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, "Behold, a people came out of Egypt; behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me. 6"Now, therefore, please come, curse this people for me since they are too mighty for me; perhaps I may be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed."…
Cross References
2 Peter 2:15
They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bosor, who loved the wages of wickedness.

Jude 1:11
Woe to them! They have traveled the path of Cain; they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam; they have perished in Korah's rebellion.

Numbers 23:7
He took up his discourse and said, "From Aram Balak has brought me, Moab's king from the mountains of the East, 'Come curse Jacob for me, And come, denounce Israel!'

Deuteronomy 23:4
because they did not meet you with food and water on the way when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.

Joshua 24:9
'Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel, and he sent and summoned Balaam the son of Beor to curse you.

Micah 6:5
"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."
Treasury of Scripture

He sent messengers therefore to 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:

sent

Deuteronomy 23:4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when …

Joshua 13:22 Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of …

Joshua 24:9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against …

Nehemiah 13:1,2 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the …

Micah 6:5 O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and …

2 Peter 2:15,16 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following …

son of Bosor

Jude 1:11 Woe to them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily …

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there them …

Pethor. 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 Petor, 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 Hebrews MSS.(with two of De Rossi's) confirm the Samaritan text here, in reading instead of Ammo, his people,' Ammon, with the Syriac and the Syriac and Vulgate versions. Houbigant justly contends for this reading; and necessity urges the propriety of adopting it: and it thus agrees with

Deuteronomy 23:4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when …

Numbers 23:7 And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab has …

Deuteronomy 23:4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when …

they cover

Genesis 13:16 And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a …

Exodus 1:7-19 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, …

Psalm 105:24 And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies.

face. Heb. eye

(5) Balaam the son of Beor.--The name of Balaam is probably derived from bala (to devour), with the terminal syllable am, or from the two words bala (he devoured), and am (people). His father's name (Beor), from baar (to consume), has been thought to denote that Balaam belonged to a family in which the magical art was hereditary. He is described in Joshua 13:22 as "the soothsayer" (Hebrew, kosem)--i.e., one of that class of persons who were not to be tolerated amongst the Israelites, and who are spoken of as "an abomination unto the Lord" (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). The form Bosor (2Peter 2:15) probably arose from a peculiar mode of pronouncing the guttural letter Ain in baar. (See Keil, On the Pentateuch, 3 p. 159, and Note.) On the character and history of Balaam, reference may be made to Bishop Butler (Serm. vii.); Waterland (Works, 9:397); Keil, On the Pentateuch, in loc.; Hengstenberg (Dissertation on the Histories and Prophecies of Balaam, p. 747, Clark, 1848); and to the Article in Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, by Professor Stanley Leathes.

To Pethor, which is by the river of the land . . . --Better, To Pethor, which is by the river, (even to) the land of the children of his people. Pethcr was in Mesopotamia (Numbers 23:7), where Lot, from whom the Moabites were descended, had dwelt (Genesis 12:5). "The river" is the Euphrates here, as elsewhere. (See, e.g., Genesis 15:18; Genesis 31:21; Exodus 23:31; 2Chronicles 9:26.)

They cover the face of the earth.--Literally, the eye of the earth (or, the land). (Comp. Exodus 10:5.)

Verse 5. - He sent messengers therefore. It appears from verse 7 that Balak acted for Midian as well as for Moab; as the Midianites were but a weak people, they may have placed themselves more or less under the protection of Balak. Unto Balaam the son of Beer. בִּלְעָם (Bileam: our common form is from the Septuagint and New Testament, Βαλαάμ) is derived either from בָּלַע, to destroy or devour, and עָם, the people; or simply from בָּלַע, with the terminal syllable אָּם, "the destroyer." The former derivation receives some support from Revelation 2:14, 15, where "Nicolaitans" are thought by many to be only a Greek form of" Balaamites" Νικόλαος, from νικάω and λαός). Beor (בְּעוּר) has a similar signification, from בָּעָר, to burn, or consume. Both names have probable reference to the supposed effect of their maledictions, for successful cursing was an hereditary profession in many. lands, as it still is in some. Beer appears in 2 Peter 2:15 as Bosor, which is called a Chaldeeism, but the origin of the change is really unknown. A "Bela son of Beer" is named in Genesis 36:32 as reigning in Edom, but the coincidence is of no importance: kings and magicians have always loved to give themselves names of fear, and their vocabulary was not extensive. To Pother, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people. Rather, "which is on the river," i.e., the great river Euphrates, "in the land of the children of his people," i.e., in his native land. The situation of Pethor (Septuagint, Φαθουρά) is unknown. Here is a people come out of Egypt. Forty years had passed since their fathers had left Egypt. Yet Balak's words expressed a great truth, for this people was no wandering desert tribe, but for all intents the same great organized nation which had spoiled Egypt, and left Pharaoh's host dead behind them. They abide over against me מִמֻּלִי. Septuagint, ἐχόμενός μου. This would hardly have been said when Israel was encamped thirty miles north of Arnon, opposite to Jericho. The two embassies to Balaam must have occupied some time, and in the mean while Israel would have gone further on his way. We may naturally conclude that the first message was sent immediately after the defeat of Sihon, at a time when Israel was encamped very near the border of Moab. He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor,.... In consequence of the consultation held by the king of Moab with the elders of Midian; and very probably through a motion of theirs, and by advice they gave, Balak dispatched messengers of both people to the person here described by his name and parentage; but who he was is not easy to say: the Jews sometimes make him to be a magician in Pharaoh's court, at the time when Moses was born (z), which is not probable; and it is still more improbable that he should be Laban the Syrian, as the Targum of Jonathan here, and the Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:44 though others say (a) he was the son of Beor, the son of Laban, and so was the grandson of Laban; and with as little probability is he said to be Elihu, that answered Job according to a tradition of the Jews, mentioned by Jerom (b); nor is there any reason to believe that he was ever a good man, and a true prophet of the Lord; he is expressly said to be a diviner or a soothsayer, Joshua 13:22, a sort of men abhorred of God, and not to be suffered to be among his people, Deuteronomy 18:10 but were of great credit and esteem among the Heathens, for their pretensions to foretell things to come, or to discover lost goods, and the like; and by their enchantments to drive away evils, or bring on curses, for which Balaam was famous: and therefore, by the advice of the Midianites, Balak sent for him

to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people; the land of his people, of his birth or habitation, was Aram or Syria, Numbers 23:7 that is, Aram Naharaim, which lay between the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates, or what is sometimes called Mesopotamia, as is clear from Deuteronomy 23:4, and the river of that land, which was eminently so called, is the river Euphrates, as the Targum of Jonathan expresses it here, and by that river was Pethor, where Balaam now lived; and is by some thought to be the same with the Pacoria of Ptolemy (c), which was by that river: the messengers were sent

to call him: to invite him to Balak's court:

saying, behold, there is a people come out from Egypt; Balak speaks of them, as if he knew not who they were, only that they were come from Egypt, and were seeking a new habitation to settle in, and so were in danger from them, lest they should invade his country, and settle there:

behold, they cover the face of the earth; not the face of the whole earth, unless an hyperbolical expression is supposed, to set forth the greatness of their numbers; but a large part of the earth, all within sight almost, even the plains of Moab:

and they abide over against me; were very near him, lay encamped before his country, and his metropolis, and so he thought himself in great danger, and threatened with an invasion, as the pitching of their tents so near made him surmise.

(z) Dibre Hayamim Shekmoaseh, fol. 3. 2. (a) Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 7. 2.((b) Quaest. "see Traditiones" in Gen. fol. 69. D. (c) Geograph. l. 5. c. 18. 5. He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam—that is, "lord" or "devourer" of people, a famous soothsayer (Jos 13:22).

son of Beor—or, in the Chaldee form, Bosor—that is, "destruction."

Pethor—a city of Mesopotamia, situated on the Euphrates.22:1-14 The king of Moab formed a plan to get the people of Israel cursed; that is, to set God against them, who had hitherto fought for them. He had a false notion, that if he could get some prophet to pray for evil upon them, and to pronounce a blessing upon himself and his forces, that then he should be able to deal with them. None had so great a reputation as Balaam; and Balak will employ him, though he send a great way for him. It is not known whether the Lord had ever spoken to Balaam, or by him, before this; though it is probable he had, and it is certain he did afterwards. Yet we have abundant proof that he lived and died a wicked man, an enemy to God and his people. And the curse shall not come upon us if there is not a cause, even though men utter it. To prevail with Balaam, they took the wages of unrighteousness, but God laid restraint upon Balaam, forbidding him to curse Israel. Balaam was no stranger to Israel's cause; so that he ought to have answered the messengers at once, that he would never curse a people whom God had blessed; but he takes a night's time to consider what he should do. When we parley with temptations, we are in great danger of being overcome. Balaam was not faithful in returning God's answer to the messengers. Those are a fair mark for Satan's temptation, who lessen Divine restraints; as if to go against God's law were only to go without his leave. The messengers also are not faithful in returning Balaam's answer to Balak. Thus many are abused by the flatteries of those about them, and are prevented from seeing their own faults and follies.
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