Numbers 23:9
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New International Version
From the rocky peaks I see them, from the heights I view them. I see a people who live apart and do not consider themselves one of the nations.

New Living Translation
I see them from the cliff tops; I watch them from the hills. I see a people who live by themselves, set apart from other nations.

English Standard Version
For from the top of the crags I see him, from the hills I behold him; behold, a people dwelling alone, and not counting itself among the nations!

New American Standard Bible
"As I see him from the top of the rocks, And I look at him from the hills; Behold, a people who dwells apart, And will not be reckoned among the nations.

King James Bible
For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I see them from the top of rocky cliffs, and I watch them from the hills. There is a people living alone; it does not consider itself among the nations.

International Standard Version
I saw them from the top of the rocks. I watched them from the hills. Truly this is a people that lives by itself and doesn't matter among the nations.

NET Bible
For from the top of the rocks I see them; from the hills I watch them. Indeed, a nation that lives alone, and it will not be reckoned among the nations.

New Heart English Bible
For from the top of the rocks I see him. From the hills I see him. Look, it is a people that dwells alone, and not counting itself among the nations.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I see them from the top of rocky cliffs, I look at them from the hills. I see a nation that lives by itself, people who do not consider themselves to be like other nations.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For from the top of the rocks I see him, And from the hills I behold him: Lo, it is a people that shall dwell alone, And shall not be reckoned among the nations.

New American Standard 1977
“As I see him from the top of the rocks,
            And I look at him from the hills;
            Behold, a people who dwells apart,
            And shall not be reckoned among the nations.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For from the top of the rocks I have seen him, and from the hills I beheld him; behold, a people that shall dwell in confidence and shall not be counted among the Gentiles.

King James 2000 Bible
For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

American King James Version
For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: see, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

American Standard Version
For from the top of the rocks I see him, And from the hills I behold him: lo, it is a people that dwelleth alone, And shall not be reckoned among the nations.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I shall see him from the tops of the rocks, and shall consider him from the hills. This people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

Darby Bible Translation
For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: Lo, [it is] a people that shall dwell alone and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

English Revised Version
For from the top of the rocks I see him, And from the hills I behold him: Lo, it is a people that dwell alone, And shall not be reckoned among the nations.

Webster's Bible Translation
For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

World English Bible
For from the top of the rocks I see him. From the hills I see him. Behold, it is a people that dwells alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

Young's Literal Translation
For from the top of rocks I see it, And from heights I behold it; Lo a people! alone it doth tabernacle, And among nations doth not reckon itself.
Study Bible
Balaam's First Oracle
8"How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how can I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced? 9"As I see him from the top of the rocks, And I look at him from the hills; Behold, a people who dwells apart, And will not be reckoned among the nations. 10"Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright, And let my end be like his!"…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 32:8
"When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, When He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the sons of Israel.

Deuteronomy 33:28
"So Israel dwells in security, The fountain of Jacob secluded, In a land of grain and new wine; His heavens also drop down dew.

Jeremiah 49:31
"Arise, go up against a nation which is at ease, Which lives securely," declares the LORD. "It has no gates or bars; They dwell alone.
Treasury of Scripture

For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: see, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

the people. They shall ever be a distinct nation. This prophecy has been literally fulfilled, through a period of

Exodus 19:5,6 Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, …

Exodus 33:16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and your people have found …

Deuteronomy 33:28 Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall …

Esther 3:8 And Haman said to king Ahasuerus…

2 Corinthians 6:17 Why come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, …

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, …

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, …

shall not

Deuteronomy 32:8 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when …

Ezra 9:2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons…

Jeremiah 46:28 Fear you not, O Jacob my servant, said the LORD: for I am with you…

Amos 9:9 For, see, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among …

Romans 15:8-10 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for …

Ephesians 2:12-14 That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the …

(9) For from the top of the rocks I see him . . . --From the summit of the rocky mountain on which Balak had erected his seven altars, Balaam, according to one interpretation (see Numbers 22:41, and Note), had a full view of the outstretched camps of Israel.

Lo, the people shall dwell alone . . . --Better, Lo, it is a people that dwelleth alone, and that is not numbered, &c. In the fact that the host of Israel dwelt by itself in a separate encampment, Balaam discerned a type of the essential separation of Israel from the surrounding nations. When Israel adopted the ways of the heathen nations it speedily lost its external independence. Hengstenberg observes upon the last clause of this verse as follows:--"How truly Balaam said that Israel 'did not reckon itself with the heathen' appears from the fact that while all the powerful empires of the ancient world--the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and others--have utterly perished, Israel (which even under the Old Covenant was rescued from so many dangers that threatened its entire destruction, particularly in being brought back from exile) flourishes anew in the Church of the New Covenant, and continues also to exist in that part of it which, though at present rejected, is destined to restoration at a future period." (History of Balaam, &c., p. 409.)

Verse 9. - The people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned. Rather, "It is a people that dwelleth apart, and is not numbered." It was not the outward isolation on which his eye was fixed, for that indeed was only temporary and accidental, but the religious and moral separateness of Israel as the chosen people of God, which was the very secret of their national greatness. For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him,.... That is, Israel in their camps; Balaam being at this time on the top of a rock, or on an high hill, from whence he had a view of Israel, encamped in the plains of Moab below him:

lo, the people shall dwell alone; this certainly respects their dwelling in the land of Canaan, where they dwelt a separate people from all others, distinguished by their language, religion, laws, customs, and manner of living, being different both in their clothing, and in their food, from other people; nor had they dealings, nor did they company with those of other nations; see Esther 3:8 "or shall dwell safely" (z), or securely, not so much because of the situation of their country, but because of the protection of the Almighty; see Deuteronomy 33:28.

and shall not be reckoned among the nations; as belonging to them, shall not be made of any account by them, but be despised and reproached for their religion chiefly; nor reckon themselves of them, nor mix with them; so the Targum of Jerusalem,"they shall not be mixed;''or, as Jonathan,"they shall not be led in the laws of the people;''and though they are now scattered among the people and nations of the world, yet they are not mixed with them, nor reckoned to be a part of them; nor do they reckon themselves to be of them, but are a separate distinct people from them. Thus Israel, or the people of God in a spiritual sense, dwell alone; not solitarily, or without company, in every sense, for they have the company of Father, Son, and Spirit, of angels and saints; but they dwell in God, in Christ, in the house of God, and with one another, separately and distinctly from the world: they are a separate people in the love of God; in the choice of them in Christ; in the covenant of grace made with them in him; in redemption by him; in his intercession for them; in effectual calling; as they will be in the resurrection morn, and in heaven to all eternity: and they shall dwell safely, God being around them; Christ the rock and fortress of them; the Spirit in them being greater than he that is in the world; angels their guardians, and they in a strong city, whose walls and bulwarks are salvation: nor are they reckoned among the nations; they are chosen, redeemed, and called out of them, and are not accounted of by them any other than the refuse and offscouring of all things; nor do they reckon themselves to be of the world, but as pilgrims and strangers in it. Baal Hatturim refers this prophecy to the days of the Messiah; see Jeremiah 23:5.

(z) "confidenter", Pagninus; "securus", Vatablus. 9. from the top—literally, "a bare place" on the rocks, to which Balak had taken him, for it was deemed necessary to see the people who were to be devoted to destruction. But that commanding prospect could contribute nothing to the accomplishment of the king's object, for the destiny of Israel was to be a distinct, peculiar people, separated from the rest of the nations in government, religion, customs, and divine protection (De 33:28). So that although I might be able to gratify your wishes against other people, I can do nothing against them (Ex 19:5; Le 20:24).23:1-10 With the camps of Israel full in view, Balaam ordered seven altars to be built, and a bullock and a ram to be offered on each. Oh the sottishness of superstition, to imagine that God will be at man's beck! The curse is turned into a blessing, by the overruling power of God, in love to Israel. God designed to serve his own glory by Balaam, and therefore met him. If God put a word into the mouth of Balaam, who would have defied God and Israel, surely he will not be wanting to those who desire to glorify God, and to edify his people; it shall be given what they should speak. He who opened the mouth of the ass, caused the mouth of this wicked man to speak words as contrary to the desire of his heart, as those of the ass were to the powers of the brute. The miracle was as great in the one case as in the other. Balaam pronounces Israel safe. He owns he could do no more than God suffered him to do. He pronounces them happy in their distinction from the rest of the nations. Happy in their numbers, which made them both honourable and formidable. Happy in their last end. Death is the end of all men; even the righteous must die, and it is good for us to think of this with regard to ourselves, as Balaam does here, speaking of his own death. He pronounces the righteous truly blessed, not only while they live, but when they die; which makes their death even more desirable than life itself. But there are many who desire to die the death of the righteous, but do not endeavour to live the life of the righteous; gladly would they have an end like theirs, but not a way like theirs. They would be saints in heaven, but not saints on earth. This saying of Balaam's is only a wish, not a prayer; it is a vain wish, being only a wish for the end, without any care for the means. Many seek to quiet their consciences with the promise of future amendment, or take up with some false hope, while they neglect the only way of salvation, by which a sinner can be righteous before God.
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