Numbers 24:21
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New International Version
Then he saw the Kenites and spoke his message: "Your dwelling place is secure, your nest is set in a rock;

New Living Translation
Then he looked over toward the Kenites and delivered this message: "Your home is secure; your nest is set in the rocks.

English Standard Version
And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said, “Enduring is your dwelling place, and your nest is set in the rock.

New American Standard Bible
And he looked at the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said, "Your dwelling place is enduring, And your nest is set in the cliff.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Next he saw the Kenites and proclaimed his poem: Your dwelling place is enduring; your nest is set in the cliffs.

International Standard Version
Balaam also uttered this prophetic statement about the Kenites: "Your dwelling places are stable, because your nest is carved in solid rock.

NET Bible
Then he looked on the Kenites and uttered this oracle: "Your dwelling place seems strong, and your nest is set on a rocky cliff.

New Heart English Bible
He looked at the Kenite, and took up his parable, and said, "Your dwelling place is strong. Your nest is set in the rock.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then he saw the Kenites and delivered this message: "You have a permanent place to live. Your nest is built in a rock.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his parable, and said: Though firm be thy dwelling-place, And though thy nest be set in the rock;

New American Standard 1977
And he looked at the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said,
            “Your dwelling place is enduring,
            And your nest is set in the cliff.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he looked on the Kenite and took up his parable and said, Strong is thy dwellingplace, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock;

King James 2000 Bible
And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his oracle, and said, Strong is your dwelling place, and you put your nest in a rock.

American King James Version
And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is your dwelling place, and you put your nest in a rock.

American Standard Version
And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwelling-place, And thy nest is set in the rock.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He saw also the Cinite: and took up his parable, and said: Thy habitation in- deed is strong: but though thou build thy nest in a rock,

Darby Bible Translation
And he saw the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Firm is thy dwelling-place, and thy nest fixed in the rock;

English Revised Version
And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwelling place, And thy nest is set in the rock.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwelling-place, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock.

World English Bible
He looked at the Kenite, and took up his parable, and said, "Your dwelling place is strong. Your nest is set in the rock.

Young's Literal Translation
And he seeth the Kenite, and taketh up his simile, and saith: 'Enduring is thy dwelling, And setting in a rock thy nest,
Study Bible
Balaam's Final Three Oracles
20And he looked at Amalek and took up his discourse and said, "Amalek was the first of the nations, But his end shall be destruction." 21And he looked at the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said, "Your dwelling place is enduring, And your nest is set in the cliff. 22"Nevertheless Kain will be consumed; How long will Asshur keep you captive?"…
Cross References
Genesis 15:19
the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite

1 Samuel 15:6
Saul said to the Kenites, "Go, depart, go down from among the Amalekites, so that I do not destroy you with them; for you showed kindness to all the sons of Israel when they came up from Egypt." So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
Treasury of Scripture

And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is your dwelling place, and you put your nest in a rock.

the Kenite. Heb. Kain. until Asshur shall carry thee away captive. or how long it be ere Asshur carry thee away captive?

Genesis 10:11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and built Nineveh, and the city …

Ezra 4:2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and …

Psalm 83:8 Assur also is joined with them: they have helped the children of Lot. Selah.

Hosea 14:3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride on horses: neither will …

(21-22) And he looked on the Kenites . . . --According to the ordinary interpretation of these verses the continuous destruction of the Kenites is foretold until the Israelites should be taken captive by the Assyrians. The Kenites are included amongst the tribes whose country Abraham's descendants were to possess (Genesis 15:19). A portion of this tribe, however (for there is no evidence that the Canaanitish and the Midianitish Kenites had a different origin), joined the Israelites, and settled on the southern border of Judah (Judges 1:16). If the Authorised Version of these verses be adopted, it is reasonable to conclude that the Kenites to whom Balaam's prophecy referred must have been included amongst the enemies of Israel, whose destruction, in common with their other foes, is here predicted. It is obvious that this interpretation is open to two serious objections:--(1) that the natural reference of the words "carry thee away captive" is to the Kenites, not to the Israelites; and (2) that as the later history, as well as the Book of Numbers, makes mention only of those Kenites who allied themselves with the Israelites, we should naturally expect that in accordance with the promise which was given to Hobab by Moses (Numbers 10:29), the Kenites should be distinguished from the enemies of Israel, and be exempted from the destruction with which they were threatened. Another rendering of Numbers 24:22, and one which appears to be more agreeable to the context in which it stands, is the following:--"For surely the Kenites shall not be destroyed until Asshur shall carry thee into captivity." This version has the support of the Targum of Palestine and other authorities. It is true that there is no express record of the fulfilment of this prophecy, but it is not probable that the Assyrians spared the Kenites who were settled amongst the Israelites; and we know from Jeremiah 35:11 that after the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar, the Rechabites, who were of the Kenite race (1Chronicles 2:55), came to Jerusalem for fear of the armies of the Chaldeans and Syrians. If Asshur denotes in this place the Assyrians in the later acceptation of the term, it must be remembered that one branch of the Kenites settled in Naphtali, near Kadesh (Judges 4:11). Asshur, however, appears to be used in a wider sense, so as to include all the nations which proceeded from it (see Numbers 24:24). Even the Persian king is called, as Keil has observed, King of Asshur (Ezra 6:22). If this interpretation of the text be received, the antithesis between the doom of the Amalekites and the deliverance of the Kenites exactly corresponds to the attitude assumed by those tribes respectively in regard to Israel.

Verse 21. - He looked on the Kenites. This mashal is excessively obscure, for both the subject of it and the drift of it are disputed. On the one hand, the Kenites are mentioned among the Canaanitish tribes that were to be dispossessed, in Gem 15:19; on the other, they are identified with the Midianitish tribe to which Hobab and Raguel belonged, in Judges 1:16, and apparently in 1 Samuel 15:6 (see on Numbers 10:29). It has been supposed that the friendly Kenites had by this time loft the camp of Israel and established themselves by conquest in the south of Canaan, and even that they had occupied the territory and taken the name of the original Kenites of Genesis 15:19. This, however, is a mere conjecture, and a very improbable one. That a weak tribe like that of Hobab should have done what Israel had not dared to do, and settled themselves by force of arms in Southern Palestine, and, further, that they should be already known by the name of those whom they had destroyed, is extremely unlikely, and is inconsistent with the statement in Judges 1:16. And thou puttest thy nest in a rock. Rather, "and thy nest laid (שִׂים) upon a rock." We do not know where the Kenites dwelt, and therefore we cannot tell whether this expression is to be understood literally or figuratively. If the Canaanitish tribe is here spoken of, it is very likely they had their residence in some strong mountain fastness, but if the Midianitish tribe, then there is no reason to suppose that they had crossed the Jordan at all In that case the "nest" must be wholly figurative, and must refer to that strong confidence which they placed in the protection of the God of Israel. And he looked on the Kenites,.... Not the family and posterity of Jethro, as Aben Ezra, Jarchi, and Abendana; for they were not a people by themselves, but were now encamped with Israel, and went with them into the land of Canaan, and were not carried captive with the ten tribes, though some might that dwelt in Naphtali, Judges 9:4, for they after that remained with Judah under the name of Rechabites, Jeremiah 35:2 and returned with the two tribes, being carried captive with them, 1 Chronicles 2:55 but they were a people, though of the same original and family Jethro descended from, which dwelt near, and afterwards among the Amalekites, and therefore were seen by Balaam, and taken notice of at the same time they were; see 1 Samuel 15:6. Abarbinel takes them to be the same with those in Genesis 15:19.

and took up his parable; or prophecy concerning them, and delivered it:

and said, strong is thy dwelling place, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock, they dwelling in craggy rocky places, where they thought themselves secure and out of danger; and this their habitation he calls "Ken", a nest, in allusion to their name Kenites. 21. Kenites … nest in a rock—Though securely established among the clefts in the high rocks of En-gedi towards the west, they should be gradually reduced by a succession of enemies till the Assyrian invader carried them into captivity (Jud 1:16; 4:11, 16, 17; also 2Ki 15:29; 17:6).24:15-25 Under the powerful influence of the Spirit of prophecy, Balaam foretold the future prosperity and extensive dominion of Israel. Balaam boasts that his eyes are open. The prophets were in old times called seers. He had heard the words of God, which many do who neither heed them, nor hear God in them. He knew the knowledge of the Most High. A man may be full of the knowledge of God, yet utterly destitute of the grace of God. He calls God the Most High and the Almighty. No man could seem to express a greater respect to God; yet he had no true fear of him, love to him, nor faith in him; so far a man may go toward heaven, and yet come short of it at last. Here is Balaam's prophecy concerning Him who should be the crown and glory of his people Israel; who is David in the type; but our Lord Jesus, the promised Messiah, is chiefly pointed at, and of him it is an illustrious prophecy. Balaam, a wicked man, shall see Christ, but shall not see him nigh; not see him as Job, who saw him as his Redeemer, and saw him for himself. When he comes in the clouds, every eye shall see him; but many will see him, as the rich man in hell saw Abraham, afar off. He shall come out of Jacob, and Israel, as a Star and a Sceptre; the former denoting his glory and lustre; the latter his power and authority. Christ shall be King, not only of Jacob and Israel, but of all the world; so that all shall be either governed by his golden sceptre, or dashed in pieces by his iron rod. Balaam prophesied concerning the Amalekites and Kenites, part of whose country he had now in view. Even a nest in a rock will not be a lasting security. Here is a prophecy that looks as far forward as to the Greeks and Romans. He acknowledges all the revolutions of states and kingdoms to be the Lord's doing. These events will make such desolations, that scarcely any will escape. They that live then, will be as brands plucked out of the fire. May God fit us for the worst of times! Thus Balaam, instead of cursing the church, curses Amalek the first, and Rome the last enemy of the church. Not Rome pagan only, but Rome papal also; antichrist and all the antichristian powers. Let us ask ourselves, Do we in knowledge, experience, or profession, excel Balaam? No readiness of speech, even in preaching or prayer, no gifts of knowledge or prophecy, are in themselves different from, or superior to the boasted gifts of him who loved the wages of unrighteousness, and died the enemy of God. Simple dependence on the Redeemer's atoning blood and sanctifying grace, cheerful submission to the Divine will, constant endeavours to glorify God and benefit his people, these are less splendid, but far more excellent gifts, and always accompany salvation. No boasting hypocrite ever possessed these; yet the feeblest believer has something of them, and is daily praying for more of them.
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OT Law: Numbers 24:21 He looked at the Kenite and took (Nu Num.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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