|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:1-9 Now Balaam spake not his own sense, but the language of the Spirit that came upon him. Many have their eyes open who have not their hearts open; are enlightened, but not sanctified. That knowledge which puffs men up with pride, will but serve to light them to hell, whither many go with their eyes open. The blessing is nearly the same as those given before. He admires in Israel, their beauty. The righteous, doubtless, is more excellent than his neighbour. Their fruitfulness and increase. Their honour and advancement. Their power and victory. He looks back upon what had been done for them. Their power and victory. He looks back upon what had been done for them. Their courage and security. The righteous are bold as a lion, not when assaulting others, but when at rest, because God maketh them to dwell in safety. Their influence upon their neighbours. God takes what is done to them, whether good or evil, as done to himself.
Verse 7. - He shall pour the water, or, "the water shall overflow." Out of his buckets. דָּלְיָו is the dual, "his two buckets." The image, familiar enough to one who lived in an irrigated land, is of one carrying two buckets on the ends of a pole which are so full as to run over as he goes. And his seed... in many waters. It is uncertain in what sense the word "seed" issued. It may be an image as simple as the last, of seed sown either by or actually upon many waters (cf. Ecclesiastes 11:1), and so securing a plentiful and safe return; or it may stand for the seed, i.e., the posterity, of Israel, which should grow up amidst many blessings (Isaiah 44:4). The former seems most in keeping here. His king shall be higher than Agag. Rather, "let his king be higher than Agag." The name Agag (אַגַג, the fiery one) does not occur again except as the name of the king of Amalek whom Saul conquered and Samuel slew (1 Samuel 15.); yet it may safely be assumed that it was the official title of all the kings of Amalek, resembling in this "Abimelech" and "Pharaoh." Here it seems to stand for the dynasty and the nation of the Amalekites, and there is no reason to suppose that any reference was intended to any particular individual or event in the distant future. The "king" of Israel here spoken of is certainly not Saul or any other of the kings, but God himself in his character as temporal Ruler of Israel; and the "kingdom" is the kingdom of heaven as set forth by way of anticipation in the polity and order of the chosen race. As a fact, Israel had afterwards a visible king who overthrew Agag, but their having such a king was alien to the mind of God, and due to a distinct falling away from national faith, and therefore could find no place in this prophecy.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He shall pour the water out of his buckets,.... That is, God shall plentifully send down rain out of the clouds upon these valleys, gardens, and trees, and make them fruitful; and this may be a figure of the grace of God, with which his churches are watered, and become fruitful by means of the word and ordinances, which is conveyed through them out of the fulness which is in Christ:
and his seed shall be in many waters; the seed and offspring of Israel shall be in a place of many waters, in a land of brooks and waters, shall dwell in a well watered land, the land of Canaan, Deuteronomy 8:7 or shall be like seed sown near water, or in well watered places, which springs up and brings forth much fruit, see Isaiah 32:20 or shall become, or be over many waters, to which people, kingdoms, and nations, are sometimes compared; and so may denote the multitude of Israel, and the large extent of their dominions, see Revelation 17:1,
and his king shall be higher than Agag; who might be the then present king of Amalek, reckoned one of the greatest kings on earth; and this name, some think, was common to all the kings of Amalek, as Pharaoh to the kings of Egypt; and according to Jarchi and Aben Ezra, this is a prophecy of the first king of Israel, Saul, and of his conquering Agag king of Amalek, for there was one of this name in his time, 1 Samuel 15:7,
and his kingdom shall be exalted; that is, the kingdom of the people of Israel, as it was more especially in the days of David and Solomon; and will be abundantly more in the days of the Messiah, when his kingdom shall be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth, and the kingdoms of this world shall become his, and he shall reign over all the earth; and so the Jerusalem Targum,"and the kingdom of the King Messiah shall become very great;''and so other Jewish writers (z) refer this prophecy to the days of the Messiah.
(z) Pesikta in Ketoreth Hassamim, fol. 27. 2. Vid. Philo. de Praemiis, p. 925. Sept. vers. & Targum Jon. in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. his king shall be higher than Agag—The Amalekites were then the most powerful of all the desert tribes, and "Agag" a title common to their kings.
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