Numbers 24:14
And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.
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(14) I go unto my people.—Such was, probably, the intention of Balaam when he spoke these words. The account of the death of Balaam, however, shows that he still lingered amongst the Moabites.

I will advertise thee . . . —The word which is here employed generally means to advise. The announcement which Balaam made to Balak virtually included advice, inasmuch as it foretold the supremacy of Israel over all their foes, and, consequently, implied the folly of opposition to their progress. It does not appear whether it was or was not at this time that Balaam “taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication(Revelation 2:14). In any case, there does not appear to be any reference to such advice in this verse, although it is inserted in the Targum of Palestine in this place.

In the latter days.—Literally, in the end of the days. (See Genesis 49:1, where the same expression occurs, and Note.) The prophecy which follows refers exclusively to the future; and it is divided into four parts by the recurrence of the words “He took up his parable” at Numbers 24:15; Numbers 24:20-21; Numbers 24:23.

24:10-14 This vain attempt to curse Israel is ended. Balak broke out into a rage against Balaam, and expressed great vexation. Balaam has a very full excuse; God restrained him from saying what he would have said, and constrained him to say what he would not have uttered.I will advertise thee - i. e., "I will advise thee," words which refer to the ensuing prophecy. 10-14. Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together—The "smiting of the hands together" is, among Oriental people, an indication of the most violent rage (see Eze 21:17; 22:13) and ignominious dismissal. Advertise thee, or inform thee, to wit, concerning future things, as it here follows, for this word seems inseparably joined with the following. Others, give thee counsel, and tell thee what this people, &c. So it is a short and defective speech, such as we have Exodus 4:5 13:8. And by counsel. they understand that which is related Numbers 25:1,2, which was done by Balaam’s counsel, Numbers 31:16 Revelation 2:14. But the former sense is more unforced and agreeable to the following words as they lie.

In the latter days: not in thy time, therefore thou hast no reason to fear, but in succeeding ages, as 2 Samuel 8:2, &c.

And now, behold, I go unto my people,.... According to thine order, I shall not stay to make thee uneasy with my company, only I crave thy patience to hear me a little before we part:

come therefore, and I will advertise thee; about some things that shall come to pass in future time, respecting this people, and thine, and other nations, both near and remote; and he hoped by this to bring him into a better temper, and part good friends: or "I will counsel thee"; what thou shall do, as the Targum of Onkelos, and so makes a sentence of this of itself, independent of, and distinct from what follows, beginning the next clause thus:

and I will show them what this people, &c. referring the former to the counsel Balaam gave to Balak, how to seduce the people into idolatry; and the Targum of Jonathan expresses it at large;"come, I will counsel thee, go and prepare victualling houses, and place lewd women there to sell food and drink at a low price, and bring this people to eat, and drink, and be drunken; and let them lie with them, and deny their God, and they will be delivered into thine hands in a little time, and many of them will fall;''which advice was followed, Numbers 25:1 and is referred to, Numbers 31:16 but though Balaam did give him such advice before he left him, which is highly probable, yet it is not what is intended here, since what follows is closely connected with the above clause, and contains the thing he advertised or advised him of:

what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days; not what the Moabites should do to the Israelites now, as the Vulgate Latin version, quite contrary to the original text, but what the Israelites should do to the Moabites in future times; not only in the times of David, by whom they were subdued, 2 Samuel 8:2 but in much later times, even in the times of Alexander, or King Jannaeus, who overcame them, as Josephus (b) relates. Now this might be said to Balak to make him easy, that it would not be until the latter days, many hundreds of years hence, ere the people of Israel would fight with Moab, and subdue it; and therefore he need be under no concern about them, since he would meet with no trouble from them in his time, nor his people for years to come.

(b) Antiqu. l. 13. c. 13. sect. 5.

And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will {h} advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.

(h) He gave also wicked counsel to cause the Israelites to sin, that God might forsake them, Nu 31:16.

14. I will advertise thee] I will counsel thee. ‘Advertise’ is an archaism, meaning ‘inform’; cf. Ruth 4:4 (A.V. [Note: .V. The Authorised Version.] ).

Verse 14. - I will advertise thee. אִיעָצְך has properly the meaning "advise" (Septuagint, συμβουλεύσω), but it seems to have here the same subordinate sense of giving information which "advise" has with us. The Vulgate here has followed the surmise of the Jewish commentators, who saw nothing in Balaam but the arch-enemy of their race, and has actually altered the text into "dabo consilium quid populus tuus populo huic faciat" (cf. Numbers 31:16). Numbers 24:14But Balaam reminds him, on the other hand, of the declaration which he made to the messengers at the very outset (Numbers 22:18), that he could not on any account speak in opposition to the command of Jehovah, and then adds, "And now, behold, I go to my people. Come, I will tell thee advisedly what this people will do to thy people at the end of the days." יעץ, to advise; here it denotes an announcement, which includes advice. The announcement of what Israel would do to the Moabites in the future, contains the advice to Balak, what attitude he should assume towards Israel, if this people was to bring a blessing upon his own people and not a curse. On "the end of the days," see at Genesis 49:1.
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