Numbers 24:15
And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor has said, and the man whose eyes are open has said:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Numbers 24:15. He took up his parable — A weighty and solemn speech, delivered in figurative and majestic language, is often termed a parable in Scripture. Such are these prophecies of Balaam; we cannot peruse them without being struck, not only with their beauty, but with their uncommon force and energy.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.I will advertise thee - i. e., "I will advise thee," words which refer to the ensuing prophecy. 15. he took his parable—or prophecy, uttered in a poetical style. No text from Poole on this verse. And he took up his parable, and said,.... In this and the following verse; the same preface, in the same words, is made to his prophecy as before; see Gill on Numbers 24:3, Numbers 24:4; only one clause is added, "and knew the knowledge of the Most High"; that Balaam had some knowledge of God is certain from the names by which he calls him, being such that he made himself known by to the patriarchs, and by which he is frequently called in the sacred writings; but then this knowledge of his was merely notional and speculative, and not spiritual and supernatural, and was such as men may have who are destitute of the grace of God: he was one that professed to know him in words, but in works denied him, see 1 Corinthians 13:2 and he also was admitted to much nearness to God, and converse with him, of which he boasted; but then this was not for his own sake, or as a mark of friendship to him, but for the sake of the people of Israel, and to prevent his doing them mischief. His prophecy follows. And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15, 16. See Numbers 24:3-4.

15–19. Balaam’s second prophetic message. This consists of seven couplets and a triplet.In Numbers 24:8 and Numbers 24:9, Balaam proclaims still further: "God leads him out of Egypt; his strength is as that of a buffalo: he will devour nations his enemies, and crush their bones, and dash them in pieces with his arrows. He has encamped, he lies down like a lion, and like a lioness: who can drive him up? Blessed be they who bless thee, and cursed they who curse thee!" The fulness of power that dwelt in the people of Israel was apparent in the force and prowess with which their God brought them out of Egypt. This fact Balaam repeats from the previous saying (Numbers 23:22), for the purpose of linking on to it the still further announcement of the manner in which the power of the nation would show itself upon its foes in time to come. The words, "he will devour nations," call up the image of a lion, which is employed in Numbers 24:9 to depict the indomitable heroic power of Israel, in words taken from Jacob's blessing in Genesis 49:9. The Piel גּרם is a denom. verb from גּרם, with the meaning to destroy, crush the bones, like שׁרשׁ, to root out (cf. Ges. 52, 2; Ewald, 120, e.). הצּיו is not the object to ימחץ; for מחץ, to dash to pieces, does not apply to arrows, which may be broken in pieces, but not dashed to pieces; and the singular suffix in חצּיו can only apply to the singular idea in the verse, i.e., to Israel, and not to its enemies, who are spoken of in the plural. Arrows are singled out as representing weapons in general.

(Note: The difficulty which many feel in connection with the word חצּיו cannot be removed by alterations of the text. The only possible conjecture חלציו (his loins) is wrecked upon the singular suffix, for the dashing to pieces of the loins of Israel is not for a moment to be thought of. Knobel's proposal, viz., to read קמיו, has no support in Deuteronomy 33:11, and is much too violent to reckon upon any approval.)

Balaam closes this utterance, as he had done the previous one, with a quotation from Jacob's blessing, which he introduces to show to Balak, that, according to words addressed by Jehovah to the Israelites through their own tribe-father, they were to overcome their foes so thoroughly, that none of them should venture to rise up against them again. To this he also links on the words with which Isaac had transferred to Jacob in Genesis 27:29 the blessing of Abraham in Genesis 12:3, for the purpose of warning Balak to desist from his enmity against the chosen people of God.

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