Numbers 24:5
How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, and your tabernacles, O Israel!
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Numbers 24:5-6. How goodly are thy tents, &c. — Having seen them pitched in the plains of Moab, (Numbers 24:2,) he thus breaks forth into admiration of their beautiful order, as they lay ranged under their several standards. As the valleys — Which often from a small beginning are spread forth far and wide. As gardens — Pleasant and fruitful, and secured by a fence. As lign- aloes — An Arabian and Indian tree of a sweet smell, yielding shade and shelter both to man and beast; such is Israel, not only safe themselves, but yielding shelter to all that join themselves to them. Which the Lord hath planted — Nature, not art.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.The "falling" of which Balaam speaks was the condition under which the inward opening of his eyes took place. It indicates the force of the divine inspiration overpowering the seer. The faithful prophets of the Lord do not appear to have been subject to these violent illapses Daniel 8:17; Revelation 1:17.

In Balaam and in Saul 1 Samuel 19:24 the word of God could only prevail by first subduing the alien will, and overpowering the bodily energies which the will ordinarily directs.

5-7. How goodly are thy tents, … O Israel!—a fine burst of admiration, expressed in highly poetical strains. All travellers describe the beauty which the circular area of Bedouin tents impart to the desert. How impressive, then, must have been the view, as seen from the heights of Abarim, of the immense camp of Israel extended over the subjacent plains. No text from Poole on this verse. How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob,.... Not that the matter of which they were made was so rich, or their structure so admirable, but the order in which they were placed was so beautiful and agreeable:

and thy tabernacles, O Israel; which is the same thing in other words, and which may be applied figuratively to the church of God, which often goes by the names of Jacob and Israel; and agrees with particular congregations and assemblies of saints, where they dwell as in tents in a movable state, like pilgrims and sojourners; and which are the dwelling places of Father, Son, and Spirit, and of the people of God with one another; and are goodly, pleasant, and delightful, because of the presence of God with them, and on account of the provisions there made for them, and the company they there enjoy; see Psalm 84:1.

How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel!
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
He takes the seer "to the top of Peor, which looks over the face of the desert" (Jeshimon: see at Numbers 21:20), and therefore was nearer to the camp of the Israelites. Mount Peor was one peak of the northern part of the mountains of Abarim by the town of Beth-peor, which afterwards belonged to the Reubenites (Joshua 13:20), and opposite to which the Israelites were encamped in the steppes of Moab (Deuteronomy 3:29; Deuteronomy 4:46). According to Eusebius (Onom. s. v. Φογώρ), Peor was above Libias (i.e., Bethharam),

(Note: Ὑυπέρκειται δὲ τῆς νῦν Λιβαίδος καλουμένης. Jerome has "in supercilio Libiados.")

which was situated in the valley of the Jordan; and according to the account given under Araboth Moab,

(Note: Καὶ ἔστι τόπος εἰς δεῦρο δεικνύμενος παρὰ τῷ ὄρει Φογώρ ὁ παράκειται ἀνιόντων ἀπὸ Λιβίαδος ἐπὶ Ἐσσεβοὺς (i.e., Heshbon) τῆς Ἀραβίας ἀντικρὺ Ἰεριχώ.)

it was close by the Arboth Moab, opposite to Jericho, on the way from Libias to Heshbon. Peor was about seven Roman miles from Heshbon, according to the account given s. v. Danaba; and Beth-peor (s. v. Bethphozor) was near Mount Peor, opposite to Jericho, six Roman miles higher than Libias, i.e., to the east of it (see Hengstenberg, Balaam, p. 538).

Numbers 23:29-30

The sacrifices offered in preparation for this fresh transaction were the same as in the former cases (Numbers 23:14, and Numbers 23:1, Numbers 23:2).

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