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.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.
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)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).
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