Numbers 24:9
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
He crouched, he lay down like a lion and like a lioness; who will rouse him up? Blessed are those who bless you, and cursed are those who curse you.”

King James Bible
He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.

American Standard Version
He couched, he lay down as a lion, And as a lioness; who shall rouse him up? Blessed be every one that blesseth thee, And cursed be every one that curseth thee.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Lying down he hath slept as a lion, and as a lioness, whom none shall dare to rouse. He that blesseth thee, shall also himself be blessed: he that curseth thee shall be reckoned accursed.

English Revised Version
He couched, he lay down as a lion, And as a lioness; who shall rouse him up? Blessed be every one that blesseth thee, And cursed be every one that curseth thee.

Webster's Bible Translation
He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall rouse him? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.

Numbers 24:9 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Numbers 24:3 and Numbers 24:4 contain the preface to the prophecy: "The divine saying of Balaam the son of Beor, the divine saying of the man with closed eye, the divine saying of the hearer of divine words, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down and with opened eyes." For the participial noun נאם the meaning divine saying (effatum, not inspiratum, Domini) is undoubtedly established by the expression יהוה נאם, which recurs in Numbers 14:28 and Genesis 22:16, and is of constant use in the predictions of the prophets; and this applies even to the few passages where a human author is mentioned instead of Jehovah, such as Numbers 24:3, Numbers 24:4, and Numbers 24:15, Numbers 24:16; also 2 Samuel 23:1; Proverbs 30:1; and Psalm 36:2, where a נאם is ascribed to the personified wickedness. Hence, when Balaam calls the following prophecy a נאם, this is done for the purpose of designating it as a divine revelation received from the Spirit of God. He had received it, and now proclaimed it as a man העין שׁתם, with closed eye. שׁתם does not mean to open, a meaning in support of which only one passage of the Mishnah can be adduced, but to close, like סתם in Daniel 8:26, and שׁתם in Lamentations 3:8, with the שׁ softened into ס or שׂ (see Roediger in Ges. thes., and Dietrich's Hebrew Lexicon). "Balaam describes himself as the man with closed eye with reference to his state of ecstasy, in which the closing of the outer senses went hand in hand with the opening of the inner" (Hengstenberg). The cessation of all perception by means of the outer senses, so far as self-conscious reflection is concerned, was a feature that was common to both the vision and the dream, the two forms in which the prophetic gift manifested itself (Numbers 12:6), and followed from the very nature of the inward intuition. In the case of prophets whose spiritual life was far advanced, inspiration might take place without any closing of the outward senses. But upon men like Balaam, whose inner religious life was still very impure and undeveloped, the Spirit of God could only operate by closing their outward senses to impressions from the lower earthly world, and raising them up to visions of the higher and spiritual world.

(Note: Hence, as Hengstenberg observes (Balaam, p. 449), we have to picture Balaam as giving utterance to his prophecies with the eyes of his body closed; though we cannot argue from the fact of his being in this condition, that an Isaiah would be in precisely the same. Compare the instructive information concerning analogous phenomena in the sphere of natural mantik and ecstasy in Hengstenberg (pp. 449ff.), and Tholuck's Propheten, pp. 49ff.)

What Balaam heard in this ecstatic condition was אל אמרי, the sayings of God, and what he saw שׁדּי מחזה, the vision of the Almighty. The Spirit of God came upon him with such power that he fell down (נפל), like Saul in 1 Samuel 19:24; not merely "prostrating himself with reverential awe at seeing and hearing the things of God" (Knobel), but thrown to the ground by the Spirit of God, who "came like an armed man upon the seer," and that in such a way that as he fell his (spirit's) eyes were opened. This introduction to his prophecy is not an utterance of boasting vanity; but, as Calvin correctly observes, "the whole preface has no other tendency than to prove that he was a true prophet of God, and had received the blessing which he uttered from a celestial oracle."

The blessing itself in Numbers 24:5. contains two thoughts: (1) the glorious prosperity of Israel, and the exaltation of its kingdom (Numbers 24:5-7); (2) the terrible power, so fatal to all its foes, of the people which was set to be a curse or a blessing to all the nations (Numbers 24:8, Numbers 24:9).

Numbers 24:9 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

he smote

Job 27:23 Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place.

Ezekiel 21:14,17 You therefore, son of man, prophesy, and smite your hands together. and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the slain...

Ezekiel 22:13 Behold, therefore I have smitten my hand at your dishonest gain which you have made...

I called

Numbers 22:6,11,17 Come now therefore, I pray you, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail...

Numbers 23:11 And Balak said to Balaam, What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and, behold, you have blessed them altogether.

Deuteronomy 23:4,5 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when you came forth out of Egypt...

Joshua 24:9,10 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you...

Nehemiah 13:2 Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them...

Cross References
Genesis 12:3
I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

Genesis 27:29
Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!"

Genesis 49:9
Judah is a lion's cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?

Exodus 23:22
"But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.

Numbers 22:6
Come now, curse this people for me, since they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed."

Numbers 22:12
God said to Balaam, "You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed."

Numbers 23:24
Behold, a people! As a lioness it rises up and as a lion it lifts itself; it does not lie down until it has devoured the prey and drunk the blood of the slain."

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