Numbers 23:10
New International Version
Who can count the dust of Jacob or number even a fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my final end be like theirs!"

New Living Translation
Who can count Jacob's descendants, as numerous as dust? Who can count even a fourth of Israel's people? Let me die like the righteous; let my life end like theirs."

English Standard Version
Who can count the dust of Jacob or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright, and let my end be like his!”

Berean Study Bible
Who can count the dust of Jacob or number even a fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous; let my end be like theirs!”

New American Standard Bible
"Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright, And let my end be like his!"

King James Bible
Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!

Christian Standard Bible
Who has counted the dust of Jacob or numbered even one-fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright; let the end of my life be like theirs.

Contemporary English Version
They are living alone in peace. And though they are many, they don't bother the other nations. "I hope to obey God for as long as I live and to die in such peace."

Good News Translation
The descendants of Israel are like the dust--There are too many of them to be counted. Let me end my days like one of God's people; Let me die in peace like the righteous."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Who has counted the dust of Jacob or numbered the dust clouds of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright; let the end of my life be like theirs."

International Standard Version
Who can count the dust of Jacob? Who can number the dust of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and may I end up like him."

NET Bible
Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright, and let the end of my life be like theirs."

New Heart English Bible
Who can count the dust of Jacob, and who has numbered the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous. Let my last end be like his."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The descendants of Jacob are like specks of dust. Who can count them or number even one-fourth of the people of Israel? Let me die the death of innocent people. Let my end be like theirs."

JPS Tanakh 1917
Who hath counted the dust of Jacob, Or numbered the stock of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, And let mine end be like his!

New American Standard 1977
“Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright, And let my end be like his!”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Who shall count the dust of Jacob and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let my soul die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!

King James 2000 Bible
Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!

American King James Version
Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!

American Standard Version
Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, And let my last end be like his!

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Who has exactly calculated the seed of Jacob, and who shall number the families of Israel? let my soul die with the souls of the righteous, and let my seed be as their seed.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Who can count the dust of Jacob, and know the number of the stock of Israel? Let my soul die the death of the just, and my last end be like to them.

Darby Bible Translation
Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let my soul die the death of the righteous, and let my end be like his!

English Revised Version
Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, And let my last end be like his!

Webster's Bible Translation
Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!

World English Bible
Who can count the dust of Jacob, or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous! Let my last end be like his!"

Young's Literal Translation
Who hath counted the dust of Jacob, And the number of the fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of upright ones, And let my last end be like his!'
Study Bible
Balaam's First Oracle
9For I see them from atop the rocky cliffs, and I watch them from the hills. Behold, a people dwelling apart, who will not reckon themselves among the nations. 10Who can count the dust of Jacob or number even a fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous; let my end be like theirs!” 11Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you here to curse my enemies, and behold, you have only blessed them!”…
Cross References
Genesis 13:16
I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if one could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could be counted.

Genesis 28:14
Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and east and north and south. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.

Psalm 37:37
Consider the blameless and observe the upright, for a posterity awaits the man of peace.

Isaiah 57:1
The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; devout men are swept away, with none considering that the righteous are guided from the presence of evil.

Treasury of Scripture

Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!

can count

Genesis 13:16
And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

Genesis 22:17
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

Genesis 28:14
And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

the dust.

Numbers 2:9,16,24,31
All that were numbered in the camp of Judah were an hundred thousand and fourscore thousand and six thousand and four hundred, throughout their armies. These shall first set forth…

me.

Psalm 37:37
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

Psalm 116:15
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Proverbs 14:32
The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.







Lexicon
Who
מִ֤י (mî)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4310: Who?, whoever, in oblique construction with prefix, suffix

can count
מָנָה֙ (mā·nāh)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4487: To weigh out, to allot, constitute officially, to enumerate, enroll

the dust
עֲפַ֣ר (‘ă·p̄ar)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 6083: Dust, clay, earth, mud

of Jacob
יַעֲקֹ֔ב (ya·‘ă·qōḇ)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3290: Jacob -- a son of Isaac, also his desc

or number
וּמִסְפָּ֖ר (ū·mis·pār)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4557: A number, definite, indefinite, narration

[even] a fourth
רֹ֣בַע (rō·ḇa‘)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 7255: Fourth part

of Israel?
יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל (yiś·rā·’êl)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3478: Israel -- 'God strives', another name of Jacob and his desc

Let me
נַפְשִׁי֙ (nap̄·šî)
Noun - feminine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 5315: A soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion

die
תָּמֹ֤ת (tā·mōṯ)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect Jussive - third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4191: To die, to kill

the death
מ֣וֹת (mō·wṯ)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 4194: Death, the dead, their place, state, pestilence, ruin

of the righteous;
יְשָׁרִ֔ים (yə·šā·rîm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3477: Straight, right

let my end
אַחֲרִיתִ֖י (’a·ḥă·rî·ṯî)
Noun - feminine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 319: The last, end, the future, posterity

be
וּתְהִ֥י (ū·ṯə·hî)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive imperfect Jussive - third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

like theirs!”
כָּמֹֽהוּ׃ (kā·mō·hū)
Preposition | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3644: Like, as, when
(10) Who can count the dust of Jacob?--These words point back to the promise made to Abraham: "And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth," &c. (Genesis 13:16).

And the number of the fourth part of Israel.--The Israelites were divided into four great encampments (Numbers 2). It is probable that Balaam could only see one of these encampments from Bamoth-Baal (Numbers 22:41); but see below on Numbers 23:13.

The death of the righteous.--The Hebrew word yesharim (upright, or righteous) is applied to Israel because God, who is just and right (Deuteronomy 32:4). had chosen His people to be a Jeshurun (Deuteronomy 32:15; Deuteronomy 33:5; Deuteronomy 33:26)--a holy and peculiar people, following after righteousness and judgment. The end of Balaam (Numbers 31:8) presented a strange contrast to his prayer, and showed that even the prayer of the wicked is abomination in the sight of the Lord. (See Proverbs 28:9.)

Verse 10. - The fourth part of Israel. אֶת־רבַע is so rendered by the Targums, as alluding to the four great camps into which the host was divided. The Septuagint has δήμους, apparently from an incorrect reading. The Samaritan and the older versions, followed by the Vulgate, render it "progeny,'" but this meaning is conjectural, and there seems no sufficient reason to depart from the common translation. Let me die the death of the righteous. The word "righteous" is in the plural (יְשָׁרִים, δικαίων): it may refer either to the Israelites as a holy nation, living and dying in the favour of God; or to the patriarchs, such as Abraham, the promises made to whom, in faith of which they died, were already so gloriously fulfilled. If the former reference was intended, Balaam must have had a much fuller and happier knowledge of "life and immortality" than the Israelites themselves, to whom death was dreadful, all the more that it ended a life protected and blessed by God (cf. e.g., Psalm 88:10-12; Isaiah 38:18, 19). It is hardly credible that so singular an anticipation of purely Christian feeling should really be found in the mouth of a prophet of that day, for it is clear that the words, however much inspired, did express the actual emotion of Balaam at the moment. It is therefore more consistent with the facts and probabilities of the case to suppose that Balaam referred to righteous Abraham (cf. Isaiah 41:2) and his immediate descendants, and wished that when he came to die he might have as sure a hope as they had enjoyed that God would bless and multiply their seed, and make their name to be glorious in the earth. Let my last end be like his. אַחַרִית (last end) is the same word translated "latter days" and "latter end" in Numbers 24:14, 20. It means the last state of a people or of a man as represented in his offspring; the sense is not incorrectly expressed by the Septuagint, γένοιτο τὸ σπέρμα μου ὡς τὸ σπέρμα τούτων. 23:1-10 With the camps of Israel full in view, Balaam ordered seven altars to be built, and a bullock and a ram to be offered on each. Oh the sottishness of superstition, to imagine that God will be at man's beck! The curse is turned into a blessing, by the overruling power of God, in love to Israel. God designed to serve his own glory by Balaam, and therefore met him. If God put a word into the mouth of Balaam, who would have defied God and Israel, surely he will not be wanting to those who desire to glorify God, and to edify his people; it shall be given what they should speak. He who opened the mouth of the ass, caused the mouth of this wicked man to speak words as contrary to the desire of his heart, as those of the ass were to the powers of the brute. The miracle was as great in the one case as in the other. Balaam pronounces Israel safe. He owns he could do no more than God suffered him to do. He pronounces them happy in their distinction from the rest of the nations. Happy in their numbers, which made them both honourable and formidable. Happy in their last end. Death is the end of all men; even the righteous must die, and it is good for us to think of this with regard to ourselves, as Balaam does here, speaking of his own death. He pronounces the righteous truly blessed, not only while they live, but when they die; which makes their death even more desirable than life itself. But there are many who desire to die the death of the righteous, but do not endeavour to live the life of the righteous; gladly would they have an end like theirs, but not a way like theirs. They would be saints in heaven, but not saints on earth. This saying of Balaam's is only a wish, not a prayer; it is a vain wish, being only a wish for the end, without any care for the means. Many seek to quiet their consciences with the promise of future amendment, or take up with some false hope, while they neglect the only way of salvation, by which a sinner can be righteous before God.
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