Numbers 24:17
New International Version
"I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the people of Sheth.

New Living Translation
I see him, but not here and now. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel. It will crush the foreheads of Moab's people, cracking the skulls of the people of Sheth.

English Standard Version
I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth.

Berean Study Bible
I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob, and a scepter will arise from Israel. He will crush the skulls of Moab and strike down all the sons of Sheth.

New American Standard Bible
"I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth.

King James Bible
I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

Christian Standard Bible
I see him, but not now; I perceive him, but not near. A star will come from Jacob, and a scepter will arise from Israel. He will smash the forehead of Moab and strike down all the Shethites.

Contemporary English Version
"What I saw in my vision hasn't happened yet. But someday, a king of Israel will appear like a star. He will wipe out you Moabites and destroy those tribes who live in the desert.

Good News Translation
I look into the future, And I see the nation of Israel. A king, like a bright star, will arise in that nation. Like a comet he will come from Israel. He will strike the leaders of Moab And beat down all the people of Seth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I see him, but not now; I perceive him, but not near. A star will come from Jacob, and a scepter will arise from Israel. He will smash the forehead of Moab and strike down all the Shethites.

International Standard Version
I can see him, but not right now. I observe him, but from a distance. A star streams forth from Jacob; a scepter arises from Israel. He will crush Moab's forehead, along with all of Seth's descendants.

NET Bible
I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not close at hand. A star will march forth out of Jacob, and a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the skulls of Moab, and the heads of all the sons of Sheth.

New Heart English Bible
I see him, but not now. I see him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob. A scepter will rise out of Israel, and shall strike through the corners of Moab, and break down all the sons of Sheth.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I see someone who is not here now. I look at someone who is not nearby. A star will come from Jacob. A scepter will rise from Israel. He will crush the heads of the Moabites and destroy all the people of Sheth.

JPS Tanakh 1917
I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh; There shall step forth a star out of Jacob, And a scepter shall rise out of Israel, And shall smite through the corners of Moab, And break down all the sons of Seth.

New American Standard 1977
“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, And a scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I shall see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but not near by; there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel and shall smite the corners of Moab and destroy all the sons of Seth.

King James 2000 Bible
I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall crush the forehead of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

American King James Version
I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

American Standard Version
I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, And a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, And shall smite through the corners of Moab, And break down all the sons of tumult.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
I will point to him, but not now; I bless him, but he draws not near: a star shall rise out of Jacob, a man shall spring out of Israel; and shall crush the princes of Moab, and shall spoil all the sons of Seth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near. A STAR SHALL RISE out of Jacob and a sceptre shall spring up from Israel: and shall strike the chiefs of Moab, and shall waste all the children of Seth.

Darby Bible Translation
I shall see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but not nigh: There cometh a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and he shall cut in pieces the corners of Moab, and destroy all the sons of tumult.

English Revised Version
I see him, but not now: I behold him, but not nigh: There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, And a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, And shall smite through the corners of Moab, And break down all the sons of tumult.

Webster's Bible Translation
I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

World English Bible
I see him, but not now. I see him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob. A scepter will rise out of Israel, and shall strike through the corners of Moab, and break down all the sons of Sheth.

Young's Literal Translation
I see it, but not now; I behold it, but not near; A star hath proceeded from Jacob, And a sceptre hath risen from Israel, And hath smitten corners of Moab, And hath destroyed all sons of Sheth.
Study Bible
Balaam's Fourth Oracle
16the prophecy of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open: 17I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob, and a scepter will arise from Israel. He will crush the skulls of Moab and strike down all the sons of Sheth. 18Edom will become a possession, Seir will be owned by his enemies, but Israel will perform with valor.…
Cross References
Matthew 2:2
asking, "Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."

Matthew 2:7
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and learned from them the exact time the star had appeared.

Hebrews 7:14
For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, a tribe as to which Moses said nothing about priests.

Genesis 49:10
The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes and the allegiance of the nations is his.

Numbers 21:29
Woe to you, O Moab! You are destroyed, O people of Chemosh! He gave up his sons as refugees, and his daughters into captivity to Sihon king of the Amorites.

Numbers 24:16
the prophecy of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open:

2 Samuel 8:2
David also defeated the Moabites, made them lie down on the ground, and he measured them off with a cord. He measured off with two lengths those to be put to death, and with one length those to be spared. So the Moabites became subject to David and brought him tribute.

2 Samuel 8:14
He placed garrisons throughout Edom, and all the Edomites were subject to David. So the LORD made David victorious wherever he went.

Isaiah 15:1
This is an oracle concerning Moab: Ar in Moab is ruined, destroyed in a night! Kir in Moab is devastated, destroyed in a night!

Jeremiah 48:45
Those who flee will stand helpless in Heshbon's shadow, because fire has gone forth from Heshbon and a flame from within Sihon. It will devour the foreheads of Moab and the skulls of the noisemakers.

Treasury of Scripture

I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

Genesis 27:29,40
Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee…

2 Samuel 8:14
And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David's servants. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

Psalm 60:1
To the chief Musician upon Shushaneduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aramnaharaim and with Aramzobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand. O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.







Lexicon
I see him,
אֶרְאֶ֙נּוּ֙ (’er·’en·nū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - first person common singular | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7200: To see

but not
וְלֹ֣א (wə·lō)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's Hebrew 3808: Not, no

now;
עַתָּ֔ה (‘at·tāh)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 6258: At this time

I behold him,
אֲשׁוּרֶ֖נּוּ (’ă·šū·ren·nū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - first person common singular | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7789: To spy out, survey, lurk for, care for

but not
וְלֹ֣א (wə·lō)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's Hebrew 3808: Not, no

near.
קָר֑וֹב (qā·rō·wḇ)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7138: Near

A star
כּוֹכָ֜ב (kō·w·ḵāḇ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3556: A star, a prince

will come
דָּרַ֨ךְ (dā·raḵ)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1869: To tread, to walk, to string a, bow

out of Jacob,
מִֽיַּעֲקֹ֗ב (mî·ya·‘ă·qōḇ)
Preposition-m | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3290: Jacob -- a son of Isaac, also his desc

and a scepter
שֵׁ֙בֶט֙ (šê·ḇeṭ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7626: Rod, staff, club, scepter, tribe

will arise
וְקָ֥ם (wə·qām)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6965: To arise, stand up, stand

from Israel.
מִיִּשְׂרָאֵ֔ל (mî·yiś·rā·’êl)
Preposition-m | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3478: Israel -- 'God strives', another name of Jacob and his desc

He will crush
וּמָחַץ֙ (ū·mā·ḥaṣ)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4272: To dash asunder, to crush, smash, violently plunge, to subdue, destroy

the skulls
פַּאֲתֵ֣י (pa·’ă·ṯê)
Noun - fdc
Strong's Hebrew 6285: Mouth, direction, region, extremity

of Moab
מוֹאָ֔ב (mō·w·’āḇ)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4124: Moab -- a son of Lot,also his descendants and the territory where they settled

and strike down
וְקַרְקַ֖ר (wə·qar·qar)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Piel - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6979: To trench, to throw forth, to wall up

all
כָּל־ (kāl-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3605: The whole, all, any, every

the sons
בְּנֵי־ (bə·nê-)
Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 1121: A son

of Sheth.
שֵֽׁת׃ (šêṯ)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8351: Seat (of the body), buttocks
(17) I shall see him . . . --Better, I see him (or, it), but not now; I behold him (or, it), but not nigh. The reference cannot be to Israel, whose armies were encamped before the eyes of Balaam. His words must be understood as having reference to One whom he beheld with the eyes of his mind, not with his bodily sight. This is obvious from the words which follow. Balaam beholds in vision a Star and a Sceptre, not as having already appeared, but as about to appear in the future.

There shall come a Star out of Jacob . . . --Literally, There hath come forth a Star out of Jacob, &c. The verb is in the prophetic past or historic tense of prophecy, denoting the certainty of the event predicted. (Comp. Jude 1:14 : "Behold the Lord cometh"--literally, came.) If there is any ambiguity in the first symbol it is removed in the second. A star is a fitting image of an illustrious king or ruler, and the mention of the sceptre in the words which follow (comp. Genesis 49:10) shows that it is so employed in the present instance. The Targum of Onkelos is as follows:--"When the King shall arise out of Jacob, and the Messiah shall be anointed from Israel." The Targum of Palestine reads thus:--"A King is to arise from the house of Jacob, and a Redeemer and Ruler from the house of Israel." Ibn Ezra interprets these words of David, but he says that many interpret them of the Messiah. It seems to have been with reference to this prophecy that the pretender to the title of the Messiah in the days of the Emperor Adrian took the name of Bar-cochab, or Bar-cochba (the son of a star). The words of the Magi, "We have seen his star in the East" (Matthew 2:2), appear to have reference to this prophecy.

And shall smite the corners of Moab.--Or, the two sides of Moab. The prophecy was partially, or typically, fulfilled in the time of David (2Samuel 8:2). Moab and Edom represented symbolically the enemies of Christ and of His Church, and as such will eventually be subdued by the King of kings. (Comp. Psalm 60:8.)

And destroy all the children of Sheth.--Better, and destroy (or, break down; comp, Isaiah 22:5) all the sons of tumult. Such appears to be the most probable rendering of these words according to the present Hebrew text. It has been conjectured, however, that the word which is rendered "destroy" (karkar) should be read kodkod (crown of the head), as in the parallel passage of Jeremiah 48:45, in which case the clause may be rendered, And the crown of the head of all the sons of tumult.

Verse 17. - I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh. Rather, "I see him, but not now: I behold him, but not near" (אַשׁוּרֶנּוּ...אֶראֶנוּ exactly as in Numbers 23:9). Balaam does not mean to say that he expected himself to see at any future time the mysterious Being of whom he speaks, who is identical with the "Star" and the "Scepter" of the following clauses; he speaks wholly as a prophet, and means that his inner gaze is fixed upon such an one, with full assurance that he exists in the counsels of God, but with clear recognition of the fact that his actual coming is yet in the far future. There shall come a Star out of Jacob. Septuagint, ἀνατελεῖ ἀστρον. It may quite as well be rendered by the present; Balaam simply utters what passes before his inward vision. The star is a natural and common poetic symbol of an illustrious, or, as we say, "brilliant," personage, and as such recurs many times in Scripture (cf. Job 38:7; Isaiah 14:12; Daniel 8:10; Matthew 24:29; Philippians 2:15; Revelation 1:20; Revelation 2:28). The celebrated Jewish fanatic called himself Barcochab, "son of the Star," in allusion to this prophecy. A Scepter shall rise out of Israel. This further defines the "star ' as a ruler of men, for the scepter is Used in that sense in the dying prophecy of Jacob (Genesis 49:10), with which Balaam was evidently acquainted. Accordingly the Septuagint has here ἀναστήσεται. Shall smite the corners of Moab. Rather, "the two corners" (dual), or "the two sides of Moab," i.e., shall crush Moab on either side. And destroy all the children of Sheth. In Jeremiah 48:45, where this prophecy is in a manner quoted, the word קַרְקַר (qarqar, destroy) is altered into קָדקֹר (quadqod, crown of the head). This raises a very curious and interesting question as to the use made by the prophets of the earlier Scriptures, but it gives no authority for an alteration of the text. The expression בְּנֵי־שֵׁת has been variously rendered. The Jewish commentators, followed by the Septuagint (πάντας υἱοὺς Σήθ) and the older versions, understand it to mean the sons of Seth, the son of Adam, i.e., all mankind. Many modern commentators, however, take שֵׁת as a contraction of שֵׁאת (Lamentations 3:47 - "desolation"), and read "sons of confusion," as equivalent to the unruly neighbours and relations of Israel. This, however, is extremely dubious in itself, for שֵׁת nowhere occurs in this sense, and derives no sup. port from Jeremiah 48:45. It is true that בְּנֵי שֵׁת is there replaced by בְּנֵי שָׁאון, "sons of tumult," but then this very verse affords the clearest evidence that the prophet felt no hesitation in altering the text of Scripture to suit his own inspired purpose. If it be true that קַרְקַר will not bear the meaning given to it in the Targums of "reign over," still there is no insuperable difficulty in the common rendering. Jewish prophecy, from beginning to end, contemplated the Messiah as the Conqueror, the Subduer, and even the Destroyer of all the heathen, i.e., of all who were not Jews. It is only in the New Testament that the iron scepter with which he was to dash in pieces the heathen (Psalm 2:9) becomes the pastoral staff wherewith he shepherds them (Revelation 2:27 - ποιμανεῖ after the Septuagint, which has here misread the text). The prophecy was that Messiah should destroy the heathen; the fulfillment that he destroyed not them, but their heathenism (cf. e.g., Psalm 149:6-9 with James 5:20). 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.
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Alphabetical: A all And behold but come crush down forehead foreheads forth from He him I Israel Jacob Moab near not now of out rise scepter see shall Sheth skulls sons star tear the through will

OT Law: Numbers 24:17 I see him but not now (Nu Num.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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