The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Numbers 22

Num 22:1

"The way of Balaam (Num 22-24) is the prostitution of a spiritual gift for a base gain. The error of Balaam is the secret idea that the will of God may be circumvented under cover of an outward respect for His Word. The doctrine of Balaam is the counsel to ruin by seduction the people who cannot be cursed by permission" (JSB).

Num 22:5

BALAAM: "Waster of people". May be seen as sym of beguiled, and beguiling, clergy (Rev 2:14; 2Pe 2:15), Balaam was covetous, perverse, presumptuous, unrighteous, and deceitful (Eur 1:290).

Num 22:19

'But stay, don't go away. I will see what I can get him to let me do.' (Eur 1:289).

Num 22:22

TO OPPOSE HIM: To be a "satan". Other "satans": Hadad the Edomite (1Ki 11:14), Peter (Mat 16:23).

Num 22:25

CRUSHING... FOOT: Cp Gen 3:15.

Num 22:27

In speaking of infant-baptism and other such acts performed by the "Balaamite" clergy (Rev 2:14; 2Pe 2:15), JT says: "Surely if Balaam's ass were here, and a clergyman should bestride him on such a mission, the intelligent creature would break silence again, and with the voice of a man rebuke the madness of the seer" (Eur 1:302).

Num 22:28

THEN THE LORD OPENED THE DONKEY'S MOUTH: "It was just as easy for God to impart the gift of utterance temporarily to a four-footed creature, as to endow some other creatures with it permanently who show no special aptitude for its wise use" (RR).

Num 22:34

I HAVE SINNED: There is a radical distinction between natural regret and God-given repentance. The flesh can feel remorse, acknowledge its evil deeds, and be ashamed of itself. However, this sort of disgust with past actions can be quickly shrugged off, and the individual can soon go back to his old wicked ways. None of the marks of true repentance described in 2Co 7:11 are found in his behavior. Out of a list of 11 men in the Bible who said, "I have sinned," poss only five actually repented. They were David (2Sa 12:13; 24:10; 1Ch 21:8; Psa 41:4), Nehemiah (Neh 1:6), Job (Job 42:5,6), Micah (Mic 7:9), and the prodigal son (Luk 15:18). The other (poss less sincere) instances? Pharaoh in Exo 9:27; 10:16; Balaam in Num 22:34; Achan in Jos 7:20; Saul in 1Sa 15:24,30; 26:21; Shimei in 2Sa 19:20; Judas in Mat 27:4.

Num 22:38

No power of ourselves to: (1) think (2Co 3:5), (2) speak (Num 22:38), or (3) do (Joh 15:5).

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