The Spirit of God: in Daniel (Dan 5:11); in Joseph (Gen
41:38); clothed Gideon (Jdg 6:34); clothed Amasai (1Ch 12:18); clothed Zechariah
(2Ch 24:20); came upon Balaam (Num 24:2); came upon Saul (1Sa 10:10).
GREATER THAN AGAG: Or "Gog" (LXX),"king of Amalek" (1Sa
15:8). Amalek, a constant enemy of Israel (cp Exo 17:8-16), a descendant of Esau
(Gen 36:1,16; cp Isa 63n). Haman was from Agag (Est 3:1,10), and a political
enemy of Israel.
NOW LEAVE AT ONCE AND GO HOME! I SAID I WOULD REWARD YOU
HANDSOMELY, BUT THE LORD HAS KEPT YOU FROM BEING REWARDED: Balak's arrogance
is typical of 'important' men in the world. As if it would be possible for him
to promote Balaam above what God could do for him! A lesson that we need to
learn. Whatever we think about status in this world, it is as nothing in
comparison to what God will give to the faithful.
A STAR: Balaam's prediction concerns the rise of David
and the Davidic kingdom. The "star" refers to David -- who struck down the
Moabites (Num 24:17; 2Sa 8:2) and the Edomites (Num 24:18; 2Sa 8:13,14; 1Ki
11:15,16; 1Ch 18:12,13). Thus, under David, Israel prospered and the nations
round about were subjugated and often had to bring tribute (eg, 2Sa
But, the prophecy cannot be exhausted at this point, for David
did not completely destroy Moab and Edom, with the result that later writers
would be free to use this imagery to speak of the one who would come and deal
ultimately with the enemies of God.
The use of the term "star" does more than point to a ruler; it
also connects that ruler with heaven. The birth of Jesus was connected with
heavenly signs (Mat 2:2), and one of his titles is "the bright Morning Star"
(Luk 1:78-79; Rev 22:16) -- used in connection with his descent from the line of
David. When he returns from heaven to conquer the enemies of God, and to set up
God's kingdom, his advent will be accompanied by other signs in the heavens (Mat
24:29,30; Mark 13:24,25).
COME: Heb "darak", poss in the sense of "marching" (sw
Deu 33:29; Isa 63:3).
CRUSH THE FOREHEADS: The second part of Gen 3:15 (cp
SONS OF SHETH: "Noisy boasters" (NIV mg). Cp Jer 48:45;
Psa 83:2. The ones who resisted Israel's passage through land, and who seduced
Israel to idolatry.
FIRST AMONG THE NATIONS: "First of the nations that
warred against Israel" (AV mg). But not first in sense of being most ancient (cp
Gen 36:12,16; Jdg 6:3).
THEN BALAAM GOT UP AND RETURNED HOME: It should not be
assumed that he left Balak, since Balaam is slain along with the kings of Midian