Numbers Chapter 22  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Numbers 22
 
Num 22:1

“encamped in the plains of Moab.” As per Numbers 21, the Israelites had just conquered the Transjordan almost as far north as Damascus, the kingdoms of Sihon and then Og. Now they turn south and camp in the plains of Moab right next to the Jordan River because the area was wide and was right across from Jericho, which was to be their first conquest in the Promised Land.

“beyond the Jordan.” In this context this refers to the east side of the Jordan River.

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Num 22:2(top)
Num 22:3(top)
Num 22:4(top)
Num 22:5

“the surface of the earth.” The Hebrew uses the idiomatic phrase, they cover the “eye” of the earth. This phrase also occurs in verses such as Exodus 10:5, 15; and Numbers 22:11.

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Num 22:6(top)
Num 22:7(top)
Num 22:8(top)
Num 22:9(top)
Num 22:10(top)
Num 22:11

“the surface of the earth.” The Hebrew uses the idiomatic phrase, they cover the “eye” of the earth. This phrase also occurs in verses such as Exodus 10:5, 15; and Numbers 22:5.

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Num 22:12(top)
Num 22:13(top)
Num 22:14(top)
Num 22:15(top)
Num 22:16(top)
Num 22:17(top)
Num 22:18(top)
Num 22:19(top)
Num 22:20(top)
Num 22:21

“Balaam rose up.” There is no indication that the men of Moab had come to Balaam before he went to them. This shows that Balaam was likely so intent on personal enrichment that without the intervention of the angel he would have ignored his own statement that he could not go beyond the word of Yahweh and said whatever it took to get Balak to give him the money and honor he wanted. He had no personal love for Israel, as we see in the record of his life.

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Num 22:22

“as an adversary.” If God had really wanted to kill Balaam then He could have, and the fact that He did not, and that the angel miraculously appeared to the donkey shows that God was just trying to impress upon Balaam the seriousness of the situation and the need to speak only what God told him to speak (cp. Num. 22:35).

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Num 22:23(top)
Num 22:24(top)
Num 22:25(top)
Num 22:26(top)
Num 22:27(top)
Num 22:28

“Yahweh opened the mouth of the donkey.” God has the power to give human speech to animals. In the future an eagle will give earth warnings from God (Rev. 8:13).

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Num 22:29(top)
Num 22:30(top)
Num 22:31

“kneeled and bowed down.” This kneeling preceded bowing down to the ground. The two actions, kneeling and then bowing to the ground blended into one act of homage or worship. The common biblical way of bowing down before people or God was to fall to one’s knees and bow the upper body and face to the earth. Also, instead of “kneeled and bowed down,” the text could be translated, “bowed down and worshiped,” with “kneeling” being understood as part of the process of bowing down, and “bowing down” was the act of worship. The same Hebrew verb, shachah (#07812 שָׁחָה), is translated as both “bow down” and “worship;” traditionally “worship” if God is involved and “bow down” if people are involved, but the verb and action are the same, the act of bowing down is the worship. [For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chron. 29:20].

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Num 22:32(top)
Num 22:33(top)
Num 22:34(top)
Num 22:35(top)
Num 22:36(top)
Num 22:37(top)
Num 22:38(top)
Num 22:39(top)
Num 22:40(top)
Num 22:41

“the high places of Baal.” This would have been a height in the mountains of Moab that overlooked at least part of the camp of Israel. There would have been some kind of temple or shine there for it to be called “the high places of Baal,” so Baal would have been one of the gods worshipped there.

“the extremity.” The Hebrew text is unclear as to whether “the extremity” refers to the whole nation of Israel or just one end of the nation of Israel. The context favors it only referring to one end of the people of Israel, which is why a number of versions say something such as, “some of the people,” or “a portion of the people.”

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