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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Numbers 23:1-12

Here is, I. Great preparation made for the cursing of Israel. That which was aimed at was to engage the God of Israel to forsake them, and either to be on Moab's side or to stand neuter. O the sottishness of superstition, to imagine that God will be at men's beck! Balaam and Balak think to bribe him with altars and sacrifices, offered without any warrant or institution of his: as if he would eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats. Ridiculous nonsense, to think that these would... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Numbers 23:12

And he answered and said ,.... By reply to Balak: must I not take heed to speak that which the Lord hath put in my mouth ? pretending a great regard to the word of God, and to great carefulness to speak it, exactly and punctually as he received it, whereas he was forced to it, and could not do otherwise. read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - Numbers 23:12-13

Numbers 23:12-13. Must I not Ought I not? Is it not my duty? Canst thou blame me for it? Thou shalt not see them all Perhaps he thought the sight of all of them might discourage him, or, as it did before, raise his fancy to an admiration of the multitude and felicity of the people. read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - Numbers 23:1-30

Balaam’s announcements (22:36-24:25)Balak welcomed Balaam and took him to a high place where he could see the vastness of the Israelite camp. Balak no doubt hoped that Balaam, on seeing this, would be convinced that the Israelites were a serious threat and would put a destructive curse upon them (36-41). But Balaam announced God’s approval of the Israelites. Their vast number, their place in history and their present migration were according to God’s will. Balaam comforted himself with the... read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Numbers 23:1-12

Balaam offered seven burnt offerings to God on seven separate altars. Pagans as well as Israelites regarded seven as a complete number based on the seven days of creation and seven days of the week. Pagans commonly offered sacrifices on important occasions, as did the Israelites, to secure divine favor and help."The most arresting element of the introductory section is in the words ’God met with him’ (Numbers 23:4) and ’the LORD put a message in Balaam’s mouth’ (Numbers 23:5). Despite the pagan... read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Numbers 23:1-30

Balaam’s seven oracles chs. 23-24"Chapters 23 and 24 are two of the brightest chapters in the book of Numbers. Scores of wonderful things are said about Israel, mainly prophetical. The dark sins of the past were forgotten; only happy deliverance from Egypt was cited." [Note: Jensen, p. 99.] read more

John Dummelow

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible - Numbers 23:1-30

Balaam (continued)1-10. First Utterance of Balaam.1. On the meaning of these sacrifices see on Numbers 22:40. Balak may have intended these sacrifices for Baal, but Balaam at all events thinks of the God who spoke to him at Pethor and whose angel met him on the way (see Numbers 23:4).3. I will go] to inspect the omens, to see what indications are visible of God’s will: cp. Numbers 24:1; Leviticus 19:31. To an high place] RV ’to a bare height’: see on Numbers 22:41. 7. Balaam is constrained to... read more

William Nicoll

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts - Numbers 23:1-30

Sacrifice Without Obedience Numbers 23:4 Balaam wished to serve his own ends, and yet, if possible, to please God. He has prepared seven altars, etc.; will not God be appeased and accept his service, and be won over to his side? This is the kind of attempt that many people make. I. Perfect Orthodoxy in place of Humble Christian Graces. Balaam is particular as to the number. The number seven, sacred and complete. Nothing has been omitted. But might we not say that the very elaborateness and... read more

Arno Clemens Gaebelein

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible - Numbers 23:1-30

The Parables of Balaam CHAPTERS 23-24 1. The first parable (Numbers 23:1-10 ) 2. Balak’s surprise and Balaam’s answer (Numbers 23:11-12 ) 3. At Zophim (Numbers 23:13-17 ) 4. The second parable (Numbers 23:18-24 ) 5. Balak’s request and Balaam’s reply (Numbers 23:25-30 ) 6. Balaam’s third parable (Numbers 24:1-9 ) 7. Balak’s anger and Balaam’s firmness (Numbers 24:10-14 ) 8. Balaam’s fourth parable (Numbers 24:15-24 ) 9. Balaam and Balak separate (Numbers 24:25 ) The parables... read more

L.M. Grant

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible - Numbers 23:1-30

BALAAM'S FIRST PROPHECY (vs.1-12) THE SANCTIFICATION OF ISRAEL Chapter 22:41 tells us that Balak brought Balaam to the high places of Baal in order to prophecy against Israel. Here he observed only "a portion of the people" (NASB), for Balak wanted to give Balaam the impression that Israel was not a large nation so he might more safely curse them. Balaam exposed his idolatrous character immediately by asking Balak to build seven altars, offering on each one a bull and a ram. God allowed... read more

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