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Numbers 23:10 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, And let my last end be like his!
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth [part] of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright, And let my end be like his!”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth [part] of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let my soul die the death of the righteous, and let my end be like his!
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Who, hath counted the dust of Jacob? Or who, hath numbered the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright, And let my hereafter be like his!
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Who hath counted the dust of Jacob, And the number of the fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of upright ones, And let my last end be like his!'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Who can count the dust of Jacob, and know the number of the stock of Israel? Let my soul die the death of the just, and my last end be like to them.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Who can count the dust of Iacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let mee die the death of the righteous, & let my last end be like his.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Who has exactly calculated the seed of Jacob, and who shall number the families of Israel? let my soul die with the souls of the righteous, and let my seed be as their seed.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Who can count the dust of Yaaqov, and the number of the fourth [part] of Yisrael? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Who x4310
(4310) Complement
מִי
miy
{me}
An interrogitive pronoun of persons, as H4100 is of things, who? (occasionally, by a peculiar idiom, of things); also (indefinitely) whoever; often used in oblique construction with prefix or suffix.
can count 4487
{4487} Prime
מָנַה
manah
{maw-naw'}
A primitive root; properly to weigh out; by implication to allot or constitute officially; also to enumerate or enroll.
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
the dust 6083
{6083} Prime
עָפָר
`aphar
{aw-fawr'}
From H6080; dust (as powdered or gray); hence clay, earth, mud.
of Ya`kv יַעֲקֹב, 3290
{3290} Prime
יַעֲקֹב
Ya`aqob
{yah-ak-obe'}
From H6117; heel catcher (that is, supplanter); Jaakob, the Israelitish patriarch.
and the number 4557
{4557} Prime
מִסְפָּר
micpar
{mis-pawr'}
From H5608; a number, definitely (arithmetical) or indefinitely (large, innumerable; small, a few); also (abstractly) narration.
of x853
(0853) Complement
אֵת
'eth
{ayth}
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
the fourth 7255
{7255} Prime
רֹבַע
roba`
{ro'-bah}
From H7251; a quarter.
[part] of Yi$rl יִשׂרָאֵל? 3478
{3478} Prime
יִשְׂרָאֵל
Yisra'el
{yis-raw-ale'}
From H8280 and H0410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.
Let me x5315
(5315) Complement
נֶפֶשׁ
nephesh
{neh'-fesh}
From H5314; properly a breathing creature, that is, animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental).
die 4191
{4191} Prime
מָמוֹת
muwth
{mooth}
A primitive root; to die (literally or figuratively); causatively to kill.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
y5315
[5315] Standard
נֶפֶשׁ
nephesh
{neh'-fesh}
From H5314; properly a breathing creature, that is, animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental).
the death 4194
{4194} Prime
מָוֶת
maveth
{maw'-veth}
From H4191; death (natural or violent); concretely the dead, their place or state (hades); figuratively pestilence, ruin.
of the righteous, 3477
{3477} Prime
יָשָׁר
yashar
{yaw-shawr'}
From H3474; straight (literally or figuratively).
and let my last y319
[0319] Standard
אַחֲרִית
'achariyth
{akh-ar-eeth'}
From H0310; the last or end, hence the future; also posterity.
end x319
(0319) Complement
אַחֲרִית
'achariyth
{akh-ar-eeth'}
From H0310; the last or end, hence the future; also posterity.
be x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
like his! x3644
(3644) Complement
כְמוֹ
k@mow
{kem-o'}
A form of the prefix K, but used separately (compare H3651); as, thus, so.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Numbers 23:10

_ _ Who can count the dust of Jacob? — an Oriental hyperbole for a very populous nation, as Jacob’s posterity was promised to be (Genesis 13:16; Genesis 28:14).

_ _ the number of the fourth part of Israel — that is, the camp consisted of four divisions; every one of these parts was formidable in numbers.

_ _ Let me die the death of the righteousHebrew, “of Jeshurun”; or, the Israelites. The meaning is: they are a people happy, above all others, not only in life, but at death, from their knowledge of the true God, and their hope through His grace. Balaam is a representative of a large class in the world, who express a wish for the blessedness which Christ has promised to His people but are averse to imitate the mind that was in Him.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Numbers 23:1-12.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Numbers 23:10

The dust — The numberless people of Jacob or Israel, who according to God's promise, are now become as the dust of the earth. Of the righteous — Of this righteous and holy people. The sense is, they are not only happy above other nations in this life, and therefore in vain should I curse them, but they have this peculiar privilege, that they are happy after death: their happiness begins where the happiness of other people ends; and therefore I heartily wish that my soul may have its portion with theirs when I die. Was not God now again striving with him, not only for the sake of Israel, but of his own soul?

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Numbers 23:10

Who can count the (f) dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth [part] of Israel? Let me (g) die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!

(f) The infinite multitude, as the dust of the earth.

(g) The fear of God's judgment caused him to wish to be joined to the household of Abraham: thus the wicked have their consciences wounded when they consider God's judgments.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
can count:

Genesis 13:16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, [then] shall thy seed also be numbered.
Genesis 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
Genesis 28:14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

the dust:
i.e. The posterity of Jacob, which was to be so numerous as to resemble the dust.

the fourth:

Numbers 2:9 All that were numbered in the camp of Judah [were] an hundred thousand and fourscore thousand and six thousand and four hundred, throughout their armies. These shall first set forth.
Numbers 2:16 All that were numbered in the camp of Reuben [were] an hundred thousand and fifty and one thousand and four hundred and fifty, throughout their armies. And they shall set forth in the second rank.
Numbers 2:24 All that were numbered of the camp of Ephraim [were] an hundred thousand and eight thousand and an hundred, throughout their armies. And they shall go forward in the third rank.
Numbers 2:31 All they that were numbered in the camp of Dan [were] an hundred thousand and fifty and seven thousand and six hundred. They shall go hindmost with their standards.

me:
Heb. my soul, or, my life

the death:

Psalms 37:37 Mark the perfect [man], and behold the upright: for the end of [that] man [is] peace.
Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD [is] the death of his saints.
Proverbs 14:32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.
Isaiah 57:1-2 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth [it] to heart: and merciful men [are] taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil [to come]. ... He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, [each one] walking [in] his uprightness.
Luke 2:29-30 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: ... For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
1 Corinthians 3:21-22 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; ... Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
1 Corinthians 15:53-57 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. ... But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of [this] tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Philippians 1:21-23 For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain. ... For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
2 Timothy 4:6-8 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. ... Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
2 Peter 1:13-15 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting [you] in remembrance; ... Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Gn 13:16; 22:17; 28:14. Nu 2:9, 16, 24, 31. Ps 37:37; 116:15. Pv 14:32. Is 57:1. Lk 2:29. 1Co 3:21; 15:53. 2Co 5:1. Php 1:21. 2Ti 4:6. 2P 1:13. Rv 14:13.

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