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Numbers 24:15 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor saith, And the man whose eye was closed saith;
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— He took up his discourse and said, “The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, And the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor saith, and the man of opened eye saith,
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— So he took up his parable and said,—The oracle of Balaam, son of Beor, Yea the oracle of the man, of opened eye;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And he taketh up his simile, and saith: 'An affirmation of Balaam son of Beor—And an affirmation of the man whose eyes [are] shut—
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Therefore taking up his parable, again he said: Balaam the son of Beor hath said: The man whose eye is stopped up, hath said:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And hee tooke vp his parable, and said, Balaam the sonne of Beor hath said, and the man [whose] eyes are open, hath said:
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And he took up his parable and said, Balaam the son of Beor says, the man who sees truly says,
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And he took up his parable, and said, Bilam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And he took up 5375
{5375} Prime
נָשָׂא
nasa'
{naw-saw'}
A primitive root; to lift, in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively, absolutely and relatively.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
his parable, 4912
{4912} Prime
מָשָׁל
mashal
{maw-shawl'}
Apparently from H4910 in some original sense of superiority in mental action; properly a pithy maxim, usually of a metaphorical nature; hence a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse).
and said, 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
Bil`m בִּלעָם 1109
{1109} Prime
בִּלְעָם
Bil`am
{bil-awm'}
Probably from H1077 and H5971; not (of the) people, that is, foreigner; Bilam, a Mesopotamian prophet; also a place in Palestine.
the son 1121
{1121} Prime
בֵּן
ben
{bane}
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of B`r בְּעוֹר 1160
{1160} Prime
בְּעוֹר
B@`owr
{beh-ore'}
From H1197 (in the sense of burning); a lamp; Beor, the name of the father of an Edomitish king; also of that of Balaam.
hath said, 5002
{5002} Prime
נְאֻם
n@'um
{neh-oom'}
From H5001; an oracle.
z8803
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
and the man 1397
{1397} Prime
גֶּבֶר
geber
{gheh'-ber}
From H1396; properly a valiant man or warrior; generally a person simply.
whose eyes 5869
{5869} Prime
עַיִן
`ayin
{ah'-yin}
Probably a primitive word; an eye (literally or figuratively); by analogy a fountain (as the eye of the landscape).
are open 8365
{8365} Prime
שָׁתַם
shatham
{shaw-tham'}
A primitive root; to unveil (figuratively).
z8803
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
hath said: 5002
{5002} Prime
נְאֻם
n@'um
{neh-oom'}
From H5001; an oracle.
z8803
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Numbers 24:15

_ _ he took his parable — or prophecy, uttered in a poetical style.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Numbers 24:15-25

_ _ The office of prophets was both to bless and to prophesy in the name of the Lord. Balaam, as a prophet, per force had blessed Israel; here he foretels future events.

_ _ I. His preface is much the same as that, Numbers 24:3, Numbers 24:4. He personates a true prophet admirably well, God permitting and directing him to do so, because, whatever he was, the prophecy itself was a true prophecy. He boasts, 1. That his eyes are open (Numbers 24:15), for prophets were in old time called seers (1 Samuel 9:9), because they must speak what they had seen, and therefore, before they opened their lips, it was necessary that they should have their eyes open. 2. That he has heard the words of God, which many do that do not heed them, nor hear God in them. 3. That he knew the knowledge of the Most High; this is added here. A man may be full of the knowledge of God and yet utterly destitute of the grace of God, may receive the truth in the light of it and yet be a stranger to the love of it. 4. That he saw the vision of the Almighty, but not so as to be changed into the same image. He calls God the Most High, and the Almighty; no man could speak more honourably of him, nor seem to put a greater value upon his acquaintance with him, and yet he had no true fear of him, love to him, or faith in him, so far may a man go towards heaven, and yet come short.

_ _ II. Here is his prophecy concerning him that should be the crown and glory of his people Israel, who is, 1. David in the type, who not now, not quickly, but in process of time, should smite the corners of Moab. (Numbers 24:17), and take possession of Mount Seir, and under whom the forces of Israel should do valiantly, Numbers 24:18. This was fulfilled when David smote Moab, and measured them with a line, so that the Moabites became David' servants, 2 Samuel 8:2. And at the same time the Edomites likewise were brought into obedience to Israel, Numbers 24:14. But, 2. Our Lord Jesus, the promised Messiah, is chiefly pointed at in the antitype, and of him it is an illustrious prophecy; it was the will of God that notice should thus be given of his coming, a great while before, not only to the people of the Jews, but to other nations, because his gospel and kingdom were to extend themselves so far beyond the borders of the land of Israel. It is here foretold, (1.) That while: “I shall see him, but not now; I do see him in vision, but at a very great distance, through the interposing space of 1500 years at least.” Or understand it thus: — Balaam, a wicked man, shall see Christ, but shall not see him nigh, nor see him as Job, who saw him as his Redeemer, and saw him for himself, Job 19:25, Job 19:27. When he comes in the clouds every eye shall see him, but many will see him (as the rich man in hell saw Abraham) afar off. (2.) That he shall come out of Jacob, and Israel, as a star and a sceptre, the former denoting his glory and lustre, and the bright and morning star, the latter his power and authority; it is he that shall have dominion. Perhaps this prophecy of Balaam (one of the children of the east) concerning a star that should arise out of Jacob, as the indication of a sceptre arising in Israel, being preserved by a tradition of that country, gave occasion to the wise men, who were of the east too, upon the sight of an unusual star over the land of Judea, to enquire for him that was born king of the Jews, Matthew 2:2. (3.) That his kingdom shall be universal, and victorious over all opposition, which was typified by David's victories over Moab and Edom. But the Messiah shall destroy, or, as some read it, shall rule over, all the children of Seth. (Numbers 24:17), that is, all the children of men, who descend from Seth, the son of Adam, the descendants of the rest of Adam's sons being cut off by the deluge. Christ shall be king, not only of Jacob and Israel, but of all the world; so that all the children of Seth shall be either governed by his golden sceptre or dashed in pieces by his iron rod. He shall set up a universal rule, authority, and power, of his own, and shall put down all opposing rule, 1 Corinthians 15:24. He shall unwall all the children of Seth; so some read it. He shall take down all their defences and carnal confidences, so that they shall either admit his government or lie open to his judgments. (4.) That his Israel shall do valiantly; the subjects of Christ, animated by his might, shall maintain a spiritual was with the powers of darkness, and be more than conquerors. The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits, Daniel 11:32.

_ _ III. Here is his prophecy concerning the Amalekites and Kenites, part of whose country, it is probable, he had now in view. 1. The Amalekites were now the chief of the nations (Numbers 24:20), therefore Agag was spoken of (Numbers 24:7) as an eminent prince, and they were the first that engaged Israel when they came out of Egypt; but the time will come when that nation, as great as it looks now, will be totally ruined and rooted out: His latter end shall be that he perish for ever. Here Balaam confirms that doom of Amalek which Moses had read (Exodus 17:14, Exodus 17:16), where God had sworn that he would have perpetual war with Amalek. Note, Those whom God is at war with will certainly perish for ever; for when God judges he will overcome. 2. The Kenites were now the securest of the nations; their situation was such as that nature was their engineer, and had strongly fortified them: “Thou puttest thy nest (like the eagle) in a rock, Numbers 24:21. Thou thinkest thyself safe, and yet the Kenites shall be wasted (Numbers 24:22) and gradually brought to decay, till they be carried away captive by the Assyrians,” which was done at the captivity of the ten tribes. Note, Bodies politic, like natural bodies, though of the strongest constitutions, will gradually decay, and come to ruin at last; even a nest in a rock will be no perpetual security.

_ _ IV. Here is a prophecy that looks as far forward as the Greeks and Romans, for theirs is supposed to be meant by the coast of Chittim, v. 24.

_ _ 1. The introduction to this parable; this article of his prophecy is very observable (v. 23): Alas! who shall live when God doeth this? Here he acknowledges all the revolutions of states and kingdoms to be the Lord's doing: God doeth this; whoever are the instruments, he is the supreme director. But he speaks mournfully concerning them, and has a very melancholy prospect of these events: Who shall live? Either, (1.) These events are so distant, and so far off to come, that it is hard to say who shall live till they come; but, whoever shall live to see them, there will be amazing turns. Or, (2.) They will be so dismal, and make such desolations, that scarcely any will escape or be left alive; who shall live when death rides in triumph? Revelation 6:8. Those that live then will be as brands plucked out of the fire, and will have their lives given them as a prey. God fit us for the worst of times!

_ _ 2. The prophecy itself is observable. Both Greece and Italy lie much upon the sea, and therefore their armies were sent forth mostly in ships. Now he seems here to foretell, (2.) That the forces of the Grecians should humble and bring down the Assyrians, who were united with the Persians, which was fulfilled when the eastern country was overcome, or overrun rather, by Alexander. (2.) That theirs and the Roman forces should afflict the Hebrews, or Jews, who were called the children of Eber; this was fulfilled in part when the Grecian empire was oppressive to the Jewish nation, but chiefly when the Roman empire ruined it and put a period to it. But, (3.) That Chittim, that is, the Roman empire, in which the Grecian was at length swallowed up, should itself perish for ever, when the stone cut out of the mountain without hands shall consume all these kingdoms, and particularly the feet of iron and clay, Daniel 2:34. Thus (says Dr. Lightfoot) Balaam, instead of cursing the church, curses Amalek the first, and Rome the last, enemy of the church. And so let all thy enemies perish, O Lord!

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Numbers 24:3-4 And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: ... He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling [into a trance], but having his eyes open:
Numbers 23:7 And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, [saying], Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel.
Numbers 23:18 And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:
Job 27:1 Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,
Matthew 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
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Nu 23:7, 18; 24:3. Jb 27:1. Mt 13:35.

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