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Numbers 22

1 - The children of Israel traveled, and encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho.

2 - Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.

3 - Moab was very afraid of the people, because they were many. Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.

4 - Moab said to the elders of Midian, "Now this multitude will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field."Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.

5 - He sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, "Behold, there is a people who came out of Egypt. Behold, they cover the surface of the earth, and they are staying opposite me.

6 - Please come now therefore curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall prevail, that we may strike them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed."

7 - The elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand. They came to Balaam, and spoke to him the words of Balak.

8 - He said to them, "Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak to me." The princes of Moab stayed with Balaam.

9 - God came to Balaam, and said, "Who are these men with you?"

10 - Balaam said to God, "Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has said to me,

11 - 'Behold, the people that has come out of Egypt covers the surface of the earth. Now, come curse me them. Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out.'"

12 - God said to Balaam, "You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people; for they are blessed."

13 - Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, "Go to your land; for the LORD refuses to permit me to go with you."

14 - The princes of Moab rose up, and they went to Balak, and said, "Balaam refuses to come with us."

15 - Balak again sent princes, more, and more honorable than they.

16 - They came to Balaam, and said to him, "Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, 'Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me,

17 - for I will promote you to very great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Please come therefore, and curse this people for me.'"

18 - Balaam answered the servants of Balak, "If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can't go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.

19 - Now therefore, please wait also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will speak to me more."

20 - God came to Balaam at night, and said to him, "If the men have come to call you, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak to you, that you shall do."

21 - Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.

22 - God's anger burned because he went; and The LORD's angel placed himself in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.

23 - The donkey saw The LORD's angel standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and the donkey turned aside out of the way, and went into the field. Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the way.

24 - Then The LORD's angel stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.

25 - The donkey saw The LORD's angel, and she thrust herself to the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall. He struck her again.

26 - The LORD's angel went further, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.

27 - The donkey saw The LORD's angel, and she lay down under Balaam. Balaam's anger burned, and he struck the donkey with his staff.

28 - The LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?"

29 - Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have mocked me, I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would have killed you."

30 - The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long until today? Was I ever in the habit of doing so to you?"He said, "No."

31 - Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw The LORD's angel standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face.

32 - The LORD's angel said to him, "Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way is perverse before me.

33 - The donkey saw me, and turned aside before me these three times. Unless she had turned aside from me, surely now I would have killed you, and saved her alive."

34 - Balaam said to The LORD's angel, "I have sinned; for I didn't know that you stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases you, I will go back again."

35 - The LORD's angel said to Balaam, "Go with the men; but only the word that I shall speak to you, that you shall speak."So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

36 - When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him to the City of Moab, which is on the border of the Arnon, which is in the utmost part of the border.

37 - Balak said to Balaam, "Didn't I earnestly send to you to call you? Why didn't you come to me? Am I not able indeed to promote you to honor?"

38 - Balaam said to Balak, "Behold, I have come to you. Have I now any power at all to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that shall I speak."

39 - Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath Huzoth.

40 - Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes who were with him.

41 - In the morning, Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal; and he saw from there part of the people.


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Numbers Images and Notes

The Book of Numbers

Numbers 14:14 - And they will tell [it] to the inhabitants of this land: [for] they have heard that thou LORD [art] among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and [that] thy cloud standeth over them, and [that] thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Numbers
Hebrew Name - Bemidhbar "in the wilderness"
Greek Name - Numbers "numberings"
Author - Moses
Date - From 1490-1451 BC Approximately
Theme - The Journey to the Promised Land
Types and Shadows - In Numbers Jesus is the Pillar of Cloud by Day and the Pillar of Fire by Night

Photo of the Sinai Wilderness
Photo of the Sinai Wilderness

Summary of The Book of Numbers

The book of Numbers takes its name from the account of the census that happened two times among the congregation of Israel in Numbers 1-4 and Numbers 26. The Greek title was used even though there is really no connection with the "numberings." The original Hebrew title which means "in the wilderness," is much more accurate, because the book of Numbers is it's really an accurate history of the events that happened during the period of wandering in the wilderness and not necessarily a book about statistics. The book of Numbers seems to follow naturally after the book of Leviticus in the order of the books of Moses in the Old Testament. After the children of Israel received the laws at Mount Sinai, they began the journey as described in the book of Exodus, and they were ready to march directly into the land of Canaan. The book of Numbers reveals how the children of Israel became prepared, and went to various trials, and how they were sinful in not trusting the Lord. Their sinful ways resulted in 37 years of wandering through the harsh wilderness. The book of Numbers concludes with the children of Israel once again at the edge of the land of Canaan, where they received instructions for the conquest of Canaan and the division of the land.

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Route of the Exodus
Map of the Possible Route of the Exodus (Click to Enlarge)

The principle divisions of the book are as follows:

Outline of the Book of Numbers

1) The preparation for the departure from Sinai (1:1-10:10). The events described here took place in nineteen days. In this time a census was taken of all men who were over twenty and who could serve in military efforts (1-4). The total obtained was 603,550 (1:46). This would indicate that the total population of the group was probably near three million. The census was followed by the cleansing and blessing of the congregation (5-6), the offering of gifts from the various tribes (7), the consecration of the Levites (8) and the observance of the Passover at Sinai (9:1-14).

2 ) The journey from Sinai to Kadesh-barnea (10:11-14:45). This section includes the account of the coming of the quail (11), the rebellion against Moses by Miriam and Aaron (12), and the fateful mission of the spies (13, 14).

3) The wanderings of the desert wilderness (15-19). As noted above, this covered a period of thirty-seven years, from the end of the second to the beginning of the fortieth year in the wilderness. Ch. 15 includes various laws and a record of capital punishment for Sabbath breaking. The rebellion of Korah (ch. 16) and the budding of Aaron's rod (ch. 17) are also mentioned here.

4 ) The history of the last year, from the second arrival of the Israelites at Kadesh till they reach "the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho" (20-36: 13). Notable sections of this are the story of Balaam (22:2-24:25), the zeal of Phinehas (ch. 25), the second census (26:1-51) , instructions for dividing the land (26:52-27: 11), the appointment of Joshua as Moses' successor (27: 12-23), various laws concerning offerings and vows ( 28-30 ), the war with Midian (ch. 31), the settlement of the tribes east of the Jordan (ch. 32), a review of the locations at which Israel had camped during their wanderings (33: 1-49), more instructions concerning the conquest and division of Canaan (33:50-34:29 ), the appointment of the cities of refuge (ch. 35) and instructions concerning the marriage of land-owning Israelite women (ch. 36).

ARCHAEOLOGY

Ancient Bronze Snake

Bronze Snake from Lachish

Bronze Snake from Lachish, Late Bronze Age

Quick Reference Maps - Numbers

The Exodus of the Hebrews

Mount Horeb

The Red Sea

Canaan Before Joshua

Kadesh barnea

Moab and Ammon

 

Numbers Resources

The Wilderness Wanderings

More About the Book of Numbers
Numbers in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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