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Numbers 23

1 - Balaam said to Balak, "Build here seven altars for me, and prepare here seven bulls and seven rams for me."

2 - Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bull and a ram.

3 - Balaam said to Balak, "Stand by your burnt offering, and I will go. Perhaps the LORD will come to meet me. Whatever he shows me I will tell you."He went to a bare height.

4 - God met Balaam, and he said to him, "I have prepared the seven altars, and I have offered up a bull and a ram on every altar."

5 - The LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, "Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak."

6 - He returned to him, and behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, he, and all the princes of Moab.

7 - He took up his parable, and said,"From Aram has Balak brought me,the king of Moab from the mountains of the East.Come, curse Jacob for me.Come, defy Israel.

8 - How shall I curse whom God has not cursed?How shall I defy whom the LORD has not defied?

9 - For from the top of the rocks I see him.From the hills I see him.Behold, it is a people that dwells alone,and shall not be listed among the nations.

10 - Who can count the dust of Jacob,or count the fourth part of Israel?Let me die the death of the righteous!Let my last end be like his!"

11 - Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them altogether."

12 - He answered and said, "Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD puts in my mouth?"

13 - Balak said to him, "Please come with me to another place, where you may see them. You shall see just part of them, and shall not see them all. Curse them from there for me."

14 - He took him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.

15 - He said to Balak, "Stand here by your burnt offering, while I meet over there."

16 - The LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, "Return to Balak, and say this."

17 - He came to him, and behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. Balak said to him, "What has the LORD spoken?"

18 - He took up his parable, and said,"Rise up, Balak, and hear!Listen to me, you son of Zippor.

19 - God is not a man, that he should lie,nor the son of man, that he should repent.Has he said, and will he not do it?Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good?

20 - Behold, I have received a command to bless.He has blessed, and I can't reverse it.

21 - He has not seen iniquity in Jacob.Neither has he seen perverseness in Israel.The LORD his God is with him.The shout of a king is among them.

22 - God brings them out of Egypt.He has as it were the strength of the wild ox.

23 - Surely there is no enchantment with Jacob;Neither is there any divination with Israel.Now it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel,'What has God done!'

24 - Behold, the people rises up as a lioness.As a lion he lifts himself up.He shall not lie down until he eats of the prey,and drinks the blood of the slain."

25 - Balak said to Balaam, "Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all."

26 - But Balaam answered Balak, "Didn't I tell you, saying, 'All that the LORD speaks, that I must do?'"

27 - Balak said to Balaam, "Come now, I will take you to another place; perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from there."

28 - Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that looks down on the desert.

29 - Balaam said to Balak, "Build seven altars for me here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me here."

30 - Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.


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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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