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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

Numbers 23

 

 

Verses 1-25

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 of Balaam compose the first great prophetic utterance of the Bible. They are remarkable in every way. The language is sublime. The unwilling prophet is forced to say what Jehovah put into his mouth. Here is a hint on inspiration. The thoughts and revelations of Jehovah are put into Balaam’s lips by the Spirit of God, so that he had to utter them. How did Moses find out what was said by Balaam? Balak would surely not report the sayings to Moses; Balaam did not tell Moses. What transpired at the different stations where Balak and Balaam were, was not known to Israel. The Holy Spirit gave the correct report of all that took place and all what was said to Moses.

These parables are of such importance and interest that we give a complete exposition and point out the prophetic meaning. The reader will find this exposition and a metrical version of these parables at the close of these annotations on Numbers.

But what was said of Israel is also true, spiritually, of the church. We wish all our readers would follow this thought. Israel was a separated people; so is the church. God keeps His covenant with Israel and does not go back on His Word; the same is true of His spiritual people. He does not behold iniquity or perverseness in His redeemed people; this speaks of justification. God is with His people to bless them and give them complete victory over all their enemies, These are but brief hints.

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Numbers 23:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/numbers-23.html. 1913-1922.

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