Numbers 24:1-25


This chapter contains two parts.  The first part is the third and final blessing of Balaam upon Israel.  The second part is prophecy concerning Israel that will take place in the last days.


I.    The third and final blessing upon Israel.  (Verse 1-9)

A.  Verse 1 - Balaam finally sees that God intends to bless Israel.

1.   He knows that all hope of worldly gain is gone.

2.      Finally he says what God would have him say -- willingly.

B.   Balaam doesn't use enchantments this time.

1.   An enchantment is a device magicians use to get the result they want.

2.      Compare Ex. 7:10, 11.  In verse 10, Aaron cast down his rod, which becomes a serpent.  In verse 11, the magicians of Egypt also cast down their rods which become serpents.  But the magicians used enchantments, Aaron used the power of God.

C.            Balaam's view of Israel.

1.      Balaam was up on a high mountain overlooking the camp of Israel.

2.   He saw the arrangement of the camp as outlined in Numbers 2.

3.      This view caused the Spirit of God to come upon him.

D.  Having his eyes open.

1.   In verse 3 and 4, Balaam refers to a man who seems to be different from himself, falling into a trance, yet having his eyes open.

2.   I believe Balaam is speaking of his spiritual self.

3.   It has taken him a while, but now his eyes are open to spiritual discernment.

4.   I believe we will find Balaam later without this spiritual discernment.  He will be in the wrong camp at the right time and will be killed by his fellow Israelites.

E.   The message itself.

1.   The description of the camp.

a.   The size of the camp was as if they were a part of the hills and valleys.

b.   From Balaam's high lookout they looked like cedar trees which the Lord had planted.

2.      Verse 7 - The water of Israel shall be scattered throughout the entire world.  She shall give drink to many a thirsty stranger.

3.      Verse 7 - The king of Israel shall be stronger and more exalted than Agag, the most famous king at that time.  (Agag is king of the Amalekites.)

4.      Verse 8 - God has brought Israel from Egypt with a strong hand.  This strong hand has not stopped.  God will continue until Israel destroys all the nations of Canaan.

5.      Verse 9 - Israel is like a lion that is waiting to destroy his prey.  When God gives the signal, she will pounce and the land of Canaan will fall.

6.      Verse 9 - The blessing of Abraham is repeated.  Those that bless Israel shall be blessed and those that curse Israel shall be cursed.

F.   Balak's reaction.

1.   His anger is kindled.  This is compared to a small flame that finally consumes the entire forest.  His anger starts as a small flame, but finally goes through him until he is angry as a man can be.

2.      Smote his hands together.  He can hardly contain his anger.  The only thing that keeps Balak from striking Balaam is the power of God.  but Balak doesn't know that.

3.   He demands that Balaam leave the place of Baal worship.

4.   He blames God for all of the blessings and says that God is the one that has kept Balaam back from receiving honor from Balak.

G.            Balaam's reply.

1.   He states that he has only said what God told him to.

2.      This is the only thing a prophet or preacher can do.

3.      There are prophets and preachers that preach what the people want to hear.  This is not a good idea, for one day they will stand before God and give account for everything they have preached and led the people to do.  These kind of false preachers and prophets are nothing but anti-Christ.

4.      Now Balaam certainly waxes bold and declares that he could do nothing except what God says.

a.   This is a good speech.

b.   But the Bible says it isn't so.

c.   I really believe that if Balaam had the chance right now, he would accept the promotion of Balak and go on his merry way, thinking he was obeying all the commands of God.


II.   Later day prophecy.  (Verse 14-24)

A.  Balak is going to get some blessings he didn't expect, and didn't want.

B.   This prophecy is concerning the last days.

1.   It's odd to find prophecy in this place.

2.   The prophecy given here proves that Balaam is truly a prophet used of God.

3.   He is unfaithful as all get out, but he is still a prophet.

C.   Verse 15 - Balaam again mentions the man who has his eyes open.

1.      This is referring to himself.

2.      Now that God has opened his eyes.

D.  Verse 17 - Makes it clear that the prophecy is for a future time.

1.   The star is representing Jesus Christ.

2.   The scepter represents his authority to rule the world through Israel.

E.   The many nations that Israel will overcome is talked about.

1.   The corners of Moab - literally to completely destroy her.

2.      Children of Sheth - this seems to be talking about the warriors of Moab.

4.   Seir - The older name of the land possessed by the Edomites.

5.      Destroy those that remain in the city.  Not only will Israel destroy the warriors in the battle, but will seek out and destroy every living enemy until they are all destroyed.  (We know this is talking about a time other than the conquering of Canaan under Joshua.  The inhabitants of Canaan were not totally destroyed like God said.  Israel left some of them scattered around and they continually gave Israel trouble and do so today.  There is coming a day when Israel shall completely destroy their enemies, just like God said.)

6.      Amalekites - They might have been the first nation, but they shall not be the last.  This honor is reserved for Israel.  Israel shall rise from a small weak nation to the strongest nation in the world.  This will all be done by the power of God, not by their strength.

7.      Kenites - I am not sure who the Kenites were, but their dwelling place was in the rocks.  This would be a very strong hold to overcome, but Israel shall overcome even them.  Asshur (Babylon) shall carry the Kenites away captive.  This will probably occur when Babylon comes upon Jerusalem and captures many of those cities and people.  The year will be about 600 B. C.

8.      Ships of Chittim shall afflict Asshur and Eber - The ships of Chittim seem not to speak of a particular place, but rather to the general area of nations, then unknown and unfounded, which would arise to destroy Babylon.  We know now that this is referring to the nations of the Medes and Persians.

9.      Eber - This also refers to Babylon, through the descendants of Shem.


III. Verse 25 - Balaam leaves at his own leisure.

A.  Balaam did not let King Balak tell him when to leave.  He left when God got him ready to leave.

B.   It would seem that Balaam leaving this place of Baal would end the entire affair with the wicked Balak.

1.   But it is only the beginning.

2.      Chapter 25 continues discussing the results of Balaam's reckless adventure into sin.

3.      Balaam has lead the way for many of the Israelites to follow in his footsteps.

4.      They will go to the same place (Baal-Peor) and worship this false god.

5.   As a result of this, 24,000 Israelites will die.

6.   We ought to remember that people are watching us.

7.      Some will erroneously follow in our footsteps.

8.   Let us not lead them astray.