Numbers 24

Numbers 24


Now BalaamI sawII that it pleasedIII

Notes on verse 1a

I “Balaam” = Bil’am. Probably from bal (not, none, nothing, a failure); {from balah (to grow old, wear out, waste away, consume, spend)} + am (people, folk, nation; also troops or attendants; used figuratively for a flock); {from amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together)} OR from bala (to swallow, engulf, cover, destroy) + am (see above). This is Balaam, meaning “not of the people” or “foreigner” or “swallowing up the people” or “destroyer of the people” or “destruction of the people” or “confuser of the people.” See
II “saw” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
III “pleased” = tob. This is to be good, go well, please.

theIV LordV to blessVI Israel,VII

Notes on verse 1b

IV {untranslated} = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
V “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
VI “bless” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
VII “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + El (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

so he did not go,VIII as at other times,IX to look forX omensXI

Notes on verse 1c

VIII “go” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
IX “as at other times” = paam + paam. Literally, “as time to time.” From paam (to move, trouble; to tap in a regular rhythm; to agitate). This is a beat, stroke, footstep, or occurrence.
X “look for” = qirah. From the same as qara (to happen, meet, bring about). This is any kind of encounter, whether peaceful, hostile, or incidental. It can also mean help or seek.
XI “omens” = nachash. 2x in OT. From nachash (to practice divination, learn by experience, to use an enchantment; to hiss as in whispering a spell). This is divination, enchantment, or omen.

but setXII his faceXIII toward the wilderness.XIV 

Notes on verse 1d

XII “set” = shith. This is to place, set, bring, appoint, consider, bring, array or look.
XIII “face” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
XIV “wilderness” = midbar. From dabar (to speak, command, declare). This is mouth or speech. It can also be desert or wilderness. Additionally, it can be used for a pasture to which one drives cattle.

Balaam looked upXV and saw Israel campingXVI tribe by tribe.XVII

Notes on verse 2a

XV “looked up” = nasaayin. Literally, “raised…his eyes.” Nasa is to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept. Ayin is the same as {untranslated} in v1. See note IV above.
XVI “camping” = shakan. This is to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently. It can mean abide or continue. “Mishkan,” taken from this verb, is the Hebrew word for the Tabernacle (as a place where God abided).
XVII “tribe by tribe” = shebet. This is a rod, staff, club, scepter, dart, or tribe. Literally a stick that can be used for punishing, writing, fighting, walking, ruling; thus, used figuratively for a clan.

Then the spiritXVIII of GodXIX cameXX upon him, and he utteredXXI his oracle,XXII saying,XXIII

Notes on verses 2b-3a

XVIII “spirit” = ruach. This is breath, wind, air, cool, spirit. This is wind, which resembles the breath and so this can be used figuratively for life itself or being frail/mortal/impermanent. It can refer to the air of the sky or the spirit.
XIX “God” = Elohim. Related to “Israel” in v1. See note VII above.
XX “came” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v1. See note V above.
XXI “uttered” = nasa. Same as “looked up” in v2. See note XV above.
XXII “oracle” = mashal. From mashal (to compare, speak in a proverb or riddle – to speak in allegory or liken). This is proverb, parable, taunt, discourse, maxim, adage, poem.
XXIII “saying” = amar. This is to speak, say, answer, command, promise, report.

“The oracleXXIV of Balaam sonXXV of Beor,XXVI

Notes on verse 3b

XXIV “oracle” = neum. From na’am (to speak a prophecy; properly, to whisper, which implies saying an oracle). This is an utterance or speaking an oracle.
XXV “son” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
XXVI “Beor” = Beor. 10x in OT. From baar (burn, consume, heat, remove; to consume by a fire or through eating; can also mean being brutish or wasting). This is Boer, meaning “a lamp” or “a torch” or “burning” or “consuming.” See

    the oracleXXVII of the manXXVIII whose eyeXXIX is clear,XXX

Notes on verse 3c

XXVII “oracle” = neum. Same as “oracle” in v3. See note XXII above.
XXVIII “man” = geber. From gabar (to be strong or mighty; to prevail or to be insolent) This is man, warrior, a person generally, or a valiant person.
XXIX “eye” = ayin. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note IV above.
XXX “is clear” = shatham. 2x in OT – both in this passage. It is to open or unveil.

the oracleXXXI of one who hearsXXXII the wordsXXXIII of God,XXXIV

Notes on verse 4a

XXXI “oracle” = neum. Same as “oracle” in v3. See note XXII above.
XXXII “hears” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
XXXIII “words” = emer. Related to “saying” in v3. From amar (see note XXIII above). This is something that is said – a word, saying, speech.
XXXIV “God” = El. Related to “Israel” in v1 & “God” in v2. See note VII above.

    who seesXXXV the visionXXXVI of the Almighty,XXXVII
    who falls downXXXVIII but with eyes uncovered:XXXIX

Notes on verse 4b

XXXV “sees” = chazah. Related to “vision” in v4. See note XXXVI below.
XXXVI “vision” = machazeh. 4x in OT. From chazah (to gaze at – to see or behold; perceiving as a mental process or looking at something with pleasure; seeing a vision). This is a vision.
XXXVII “Almighty” = Shaddai. Perhaps from shadad (to ruin, assault, devastate, oppress, destroy completely; properly, it is being burly; figuratively it is something that is powerful) OR from shed (protective spirit) OR shadah (to moisten) OR shad (breast). Perhaps meaning almighty, “my destroyer,” “my protective spirit,” “my rainmaker,” “self-sufficient, “who is abundantly,” or “breasted one” – as the one who abundantly provides or grants fertility/abundance to humans. See
XXXVIII “falls down” = naphal. This is to fall, whether by accident, to fall prostrate, or to fall in violent death. Figuratively, it can refer to personal ruin or calamity, a city falling, an attack or a falling away. It can also be a deep sleep or wasting away.
XXXIX “uncovered” = galah. This is to remove, bring, carry, lead, appear, advertise. It can mean to strip someone or something bare in a negative sense. Captives were typically stripped before they were sent into exile. Used figuratively, in a positive sense, this word means reveal, disclose, discover.

How fair areXL your tents,XLI O Jacob,XLII
    your encampments,XLIII O Israel!

Notes on verse 5

XL “fair are” = tob. Same as “pleased” in v1. See note III above.
XLI “tents” = ohel. Perhaps from ahal (to shine, be clear). This is a tent, covering, home, or side pillar.
XLII “Jacob” = Yaaqob. From the same as aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is Isaac’s son and his descendants. The name means heel-catcher or supplanter.
XLIII “encampments” = mishkan. Related to “camping” in v2. From shakan (see note XVI above). This is a place where one lives – a tabernacle, tent, or other kind of dwelling. It can also be a lair where animals live, the grave, the Temple, or the Tabernacle.

Like palm grovesXLIV that stretch far away,XLV
    like gardensXLVI beside a river,XLVII

Notes on verse 6a

XLIV “palm groves” = nachal. From nachal (to take as heritage, inherit, or distribute). This is a river or stream. It could be a wadi or arroyo – sometimes a narrow valley with no water at all, but in strong rains or when winter snow melts, it swells or floods with water.
XLV “stretch far away” = natah. This is to stretch or spread out, to extend, or bend. In can also imply moral deflection.
XLVI “gardens” = gannah. 12x in OT. From gan (garden that is fenced in; an enclosure); from ganan (to put a hedge around – generally, protect or defend; to cover or surround). This is a garden or an orchard.
XLVII “river” = nahar. From nahar (to flow, sparkle, be cheerful). This is a stream, river, or flood. Particularly used for the Nile or Euphrates. Figuratively, this can mean prosperity.

like aloesXLVIII that the Lord has planted,XLIX
    like cedar treesL beside the waters.LI

Notes on verse 6b

XLVIII “aloes” = ahalim. 4x in OT. This is wood or sticks of aloe.
XLIX “planted” = nata. To fix or fasten, establish or plant. This is planting in a literal or figurative sense.
L “cedar trees” = erez. Perhaps from araz (made from cedar; to be firm, strong). This is cedar or a cedar tree as strong.
LI “waters” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.

Water shall flowLII from his buckets,LIII
    and his seedLIV shall have abundantLV water;

Notes on verse 7a

LII “flow” = nazal. 16x in OT. This is to drip or flow, pour down, flood, distill, or melt.
LIII “buckets” = deli. 2x in OT. From dalah (to draw, lift up; properly, to dangle; draw water; figuratively, to deliver). This is a bucket or jar that is used for bringing up water from wells.
LIV “seed” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.
LV “abundant” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.

his kingLVI shall be higherLVII than Agag,LVIII
    and his kingdomLIX shall be exalted.LX

Notes on verse 7b

LVI “king” = melek. From malak (to be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned; by implication, to take counsel). This is king or royal.
LVII “be higher” = rum. This is to rise or raise, to be high literally or figuratively. So it can also mean to exalt or extol.
LVIII “Agag” = Agag. 8x in OT. From the same as Age (Age, Agee) OR from agag (to flame) OR from gag (rooftop). This is Agag, meaning “flame” or “blazing” or “rooftop” or “apex” or “violent” or “very sublime.” See
LIX “kingdom” = malkut. Related to “king” in v7. From melek (see note LVI above). This is royalty, kingdom, realm, empire – the power the sovereign has.
LX “be exalted” = nasa. Same as “looked up” in v2. See note XV above.

God,LXI who bringsLXII him out of Egypt,LXIII
    is like the hornsLXIV of a wild oxLXV for him;

Notes on verse 8a

LXI “God” = El. Same as “God” in v4. See note XXXIV above.
LXII “brings” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
LXIII “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.
LXIV “horns” = toaphah. 4x in OT. Perhaps from yaaph (to be weary, to tire). This is horn, height, error, weariness. It can also refer to something precious that has been acquired by effort or strength.
LXV “wild ox” = reem. 9x in OT. From raam (to lift up). This is a wild bull or ox.

he shall devourLXVI the nationsLXVII that are his foesLXVIII

Notes on verse 8b

LXVI “devour” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
LXVII “nations” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.
LXVIII “foes” = tsar. From tsarar (to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary). Properly, this is a narrow or constricted place. Figuratively, it can be trouble, a pebble, an enemy, anguish, or distress.

    and breakLXIX their bones.LXX
    He shall strikeLXXI with his arrows.LXXII

Notes on verse 8c

LXIX “break” = garam. 3x in OT. This is to reserve for later; break bones, be slight.
LXX “bones” = etsem. From atsam (vast, numerous, strong; to close one’s eyes, to make powerful; to break bones). This is self, life, strength, bone, or substance.
LXXI “strike” = machats. 14x in OT. This is to dash asunder, severely wound, strike, crush. Figuratively, it is to subdue or destroy.
LXXII “arrows” = chets. From chatsats (to divide, chop, pierce, distribute, shoot an arrow, an archer). This is an arrow or archer, shaft, staff. Properly, it is someone or something that pierces, such as an arrow. It can imply a wound. Used figuratively of God’s thunder bolt.

He crouched;LXXIII he lay downLXXIV like a lionLXXV

Notes on verse 9a

LXXIII “crouched” = kara. This is to bow, crouch, kneel down, subdue. It is to bend the knee in many senses. It can also mean to smite, a woman crouching in childbirth, or bowing to worship God.
LXXIV “lay down” = shakab. This is to lie down, lodge. It is lying for sleep, sex, or other reasons.
LXXV “lion” = ari. From arah (to gather or pluck). This is a young lion.

    and like a lioness;LXXVI who will rouseLXXVII him up?
Blessed is everyone who blesses you,
    and cursed is everyone who cursesLXXVIII you.”

Notes on verse 9b

LXXVI “lioness” = labiy. 14x in OT. This is to roar – a lion or lioness as stout and fierce.
LXXVII “rouse” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
LXXVIII “curses” = arar. This is to curse.

10 Then Balak’sLXXIX angerLXXX was kindledLXXXI against Balaam,

Notes on verse 10a

LXXIX “Balak’s” = Balaq. From balaq (to lay waste, annihilate). This is Balak, meaning “devastator” or “empty” or “wasting.” See
LXXX “anger” = aph. From anaph (to be angry; properly, breathing hard as a signifier of being enraged). This properly refers to the nose or nostril and by extension the face. It can specifically refer to anger or wrath as one breathes hard and nostrils flare in times of great anger.
LXXXI “kindled” = charah. Perhaps related to charar (to be hot, burn, glow, melt, be scorched; figuratively, to incite passion, be angry). This is to be displeased, burn with anger, glow, become warn. Figuratively it is a blaze of anger, zeal, or jealousy.

and he struck his handsLXXXII together.LXXXIII Balak said to Balaam, “I summonedLXXXIV you

Notes on verse 10b

LXXXII “hands” = kaph. From kaphaph (to bend – from a root meaning curve or bend down). This is palm of the hand or sole of the foot, footstep, grasp. Figuratively, it can also mean power.
LXXXIII “struck…together” = saphaq. 10x in OT. This is to clap, whether joining hands as part of a contract, striking hands together to be snide or in grief or anger. It can also mean wallow or suffice.
LXXXIV “summoned” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.

to curseLXXXV my enemies,LXXXVI but insteadLXXXVII you have blessedLXXXVIII them these threeLXXXIX times. 

Notes on verse 10c

LXXXV “curse” = qabab. 8x in OT– all in Numbers 22-24. This is to scoop out – to curse or blaspheme.
LXXXVI “enemies” = oyeb. From ayab (to hate or be hostile to). This is a foe or enemy as one that you are hostile to.
LXXXVII “instead” = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
LXXXVIII “blessed” = barak + barak. Same as “bless” in v1. See note VI above. The word is repeated twice – the second time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
LXXXIX “three” = shalosh. This is three, fork, three times.

11 Now be offXC with you! Go home!XCI I said, ‘I will reward you richly,’XCII

Notes on verse 11a

XC “be off” = barach. This is to flee, drive away, hurry, to bolt.
XCI “home” = maqom. Literally, “your place.” Related to “rouse” in v9. From qum(see note LXXVII above). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.
XCII “reward…richly” = kabad + kabad. To be heavy, weighty, or severe. It can also be positive abounding in, rich, or honorable. The Hebrew word for “glory,” kabod, is taken from this root. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”

butXCIII the Lord has deniedXCIV you any reward.”XCV 

Notes on verse 11b

XCIII {untranslated} = hinneh. Same as “instead” in v10. See note LXXXVII above.
XCIV “denied” = mana. This is to hold back, refuse, restrain, deny. It could be in a positive or in a negative sense.
XCV “reward” = kabod. Related to “reward…richly” in v11. From kabad (see note XCII above). This is weighty. Figuratively, glorious, abundant, riches, honor, splendor – a reference to one’s reputation or character. This word is often used to describe God and God’s presence.

12 And Balaam said to Balak, “Did I notXCVI speakXCVII to your messengersXCVIII whom you sentXCIX to me, saying, 

Notes on verse 12

XCVI {untranslated} = gam. This is also, again, likewise.
XCVII “speak” = dabar. Related to “wilderness” in v1. See note XIV above.
XCVIII “messengers” = malak. This is a messenger, an angel, or a deputy of some kind. Can be used for human messengers literally or for prophets, priests, or teachers as messengers of God. Also used for supernatural messengers i.e. angels.
XCIX “sent” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.

13 ‘If Balak should giveC me his houseCI fullCII of silverCIII and gold,CIV

Notes on verse 13a

C “give” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
CI “house” = bayit. Related to “son” in v3. Probably from banah (see note XXV above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
CII “full” = melo. From male (fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate; fill in a literal or figurative sense). This is fullness in a literal or figurative sense.
CIII “silver” = keseph. From kasaph (to long for, be greedy; to become pale). This is silver or money.
CIV “gold” = zahab. Root may mean to shimmer. This is gold or something that has the color of gold like oil. It can also refer to a clear sky – to good weather.

I would not be ableCV to go beyondCVI the wordCVII of the Lord, to doCVIII

Notes on verse 13b

CV “be able” = yakol. This is to be able, endure, overcome, prevail.
CVI “go beyond” = abar. This is to pass over or cross over. It is used for transitions, whether literal or figurative. It can also mean to escape, alienate, or fail. This is the root verb from which “Hebrew” is drawn.
CVII “word” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
CVIII “do” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.

either goodCIX or badCX of my own will;CXI what the Lord says,CXII that is what I will say’?CXIII 

Notes on verse 13c

CIX “good” = tob. Related to “pleased” in v1. From tob (see note III above). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
CX “bad” = ra’. From ra’a’ (to be evil, bad, afflict; properly, to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces; figuratively, to cause something to be worthless; this is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense; that which displeases, to do harm or mischief, to punish or vex). This is bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity. This refers to anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin.
CXI “will” = leb. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
CXII “says” = dabar. Same as “speak” in v12. See note XCVII above.
CXIII “say” = dabar. Same as “speak” in v12. See note XCVII above.

14 SoCXIV now, I am goingCXV to my people;CXVI letCXVII me adviseCXVIII you what this people will do to your people in daysCXIX to come.”CXX

Notes on verse 14

CXIV “so” = hen. Related to “instead” in v1. See note LXXXVII above.
CXV “going” = halak. Same as “go” in v1. See note VIII above.
CXVI “people” = am. Related to “Balaam” in v1. See note I above.
CXVII “let” = halak. Same as “go” in v1. See note VIII above.
CXVIII “advise” = yaats. This is to advise, counsel, consult, decide, plan, purpose, or determine. It can also have a negative sense of conspire or devise.
CXIX “days” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
CXX “to come” = acharith. From achar (to be behind, delay, be late, procrastinate, continue). This is the last, length, remnant, end, reward, future.

15 So he uttered his oracle,CXXI saying,CXXII

“The oracleCXXIII of Balaam son of Beor,
    the oracleCXXIV of the man whose eye is clear,
16 the oracleCXXV of one who hears the wordsCXXVI of GodCXXVII

Notes on verses 15-16a

CXXI “oracle” = mashal. Same as “oracle” in v3. See note XXII above.
CXXII “saying” = amar. Same as “saying” in v3. See note XXIII above.
CXXIII “oracle” = neum. Same as “oracle” in v3. See note XXII above.
CXXIV “oracle” = neum. Same as “oracle” in v3. See note XXII above.
CXXV “oracle” = neum. Same as “oracle” in v3. See note XXII above.
CXXVI “words” = emer. Same as “words” in v4. See note XXXIII above.
CXXVII “God” = El. Same as “God” in v4. See note XXXIV above.

    and knowsCXXVIII the knowledgeCXXIX of the Most High,CXXX
who seesCXXXI the vision of the Almighty,
    who falls down but with eyes uncovered:

Notes on verse 16b

CXXVIII “knows” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
CXXIX “knowledge” = daat. Related to “knows” in v16. From yada (see note CXXVIII above). This is knowledge, unawares, cunning, wittingly.
CXXX “Most High” = Elyon. From alah (to go up, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense). This is most high, upper. It refers to elevation – so, lofty.
CXXXI “sees” = chazah. Same as “sees” in v4. See note XXXV above.

17 I seeCXXXII him but not now;
    I beholdCXXXIII him but not nearCXXXIV
a starCXXXV shall comeCXXXVI out of Jacob,
    and a scepterCXXXVII shall riseCXXXVIII out of Israel;

Notes on verse 17a

CXXXII “see” = raah. Same as “saw” in v1. See note II above.
CXXXIII “behold” = shur. 16x in OT. This is to look, see, spy out, lurk for, care for.
CXXXIV “near” = qarob. From qarab (to come near, offer, make ready). This is near whether nearby, related, near in time, or allied.
CXXXV “star” = kokab. Perhaps from the same as kavah (to prick, blister, burn, scorch). This is a star as shining, stargaze. Figuratively, can mean prince.
CXXXVI “come” = darak. This is to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process. So, also an archer.
CXXXVII “scepter” = shebet. Same as “tribe by tribe” in v2. See note XVII above.
CXXXVIII “rise” = qum. Same as “rouse” in v9. See note LXXVII above.

it shall crushCXXXIX the foreheadsCXL of MoabCXLI

Notes on verse 17b

CXXXIX “crush” = machats. Same as “strike’ in v8. See note LXXI above.
CXL “foreheads” = peah. From paah (to puff, scatter, cut in pieces) OR poh (here, side). This is a side, edge, region, temple, corner.
CXLI “Moab” = Moab. May be from ab (father, ancestor, grandfather; father in a literal or figurative sense). This is Moab or Moabite. Name could mean “from her father” in reference to the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters. The name could also mean, more pleasantly, “seed of a father” or “desirable land.” See

    andCXLII the heads of allCXLIII the Shethites.CXLIV

Notes on verse 17c

CXLII {untranslated} = qur. 6x in OT. This is to dig, bore, destroy. It can be to build a wall or to plug up.
CXLIII “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
CXLIV “Shethites” = ben + Sheth. Literally, “children of Sheth.” Ben is the same as “son” in v3. See note XXV above. Sheth is related to “set” in v1. 1x in OT. Perhaps from sha’ah (to make a loud noise or crash, devastate, rush) OR from shith (see note XII above) OR shavah (to equalize, resemble, agree with, compare, adjust, compose, place, or yield). This is Sheth, meaning “seat of the body” or “buttocks” or “hips” or “tumult” or “set” or “appointed” or “foundation” or “tumult.” See

18 EdomCXLV will becomeCXLVI a possession,CXLVII

Notes on verse 18a

CXLV “Edom” = Edom. From the same as adom (to be red or flushed). This is Edom or Idumaea. It means red.
CXLVI “become” = hayah. Same as “came” in v2. See note XX above.
CXLVII “possession” = yereshah. 2x in OT – both in this verse. From yarash (inheriting or dispossessing; refers to occupying or colonizing – taking territory by driving out the previous inhabitants and living there instead of them; by implication, to seize or rob, to expel, ruin, or impoverish). This is possession or occupancy.

    SeirCXLVIII CXLIXa possession of its enemies,
    while Israel does valiantly.CL

Notes on verse 18b

CXLVIII “Seir” = Seir. From the same as sear (hair, hairy, rough); {from sa’ar (to storm, scattered by a storm, blow away, rage, storm tossed; this is to toss in a literal or figurative sense)} OR from sa’iyr (goat, shaggy, devil, satyr). This is Seir, Edomite mountain region. It is the name of the people that live there and a particular Judean mountain. It may mean “the hairy guys,” “bucks,” “horrors,” “bristly,” or “riders on the storm.” See
CXLIX {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “came” in v2. See note XX above.
CL “valiantly” = chayil. From chul (to be firm, strong, prosperous; to endure). This is strength, wealth, ability, activity. It can refer to soldier or a company of soldiers as well as goods. It is a force of people, means, or goods. It can speak of valor, virtue, or strength.

19 One out of Jacob shall ruleCLI
    and destroyCLII the survivorsCLIII of Ir.”CLIV

Notes on verse 19

CLI “rule” = radah. This is to step down, rule, dominate, have victory over, crumble.
CLII “destroy” = abad. To wander off, lose self. This implies to perish, destroy, die, vanish, or be broken or corrupt.
CLIII “survivors” = sarid. From sarad (to escape or remain; properly, this refers to a puncture, so figuratively it is remaining or escaping by slipping out). This is survivor, remnant, or alive.
CLIV “Ir” = Iyr. From uwr (to awaken or wake oneself up). This can mean excitement in the sense of wakefulness or city. Properly, this is a place that is guarded. Guards kept schedules according to watches. This sense of the word would include cities as well as encampments or posts that were guarded.

20 Then he lookedCLV on AmalekCLVI and uttered his oracle,CLVII saying,CLVIII

Notes on verse 20a

CLV “looked” = raah. Same as “saw” in v1. See note II above.
CLVI “Amalek” = Amaleq. Perhaps from amal (to work – hard labor) OR from am (people or nation; a tribe, troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals); {from amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together)} + laqaq (to lap, lick) OR from am (see above) + malaq (to wring, nip; to remove a bird’s head). This is Amalek or Amalekite. It may mean “people that wring,” “people that lap,” “nippers,” or “lickers.” See &
CLVII “oracle” = mashal. Same as “oracle” in v3. See note XXII above.
CLVIII “saying” = amar. Same as “saying” in v3. See note XXIII above.

“FirstCLIX among the nations was Amalek,
but its endCLX is to perishCLXI forever.”CLXII

Notes on verse 20b

CLIX “first” = reshith. From rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is beginning, first place, highest rank, chief thing.
CLX “end” = acharith. Same as “to come” in v14. See note CXX above.
CLXI “perish” = obed. Related to “destroy” in v19. 2x in OT – both in this passage. From abad (see note CLII above). This is destruction in a concrete or abstract sense.
CLXII “forever” = ad. From adah (to advance or continue; to take away or remove; adorning oneself with ornaments). This is old, perpetuity, eternity. It is a duration going back or forward.

21 Then he lookedCLXIII on the KeniteCLXIV and uttered his oracle,CLXV saying,CLXVI

Notes on verse 21a

CLXIII “looked” = raah. Same as “saw” in v1. See note II above.
CLXIV “Kenite” = Qeni. 13x in OT. From Qayin (Cain, the name or Kenite – the people or their territory; meaning “spear,” “smith,” “acquisition,” or “political leader.”); from the same as qayin (spear); from qun (to chant a lament, to play a musical note). This is Kenite. It may mean “nestling,” “people of the spear,” or “senatorial.” See &
CLXV “oracle” = mashal. Same as “oracle” in v3. See note XXII above.
CLXVI “saying” = amar. Same as “saying” in v3. See note XXIII above.

“EnduringCLXVII is your dwelling place,CLXVIII
    and your nestCLXIX is setCLXX in the rock,CLXXI

Notes on verse 21b

CLXVII “enduring” = ethan. 13x in OT. Root might mean to continue. This is mighty, strong, ever-flowing, enduring, or permanence.
CLXVIII “dwelling place” = moshab. From yashab (to sit and so to remain and so to dwell; sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly; can mean settling or marrying; continue, endure, or establish). This is dwelling, seat, assembly, settlement, population.
CLXIX “nest” = qen. 13x in OT. Perhaps from qanan (to nestle, make or inhabit a nest). This is a nest or nestling. It can also refer to a room or other dwelling.
CLXX “set” = sim. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
CLXXI “rock” = sela. Root may mean being lofty. This is a rock, cliff, crag, mountain. It could be used figuratively for obstinance or to show God as a refuge. It can also more generally mean fortress or stronghold.

22 yet KainCLXXII is destinedCLXXIII for burning.CLXXIV
    How long shall AsshurCLXXV take you away captive?”CLXXVI

Notes on verse 22

CLXXII “Kain” = Qayin. Related to “Kenite” in v21. See note CLXIV above.
CLXXIII “is destined” = hayah. Same as “came” in v2. See note XX above.
CLXXIV “burning” = baar. Related to “Beor” in v3. See note XXVI above.
CLXXV “Asshur” = Ashshur. From Akkadian Ashshur (“City of God Ashshur”) OR related to Hebrew ashar (to go straight, advance, proceed, direct, guide, be level, be honest, be blessed or happy). This is Assyria, referring to the place and its inhabitants. It is also a name – Ashshur, a descendant of Shem. See
CLXXVI “take…away captive” = shabah. This is to carry away into captivity, bring away, capture, lead away.

23 Again he uttered his oracle,CLXXVII saying,CLXXVIII

“Alas,CLXXIX who shall liveCLXXX when GodCLXXXI doesCLXXXII this?

Notes on verse 23

CLXXVII “oracle” = mashal. Same as “oracle” in v3. See note XXII above.
CLXXVIII “saying” = amar. Same as “saying” in v3. See note XXIII above.
CLXXIX “alas” = oy. Perhaps from avah (to desire, crave, wish for, lust after). This is a mournful cry – woe, alas. Perhaps where the Yiddish “oy” comes from.
CLXXX “live” = chayah. This is to live or keep alive in a literal or figurative sense. So, it can be revive, nourish, or save.
CLXXXI “God” = El. Same as “God” in v4. See note XXXIV above.
CLXXXII “does” = sim. Same as “set” in v21. See note CLXX above.

24     But shipsCLXXXIII shall come fromCLXXXIV KittimCLXXXV

Notes on verse 24a

CLXXXIII “ships” = tsiy. 4x in OT. From tsavah (to charge, command, order, enjoin); from the same as tsiyyah (dryness or parched; drought, dry places, a solitary place or a wilderness). This is a ship.
CLXXXIV {untranslated} = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
CLXXXV “Kittim” = Kitti. 8x in OT. Perhaps from Pre-Greek Kiton (Cyprus). It is Kittim, Chittim, or another name for Cyprus or others who come from Islands. It is the person, their offspring, and their territory. It may mean “bruisers” See &

and shall afflictCLXXXVI Asshur andCLXXXVII Eber,CLXXXVIII
    and he alsoCLXXXIX shall perish forever.”

Notes on verse 24b

CLXXXVI “afflict” = anah. This is to be occupied with. It can also be bowed down. It can refer to a sense of humility or to a sense of being browbeaten, oppressed, afflicted, or depressed. This can be literal or figurative – depressed in mood or circumstance.
CLXXXVII {untranslated} = anah. Same as “afflict” in v24. See note CLXXXVI above.
CLXXXVIII “Eber” = Eber. Related to “go beyond” in v13. 15x in OT. From the same as eber (the region beyond, passage, quarter, opposite side; generally the east); from abar (see note CVI above). This is Eber, meaning “region beyond.” It is the name of several people and also may be the root of the word “Hebrew.”
CLXXXIX “also” = gam. Same as {untranslated} in v12. See note XCVI above.

25 Then Balaam got upCXC and wentCXCI backCXCII

Notes on verse 25a

CXC “got up” = qum. Same as “rouse” in v9. See note LXXVII above.
CXCI “went” = halak. Same as “go” in v1. See note VIII above.
CXCII “back” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”

to his place,CXCIII and Balak also wentCXCIV his way.CXCV

Notes on verse 25b

CXCIII “place” = maqom. Same as “home” in v11. See note XCI above.
CXCIV “went” = halak. Same as “go” in v1. See note VIII above.
CXCV “way” = derek. Related to “come” in v17. From darak (see note CXXXVI above). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.

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