Bible Ministries International

Bible Studies

A series of verse by verse studies by Gunther von Harringa Sr

Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

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2 Peter 2 - Part 22

April 8, 2018


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {10} But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {12} But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; {13} And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; {14} Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: {15} Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”


In our last few studies, we have focused on Jude 1:11 and Revelation 2:14 - the only two New Testament verses (besides 2 Peter 2:15) - that reference Balaam. Last Sunday, we considered the first two elements in Revelation 2:14 - “...to cast a stumblingblock…” and “...to eat things sacrificed to idols…” 


And [kai:G2532] To Commit Fornication [porneuo:G4203]


The third and final sinful element that we find listed in Revelation 2:14 is: “...and to commit fornication,”:


“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” [porneuo:G4203]


Let’s see how God employs this term in the New Testament. It is used in 7 other citations (besides Revelation 2:14):


1 Corinthians 6 is a chapter that relates very specifically to our current “day of judgment” - as is also seen by the repeated use of the terms, “judge” and “judged” in the first five verses. Additionally, verses 13b, and 15-20 discuss the topic of “fornication,” in which this term appears in verse 18 as, “he that committeth fornication”: “...Now the body [is] not for fornication [porneia:G4202], but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.... {15} Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make [them] the members of an harlot? God forbid. {16} What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. {17} But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. {18} Flee fornication [porneia:G4202]. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication [porneuo:G4203] sinneth against his own body. {19} What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? {20} For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”


Please note the related term, “fornication” (porneia:G4202) in verses 13 and 18a, which is a Greek noun, and is derived from our word, G4203 (porneuo:G4203), which is a Greek verb. Moreover, in verse 20 we discover in the admonition to “glorify God,” that God includes both “body” as well as “soul,” speaking of each of God’s elect, who have been given a “resurrected” or regenerated soul during the “day of salvation,” which is housed in a body that has not been saved as of yet (and will occur when the genuine believer received his glorified spiritual body, completing his salvation). While the child of God is alive on earth, these two factions are at war which each other, as Paul, under divine inspiration, points out in Romans 7:21-25,


“I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. {22} For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: {23} But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. {24} O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? {25} I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” 


The next passage in which “porneuo” (G4203) appears, is in 1 Corinthians 10:1-14, where it is found twice in verse 8 as “let us commit fornication” and “commit”: “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; {2} And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; {3} And did all eat the same spiritual meat; {4} And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. {5} But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. {6} Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. {7} Neither be ye idolaters, as [were] some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. {8} Neither let us commit fornication, [porneuo:G4203] as some of them committed, [porneuo:G4203] and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. {9} Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. {10} Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. {11} Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. {12}  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. {13} There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]. {14}  Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.”


This passage is important because God is linking the sin of “lust(ed)” (epithymeo:G1937/(epithymetes:G1938) with “fornication,” and in turn, defines it as “idolatry;” God’s judgment upon these sins is also highlighted by the number 23,000 [23 (points to judgment) X 1000 (indicates “completion” of whatever is in view)] on one day. The total number was actually 24,000, as we read in Numbers 25:9,


“And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.”


G4203 also surfaces in Revelation 2:20, which you might recall that we looked at in Part 21 because it contains the two terms, “to eat” and “things sacrificed unto idols” - the same two words found in Revelation 2:14, 


“Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication [porneuo:G4203], and to eat [phago:G5315] things sacrificed unto idols. [eidolothytos:H1494]


Once again, we see that God is associating idols with “fornication.” 


The last two citations are found in Revelation 17 and 18, which focus on the “time and season” of God’s judgment on the end-time institutional churches and denominations, which began on May 21, 1988 at the start of the Great Tribulation, and then transitioned to the world at large on May 21, 2011, which is when our current “day of judgment” began:


In Revelation 17:1-2 we read: “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:{2} With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, [porneuo:G4203] and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

We also learn from Revelation 18:1-10, in which this word surfaces in verses 3 and 9: “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. {2} And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.  {3} For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication [porneuo:G4203] with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. {4} And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. {5} For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. {6} Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. {7} How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. {8} Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong [is] the Lord God who judgeth her. {9} And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication [porneuo:G4203] and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, {10} Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.” 


In essence, what we can glean from the foregoing verses is that God is underscoring a very significant truth - namely, that spiritual fornication is idolatry. And one of the reasons this is so important, is because this sin precipitated God’s divorce from national Israel, according to Deuteronomy 24:1, since He was married to the nation as a whole: 


“When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness [`ervah:H6172 - “nakedness” ] in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give [it] in her hand, and send her out of his house.” 


The same sin of idolatry or doctrinal “high places” was also in view during the “church age,” and the cause for which God judged them, as 1 Peter 4:17-18 affirms,

“For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? {18} And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”


I mentioned previously that after verse 15, we would consider some of the Old Testament references to Balaam, but on second thought, I want to examine verse 16 before doing that:


Verse 16: “But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.” 


But [de:G1161] Was [echo:G2192] Rebuked [elegxis:G1649] For His [idios:G2398] Iniquity [paranomia:G3892]


The five words in the first phrase of 2 Peter 2:16 are only found together here, so we will have to investigate the main terms individually, starting with the word, “rebuked”: 


Rebuked [elegxis:G1649]


This expression - along with the term, “was” - only appears here, but it does have a root word, which is “elegcho” (G1651); here are some of the ways that God utilizes it in the 16 other citations in which it shows up:


In Matthew 18:15, it is translated as “tell his fault”: “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell [elegxis:G1651] him his fault [elegxis:G1651] between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”


And in Lazarus (i.e., the 4th Gospel) 8:9, it emerges as “being convicted”: “And they which heard [it], being convicted [elegxis:G1651] by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”


Ephesians 5:13 renders it as “that are reproved”: “But all things that are reproved [elegxis:G1651] are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.”


Titus 1:9 expresses it as “to convince”: “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince [elegxis:G1651] the gainsayers.”


Lastly, Hebrews 12:5 translates it as “when thou are rebuked”: “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked [elegxis:G1651] of him:”


Balaam we learn was “rebuked” for his...


Iniquity [paranomia:G3892]


This term, “iniquity” (a Greek noun) only surfaces in this verse, and its compound root word is the Greek verb “paranomeo” (G3891) [made up of: (para:G3844 - preposition) and (nomos:G3551 - “law”), which is only found in Acts 23:3, and is translated as “contrary to the law;” I’ll read verses 1-5 for the sake of the context:


“And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men [and] brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. {2} And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. {3} Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, [thou] whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? {4} And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest? {5} Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.”


In other words, Balaam was going “contrary to the law” as he did not heed God’s express command to not go with Balak’s representatives, as we read in Numbers 22:9-13, and also in verses 20-22, and 32-35, as we recognize that he failed the “test” that God had set up: 


“And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men [are] these with thee? {10} And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, [saying], {11} Behold, [there is] a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out. {12} And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they [are] blessed. {13} And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the LORD refuseth to give me leave to go with you. ... {20} And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, [and] go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do. {21} And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. {22} And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants [were] with him… {32} And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because [thy] way is perverse before me: {33} And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive. {34} And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again. {35} And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.” 


The Dumb [aphonos:G880] Ass [hypozygion:G5268] Speaking [phtheggomai:G5350] With [en:G1722] Man's [anthrpos:G444] Voice [phone:G5456]


The next phrase in 2 Peter 2:16 is: “...the dumb ass speaking with man's voice…” which is comprised of 6 words, and will have to be considered individually.


 The Dumb [aphonos:G880 - from “a-” (alpha:G1) and  (phone:G5456), “voice”] 


The expression, “the dumb” (or “mute”) referring to Balaam’s donkey emerges in three other Scriptures:


Acts 8:32 reveals part of the conversation between Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch; I’ll read verses 26-35: “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. {27} And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, {28}  Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. {29} Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. {30} And Philip ran thither to [him], and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? {31} And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. {32} The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb [aphonos:G880] before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: {33} In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. {34} And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? {35} Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.”


Verse 2 of 1 Corinthians 12:1-3 also records: “Now concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant. {2} Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb [aphonos:G880] idols, [eidolon:G1497] even as ye were led. {3} Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and [that] no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”


Here again we see another reference to “idols” (eidolon:G1497), which we have discussed in one of our earlier studies. In this verse, God associates it with our term “dumb,” reminding us of what Psalm 135:15-18 declares:


The idols [`atsab:H1691] of the heathen [are] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. {16} They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; {17} They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there [any] breath in their mouths. {18} They that make them are like unto them: [so is] every one that trusteth in them.”


1 Corinthians 14:6-10 renders this word in verse 10 as, “without signification”: “Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? {7} And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? {8} For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? {9} So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. {10} There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices [phone:G5456] in the world, and none of them [is] without signification.” [aphonos:G880]


By the way, in verse 10 we also discover the term “of  voices” which is the main root word of this term, “without signification” or “dumb” that we have been investigating. You might also recall the significance of verse 8 with regard to the “clear sound” - not an “uncertain sound” -  as God’s people warned the world of Judgment Day, in accordance with Ezekiel 3:18-19 (and its parallel in Ezekiel 33:8-9):


“When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. {19} Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” 


Ass [hypozygion:G5268] 


The next word is Balaam’s donkey or “ass” in 2 Peter 2:16, which is only found one other time in connection with the Lord Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as Matthew 21:5 records,


“Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass [onos:G3688], and a colt the foal of an ass.” [hypozygion:G5268]


This verse is a quotation from Zechariah 9:9 (providing us with another “word bridge” between the Hebrew and Greek texts); you might notice there are also two different words translated as “ass,” in both references:


“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass [chamowr:H2543], and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” [’athown:H860]


G5268 is another compound word that is made up of the terms, “hypo” (G5259 - here as “under” - a Greek preposition) and “zygos” (G2218 - a Greek noun), which is chiefly rendered as “yoke,” and found, for instance in the beautiful picture of salvation that is portrayed in Matthew 11:27-30, in which it is rendered as “yoke” in verses 29 and 30, and please note the context of election in this passage:


“All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and [he] to whomsoever the Son will reveal [him]. {28} Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. {29} Take my yoke [zygos:G2218] upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. {30} For my yoke [zygos:G2218]  [is] easy, and my burden is light.” 


We have also understood that donkeys can represent mankind, as we read in Exodus 13:13, which distinguishes the elect from the non-elect, and their respective destinies - death and annihilation or Heaven - according to God’s perfect will and wisdom:


“And every firstling of an ass [chamowr:H2543] thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn [bekowr:H1060] of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.” 


We must keep in mind that when we read the expression, “and all the firstborn” as we do here in Exodus 13:13, it is speaking of Christ, in the first instance as “the firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:15 and 18), as we also see parabolically in Psalm 89:20-29, in verse 27, as David typifies the Savior:


“I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: {21} With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. {22} The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him. {23} And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. {24} But my faithfulness and my mercy [shall be] with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted. {25} I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. {26} He shall cry unto me, Thou [art] my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. {27} Also I will make him [my] firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. {28} My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. {29} His seed also will I make [to endure] for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.”


As Christ is the “firstborn from the dead,” so all the elect, who follow Him (in salvation), are spoken of as a “a kind of first firstfruits”:


“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind [tis:G5100] of firstfruits [aparche:G536] of his creatures.”


Summary


In closing, we want to keep in mind the following that we’ve touched upon today:


  • The “doctrine of Balaam” consists of  three elements - causing people to stumble at the Scriptures in doctrine as well as in practice, and to commit spiritual fornication, which is idolatry. 
  • “False prophets/teachers” follow in the foosteps of Balaam, who was rebuked by his own donkey for not heeding God’s first directive. 
  • Ultimately, mankind itself can be classified into two categories: “non-elect” donkeys and “elect” donkeys.


If you have a question about this lesson, or something was unclear to you, you are welcome to bring up your question, or any comment you wish to make, during our Q. & A. this evening at 5:30 PM (PDT)/ 8:30 PM (EDT), and I will try, Lord willing, to provide an answer from Scripture.


 2 Peter 2 - Part 23

Air Date: April 15, 2018


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {10} But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {12} But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; {13} And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; {14} Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: {15} Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”


In our last study we left off in the middle of verse 16, “...speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.”


Speaking [phtheggomai:G5350]


Let’s consider this word, “speaking” which is a fairly uncommon term, when you compare it against the other 34 Greek words that represent some form of the verb “speak.” This expression (G5350) is only found in two other places, one of them is just a few verses down in verse 18, and  is translated as “when they speak,” referring to yet another one of the 30 or so characteristics of  “false prophets/teachers” that we have been examining in this chapter:


“For when they speak [phtheggomai:G5350] great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.”


The only other passage that contains this word is in Acts 4:18; I’ll read from verse 1 down to verse 31 for the sake of the context, referring to the beginning of the church age, as the Holy Spirit was poured out: 


“And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, {2} Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. {3} And they laid hands on them, and put [them] in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. {4} Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. {5} And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, {6} And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. {7} And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? {8} Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, {9} If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; {10} Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him doth this man stand here before you whole. {11} This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. {12} Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. {13} Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. {14} And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. {15} But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, {16} Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them [is] manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny [it]. {17} But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. {18} And they called them, and commanded them not to speak [phtheggomai:G5350] at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. {19} But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. {20} For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. {21} So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all [men] glorified God for that which was done. {22} For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. {23} And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. {24} And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou [art] God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: {25} Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? {26} The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. {27} For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, {28} For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. {29} And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, {30} By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. {31} And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”


Incidentally, the foregoing passage has a number of interesting elements that correlate to our present day of judgment, which might be good for us to review:


  1. The quotation of Psalm 2:1-2, in verses 25-26, is enormously significant, and points to Christ being slain prior to Creation (in Psalm 2:6-8 and Proverbs 8:22-25), as well as the allusion to the “day of judgment,” in verse 9, reminding us of Revelation 19:15,


“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? {2} The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying], {3} Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. {4} He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. {5} Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. {6} YET HAVE I SET [nacak:H5258 - predominantly rendered as “poured out”] my king upon my holy hill of Zion. {7} I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day [Christ is “the day”] have I begotten thee. [yalad:H3205] {8} Ask of me, and I shall give [thee] the heathen [for] thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth [for] thy possession. {9} Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.


Revelation 19:15 maintains, “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”


Proverbs 8:22-25 instructs: “The LORD possessed [qanah:H7069 - “purchased” or “bought”] me in the beginning [re’shiyth:H7225] of his way [derek:H1870], before his works of old. {23} I WAS SET UP [nacak:H5258] from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. {24} When [there were] no depths, I was brought forth; [chuwl:H2342] when [there were] no fountains abounding with water. {25} Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:” [chuwl:H2342] 


  • “The LORD Possessed [qanah:H7069] Me”


Nehemiah 5:8, “And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed [qanah:H7069] our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing [to answer].”


Psalm 74:2, “Remember thy congregation, [which] thou hast purchased [qanah:H7069] of old; the rod of thine inheritance, [which] thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.”


  • “In The Beginning” [re’shiyth:H7225]  - same as in Genesis 1:1 - please note how well this corresponds to Colossians 1:14-18,


“In whom we have redemption through his blood [i.e., “life”], [even] the forgiveness of sins: {15} Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn [prototokos:G4416] of every creature: {16} For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: {17} And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. {18} And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning [arche:G746], the firstborn [prototokos:G4416] from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.”


The term, “firstborn from the dead” is also in view in the following citations:


Romans 8:29 affirms, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn [prototokos:G4416] among many brethren.”


Revelation 1:5 likewise insists, “And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten [prototokos:G4416] of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,”


  • “of his way” [derek:H1870] - also found in Exodus 33:13-14, and of course, the very familiar New Testament verse, Lazarus (4th Gospel) 14:6, respectively:


“Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way [derek:H1870], that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation [is] thy people. {14} And he said, My presence shall go [with thee], and I will give thee rest.”


“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way [hodos:G3598], the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”


  • “I Was Set Up ” [nacak:H5258] from everlasting - found in these next verses as well: 


Isaiah 30:1 declares, “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover [nacak:H5258] with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:”


Isaiah 40:19 describes the making of a false idol: “The workman melteth [nacak:H5258] a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.”


And Isaiah 44:10 provides this commentary: “Who hath formed a god, or molten [nacak:H5258] a graven image [that] is profitable for nothing?”


Most notably, this word surfaces in the historical parable of 2 Samuel 23:14-17, in which it appears in verse 16 as “but poured it out”: “And David [was] then in an hold, and the garrison of the Philistines [was] then [in] Bethlehem. {15} And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which [is] by the gate! {16} And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, [i.e., “House of Bread”] that [was] by the gate [sha`ar:H8179], and took [it], and brought [it] to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out [nacak:H5258] unto the LORD. {17} And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: [is not this] the blood [dam:H1818] - “life” -  same as Leviticus 17:11] of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men.”


Let’s look at Leviticus 17:11, as it is extremly relevant, since it relates to “blood” (or “life”) and forms the basis for the Atonement (“payment for sin”), which occurred prior to Creation, as we have been confirming over and over again today:For the life [nephesh:H5315] of the flesh [is] in the blood [dam:H1818]: and I have given it to you upon the altar [Christ is the altar] to make an atonement [kaphar:H3722] for your souls [nephesh:H5315]: for it [is] the blood [dam:H1818] [that] maketh an atonement [kaphar:H3722]  for the soul.” [nephesh:H5315] 


Please note the twofold references in this key verse to each of these critical elements: “blood,” and “atonement,” as well as the threefold mention of “life” or “soul.”


Going back to 2 Samuel 23, notice that the “well” (remember - Isaiah 12:3, “Therefore with joy shall ye draw [sha’ab:H7579] water [mayim:H4325] out of the wells [ma`yan:H4599] of salvation.” - which relates to the woman at the well in the 4th Gospel 4:6 and 10 is located “by the gate.” Here are some of the ways that God utilizes this word:


Psalm 24:7 and 9, proclaim: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; [sha`ar:H8179] and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. {9} Lift up your heads, O ye gates; [sha`ar:H8179] even lift [them] up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.”


And Psalm 118:19-20 declare: “Open to me the gates [sha`ar:H8179] of righteousness: I will go into them, [and] I will praise the LORD: {20} This gate [sha`ar:H8179]  of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.”


Lastly Isaiah 60:18 records: “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates [sha`ar:H8179] Praise.”


  • I Was Brought Forth [chuwl:H2342] 


This expression “I was brought forth” - mentioned twice by the way - is referring to a “birth” and once again underscores that Christ is indeed the “first begotten” or “firstborn from the dead” as we saw earlier in today’s study. Consider the following illustrations of how God has chosen to employ this term:


In Job 15:7 we read this marvelous question that once again reinforces the fact that Christ was indeed the “firstborn from the dead;” if that were not the case, that very specific title would be a lie (which we know it is not): “[Art] thou the first man [that] was born? [yalad:H3205] or wast thou made [chuwl:H2342] before the hills? (Also reminds us of the identical language for  


In this outstanding citation we find the identical term “or was thou made” to “I was brought forth;”  God has also inserted another word in this same verse - “that was born” (yalad:H3205) that we discussed in Psalm 2:7, in which it is rendered as: “have I begotten thee”:


I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day [Christ is “the day”] have I begotten thee. [yalad:H3205] 


Additionally, the last three Hebrew words in Job 15:7 are also the last three terms in Proverbs 8:25, respectively:


“[Art] thou the first man [that] was born? or wast thou made [chuwl:H2342] before [paniym:H6440] the hills?” [gib`ah:H1389]


“Before the mountains were settled, before [paniym:H6440] the hills [gib`ah:H1389]

 was I brought forth:” [chuwl:H2342] 


The last point before returning to 2 Peter 2:16 that I would like to make concerns Acts 4 and how it relates to our day, and the second outpouring of the Holy Spirit (also known as the “Latter Rain”) during the Great Tribulation. I will compare Acts 4:13 and 29-31 and 1 John 4:17 respectively, with regard to the word, “boldness” which is used three times in Acts 4 and once in 1 John 4:


“Now when they saw the boldness [parresia:G3954] of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. ... {29} And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness [parresia:G3954] they may speak thy word,... {31} And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” [parresia:G3954]


“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness [parresia:G3954] in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”


With [en:G1722] Man’s [anthropos:G444] Voice [phone:G5456]


The next phrase that we are interested in 2 Peter 2:16 is: “with man’s voice,” referring to the unique conversation that God enabled the donkey to have with Balaam. These three Greek terms surface together in one other account in verse 33 of Luke 4:31-37, after the Lord left Nazareth, and headed to Capernaum:


“And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. {32} And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. {33} And in [en:G1722] the synagogue there was a man [anthropos:G444], which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice [phone:G5456], {34} Saying, Let [us] alone; what have we to do with thee, [thou] Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. {35} And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. {36} And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word [is] this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. {37} And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.” 


Previously in 2 Peter 1 we considered the term, “man,” (anthropos:G444 - where we get our English word, “anthropology” - “the study of man”)  in verse 21, in which it is translated twice as “of man” and “men,” in this powerful verses that affirms the God-breathed nature of the Bible:


“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man [anthropos:G444] but holy men [anthropos:G444] of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.”


We ran into the word for “voice” in some of our previous studies in 2 Peter 1, where it appears both times as “voice” in verses 17-18,


“For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice [phone:G5456] to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. {18} And this voice [phone:G5456] which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”


The “voice” refers to the Word of God, and God has the power and wisdom to publish and proclaim His Word by any means possible (prior to its completion around 90 AD or so) - in this case - even by a donkey (keeping in mind that donkeys refer to mankind - the elect as well as the non-elect) as Psalm 68:11 testifies,


“The Lord gave the word: great [was] the company of those that published [it].”


Forbad [kolyo:G2967] The Madness [paraphronia:G3913] Of The Prophet [prophetes:G4396]


The last three words in verse 16 also comprise three terms, but they are only found in this verse, so we will have to examine them individually.


Forbad [kolyo:G2967] 


The expression, “forbad,” is found 23  times, and translated primarily as one of the forms of the word, “forbid,” as these next passages indicate:


Mark 10:14 renders this terms as “forbid”: “But when Jesus saw [it], he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid [kolyo:G2967] them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”


Luke 11:52 translates it as “ye hindered”: “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” [kolyo:G2967]


Luke 23:2 includes this term, “forbidding” in this false accusation concerning the Lord Jesus: “And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this [fellow] perverting the nation, and forbidding [kolyo:G2967] to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.”


In Acts 8:36, it is found as “doth hinder,” in this wonderful account of Phillip the evengelist and the Ethiopian eunuch: “And as they went on [their] way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, [here is] water; what doth hinder [kolyo:G2967] me to be baptized?


Acts 16:6, renders this as “and were forbidden”: “Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden [kolyo:G2967] of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,”


Lastly, reminding us of believers who were excommunicated by their churches during the Great Tribulation, 3 John 1:10, renders this as, “and forbiddeth”: “Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth [kolyo:G2967] them that would, and casteth [them] out of the church.”


By the way, the root word for this term, “kolyo” (G2967), is found in 2 Peter 2:9, where it is rendered as “to be punished” (kolazo:G2849):

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:” [kolazo:G2849]


The last two terms in 2 Peter 2:16 have to do with Balaam and all “false prophets/teachers”


The Madness [paraphronia:G3913] Of The Prophet [prophetes:G4396]


We know that a “prophet” is one who declares the Word of God, as all the elect do. But these are “false” prophets and teachers, and are characterized by “madness” or, as we would say, “insanity.” To understand exactly the “insanity” that God has in mind, we must go to the root word for the Greek noun, “paraphronia”(G3913), since it only surfaces in 2 Peter 2:16. Its root word is “paraphoneo” (G3912), the noun form of this word, and it is only found in 2 Corinthians 11:23, as the word, “fool,” regarding Paul’s qualification as an “apostle”: 


“Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool [paraphoneo:G3912] ) I [am] more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.”


We also have understood that in the Bible, God instructs that “fools” are synonymous with the non-elect. Moreover 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 underscore the qualities of  these“false prophets/teachers;” in so doing, God is differentiating between His true “prophets/teachers” - like Paul or any of God’s elect -  and those who are imposters:


“For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. {14} And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. {15} Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”


Summary:


In closing, I would like to highlight the following points:


  • Today we learned that the word “speaking” (phtheggomai:G5350) appears in 2 Peter 2:16 and 18, regarding Balaam’s donkey (typifying the elect) and the “false prophets/teachers” who speak lies and deceive. The only other place where G5350 is found is in Acts 4, in which Peter testifies to the resurrection in 33 AD in verse 3.


  • In Acts 4:25-26 Peter, under divine inspiration, also quotes Psalm 2:1-2, as the saints during that time prayed for boldness to declare the Truth in their day. However further down in this psalm (verses 6-8), God makes reference to Christ’s “resurrection” prior to Creation, as well as to our present “day of judgment,” which ties in to Proverbs 8:22-25, which gives us more specific information concerning the Atonement of the “Lamb slain” prior to “the foundation of the world.” 


  • The term, “boldness” (parresia:G3954) appears 3 times in Acts 4, in the wake of the first “outpouring” of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost; and this same expression also appears in 1 John 4:17, after the second outpouring of the Holy Spirit (or “Latter Rain”), in our current “day of judgment,” in which God’s people are to boldly proclaim the truth of Christ’s Atonement prior to Creation, as well as any other Truth that God continues to reveal to His people.


Let’s stop here today, and Lord willing, next Sunday, we will consider 2 Peter 2:17. Please join us at 5:00 PM (PDT)/8:30 PM (EDT) if you can for our Quesyion Abd Answer segment if you can. Feel free to ask a question about today’s study, or if something I said was unclear, or if you want to ask an unrelated question or make a comment.

As a reminder we will also begin a new ½ hr. program at 7:30 PM (PDT)/10:30 PM (EDT) of thematic Bible Reading (without commentary), entitled “Think On These Things.”    











  2 Peter 2 - Part 24

                                                        April 22, 2018


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {10} But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {12} But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; {13} And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; {14} Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: {15} Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”


We are down to verse 17 of this chapter, but before we investigate that verse, I had mentioned that we would take a look at some of the Old Testament verses regarding Balaam’s conversation with his donkey. So let’s turn to Numbers 22:1-41 to get the context, and then will zero in on verses 28-30, which relate directly to verses 15 and 16 of 2 Peter 2:


“And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan [by] Jericho. {2} And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. {3} And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they [were] many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. {4} And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all [that are] round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor [was] king of the Moabites at that time. {5} He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which [is] by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: {6} Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they [are] too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, [that] we may smite them, and [that] I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest [is] blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed. {7} And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak. {8} And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam. {9} And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men [are] these with thee? {10} And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, [saying], {11} Behold, [there is] a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out. {12} And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they [are] blessed. {13} And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the LORD refuseth to give me leave to go with you. {14} And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us. {15} And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they. {16} And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: {17} For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people. {18} And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more. {19} Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will say unto me more. {20} And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, [and] go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do. {21} And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. {22} And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants [were] with him. {23} And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. {24} But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall [being] on this side, and a wall on that side. {25} And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. {26} And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where [was] no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. {27} And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. {28} And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? {29} And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. {30} And the ass said unto Balaam, [Am] not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since [I was] thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay. {31} Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. {32} And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because [thy] way is perverse before me: {33} And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive. {34} And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again. {35} And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak. {36} And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which [is] in the border of Arnon, which [is] in the utmost coast. {37} And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote thee to honour? {38} And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak. {39} And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kirjathhuzoth. {40} And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes that [were] with him. {41} And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost [part] of the people.”


Some Interesting Background About This Account


While a word-by-word or phrase-by-phrase analysis of this account is beyond the scope of this study, I do want to mention some background information that I think will help us to gain some spiritual insight into this historical parable; this is turn, Lord willing, will aid us in understanding what God has in mind in verses 28-30. Please note the repeated use of the number “3” reminding us of the Crucifixion accounts, where this same number appears over and over again. In Numbers 22:23 we learn: 


And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.”                   


And His Sword [chereb:H2719] Drawn [shalaph:H2085] In His Hand [yad:H3027]


Notice the phrase in verse 23 (and likewise in verse 31) regarding the “angel of the LORD,” (found 9 times in this account - and is the Lord Jesus Christ). The phrase, “...and his sword drawn in his hand…” is comprised of  three Hebrew terms, that also appear in two other references that also concern God’s judgment:


The first one is found in verse 13 of Joshua 5:13-15, “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword [chereb:H2719] drawn [shalaph:H2085] in his hand [yad:H3027]: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, [Art] thou for us, or for our adversaries? {14} And he said, Nay; but [as] captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? {15} And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy. And Joshua did so.” 


The second is in 1 Chronicles 21:9-27, in which these three words surface in verse 16: “ And the LORD spake unto Gad, David's seer, saying, {10} Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three [things]: choose thee one of them, that I may do [it] unto thee. {11} So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee {12} Either three years' famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh [thee]; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me. {13} And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great [are] his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man. {14} So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. {15} And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. {16} And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn [chereb:H2719]  sword [chereb:H2719] in his hand [yad:H3027] stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders [of Israel, who were] clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. {17} And David said unto God, [Is it] not I [that] commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but [as for] these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued. {18} Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. {19} And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD. {20} And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. {21} And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with [his] face to the ground. {22} Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of [this] threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. {23} And Ornan said unto David, Take [it] to thee, and let my lord the king do [that which is] good in his eyes: lo, I give [thee] the oxen [also] for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. {24} And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take [that] which [is] thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. {25} So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. {26} And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. {27} And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.


Please note the use of the number “3” pointing to the “purpose of God” with respect to three punishment options that David had to choose: “three years” (famine)... “three months” (under the enemies’ sword)... “three days” (the Sword of the LORD).


A Reminder


As we contemplate verses 23-26 of Numbers 22, one discovers three “locations” or places where “the angel of the LORD” stood ready to administer His judgment. At  this point I want to again remind you (and myself) of what the other two New Testament passages state - Jude 11 and Revelation 2:14 respectively -  regarding Balaam: 


“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.”


“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.


We need to go back to the following Old Testament verses which shed light on why God says what He does, particularly in Revelation 2:14, as He speaks of the “doctrine of Balaam” in a threefold manner:


I’ll read Numbers 25:1-9, and verse 18, which are placed in Scripture, immediately after Numbers 22-24, and Balaam’s dealings with Balak: “And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. {2} And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. {3} And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. {4} And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. {5} And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor. {6} And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who [were] weeping [before] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. {7} And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw [it], he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; {8} And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. {9} And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. ... {18} For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor's sake.”


Verse 9 directs us to consult 1 Corinthians 10:1-14, regarding the plague of “24,000” that died as a result, in the foregoing passage, and provides an extremely pertinent warning for us today regarding idolatry, which is akin to “walking by sight,” as we have learned from some of our earlier studies:


“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; {2} And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; {3} And did all eat the same spiritual meat; {4} And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. {5} But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. {6} Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. {7} Neither be ye idolaters, as [were] some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. {8} Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in ONE DAY [caps mine] three and twenty thousand. {9} Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. {10} Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. {11} Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. {12} Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. {13} There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]. {14} Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” 


“Contradictions” In The Bible


We find a good example of what people label as “contradictions” in the Bible as we compare Numbers 25:9 and 1 Corinthians 10:8. One account says 24,000 died, and the other 23, 000, proving, at least in their minds, that the Bible is untrustworthy. If they were to examine the text more carefully, they would recognize that this slaughter took place over the course of two or more days - on one day 23,000 died, but the total was 24,000 all together, and so, once again, there is harmony between the two Biblical statements.


Why Was God “Not Well Pleased”?


The reason for the statement in verse 5 is found in Hebrews 3:7-19 and 4:


“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, {8} Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: {9} When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. {10} Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in [their] heart; and they have not known my ways. {11} So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) {12} Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. {13} But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. {14} For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; {15} While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. {16} For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. {17} But with whom was he grieved forty years? [was it] not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? {18} And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? {19} So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. {4:1} Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. {2} For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it]. {3} For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. {4} For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [day] on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. {5} And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest. {6} Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: {7} Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. {8} For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. {9} There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. {10} For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his. {11} Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”


In essence, whatsoever is not “of faith” is sin, as we read in Romans 14:23, and 2 Corinthians 5:7, respectively:


“And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because [he eateth] not of faith: for whatsoever [is] not of faith is sin.”


“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” 


Romans 8:24-35 includes the term “hope” (in the Biblical sense), and we can easily substitute it with the word “faith”: “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? {25} But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].”


Ultimately, as we have understood, the Lord Jesus Christ is Faith.


Three Locations Where The Angel Stood


With that in mind, let’s examine these three “locations” in Numbers 22:23, 24, and 26:


Verse 23: “...standing [natsab:H5324] in the way [derek:H1870]…”


Verse 24: “...stood [`amad:H5975] in a path [mish`owl:H4934] of the vineyards [kerem:H3754]…”


Verse 26: “... and stood [`amad:H5975] in a narrow [tsar:H6862] place [maqowm:H4725]…”


We can now investigate the Hebrew words in each of these phrases, and how God utilizes them elsewhere in the Old Testament:


Verse 23: Standing [natsab:H5324] In The Way [derek:H1870]


The two expressions, “standing” and “in the way” in verse 23 are only found again in the following citations, underscoring that Judgment (or Christ Himself) is in view in each, and Christ (the One with the “drawn sword”) is responsible for executing it:


Numbers 22:31 and 34 maintain: “Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing [natsab:H5324]  in the way [derek:H1870], and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. ... {34} And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest [natsab:H5324]  in the way [derek:H1870] against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.”


Proverbs 8 is a chapter that deals with Wisdom - which personifies the Lord Jesus Christ - Who is called “...the Wisdom of God” and “...the Power of God.” in 1 Corinthians 1:24. You might recall from last week that we spent some time looking at some of the phrases in this very important chapter as we considered verses 22-25, and God is directing us back here again. I’ll read verses 1-21, in which these two words show up in verse 2, as “she standeth” and “by the way”: “Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? {2} She standeth [natsab:H5324] in the top of high places, by the way [derek:H1870] in the places of the paths. {3} She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. {4} Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice [is] to the sons of man. {5} O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. {6} Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips [shall be] right things. {7} For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness [is] an abomination to my lips. {8} All the words of my mouth [are] in righteousness; [there is] nothing froward or perverse in them. {9} They [are] all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge. {10} Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. {11} For wisdom [is] better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. {12} I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. {13} The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. {14} Counsel [is] mine, and sound wisdom: I [am] understanding; I have strength. {15} By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. {16} By me princes rule, and nobles, [even] all the judges of the earth. {17} I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. {18} Riches and honour [are] with me; [yea], durable riches and righteousness. {19} My fruit [is] better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. {20} I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: {21} That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.”


The last reference is found in verse 21 of Jeremiah 31:21-34, which speaks of the Great Tribulation and Latter Rain, leading up to the completion of the Great Commission on May 21, 2011: Set thee up [natsab:H5324] waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, [even] the way [derek:H1870] [which] thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities. {22} How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man. {23} Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, [and] mountain of holiness. {24} And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they [that] go forth with flocks. {25} For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. {26} Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me. {27} Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. {28} And it shall come to pass, [that] like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD. {29} In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge. {30} But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. {31} Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: {32} Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: {33} But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. {34} And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”


Incidentally verses 31-34 are quoted in Hebrews 8:7-11, which also highlights the fulfillment of the Body of Christ on May 21, 2011, by God’s sovereign decree, while exposing the faults of both “external representations” of the Kingdom of God on earth, namely - national Israel -  and the churches and denominations, typified as the “first” and “second” covenants respectively: 


“For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. {8} For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant [“third covenant”] with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: {9} Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. {10} For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: {11} And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”


Summary


  • Jude 11, and Revelation 2:14 substantiate and crystalize what we find in Numbers 22 and 25 regarding Balaam’s “doctrine.”


  • The number “3” (and its multiples) - as in three “locations” where the “angel of the LORD” stood - shows up in this passage, reminding us of the numerous times it appears, for example, in the Crucifixion accounts.


  • Each of the three “locations” emphasize God’s judgment against Balaam, and all “false prophets/teachers.”


It looks like we’re going to have to stop here, so Lord willing next Sunday, we will continue to examine verses 24 and 26 of Numbers 22.


Please join us for our Q & A at 5:30 PM (PDT)/8:30 PM (EDT), if you have any questions about today’s study or if anything was unclear to you. You may post  a comment or ask an unrelated question as well.

Also, at 7:30 PM (PDT)/10:30 PM (EDT) we will have our thematic Bible reading in both the Old and New Testaments for 30 minutes.



  2 Peter 2 - Part 25

April 29, 2018


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {10} But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {12} But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; {13} And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; {14} Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: {15} Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”


A Helpful Reminder


We have taken a detour to consider some of the Old Testament passages concerning Balaam, and see how they might broaden our understanding of 2 Peter 2:15-16. I also want to  bring to your attention again the exceedingly valuable principle that one cannot arrive at spiritual truth, without God’s enabling. This of course, flies in the face of so many who adhere and teach the naive notion that the Bible is quite easy to understand (or perspicuous). The Bible teaches just the opposite (and I can’t stress this enough), as we learn from a passage like Proverbs 25:2,


“[It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing [“word” (dabar:H1697)]: but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter.” [“word” (dabar:H1697)]


An excellent illustration of the fact that the Bible is absolutely not perspicuous, is found in Luke 18:31-34, which is a very straightforward account of historical events that the Lord described to “the twelve,” (apostles) that He would shortly experience.  In verse 34 God utilizes three different verbs to underscore the fact that the apostles were unable to grasp what He was plainly stating - even on a historical level:


“Then he took [unto him] the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. {32} For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:  {33} And they shall scourge [him], and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. {34} And they understood [syniemi:G4920] none of these things: and this saying was hid [krypto:G2928] from them, neither knew they [ginosko:G1097] the things which were spoken.”


Another possible reason why God has included this curious verse [and the parallel accounts in Matthew 20:17-19, Mark 10:32-34, Luke 9:31-32 and Lazarus (4th Gospel) 12:16] is to highlight the stupendous reality of the Atonement prior to Creation - which was kept hidden all throughout the church age - until fairly recently in order to showcase the ineffable spiritual splendor of the Lord Jesus Christ that shines forth from this amazing truth.


Balaam And Balak In The Historical Time Frame


Regarding what we are reading about in Numbers concerning Balaam and Balak, please bear in mind that these events would have taken place historically sometime during the first 40 years of the entrance into Canaan in 1407 BC - 1367 BC, according to the Biblical Calendar, in which the conquest of the land was spearheaded by Joshua - Moses’ successor - along with Othniel, the first judge. In Joshua 13 we read about the division of the land of Canaan to the (9 ½) tribes which had not yet received their inheritance, and in verse 22 we read the following:


“Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.”


Three “Locations” Where The Angel Stood (Cont.)


In our previous study we began looking at one of three “locations” in which the “angel of the LORD” appeared to Balaam, preceding his conversation with his donkey. We only got so far as verse 23 of Numbers 22, so let’s start by examining the next citation, found in Numbers 22:24


Verse 24: Stood [`amad:H5975] In A Path [mish`owl:H4934] Of The Vineyards [kerem:H3754]


In verse 24, three terms are in view, but they are only found together in this Scripture, so we will have to consider them individually:


Numbers 22:24 reveals, “But the angel of the LORD stood [`amad:H5975]  in a path of the vineyards, a wall [being] on this side, and a wall on that side.”


Stood [`amad:H5975]


The term, “and stood” also surfaces in the third phrase found in Numbers 22:26


“And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood [`amad:H5975] in a narrow place, where [was] no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.”


The following are some more illustrations of how God has chosen to employ this word in the context of judgment:


In Exodus 17:6, God makes this awesome declaration to Moses regarding the Lord Jesus Christ: “Behold, I will stand [`amad:H5975] before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.”


Nahum 1:6 also pronounces: Who can stand [`amad:H5975] before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.”


Malachi 3:2 likewise affirms: “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand [`amad:H5975] when he appeareth? for he [is] like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:”


In A Path [mish`owl:H4934]


The next expression, “in a path” in Numbers 22:24, is only found here.


Of The Vineyards [kerem:H3754]


The term, “of the vineyards” surfaces the most times of any chapter, in Isaiah 5, and in verses 1, 3-4, 5, and 7, which spiritually relate to God’s judgment which fell upon the churches and denominations, worldwide, and without exception on May 21, 1988, after being used by God for 1955 years (since May 22, 33 AD, the Day of Pentecost); notice how Judah and Jerusalem (the first external representation of the Kingdom of God on earth) typify the corporate churches (the second external representation of the Kingdom of God on earth):  


“Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. [kerem:H3754] My wellbeloved hath a vineyard [kerem:H3754] in a very fruitful hill: ... {3} And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. [kerem:H3754] {4} What could have been done more to my vineyard, [kerem:H3754] that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? {5} And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: [kerem:H3754] I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; [and] break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: ... {7} For the vineyard [kerem:H3754] of the LORD of hosts [is] the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.”


Verse 26: And Stood [`amad:H5975] In A Narrow [tsar:H6862] Place [maqowm:H4725]


The last example of these three words occurs in verse 26. The same term,“and stood” in this citation is identical to the one in verse 24, so let’s proceed with the last two terms, “in a narrow” and “place,” which appear together in the following three passages: 


In 2 Kings 6:1-3 these two terms are found in verse 1: “And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place [maqowm:H4725] where we dwell with thee is too strait [tsar:H6862] for us. {2} Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye. {3} And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go.”


In Hosea 5:15, the word for “strait” or “narrow” is rendered “affliction”: “I will go [and] return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction [tsar:H6862] they will seek me early.”


In Isaiah 49:20 we see various spiritual portraits: Christ, the Latter Rain, and particularly our present “day of judgment” in verse 26; I’ll read verses 1-26: “Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. {2} And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; {3} And said unto me, Thou [art] my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. {4} Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: [yet] surely my judgment [is] with the LORD, and my work with my God. {5} And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb [to be] his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. {6} And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. {7} Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, [and] his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, [and] the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee. {8} Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; {9} That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that [are] in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures [shall be] in all high places. {10} They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. {11} And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. {12} Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. {13} Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. {14} But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. {15} Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. {16} Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of [my] hands; thy walls [are] continually before me. {17} Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee. {18} Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, [and] come to thee. [As] I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them [on thee], as a bride [doeth]. {19} For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away. {20} The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place [maqowm:H4725] [is] too strait [tsar:H6862] for me: give place [maqowm:H4725] to me that I may dwell. {21} Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where [had] they [been]? {22} Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in [their] arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon [their] shoulders. {23} And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with [their] face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. {24} Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? {25} But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. {26} And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD [am] thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.”


A Closer Look At Numbers 22


At this point I would like for us to take a closer look at Numbers 22 with regard to the following aspects: 


  1. The spiritual implications of the donkey’s actions in each of the three “locations” that were mentioned previously.


  1. The ensuing charges that the “angel of the LORD” levels against Balaam, and his responses.


  1. Who or what the donkey symbolizes spiritually, if God permits.


I want to focus on # 1 today, and then next Sunday, Lord willing, on # 2 and # 3.


The Spiritual Implications Of The Donkey’s Actions 


I’ll read verses 23-27 again:


“And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. {24} But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall [being] on this side, and a wall on that side. {25} And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. {26} And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where [was] no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. {27} And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.” 


Here are the statements that we want to investigate:


  • In verse 23: “...the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field…”
  • In verse 25: “...she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall…”
  • In verse 27: “... she fell down under Balaam…” 


You might recall that in an earlier study we arrived at the conclusion that an ass or donkey in the Bible can represent man spiritually -  either an elect or a non-elect - depending on the context and by keeping this truth in mind, we will be greatly aided as we work through these passages. 


Verse 23: ...And The Ass [’athown:H860] Turned Aside [natah:H5186] Out Of The Way [derek:H1870] And Went [yalak:H3212] Into The Field [sadeh:H7704]...


Turned Aside [natah:H5186] Out Of The Way [derek:H1870]


Here are some of the ways that God utilizes the two terms, “turned aside” and “out of the way”:


In 1 Samuel 8:1-8 we read this sad account - reminding us of Eli’s sons -  in which these two words surface in verse 3:  “And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. {2} Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: [they were] judges in Beersheba. {3} And his sons walked not in his ways [derek:H1870], but turned aside [natah:H5186] after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. {4} Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, {5} And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. {6} But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. {7} And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. {8} According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. ”


Job 24:1-13 likewise affirms the same in verse 4, where these words appear again: “Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days? {2} [Some] remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed [thereof]. {3} They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow's ox for a pledge.  {4} They turn [natah:H5186] the needy out of the way [derek:H1870]: the poor of the earth hide themselves together. {5} Behold, [as] wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness [yieldeth] food for them [and] for [their] children. {6} They reap [every one] his corn in the field: and they gather the vintage of the wicked. {7} They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that [they have] no covering in the cold. {8} They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter. {9} They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor. {10} They cause [him] to go naked without clothing, and they take away the sheaf [from] the hungry; {11} [Which] make oil within their walls, [and] tread [their] winepresses, and suffer thirst. {12} Men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out: yet God layeth not folly [to them]. {13} They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.”


Isaiah 30:8-14 follows in the same vein, in which these two terms are found in verse 11: “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: {9} That this [is] a rebellious people, lying children, children [that] will not hear the law of the LORD: {10} Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: {11} Get you out of the way [derek:H1870], turn aside [natah:H5186] out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. {12} Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon: {13} Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant. {14} And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water [withal] out of the pit.”


Lastly Jeremiah 35:15 provides this commentary: “I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending [them], saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way [derek:H1870], and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined [natah:H5186] your ear, nor hearkened unto me.”


And Went [yalak:H3212] Into The Field [sadeh:H7704]


The next two expressions, regarding Balaam’s donkey are: “and went” and “into the field,” and surface in 15 other citations; here are a few illustrations of how God employs these two words:


In Genesis 3:14 we note God’s curse against Satan, in which these two terms are rendered as “of the field” and “thou shalt go”: “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field [sadeh:H7704]; upon thy belly shalt thou go [yalak:H3212], and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:”


1 Samuel 17:44 records Goliath’s (he typifies Satan) taunts to David (he represents Christ): “And the Philistine said to David, Come [yalak:H3212] to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.” [sadeh:H7704]


And Jeremiah 12:9 pictures national Israel (“mine heritage”) as a “speckled bird,” which is slated for destruction: “Mine heritage [is] unto me [as] a speckled bird, the birds round about [are] against her; come ye [yalak:H3212], assemble all the beasts of the field [sadeh:H7704], come to devour.”


Verse 25: “...She Thrust [lachats:H3905] Herself Unto The Wall [qiyr:H7023] And Crushed [lachats:H3905] Balaam's [Bil`am:H1109] Foot [regel:H7272] Against The Wall [qiyr:H7023]...” 


The next phrase, “...she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall…” is comprised of 6 Hebrew words, and two of them are duplicated: “she thrust”/ “and crushed” and “herself unto the wall”/”against the wall.”


She Thrust [lachats:H3905] Herself Unto The Wall [qiyr:H7023] 


The two terms, “she thrust” and “herself unto the wall” are only found together in this verse.


And Crushed [lachats:H3905] And Foot [regel:H7272] 


The next two words, “and crushed” and “foot” only appear in one other significant passage (2 Kings 6:32), which is found in the same chapter as the terms “in a narrow” and “place” that we encountered earlier in Numbers 22:26, having to do with the third “location” in which the “angel of the LORD” appeared:


“And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow [tsar:H6862] place [maqowm:H4725], where [was] no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.”


These two words - H6862 and H4725 -  surface in 2 Kings 6:1,


“And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place [maqowm:H4725] where we dwell with thee is too strait [tsar:H6862] for us. 


I’ll read all of 2 Kings 6:32 for the sake of the context:


“And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us. {2} Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye. {3} And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go. {4} So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood. {5} But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed. {6} And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast [it] in thither; and the iron did swim. {7} Therefore said he, Take [it] up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it. {8} Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place [shall be] my camp. {9} And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. {10} And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. {11} Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us [is] for the king of Israel? {12} And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that [is] in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. {13} And he said, Go and spy where he [is], that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, [he is] in Dothan. {14} Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. {15} And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? {16} And he answered, Fear not: for they that [be] with us [are] more than they that [be] with them. {17} And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain [was] full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. {18} And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. {19} And Elisha said unto them, This [is] not the way, neither [is] this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria. {20} And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD, open the eyes of these [men], that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, [they were] in the midst of Samaria. {21} And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite [them]? shall I smite [them]? {22} And he answered, Thou shalt not smite [them]: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master. {23} And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel. {24} And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria. {25} And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was [sold] for fourscore [pieces] of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five [pieces] of silver. {26} And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king. {27} And he said, If the LORD do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress? {28} And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. {29} So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son. {30} And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, [he had] sackcloth within upon his flesh. {31} Then he said, God do so and more also to me, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day. {32} But Elisha sat in his house, and the elders sat with him; and [the king] sent a man from before him: but ere the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, See ye how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away mine head? look, when the messenger cometh, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door: [is] not the sound of his master's feet behind him? {33} And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him: and he said, Behold, this evil [is] of the LORD; what should I wait for the LORD any longer?”


Summary


  • We saw the threefold judgment of “the angel of the LORD” against Balaam in each of the three “locations” in Numbers 22:23-24, and 26.


  • The actions of the donkey also emphasize judgment in verses 23 and 25.



Well, let’s stop here, and Lord willing next Sunday, we will examine Numbers 22:27 and continue our investigation of some of the other verses in this chapter as well. 


Please join us for our Q & A at 5:30 PM (PDT)/8:30 PM (EDT), if you have any questions about today’s study or if anything was unclear to you. You may post  a comment or ask an unrelated question as well.

Also, at 7:30 PM (PDT)/10:30 PM (EDT) we will have our thematic Bible reading in both the Old and New Testaments for 30 minutes, entitled “Think On These Things.”





2 Peter 2 - Part 26

May 6, 2018


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {10} But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {12} But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; {13} And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; {14} Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: {15} Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”


A Closer Look At Numbers 22


Lat week we considered some of  the spiritual implications of the donkey’s actions in two of the three “locations” - in verses 23 and 25. 


  • Today, I would like to examine the third location in verse 27.  


I’ll read verses 21-35 for the sake of the context:


“And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. {22} And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants [were] with him. {23} And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.  {24} But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall [being] on this side, and a wall on that side. {25} And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. {26} And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where [was] no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. {27} And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. {28} And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? {29} And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. {30} And the ass said unto Balaam, [Am] not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since [I was] thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay. {31} Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. {32} And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because [thy] way is perverse before me: {33} And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive. {34} And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again. {35} And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.”


In Numbers 22:27 we read: “And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.”


She Fell Down [rabats:H7257 (pronounced: “raw-vats”)] Under Balaam [Bil`am:H1109]


The phrase, “...she fell down under Balaam…” consists of two terms, and I would like us to focus on how God utilizes the word, “she fell down” (H1109) elsewhere in Scripture.  It is found 30 times, and predominantly translated as “lay down” or “lay,” “couch(ed),” and in a few other miscellaneous ways; the following four citations reveal that the elect are clearly in view:


Genesis 29:2 renders this word as “lying”: “And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, there [were] three flocks of sheep lying [rabats:H7257] by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone [was] upon the well's mouth.”


Similarly, Psalm 23:2 beautifully announces:He maketh me to lie down [rabats:H7257] in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”


Jeremiah 33:12 translates this term as “to lie down”: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing [their] flocks to lie down.” [rabats:H7257]


And Ezekiel 34:14-15 likewise declares: “I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie [rabats:H7257] in a good fold, and [in] a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. {15} I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, [rabats:H7257] saith the Lord GOD.”


H1109 is also used in connection with Cain’s sin in Genesis 4:7, in which it appears as “lieth”: 


“If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth [rabats:H7257] at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”


This expression, “shall lie down” is also seen in Isaiah 11:1-12, in verses 6-7, in this marvelous chapter which incorporates the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the latter rain, our current day of judgment, along with the “New Heavens and New Earth”:  


“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: {2} And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; {3} And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: {4} But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. {5} And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. {6} The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down [rabats:H7257]  with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. {7} And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down [rabats:H7257] together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. {8} And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. {9} They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. {10} And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. {11} And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the Lord shall set his hand again the second time [“the latter rain”] to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. {12} And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”


So, how do these passages help us to understand what is going on with Balaam’s donkey spiritually? Let’s take a look at a few more verses that provide some additional clues to solving this puzzle. And we recognize, of course, that every verse in the Bible is a spiritual “puzzle” or “parable” that God wants us to solve, providing He opens our spiritual eyes and ears to the Truth that He has hidden in His Word, and according to His good pleasure and timing for doing so. You might recall Luke 18:34, that I quoted last Sunday, with respect to the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, that His apostles could not comprehend, although it was plainly stated; and to drive home that point, Christ employs three different verbs in this one verse!


And they understood [syniemi:G4920] none of these things: and this saying was hid [krypto:G2928] from them, neither knew they [ginosko:G1097] the things which were spoken.”


I mentioned the word “hid” (krypto:G2928) - which our English word, “cryptogram” - or message written in code - is derived from. G2928 is also found in Matthew 13:34-35, as “things which have been kept secret,” and please note how God interfaces these two terms “things which have been kept secret” and “parables”: 


“All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable [parabole:G3850] spake he not unto them: {35} That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables [parabole:G3850]; I will utter things which have been kept secret [krypto:G2928] from the foundation of the world.”


Notice, if you will, the exceedingly significant time marker in this verse: “...from the foundation of the world.”


Back to today’s study: What is noteworthy about these next two references is that they include a donkey as well, and so we are curious as to how they might relate to our present study, in which Balaam’s donkey is purposefully protecting Balaam from God’s judgment of death and destruction. At the same time we want to keep in the forefront of our minds what we learned about Balaam from Revelation 2:14; let me read again that critical three-fold disclosure that God gives us, which is so very helpful in clarifying our understanding of “false prophets/teachers” in 2 Peter 2, and why God has inserted Balaam as a prime example of one who “claims” to be. (More on this later, as we shall see from the epithet,  “soothsayer,” (qacam:H7080) in which God depicts Balaam in Joshua 13:22, which I quoted in our last study.)


Revelation 2:14 instructs: “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”


These are the two passages which include a donkey that we now what to reflect upon, and beseech God for insight, if they might relate spiritually to Balaam’s donkey, and if so, in what manner, without arriving at a conclusion in haste, so we want to be careful by taking our time with this. 


Genesis 49 is a chapter that is dealing with the 12 tribes “...in the last days,” so they would typify the end-time corporate churches and denominations. [By the way, the parallel chapter to Genesis 49 is Deuteronomy 33, which also contains the 12 tribes, but the spiritual portrait is different, because they exemplify the elect.] The word we are investigating, “ravats” (H1109), appears three times in relationship to the tribes of Judah (Genesis 49:9), Issachar (Genesis 49:14), and Joseph (Genesis 49:25). I’ll read all three of the references, but for the purposes of this study, we want to examine Issachar in particular:


“ Judah [is] a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched [rabats:H7257] as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? … {14} Issachar [is] a strong ass [chamowr:H2543] couching down [rabats:H7257] between two burdens [mishpath:H4942]... {25} [Even] by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under [rabats:H7257], blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:”


The other passage is Exodus 23:5, “If thou see the ass [chamowr:H2543] of him that hateth thee lying [rabats:H7257] under his burden [massa’:H4853], and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.”


Two Words For “Asses” [chamowr:H2543]/ [’athown:H860] 


In Genesis 49:14 and Exodus 23:5, God inserts the identical word for “ass” (chamowr:H2543) in both of these passages. Apparently, this word refers to a male donkey, whereas in Numbers 22, the female donkey is in view, as we read in verse 28, in which we find the (English) phrase, “and she said” (’amar:H559), which is one Hebrew word:


“And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass [’athown:H860], and she said [’amar:H559] unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?”


In Zechariah 9:9, we discover both words together: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, [chamowr:H2543] and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” [’athown:H860] 


We also read in Exodus 13:13, “And every firstling of an ass [chamowr:H2543] thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.”


The Root Word For “Chamowr” (H2543) Is “Chamar” (H2560)


The root word for “ass” (H2543), as found in the foregoing verses is “chamar” (H2560), and it’s interesting that in light of Exodus 13:13 - pointing to mankind who are by nature under the judgment of God for having transgressed His Law, the Bible - is used 6 times in connection with judgment, as the following examples illustrate:


Exodus 2:3 renders this word as “and daubed”: “And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed [chamar:H2560] it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid [it] in the flags by the river's brink.”


Job 16:11-16 translates it as “is foul”: “God hath delivered me to the ungodly, and turned me over into the hands of the wicked. {12} I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken [me] by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark. {13} His archers compass me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; he poureth out my gall upon the ground. {14} He breaketh me with breach upon breach, he runneth upon me like a giant. {15} I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and defiled my horn in the dust.{16} My face is foul [chamar:H2560] with weeping, and on my eyelids [is] the shadow of death;”


Psalm 46:1-3 renders this term as “[and] be troubled” in verse 3: “[To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.]] God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. {2} Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; {3} [Though] the waters thereof roar [and] be troubled, [chamar:H2560] [though] the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.”


Psalm 75:1-10 translates this expression as “is red” in verse 8, in this Psalm which relates to our present “day of judgment”: “[To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Psalm [or] Song of Asaph.] Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, [unto thee] do we give thanks: for [that] thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. {2} When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly. {3} The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah. {4} I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: {5} Lift not up your horn on high: speak [not with] a stiff neck. {6} For promotion [cometh] neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. {7} But God [is] the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. {8} For in the hand of the LORD [there is] a cup, and the wine is red; [chamar:H2560] it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring [them] out, [and] drink [them]. {9} But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. {10} All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; [but] the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.”


Lamentations 1:15-20, and in verse 20, this word is expressed as “are troubled” in this “lament” of Jeremiah’s having to do with the end of the church age: : “The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty [men] in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, [as] in a winepress. {16} For these [things] I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed. {17} Zion spreadeth forth her hands, [and there is] none to comfort her: the LORD hath commanded concerning Jacob, [that] his adversaries [should be] round about him: Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them. {18} The LORD is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment: hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow: my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity. {19} I called for my lovers, [but] they deceived me: my priests and mine elders gave up the ghost in the city, while they sought their meat to relieve their souls. {20} Behold, O LORD; for I [am] in distress: my bowels are troubled; [chamar:H2560] mine heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled: abroad the sword bereaveth, at home [there is] as death.”


Along the same lines, Lamentations 2:11also renderes this word as “are troubled”: “Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, [chamar:H2560] my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city.”


Two Words For “Burdens” [mishpath:H4942] / [massa’:H4853]


I’ll re-read Genesis 49:14 and Exodus 23:5, respectively:


“Issachar [is] a strong ass [chamowr:H2543] couching down [rabats:H7257] between two burdens [mishpath:H4942].” 


“If thou see the ass [chamowr:H2543] of him that hateth thee lying [rabats:H7257] under his burden [massa’:H4853], and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.”


In Numbers 22:27,  the obvious “burden” is Balaam himself. I mentioned Joshua 13:22 earlier, but let’s go there, remembering God’s assessment of Balaam in Revelation 2:14,


“Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer [qacam:H7080], did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.”


Balaam...The Soothsayer [qacam:H7080]


Let’s consider some of the scriptures that contain this word, “soothsayer,” which is found 20 times, and primarly as some form of the verb “divine,” or “divination” (In the Hebrew the verb and noun forms are identically spelled, as verse 10 employs both of them):


In Deuteronomy 18:9-15, this term appears in verses 10 and 14 as “divine” and “unto the diviners”: “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. {10} There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth [qacam:H7080] divination [qecem:H7081], [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, {11} Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. {12} For all that do these things [are] an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. {13} Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. {14} For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners [qacam:H7080]: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so [to do]. {15} The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;


We also read in Micah 3:1-12, “And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; [Is it] not for you to know judgment? {2} Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; {3} Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. {4} Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings. {5} Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. {6} Therefore night [shall be] unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine [qacam:H7080]; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. {7} Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded [qacam:H7080]: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for [there is] no answer of God. {8} But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. {9} Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. {10} They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. {11} The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine [qacam:H7080] for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, [Is] not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us. {12} Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed [as] a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.”


Let’s stop here, and I’ll try to summarize today’s study:


Summary:


Today we looked at the word, “she fell down” (rabats:H7257) referring to Balaam’s donkey in Numbers 22:27, and found that it can relate to the following:


  • The elect
  • Sin
  • The Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the latter rain, our current day of judgment, along with the “New Heavens and New Earth”


Two of the references of H7257 also include donkeys - Genesis 49:14 (a chapter that deals with the “end of the church age”) and Exodus 23:5, which we began to investigate to see how they might relate to Balaam and his donkey. We discovered that...


  • Genesis 49:14 and Exodus 23:5 each contain the same term for “ass” (chamowr:H2543), which is different from the word, “ass,” in Numbers 22:27 (’athown:H860)
  • The root word for “chamowr” (H2543) is “chamar” (H2560), which we is utlized 6 times, and always in the context of judgment.
  • There are also two different words for “burdens” in Genesis 49:14 (mishpath:H4942) and Exodus 23:15 (massa’:H4853).


Lastly we looked at the term, “soothsayer” (qacam:H7080) as God calls Balaam in Joshua 13:22, and we found that it has to do with lies and false gospels.


Well, let’s stop here, and Lord willing next Sunday, we will continue our investigation of Balaam and his donkey. 


Please join us for our Q & A at 5:30 PM (PDT)/8:30 PM (EDT), if you have any questions about today’s study or if anything was unclear to you. You may post  a comment or ask an unrelated question as well.

Also, at 7:30 PM (PDT)/10:30 PM (EDT) we will have our thematic Bible reading in both the Old and New Testaments for 30 minutes, entitled “Think On These Things.”





 





2 Peter 2 - Part 27

                                                        May 13, 2018


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {10} But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {12} But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; {13} And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; {14} Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: {15} Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”


A Closer Look At Numbers 22


For a number of studies we have been investigating Numbers 22, concerning Balaam and his donkey. Before returning to 2 Peter 2:17, I would like for us to examine the following topics, in the hope that God will open our understanding of this parable, which will serve to further our comprehension as to why God has included the account of Balaam in 2 Peter 2:15-16,


  1. The conversation Balaam has with his donkey in verses 28-30.
  2. God’s rebuke to Balaam in verses 32-33.
  3. Balaam’s response to God.
  4. An analysis of who the donkey represents spiritually in this parable.


The Conversation Balaam Has With His Donkey


Let’s read Numbers 28-30 again, keeping in mind that this ties directly into 2 Peter 2:15-16


“And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? {29} And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. {30} And the ass said unto Balaam, [Am] not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since [I was] thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.”


And The LORD [Yehovah:H3068] Opened [pathach:H6605] The Mouth [peh:H6310]


Let’s begin by looking at the phrase in verse 28, “And the LORD opened the mouth …,” which is comprised of three Hebrew terms. These three words only appear in two very noteworthy citations - Ezekiel 24:27 and Ezekiel 33:22 - which cover the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon (typifying Satan) in 587 BC (even though the 70 year Babylonian captivity began in 609 BC and ended on 539 BC)  and spiritually represent the end of the era of the church age, which lasted 1955 years (from May 22, 33 AD on the Day of Pentecost to  May 21, 1988, the day before Pentecost). I’ll read both chapters as they are so very important:


Please note how God utilizes the death of Ezekiel’s wife in this historical parable to typify national Israel, whom God was married to. Moreover God solemnly commanded Ezekiel not to mourn for his wife in any way, to underscore that nobody was to mourn over the loss of Jerusalem and Judah (again representing the churches and denominations that came under the wrath of God) which God Himself orchestrated: “ Again in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth [day] of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {2} Son of man, write thee the name of the day, [even] of this same day: the king of Babylon set himself against Jerusalem this same day. {3} And utter a parable unto the rebellious house, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Set on a pot, set [it] on, and also pour water into it: {4} Gather the pieces thereof into it, [even] every good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder; fill [it] with the choice bones. {5} Take the choice of the flock, and burn also the bones under it, [and] make it boil well, and let them seethe the bones of it therein. {6} Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum [is] therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece; let no lot fall upon it. {7} For her blood is in the midst of her; she set it upon the top of a rock; she poured it not upon the ground, to cover it with dust; {8} That it might cause fury to come up to take vengeance; I have set her blood upon the top of a rock, that it should not be covered. {9} Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great. {10} Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned. {11} Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and [that] the filthiness of it may be molten in it, [that] the scum of it may be consumed. {12} She hath wearied [herself] with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum [shall be] in the fire. {13} In thy filthiness [is] lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee. {14} I the LORD have spoken [it]: it shall come to pass, and I will do [it]; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD. {15} Also the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {16} Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. {17} Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not [thy] lips, and eat not the bread of men. {18} So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded. {19} And the people said unto me, Wilt thou not tell us what these [things are] to us, that thou doest [so]? {20} Then I answered them, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {21} Speak unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword. {22} And ye shall do as I have done: ye shall not cover [your] lips, nor eat the bread of men. {23} And your tires [shall be] upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet: ye shall not mourn nor weep; but ye shall pine away for your iniquities, and mourn one toward another. {24} Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I [am] the Lord GOD. {25} Also, thou son of man, [shall it] not [be] in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their minds, their sons and their daughters, {26} [That] he that escapeth in that day shall come unto thee, to cause [thee] to hear [it] with [thine] ears?{27} In that day shall thy mouth [peh:H6310] be opened [pathach:H6605] to him which is escaped, and thou shalt speak, and be no more dumb: and thou shalt be a sign unto them; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.” [Yehovah:H3068] 


One finds a similar warning in Ezekiel 33, paralleling God’s mandate for His people to alert the world of His impending judgment during the period of the “latter rain” (1994 - 2011) until May 21, 2011: “ Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {2} Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: {3} If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; {4} Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. {5} He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. {6} But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take [any] person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. {7} So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. {8} When I say unto the wicked, O wicked [man], thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. {9} Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. {10} Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins [be] upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? {11} Say unto them, [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? {12} Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his [righteousness] in the day that he sinneth. {13} When I shall say to the righteous, [that] he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. {14} Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; {15} [If] the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. {16} None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. {17} Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. {18} When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. {19} But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. {20} Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways. {21} And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth [month], in the fifth [day] of the month, [that] one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten. {22} Now the hand of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] was upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came; and had opened [pathach:H6605] my mouth [peh:H6310], until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth [peh:H6310]  was opened [pathach:H6605], and I was no more dumb. {23} Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {24} Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we [are] many; the land is given us for inheritance. {25} Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land? {26} Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour's wife: and shall ye possess the land? {27} Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; [As] I live, surely they that [are] in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that [is] in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that [be] in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. {28} For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. {29} Then shall they know that I [am] the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed. {30} Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. {31} And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee [as] my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, [but] their heart goeth after their covetousness. {32} And, lo, thou [art] unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. {33} And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.”


In these two chapters we read that Ezekiel is “made dumb” (or “silenced”) by God - just like Balaam’s donkey by creation was designed to not speak intelligibly - and then at a later point, under God’s direction, Ezekiel is commanded to speak again. This is based on what we learn back in Ezekiel 3:26-27,


And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they [are] a rebellious house. {27} But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they [are] a rebellious house.”


What Have I Done [`asah:H6213] Unto Thee That Thou Hast Smitten Me [nakah:H5221]


The next phrase that we want to search out in Numbers 22:28 is: “...What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten…” which contains two expressions that appear together in 39 other passages, and we’ll visit a few of them. The contexts in which these terms appear are varied and include the following primarily:


  • God’s promise to not smite the earth any more.
  • The plagues associated with Egypt.
  • The “smiting” of the rock in Horeb.
  • The conquest of the various heathen nations in the land of Canaan led by Joshua.
  • The wicked sons of Eli - Hophni and Phineas - and their evil ways.
  • The encounter with David and Goliath.
  • David’s sin in numbering Israel, and the ensuing plague.
  • The Jews who fought against their enemies in the book of Esther.
  • The maltreatment of Jeremiah for his stance to surrender “to the Babylonians.”


Here then are some of those citations:


Genesis 8:21 acknowledges, “And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart [is] evil from his youth; neither will I again smite [nakah:H5221] any more every thing living, as I have done.” [`asah:H6213] 


Exodus 3:20 declares “And I will stretch out my hand, and smite [nakah:H5221]

Egypt with all my wonders which I will do [`asah:H6213] in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.”


Exodus 17:6 reveals, “Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite [nakah:H5221] the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did [`asah:H6213] so in the sight of the elders of Israel.”


Joshua 10:39 records: “And he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote [nakah:H5221] them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that [were] therein; he left none remaining: as he had done [`asah:H6213] to Hebron, so he did [`asah:H6213]  to Debir, and to the king thereof; as he had done [`asah:H6213]  also to Libnah, and to her king.”


1 Samuel 2:14 states: And he struck [nakah:H5221] [it] into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did [`asah:H6213] in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither.”


1 Samuel 17:26 recounts, “And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done [`asah:H6213] to the man that killeth [nakah:H5221] this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who [is] this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”


2 Samuel 24:17 maintains, “And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote [nakah:H5221] the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? [`asah:H6213]  let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father's house.”


Esther 9:5 affirms, “Thus the Jews smote [nakah:H5221] all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did [`asah:H6213]  what they would unto those that hated them.”


Lastly Jeremiah 37:15 notes: “Wherefore the princes were wroth with Jeremiah, and smote [nakah:H5221] him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe: for they had made [`asah:H6213]  that the prison.”


These Three [shawlosh:H7969] Times [regel:H7272]


The last two terms in verse 28, “these three” and “times” are repeated in verses 32 and 33, and are only found together - with respect to time - in Exodus 23:14-17, in which they surface in verse 14:


Numbers 22:28 and 32 teach: “And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three [shawlosh:H7969] times [regel:H7272]? ... {32} And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three [shawlosh:H7969] times  [regel:H7272]? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because [thy] way is perverse before me:” 


And Exodus 23:14-17 maintains, Three [shawlosh:H7969]  times [regel:H7272] thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. {15} Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) {16} And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, [which is] in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. {17} Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.”


Numbers 22:29


Continuing on in verse 29 we read:


“And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.”


Said [’amar:H559] Unto The Ass [’athown:H860]


The two terms, “said,” and “unto the ass” which are also found in verses 28-30, and 32, are only found together in three other accounts:


  • The first one has to do with Saul’s father’s asses that were “lost” in 1 Samuel 9:3 and 5; and 10:2, 14 and 16, 


And the asses [’athown:H860] of Kish Saul's father were lost. And Kish said [’amar:H559] to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses [’athown:H860]. ... {5} [And] when they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said [’amar:H559]  to his servant that [was] with him, Come, and let us return; lest my father leave [caring] for the asses [’athown:H860], and take thought for us….{10:2} When thou art departed from me to day, then thou shalt find two men by Rachel's sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say unto thee [’amar:H559], The asses [’athown:H860] which thou wentest to seek are found: and, lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses [’athown:H860], and sorroweth for you, saying [’amar:H559], What shall I do for my son? ... {14} And Saul's uncle said unto him and to his servant, Whither went ye? And he said [’amar:H559], To seek the asses [’athown:H860]: and when we saw that [they were] no where, we came to Samuel. ... {16} And Saul said [’amar:H559]  unto his uncle, He told us plainly that the asses [’athown:H860] were found. But of the matter of the kingdom, whereof Samuel spake [’amar:H559], he told him not.”


  • The second reference is found in the historical parable of 2 Kings 4:16-28 regarding the death of the son of the Shunammite woman, in which these two words surface in verses 22 and 24:


“And he [Elisha] said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, [thou] man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid. {17} And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life. {18} And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. {19} And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. {20} And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and [then] died. {21} And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut [the door] upon him, and went out. {22} And she called unto her husband, and said [’amar:H559], Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses [’athown:H860] , that I may run to the man of God, and come again. {23} And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? [it is] neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, [It shall be] well. {24} Then she saddled an ass [’athown:H860], and said [’amar:H559] to her servant, Drive, and go forward; slack not [thy] riding for me, except I bid [’amar:H559] thee. {25} So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, [yonder is] that Shunammite: {26} Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, [Is it] well with thee? [is it] well with thy husband? [is it] well with the child? And she answered, [It is] well. {27} And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul [is] vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid [it] from me, and hath not told me. {28} Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me?”


  • The third narrative is in Job 1:13-21, and these two terms are found in verse 14:


“And there was a day when his sons and his daughters [were] eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: {14} And there came a messenger unto Job, and said [’athown:H860], The oxen were plowing, and the asses [’athown:H860]  feeding beside them: {15} And the Sabeans fell [upon them], and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. {16} While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. {17} While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. {18} While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters [were] eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: {19} And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. {20} Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, {21} And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”


At this point I’m not quite sure of the relationship that these other passages have to Balaam’s donkey, but at the very minimum we see that in two of them, there is a definite correlation with death and judgment. 


Because Thou Hast Mocked Me [`alal:H5953] ...For Now Would I Kill Thee [harag:H2026]


The next two English phrases that I would like to investigate are actually two Hebrew words: “Because thou hast mocked me” and  “for now would I kill thee” (I’m going to skip over the phrase, “I would there were a sword in mine hand,” as we have already examined the words, “sword” and “hand” in some of our earlier lessons.) “Because thou hast mocked me” and  “for now would I kill thee” only appear again together in Lamentations 2:20, as “to whom thou hast done” and “be slain;” I’ll read the entire chapter for the sake of the context:


In Lamentations 2:1-22,  “How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, [and] cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger! {2} The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought [them] down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof. {3} He hath cut off in [his] fierce anger all the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, [which] devoureth round about. {4} He hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all [that were] pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire. {5} The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation. {6} And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as [if it were of] a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest. {7} The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast. {8} The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together. {9} Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes [are] among the Gentiles: the law [is] no [more]; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD. {10} The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, [and] keep silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground. {11} Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city. {12} They say to their mothers, Where [is] corn and wine? when they swooned as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul was poured out into their mothers' bosom. {13} What thing shall I take to witness for thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach [is] great like the sea: who can heal thee? {14} Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee: and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment. {15} All that pass by clap [their] hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, [saying, Is] this the city that [men] call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth? {16} All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they hiss and gnash the teeth: they say, We have swallowed [her] up: certainly this [is] the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen [it]. {17} The LORD hath done [that] which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word that he had commanded in the days of old: he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: and he hath caused [thine] enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries. {18} Their heart cried unto the Lord, O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease. {19} Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street. {20} Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom thou hast done [`alal:H5953] this. Shall the women eat their fruit, [and] children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet be slain  [harag:H2026] in the sanctuary of the Lord? {21} The young and the old lie on the ground in the streets: my virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword; thou hast slain [them] in the day of thine anger; thou hast killed, [and] not pitied. {22} Thou hast called as in a solemn day my terrors round about, so that in the day of the LORD'S anger none escaped nor remained: those that I have swaddled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed.”


The term, “because thou hast mocked me” or “to whom thou hast done” as we just read, is an interesting word (`alal:H5953). It is a word that is found 20 times, and yet is translated 10 different ways, so it is indeed “pregnant” with meaning. For this reason, I would like to take a closer look at it in our next study, along with verses 30 and 32-34.


Summary


To recapitulate, today we concentrated our focus on verses 28-29, and as a result we learned the following:


  1. The three Hebrew words in verse 28,  “And the LORD opened the mouth” of the donkey - relates to Ezekiel who was “made dumb” and later God opened his mouth to declare the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem (typifying the end-time institutional churches and denominations) in Ezekiel 24:27 and Ezekiel 33:22


  1. The second group of Hebrew terms in verse 28, “What have I done unto thee,” and  “that thou hast smitten me,” is the donkey’s response to Balaam’s “beatings,” in which these two expressions are found within the contexts of various judgments, and one of those is the maltreatment of Jeremiah for his stance to surrender to the Babylonians, which consisted of him being beaten and thrown into prison in Jeremiah 37:15.   


  1. The last two Hebrew words in verse 28, “these three times” are only found together in connection with “time” regarding the three feasts that God commanded the Israelites to keep during the year in verse 14 of Exodus 23:14-17.


  1. The next two terms, “said” and “unto the ass” in verse 29 is found in three other passages that either relate to asses being “lost” (1 Samuel 9: 3 and 5; and 10:2, 14 and 16) or death and destruction (2 Kings 4:22 and 24; and Job 1:14)


  1. The last  two expressions that we considered in verse 29 today are: “Because thou hast mocked me” and  “for now would I kill thee,” only surface together in Lamentations 2:20, where they are translated as “to whom thou hast done” and “be slain.” 


Please join us for our Q & A at 5:30 PM (PDT)/8:30 PM (EDT), if you have any questions about today’s study or if anything was unclear to you. You may post  a comment or ask an unrelated question as well.

Also, at 7:30 PM (PDT)/10:30 PM (EDT) we will have our thematic Bible reading in both the Old and New Testaments for 30 minutes, entitled “Think On These Things.”



2 Peter 2 - Part 28

May 20, 2018


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {10} But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {12} But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; {13} And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; {14} Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: {15} Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”


We are continuing our examination of Numbers 22, as we were directed by God in 2 Peter 2:15-16 to go here to discover what we can about Balaam and his donkey. In our last study, we began looking at verse 29, and I mentioned that before proceeding on to verses 30, and 32-34, we would take a closer look at the term, “because thou hast mocked me” in verse 29, which I’ll read again:


“And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.”


Because Thou Hast Mocked Me [`alal:H5953] 


I stated previously that this word H5953 is only found 20 times, and yet it is translated in 10 different ways, so let’s consider some of them:


Leviticus 19:10 offers this instruction for how the Israelites were to treat the “poor and stranger,” who along with another group - “widows” - typify the elect spiritually, reminding us of Ruth the Moabitess (also typifying the elect), as she gleaned wheat in Boaz’s (representing Christ) fields; it is rendered as “And thou shalt not glean”: And thou shalt not glean [`alal:H5953] thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather [every] grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I [am] the LORD your God.”


Jeremiah 6:9 similarly utilizes this term, “glean” twice for emphasis, as it refers to the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the Babylonians (exemplifying Satan’s kingdom), and spiritually points to God’s wrath which “...must begin at the house of God” (according to 1 Peter 4:17) - pointing once again to the churches and denominations that God abandoned, worldwide, and without exception: “O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction. {2} I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate [woman]. {3} The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch [their] tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place. {4} Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. {5} Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces. {6} For thus hath the LORD of hosts said, Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this [is] the city to be visited; she [is] wholly oppression in the midst of her. {7} As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually [is] grief and wounds. {8} Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited. {9} Thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall throughly [`alal:H5953] glean [`alal:H5953] the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets.”


In Isaiah 3:1-12 we find yet another reference to the “end of the church age,” in which this term is rendered as “children”: “For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread [exemplifying the “Bread of Life”], and the whole stay of water [pointing to the “Water of Life”], {2} The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, {3} The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. {4} And I will give children [to be] their princes, and babes shall rule over them. {5} And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable. {6} When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, [saying], Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and [let] this ruin [be] under thy hand: {7} In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house [is] neither bread [exemplifying the “Bread of Life”] nor clothing [typifying Christ’s righteousness]: make me not a ruler of the people. {8} For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings [are] against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory. {9} The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide [it] not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves. {10} Say ye to the righteous, that [it shall be] well [with him]: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. {11} Woe unto the wicked! [it shall be] ill [with him]: for the reward of his hands shall be given him. {12} [As for] my people, children [`alal:H5953] [are] their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause [thee] to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”


Lamentations 3:43-51 likewise paints the identical picture of God’s wrath against His corporate people - Judah and Jerusalem in the historical context, and the New Testament churches and denominations spiritually - the first and second external representations of the Kingdom of God on earth, if you will; this word is expressed in verse 51 as “affecteth”: “Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied. {44} Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that [our] prayer should not pass through. {45} Thou hast made us [as] the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people. {46} All our enemies have opened their mouths against us. {47} Fear and a snare is come upon us, desolation and destruction. {48} Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. {49} Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission, {50} Till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven. {51} Mine eye affecteth [`alal:H5953] mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.”


In Judges 19:25 this term is translated as “and abused” in this historical parable that portrays the death of the end-time institutional churches and denominations: “But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused [`alal:H5953] her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.”


Psalm 141:4 renders this expression as, “to practise”: “Incline not my heart to [any] evil thing, to practise [`alal:H5953] wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.”


Lastly, Job 16:15 presents the Lord Jesus Christ - represented by Job - under the wrath of God in the Atonement that occurred prior to Creation: “I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and defiled [`alal:H5953] my horn in the dust.”




Numbers 22:30


Let’s move on to Numbers 22:30, and the donkey’s second reply to Balaam: 


“And the ass said unto Balaam, [Am] not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since [I was] thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.”


We have already considered the words, “ass” and “Balaam,” in our previous studies, so let’s investigate the term, “upon which thou hast ridden” which is one Hebrew word:


Upon Which Thou Hast Ridden [rakab:H7392]


This is the same word that also appears in Numbers 22:22, and translated as, “now he was riding,”


“And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding [rakab:H7392] upon his ass, and his two servants [were] with him.”


Here are a few other illustrations of these two words “riding” (rakab:H7392) and our word, “ass” (’athown:H860 - a female donkey) as they are found together:


Zechariah 9:9 gloriously proclaims: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding [rakab:H7392] upon an ass [’athown:H860 - a female donkey], and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”


Judges 5:10 states, “Speak, ye that ride [rakab:H7392] on white asses [’athown:H860 - a female donkey], ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way.”


And 2 Kings 4:24 records the actions of the Shunammite woman: “Then she saddled an ass [’athown:H860 - a female donkey], and said to her servant, Drive, and go forward; slack not [thy] riding [rakab:H7392] for me, except I bid thee.”


Ever Since [I Was] Thine Unto This Day [yowm:H3117]


Let’s read Numbers 22:30 again: “And the ass said unto Balaam, [Am] not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since [I was] thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.”


What particular “day” is in view that prompted Balaam’s donkey to act in the seeming reckless manner in which she did? In order to ascertain this, we are aided by recollecting what we learned in some of our previous lessons regarding the three (pointing to the “purpose of God”) “locations” where the “angel of the LORD,” was positioned, as they each served to motivate Balaam’s donkey to take a particular course of action, thus avoiding the imminent danger that God enabled her to perceive in the historical narrative: 


Numbers 22:23 “...Standing [natsab:H5324] In The Way [derek:H1870]…”


In Number 22:23 we learn: “And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing [natsab:H5324] in the way [derek:H1870], and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field [a portrait of the world - “The field is the world…” - Matthew 13:38a]: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.”


We discovered that these two terms only appear in verse 2 of Proverbs 8:1-2 and Jeremiah 31:21 respectively:


“Doth not wisdom [Christ] - 1 Corinthians 1:24 - [“The Wisdom of God”] cry? and understanding put forth her voice? {2} She standeth [natsab:H5324] in the top of high places, by the way [derek:H1870] in the places of the paths.


Set thee up [natsab:H5324] waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, [even] the way [derek:H1870] [which] thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities. 


Proverbs 8 is extolling “Wisdom” - a personification of the Lord Jesus Christ -  who is called the “Wisdom of God” in 1 Corinthians 1:24,


“But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.


We have also understood that Proverbs 8 reveals a marvelous portrait of the Lord Jesus, as the “...Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8) and “...the firstborn from the dead...” (Colossians 1:18). This new insight into the Atonement has taken place in our day.


Additionally, the latter part of Jeremiah 31:31-34 also coincides with the “Latter Rain” and the completion of the Body of Christ, as well as the culmination of the Great Commission on May 21, 2011 (as Matthew 24:14 records):


Jeremiah 31:31-34,“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: {32} Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: {33} But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. {34} And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”


Consequently, the two words in Numbers 22:23 - “standing in the way” is reference to the “latter rain” and the “day of judgment.”


Numbers 22:24 “...Stood [`amad:H5975] In A Path [mish`owl:H4934] Of The Vineyards [kerem:H3754]…”


The next “location” where the “angel of the LORD” is mentioned is in Numbers 22:24; these three terms only appear together in this passage.


“But the angel of the LORD stood [`amad:H5975] in a path [mish`owl:H4934] of the vineyards [kerem:H3754], a wall [being] on this side, and a wall on that side.”


An enormous clue in helping us to see what God has in mind in this phrase is the expression, “of the vineyards” which points to national Israel historically, who came under God’s judgment, and its spiritual successor, the New Testament churches and denominations, whom God abandoned altogether. This is clearly seen in Isaiah 5:1, 3-4, 5, 7, and 10 in which this term surfaces seven times:


“Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. [kerem:H3754] My wellbeloved hath a vineyard [kerem:H3754] in a very fruitful hill: ... {3} And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. [kerem:H3754] {4} What could have been done more to my vineyard, [kerem:H3754] that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? {5} And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: [kerem:H3754] I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; [and] break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: ... {7} For the vineyard [kerem:H3754] of the LORD of hosts [is] the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry… {10} Yea, ten acres of vineyard [kerem:H3754] shall yield one bath, and the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah.”


So the parabolic thrust of  Numbers 22:24 concerns national Israel (i.e., “the vineyard”) that was the first external representation of the Kingdom of God on earth, and God was married to the entire nation, but because of their spiritual harlotry, God divorced them; and the divorce took effect, when Christ hung on the Cross, and the veil of the Temple was rent from top to bottom, as we read in Mark 15:38, exposing the Holy of Holies,


“And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.” 


This extraordinary event signalled three monumental repercussions: 


  1. The Jews were no longer God’s “chosen people,” (except for the elect Jews). 
  2. The Temple was no longer “holy.” 
  3. The city of Jerusalem was no longer “holy.”


Therefore, the three words in Numbers 22:24 - “stood in a path of the vineyards” is a  reference to national Israel.



Numbers 22:26, “... And Stood [`amad:H5975] In A Narrow [tsar:H6862] Place [maqowm:H4725]…”


Let’s proceed to the final “location” in which the “angel of the LORD” manifested Himself in Numbers 22:26, which asserts,


“And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood [`amad:H5975] in a narrow [tsar:H6862]  place [maqowm:H4725], where [was] no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.”


I mentioned in Part 25 that these three terms surface in only three verses - 2 Kings 6:1, Hosea 5:15, and Isaiah 49:20. However. In looking at this word, “in a narrow” (tsar:H6862) more carefully, I discovered that it is primarily rendered as “enemy” or “adversary,” as these next references highlight:


Most notably, we read of of one of Balaam’s prophecies concerning Israel in Numbers 24:8, in which this is translated as “his enemies”: “God brought him [Israel - representing the “elect”] forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, [tsar:H6862] and shall break their bones, and pierce [them] through with his arrows.”


In Deuteronomy 4:30, it is rendered as “When thou art in tribulation”: When thou art in tribulation, [tsar:H6862] and all these things are come upon thee, [even] in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;”


We have considered Joshua 5:13 before, in which this word is expressed as “adversaries,” prior to the battle of Jericho, which points parabolically God’s end-time judgment program:  “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, [Art] thou for us, or for our adversaries?” [tsar:H6862]


Likewise, 1 Samuel 2:32 records the “end of the church age” spiritually: “And thou shalt see an enemy [tsar:H6862] [in my] habitation, in all [the wealth] which [God] shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever.


The “enemy” is view in these verses is is of course Satan, whom God allowed to infiltrate and rule in the institutional churches and denominations, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4,


“Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin [Satan] be revealed, the son of perdition; {4} Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.


In Esther 7:6, Haman (representing Satan) wants to destroy all the Jews (who picture the elect); this word is expressed as “the adversary”: “And Esther said, The adversary [(’iysh:H376) (tsar:H6862)] and enemy [is] this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.”


Job 19:11 is highly significant as Job’s name (he represents Christ) signifies “enemy”: “He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as [one of] his enemies.” [tsar:H6862]


In Proverbs 23:27, it is translated as “[is] a narrow”: “For a whore [is] a deep ditch; and a strange woman [is] a narrow [tsar:H6862] pit.”


Isaiah 63:18 likewise renders this term as “our adversaries”: “The people of thy holiness have possessed [it] but a little while: our adversaries [tsar:H6862] have trodden down thy sanctuary.”


Lamentations 1:10 and 17 also render this as “adversary/-ies”: “The adversary [tsar:H6862] hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen [that] the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command [that] they should not enter into thy congregation. {17} Zion spreadeth forth her hands, [and there is] none to comfort her: the LORD hath commanded concerning Jacob, [that] his adversaries [tsar:H6862] [should be] round about him: Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them.” 


Lamentations 2:4 and 17 similarly record: “He hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary [tsar:H6862]... {17} The LORD hath done [that] which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word that he had commanded in the days of old: he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: and he hath caused [thine] enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries.” [tsar:H6862]


Lastly, Lamentations 4:12 affirms, “The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary [tsar:H6862] and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.”


We note from the foregoing references that what is predominantly in view is God’s judgment upon His own house first, as we read in 1 Peter 4:17-18,


“For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? {18} And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”


Therefore we can conclude that the three words, “...and stood in a narrow place…” in Numbers 22:26 is a reference to the Great Tribulation, and the “falling away” of the churches and denominations.


Taking in consideration all three of these “locations” in Numbers 22 - verses 23, 24, and 26 - we can understand them to exemplify the following three “times and seasons”:


  1. The “latter rain” and the “day of judgment” 
  2. National Israel whom God divorced.
  3. God’s judgment on the churches and denominations.   



Summary:


Today we considered the following:


  • The term in Numbers 22:29, “because thou hast mocked me” (`alal:H5953) has a number of mainly negative connotations related to judgment, and a few positive ones.
  • In Numbers 22:30 we examined the terms, “upon which thou hast ridden” (rakab:H7392) and “ass” (’athown:H860) and we noted that this word, “ass” refers to a female donkey. Keep that in mind as it will help us to later uncover the spiritual import of both Balaam and his donkey.
  • We also took a closer look at the three accounts in which the “angel of the LORD” appeared unto the donkey, and discovered that in each instance, a particular “time and season” was is view, namely:


  • The “latter rain” and the “day of judgment” 
  • National Israel whom God divorced.
  • God’s judgment on the churches and denominations.  


Lord willing, in our next study we will finish up verse 30 and begin to investigate verses 32-34. 


Please join us for our Q & A at 5:30 PM (PDT)/8:30 PM (EDT), if you have any questions about today’s study or if anything was unclear to you. You may post  a comment or ask an unrelated question as well.

Also, at 7:30 PM (PDT)/10:30 PM (EDT) we will have our thematic Bible reading in both the Old and New Testaments for 30 minutes, entitled “Think On These Things.”