Balak-2: Blessings to Israel. Proofs concerning the Lost Ten Tribes
Contents in Alphabetical Order
|Contents by Subject|
To Hear a Talk based on the Text below:
The Midrash says:
##And you find that Israel will not be redeemed until they become one unity, as it says,
[Jeremiah 3:18] IN THOSE DAYS THE HOUSE OF JUDAH SHALL GO UNTO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, AND THEY SHALL COME TOGETHER OUT OF THE LAND OF THE NORTH TO THE LAND THAT I HAVE GIVEN FOR AN INHERITANCE UNTO YOUR FATHERS.
Only when they are one unity will they merit receiving the Divine Presence.##
Tanchuma, Nitzavim, 1;18
In order to curse Israel Balaam needed to separate Jacob from Israel meaning to create a division between Judah and the Ten Tribes. He succeeded in part or at least what he intended to do did come to pass later.
The Separation of Judah from Joseph in some respects is a curse.
It is a bad thing in itself.
It may be that in certain circumstances Judah and Joseph should not link up. We find cases where Judah was warned not to co-operate with Israel, e.g.
[2-Chronicles 20:37] THEN ELIEZER THE SON OF DODAVAH OF MARESHAH PROPHESIED AGAINST JEHOSHAPHAT, SAYING, BECAUSE THOU HAST JOINED THYSELF WITH AHAZIAH, THE LORD HATH BROKEN THY WORKS. AND THE SHIPS WERE BROKEN, THAT THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO GO TO TARSHISH.
The Division between Judah and the Ten Tribes had been intended by Divine Providence for the sake of the Israelites themselves and of mankind in general.
#The Divine Purpose for the Exile and Division of the Tribes#
Nevertheless, in general the union of the two entities is desirable in principle and we should want it to take place.
[Numbers 23:8] HOW SHALL I CURSE, WHOM GOD HATH NOT CURSED? OR HOW SHALL I DEFY, WHOM THE LORD HATH NOT DEFIED?
[Numbers 23:9] FOR FROM THE TOP OF THE ROCKS I SEE HIM, AND FROM THE HILLS I BEHOLD HIM: LO, THE PEOPLE SHALL DWELL ALONE, AND SHALL NOT BE RECKONED AMONG THE NATIONS.
Alone and not with other peoples, not subject to the same limitations as they are
but above them though bearing heavier responsibilities.
[Numbers 23:10] WHO CAN COUNT THE DUST OF JACOB, AND THE NUMBER OF THE FOURTH PART OF ISRAEL? LET ME DIE THE DEATH OF THE RIGHTEOUS, AND LET MY LAST END BE LIKE HIS!
Innumerous people, very very many.
# THE FOURTH PART. Hebrew "rova" also connoting offspring.
[Numbers 23:23] SURELY THERE IS NO ENCHANTMENT AGAINST JACOB,
NEITHER IS THERE ANY DIVINATION AGAINST ISRAEL: ACCORDING TO THIS TIME IT SHALL
BE SAID OF JACOB AND OF ISRAEL, WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT!
#NO ENCHANTMENT AGAINST JACOB# [lo Nachash beYaacov] may also be interpreted as saying "there is no witchcraft in Jacob".
The source of our strength is from the Almighty. We should remember this and not give cognizance to lesser powers and elements.
If we cling to God we do not have to fear witchcraft, evil eye, spiritualism, voodoo, etc. A lot of superstitions may have something in them though some claim they are all gimmicks etc.
This also applies to psychological complexes and traumas.
Whatever the case we should cling to the Almighty and disregard other powers whether real or not.
#WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT# Certain things are decreed and will happen no matter what anybody does.
[Numbers 23:24] BEHOLD, THE PEOPLE SHALL RISE UP AS A GREAT LION, AND LIFT UP HIMSELF AS A YOUNG LION: HE SHALL NOT LIE DOWN UNTIL HE EAT OF THE PREY, AND DRINK THE BLOOD OF THE SLAIN.
Here we have Israel likened to a lion; above Israel was likened to a unicorn. The lion and the unicorn feature on the British national coat of arms as the official symbol of Britain. The Jews are also symbolized by a lion.
[Numbers 23:25] AND BALAK SAID UNTO BALAAM, NEITHER CURSE THEM AT ALL, NOR BLESS THEM AT ALL.
It works both ways. In Proverbs it says that the kindness of a wicked person is cruel. A RIGHTEOUS MAN REGARDETH THE LIFE OF HIS BEAST: BUT THE TENDER MERCIES OF THE WICKED ARE CRUEL [Proverbs 12:10].
Sometimes it is better not to have anything to do with a bad person even if you think you can benefit from associating with him or her.
[Numbers 23:26] BUT BALAAM ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO BALAK, TOLD NOT I THEE, SAYING, ALL THAT THE LORD SPEAKETH, THAT I MUST DO?
[Numbers 23:27] AND BALAK SAID UNTO BALAAM, COME, I PRAY THEE, I WILL BRING THEE UNTO ANOTHER PLACE; PERADVENTURE IT WILL PLEASE GOD THAT THOU MAYEST CURSE ME THEM FROM THENCE.
[Numbers 23:28] AND BALAK BROUGHT BALAAM UNTO THE TOP OF PEOR, THAT LOOKETH TOWARD JESHIMON.
PEOR means #exposure# even indecent exposure or the act of excretion.
JESHIMON is another term for wilderness especially a wild untamed bleakish wilderness. The names used in this portion are those of the places concerned but they also hint at aspects of existence that Balaam and Balak wished to exploit in order to curse Israel.
[Numbers 23:29] AND BALAAM SAID UNTO BALAK, BUILD ME HERE SEVEN ALTARS, AND PREPARE ME HERE SEVEN BULLOCKS AND SEVEN RAMS.
[Numbers 23:30] AND BALAK DID AS BALAAM HAD SAID, AND OFFERED A BULLOCK AND A RAM ON EVERY ALTAR.
[Numbers 24:1] AND WHEN BALAAM SAW THAT IT PLEASED THE LORD TO BLESS ISRAEL, HE WENT NOT, AS AT OTHER TIMES, TO SEEK FOR ENCHANTMENTS, BUT HE SET HIS FACE TOWARD THE WILDERNESS.
[Numbers 24:2] AND BALAAM LIFTED UP HIS EYES, AND HE SAW ISRAEL ABIDING IN HIS TENTS ACCORDING TO THEIR TRIBES; AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD CAME UPON HIM.
There is a very deep implication here. He saw Israel encamped ACCORDING TO THEIR TRIBES and then received Divine Inspiration!
The Importance of Israelite Unity
The Commentary Nativot Shalom (Rabbi Shalom Noach Berezovsky of Slonim 1911-2000):
#HE SAW ISRAEL ABIDING IN HIS TENTS ACCORDING TO THEIR TRIBES; AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD CAME UPON HIM. He saw Israel united, together, dwelling according to their tribes, as one entity with one heart. Obviously Balaam lacked the strength to disconnect them from cleaving to the Almighty. This is as the Righteous Ones tell us that the pathway to loving God is through Love of Israel. Jews [i.e. Israelites in general, ed.] should love each other as it says, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF [Leviticus 19:18]. By Israelites dwelling in unity with love and amity to each other they achieve love of the Almighty. This is the strength that binds the Jew to God Almighty!....Even after the MOST SERIOUS OF TRANGRESSIONS the Israelites have the option of purification through connecting to the source of purity by uniting together?#
[Numbers 24:8] GOD BROUGHT HIM FORTH OUT OF EGYPT; HE HATH AS IT
WERE THE STRENGTH OF AN UNICORN: HE SHALL EAT UP THE NATIONS HIS ENEMIES, AND
SHALL BREAK THEIR BONES, AND PIERCE THEM THROUGH WITH HIS ARROWS.
A mighty nation defeating all its enemies. There is hardly a nation in the world that at some stage or other was not defeated in battle by Britain and/or the USA. Again we have the symbol of the Unicorn. The Midrash (Numbers Rabah 2;7) says that the unicorn is the symbol of Manasseh. It is true that the unicorn is now part of the symbolic coat of arms of the UK but they derived it from Scotland which has two unicorns on its standard. The USA is dominated by Manasseh. Is the above verse hinting that Manasseh (symbolized by the unicorn) would end up being the most powerful tribe?
Be the Dominant World Power
[Numbers 24:9] HE COUCHED, HE LAY DOWN AS A LION, AND AS A GREAT LION: WHO SHALL STIR HIM UP? BLESSED IS HE THAT BLESSETH THEE, AND CURSED IS HE THAT CURSETH THEE.
Again a lion. Lion and unicorn = symbols of Britain.
A Blessing to Others
Light to the Nations
[Numbers 24:10] AND BALAK'S ANGER WAS KINDLED AGAINST BALAAM, AND
HE SMOTE HIS HANDS TOGETHER: AND BALAK SAID UNTO BALAAM, I CALLED THEE TO CURSE
MINE ENEMIES, AND, BEHOLD, THOU HAST ALTOGETHER BLESSED THEM THESE THREE
[Numbers 24:11] THEREFORE NOW FLEE THOU TO THY PLACE: I THOUGHT TO PROMOTE THEE UNTO GREAT HONOUR; BUT, LO, THE LORD HATH KEPT THEE BACK FROM HONOUR.
[Numbers 24:12] AND BALAAM SAID UNTO BALAK, SPAKE I NOT ALSO TO THY MESSENGERS WHICH THOU SENTEST UNTO ME, SAYING,
[Numbers 24:13] IF BALAK WOULD GIVE ME HIS HOUSE FULL OF SILVER AND GOLD, I CANNOT GO BEYOND THE COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD, TO DO EITHER GOOD OR BAD OF MINE OWN MIND; BUT WHAT THE LORD SAITH, THAT WILL I SPEAK?
[Numbers 24:14] AND NOW, BEHOLD, I GO UNTO MY PEOPLE: COME THEREFORE, AND I WILL ADVERTISE THEE WHAT THIS PEOPLE SHALL DO TO THY PEOPLE IN THE LATTER DAYS.
[Numbers 24:15] AND HE TOOK UP HIS PARABLE, AND SAID, BALAAM THE SON OF BEOR HATH SAID, AND THE MAN WHOSE EYES ARE OPEN HATH SAID:
In Hebrew the words translated as #WHOSE EYES ARE OPEN# (Satoom Ha-Ayin] can also be rendered as #having a blind eye#. Odin the Nordic god also had only one eye. He had sacrificed the other eye in order to obtain the knowledge of magic.
[Numbers 24:16] HE HATH SAID, WHICH HEARD THE WORDS OF GOD, AND KNEW THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE MOST HIGH, WHICH SAW THE VISION OF THE ALMIGHTY, FALLING INTO A TRANCE, BUT HAVING HIS EYES OPEN:
[Numbers 24:17] I SHALL SEE HIM, BUT NOT NOW: I SHALL BEHOLD HIM, BUT NOT NIGH: THERE SHALL COME A STAR OUT OF JACOB, AND A SCEPTRE SHALL RISE OUT OF ISRAEL, AND SHALL SMITE THE CORNERS OF MOAB, AND DESTROY ALL THE CHILDREN OF SHETH.
Who is Moab today? One of the European nations? Bavaria? Austria? Poland? Lithuania? Latvia? Ukraine? Part of the population of Japan?
#Children of Seth# is explained to mean all of mankind. Seth was a son of Adam and Eve. I would look for an alternative explanation.
[Numbers 24:18] AND EDOM SHALL BE A POSSESSION, SEIR ALSO SHALL BE A POSSESSION FOR HIS ENEMIES; AND ISRAEL SHALL DO VALIANTLY.
Edom and Seir are usually taken to be different names for the same entity. This is explained to mean that Israel will inherit the territory of Edom. It could also mean that Israel will inherit the power and position of Edom. Much of the non-Israelite world and part of the Israelite one is in control of elite groups partially descended from Edomites.
Only the seed of Joseph is capable of defeating Edom and they have proven themselves capable of that.
Joseph Defeats Esau
[Numbers 24:19] OUT OF JACOB SHALL COME HE THAT SHALL HAVE
DOMINION, AND SHALL DESTROY HIM THAT REMAINETH OF THE CITY.
[Numbers 24:20] AND WHEN HE LOOKED ON AMALEK, HE TOOK UP HIS PARABLE, AND SAID, AMALEK WAS THE FIRST OF THE NATIONS; BUT HIS LATTER END SHALL BE THAT HE PERISH FOR EVER.
[Numbers 24:21] AND HE LOOKED ON THE KENITES, AND TOOK UP HIS PARABLE, AND SAID, STRONG IS THY DWELLINGPLACE, AND THOU PUTTEST THY NEST IN A ROCK.
[Numbers 24:22] NEVERTHELESS THE KENITE SHALL BE WASTED, UNTIL ASSHUR SHALL CARRY THEE AWAY CAPTIVE.
This verse may be interpreted differently as the Rabbinical Commentators have done:
##EVEN IF YOU SHALL BE WIPED AWAY KEIN FOR A PERIOD WHEN ASHUR [ASSYRIA] TAKES YOU CAPTIVE [YOU SHALL RETURN WITH THE TEN TRIBES!##
The Kenites here are those who were to convert together with Jethro and attach themselves to the Children of Israel. They always remained as a somewhat separate group. They were exiled by the Assyrians with the Ten Tribes. They are destined to return with them (Rashi). Traditionally the Kenites were derived from Midian and were much darker than most Israelites. Who could they be today?
[Numbers 24:23] AND HE TOOK UP HIS PARABLE, AND SAID, ALAS, WHO SHALL LIVE WHEN GOD DOETH THIS!
[Numbers 24:24] AND SHIPS SHALL COME FROM THE COAST OF CHITTIM, AND SHALL AFFLICT ASSHUR, AND SHALL AFFLICT EBER, AND HE ALSO SHALL PERISH FOR EVER.
We have no clear solution to propose for this verse but may only make remarks that could help others.
#Chittim# often identified as a place in Cyprus but Jewish tradition from very early times identified #Chittim# with the Romans.
Harold Hemenway (#Is the Bible Racist?#) identified part of the Southern Chinese and Japanese as Chittim.
The Chinese and Japanese together nowadays probably do have as many (or more) boats than any other major world grouping.
Asshur is Assyria meaning part of Europe, usually part of Germany and Austria. EBER probably means the Israelite Hebrews. The Celtic British and Irish and at least part of the other Celtic peoples called themselves #Iberi# and are so listed in the Geography of Ptolemy. #Iberi# means Hebrews.
The possibility exists that EBER here represents another entity.
[Numbers 24:25] AND BALAAM ROSE UP, AND WENT AND RETURNED TO HIS PLACE: AND BALAK ALSO WENT HIS WAY.
Balaam was later captured and killed by the Israelites as it says in the Book of Joshua:
[Joshua 13:15] AND MOSES GAVE UNTO THE TRIBE OF THE CHILDREN OF REUBEN INHERITANCE ACCORDING TO THEIR FAMILIES.
[Joshua 13:16] AND THEIR COAST WAS FROM ?..[Joshua 13:20] AND BETH-PEOR?. [Joshua 13:21] AND ALL THE CITIES OF THE PLAIN, AND ALL THE KINGDOM OF SIHON KING OF THE AMORITES, WHICH REIGNED IN HESHBON, WHOM MOSES SMOTE WITH THE PRINCES OF MIDIAN, EVI, AND REKEM, AND ZUR, AND HUR, AND REBA, WHICH WERE DUKES OF SIHON, DWELLING IN THE COUNTRY.
[Joshua 13:22] BALAAM ALSO THE SON OF BEOR, THE SOOTHSAYER, DID THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL SLAY WITH THE SWORD AMONG THEM THAT WERE SLAIN BY THEM.
The Moabites were also punished:
[Deuteronomy 23:3] AN AMMONITE OR MOABITE SHALL NOT ENTER INTO THE CONGREGATION OF THE LORD; EVEN TO THEIR TENTH GENERATION SHALL THEY NOT ENTER INTO THE CONGREGATION OF THE LORD FOR EVER:
[Deuteronomy 23:4] BECAUSE THEY MET YOU NOT WITH BREAD AND WITH WATER IN THE WAY, WHEN YE CAME FORTH OUT OF EGYPT; AND BECAUSE THEY HIRED AGAINST THEE BALAAM THE SON OF BEOR OF PETHOR OF MESOPOTAMIA, TO CURSE THEE.
[Deuteronomy 23:5] NEVERTHELESS THE LORD THY GOD WOULD NOT HEARKEN UNTO BALAAM; BUT THE LORD THY GOD TURNED THE CURSE INTO A BLESSING UNTO THEE, BECAUSE THE LORD THY GOD LOVED THEE.
[Deuteronomy 23:6] THOU SHALT NOT SEEK THEIR PEACE NOR THEIR PROSPERITY ALL THY DAYS FOR EVER.
This decree applied to the males but not to the females. That is why Ruth the Moabitess could be accepted and from her descended King David.
Loyalty to David is Required: Ruth and the Oral Tradition
cf. [Joshua 24:9] THEN
THE SON OF ZIPPOR,
KING OF MOAB, AROSE AND WARRED AGAINST ISRAEL, AND SENT AND CALLED BALAAM THE
SON OF BEOR
TO CURSE YOU:
[Joshua 24:10] BUT I WOULD NOT HEARKEN UNTO BALAAM; THEREFORE HE BLESSED YOU STILL: SO I DELIVERED YOU OUT OF HIS HAND.
Our portion continues:
[Numbers 25:1] AND ISRAEL ABODE IN SHITTIM, AND THE PEOPLE BEGAN TO COMMIT WHOREDOM WITH THE DAUGHTERS OF MOAB.
This was done at the advice of Balaam.
As it says later: #AND MOSES SAID UNTO THEM, HAVE YE SAVED ALL THE WOMEN ALIVE BEHOLD, THESE CAUSED THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, THROUGH THE COUNSEL OF BALAAM, TO COMMIT TRESPASS AGAINST THE LORD IN THE MATTER OF PEOR, AND THERE WAS A PLAGUE AMONG THE CONGREGATION OF THE LORD# [Numbers 31:15-16].
[Numbers 25:2] AND THEY CALLED THE PEOPLE UNTO THE SACRIFICES OF THEIR GODS: AND THE PEOPLE DID EAT, AND BOWED DOWN TO THEIR GODS.
[Numbers 25:3] AND ISRAEL JOINED HIMSELF UNTO BAALPEOR: AND THE ANGER OF THE LORD WAS KINDLED AGAINST ISRAEL.
[Numbers 25:4] 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.
[Numbers 25:5] AND MOSES SAID UNTO THE JUDGES OF ISRAEL, SLAY YE EVERY ONE HIS MEN THAT WERE JOINED UNTO BAALPEOR.
[Numbers 25:6] 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.
[Numbers 25:7] 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;
[Numbers 25:8] 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.
Pinchas [Phineas] stopped the plague by killing the male and female guilty parties. Balaam had given the Midianites and Moabites the advice to prostitute their womenfolk and seduce the Israelites. Consequently he was put to death when he fell into Israelite hands.
[Joshua 13:22] BALAAM ALSO THE SON OF BEOR, THE SOOTHSAYER, DID THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL SLAY WITH THE SWORD AMONG THEM THAT WERE SLAIN BY THEM.
[Numbers 25:9] AND THOSE THAT DIED IN THE PLAGUE WERE TWENTY AND FOUR THOUSAND.
This event is recalled in Psalms:
[Psalms 106:28] THEY JOINED THEMSELVES ALSO UNTO BAALPEOR, AND ATE THE SACRIFICES OF THE DEAD.
[Psalms 106:29] THUS THEY PROVOKED HIM TO ANGER WITH THEIR INVENTIONS: AND THE PLAGUE BRAKE IN UPON THEM.
[Psalms 106:30] THEN STOOD UP PHINEHAS, AND EXECUTED JUDGMENT: AND SO THE PLAGUE WAS STAYED.
[Psalms 106:31] AND THAT WAS COUNTED UNTO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO ALL GENERATIONS FOR EVERMORE.
Pleased with what you read?
We are dependent on your support to function.