Torah Pearls #40 – Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9)

Torah Pearls Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9) with Bible Scholar Nehemia GordonIn The Original Torah Pearls, Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9), we discuss was Yehovah Balaam’s God? What kind of prophet was Balaam? Why did God seek to kill Balaam? Does Numbers 22:22 really say that the angel of Yehovah was Satan? Did Balaam announce the first recorded messianic prophecy in the Torah?

I look forward to reading your comments!

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17 thoughts on “Torah Pearls #40 – Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9)

  1. Thank you for these pearls… they are quite helpful in giving me a more clear understanding of scriptures with Hebrew insight… thank you Nehemiah.
    In synagogue today the leader spoke of how our perception can affect things and that Balaam was possibly thinking more highly of himself than he ought to have been and was angry with God for not agreeing to let him go from the start, before the situation with the ass, and his anger kept him from seeing the angel of The Lord… the actions of the ass just added to his anger…
    personal thought… after listening to you 3… perhaps Balaam’s motivation in going was for monetary gain and he was so focused on that, that he couldn’t perceive what was right in front of him.
    I too have wondered, when reading this story before, why Balaam wasn’t surprised that the ass spoke. Was he so angry that all reason had left his intellectual thought?

  2. Also, this is why this “adversary” is not The Adversay but The Messenger acting to oppose Balaam’s personal will instead of carrying out ONLY YHVH’s Will! Nehemia only sees The Adversary (despite the lack of the definitive “The”) also mistakenly named “Lucifer” by some. This Messenger is NOT him for this Messenger is speaking as The Word of YHVH, NOT in his own will (as The Adversary always dies).

    Then, I love the point Nehemia makes about the “scales” on Balaam’s eyes. We all sufferfrom such scales until YHVH knows we are ready for His Truth regarding a given matter. As eith Bslaam, it is a matter of the heart. When we are ready to accrpt what YHVH may r veal, He will open our eyese, not until then. This is why and how we can read a passage dozens, hundreds of times, and suddenly, one day we read it again and tada, we finally “see” it, in other words Elohim is ginally revealingbit to us bc we sre ready to accept it.

  3. The Messenger is used here, not the generic “a messenger,” indicating a specific Messenger of YHVH. It should also be noted that Elohim is used here then refers to the words of YHVH. The implication is thise Messenger was a physical manifestation of Elohim who actually appears as a person before the dobkey and Balaam.

    This same reference or term of art, The Messenger of YHVH, is used when a physical manifestation of Elohim appears to someone. There is a pattern of teference in those occasions.

    Contrastly, other heavenly messengers are referred to only as “a messenger,” not “The Messenger.” Further, as in other instances of someone improperly bowing to “a messenger,” this Messenger does not scold or warn Balaam from bowing or worshipping Him. Why? Surely you know, but perhaps have trouble admitting! This is the incarnate Messenger of YHVH or The Word, aka Yeshua, Elohim incarnate, the Annointed One.

    I hope you guys will test this and study it instead of disnisding it and relying overly so on Jewish traditional views (such as you mistakenly do with the AlephTav despite lack of a consistent pattern of it as a DOP).

    Still, great show, and I really value each of your perspectives!

  4. I do not agree at all with your assumption that the adversary figure is malevolent. As with any of YHVH’s messengers, when they encounter someone who bows down and worships them, they correct the person. However, there are a few times in the scriptures that this worship is received. And I believe rightfully so. YHVH has a Messenger (capital M) that is different than other messengers. This One is called YHVH. This One receives worship. And He is described in Isaiah as coming (back) with a sword once again.

  5. The pervesness or recklessness that YHVH found in Baalam
    Numbers 22 : 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:

    When Balak send messengers to Baalam he gave a truncated message to the messengers

    Numbers 22 : 13

    13And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for YHVH refuseth to give me leave to go with you.

    Instead of giving YHVH’s full message

    Numbers 22 : 12

    12And YHVH said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed .

    Balaam forebear from telling Baalams messengers that YHVH had also told him that YHVH had blessed these people and it was not possible to curse them .

    Had he given the entire message the second visit of Balak’s messengers would not have occurred.

    He was in clear violation of Deutronomy 4 : 2

    2Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of YHVH your Elohim which I command you.

    As a person with communicative relationship with YHVH , definitely he would have known that he should not take advantage of his proximity to YHVH by truncating messages delivered by YHVH . Baalam should have made it very clear to Balak’s messengers that YHVH had blessed Israel and no divination of his could change that .

    This is my understanding

  6. I enjoy you, all three of you have so much fun together. You know when to be serious, and when to have fun. Bless You for all your input, and your time, and your enthusiasm, and knowledge. It’s so awesome to see. Keep up the good work gentlemen.

    Blessings from Ontario, Canada.

  7. Between Keith -yourself Nehemia and the host of this program am so glad to hear this interpretation about Bil’am because when i read it that scripture Bemidbar 22 iI never got where this guy was any Prophet of YAHUWAH but in the Christian world they teaches as though he is from Yahuwah and this cam only be revealed to those who really studying his word

    Another thing is about this bil’am Ass Christian find this word affending and sinful – i study a lot in the word therefore i m a person wants to do exactly as stated in the word
    I do agree with you keith i did see this donkey as a female and not a male because what i find the donkey did speak ….with these words for all this time do i ever mislead you in this way

    Now about satan being there was that messager satan i m trying to get this anyway just my opinion on this have to read more

    I don’t like debates of the scripture – when i ask a question i ask to learn

  8. These studies are always bright spots in my week. I always get excited when i see you have posted a new one. Thank You guys. You Rock!

  9. The first recorded prophecy is in Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

  10. God said to Balaam “if the men come to call thee rise up and go with them.” The next verse does not say the men came to Balaam but that he rose up and went with them. That is why God’s anger was kindled because he went.

    • I agree. I think the spiritual and the physical are so interconnected. Don’t we see that constantly in biblical Hebrew and in the world today? Yes, Balaam may have gotten up to go because he wanted to speak what Balak requested or speak what Yah would say but get paid, but he instigated going, and that was against Yah’s instruction.

  11. Hi Nehemia, Jono and Keith. Thank you for the pearls, they are very precious to us.

    We were listening to Ezekiel 18 ‘the ways of the lord are not fair’ and heard you mention that there are a lot of places where the word ‘faithffulness’ has been translated as faith?
    We would love to know where those places are? As it really gives a different meaning altogether.

    It’s of particular interest because we meet a lot of people who say “we only need to have faith.” We disagree with these sentiments and believe that faith has to be actioned; and hearing what you said made us go, Yeah that’s sounds right.

    We also would appreciate your feedback with regards to where the man was condemned to death for gathering sticks on the Sabbath.
    From where we are sitting God said, do not kill …

    Thanks so much
    looking forward to your reply
    We love listening to what you share

    Mimi and co

    ps sorry if this is not the right place to post these questions, we kinda lost track of when we heard this.

  12. Very good Torah study! Thank you.
    Each one of you have a special contribution to the study, but, I listen a little closer for the Hebraic understanding. It gives me more insight into understanding the Jewish perspective/culture.
    My understanding of Yahovahs Word grows more each week, I ask for a special blessing on all of you for bringing Them to me.

  13. Question for Nehemiah. I am a Karaite Jew living in a Rabbinical community. My wife gave birth last Shabbat via c-section (non vaginal delivery). The Rabbis are requiring my son to have a Brit on Sunday the 9th day vs. the 8th day as instructed in the Torah. What is your take on this matter? I feel the Brit should have been done one the 8th day.

  14. I can explain the talking donkey. My grandmother was raised with American Indians who taught her to “talk” with animals. She modeled that for me. “Talk” means communication at a spiritual level. When you acknowledge the One God and that all things come from the One God, and exist in oneness with Him, then we can communicate with all things.

    I have had wild mink play and dance and run across my lap; a wild badger lick me when I was laying in the sun and snuggle up against my side; Birds come to me. A rare deer came to me and we looked into each other’s eyes for an hour when I was praising the God of all creation.

    The donkey did not speak in Hebrew audibly. Animals can be sensitive both to danger and to others connecting or not connecting with God. The donkey sensed danger and threw a fit, as donkeys can very well do. Balaam realized that his donkey had been a loyal partner all his life and that the donkey was reacting to danger ahead. God spoke to Balaam through the donkey’s intuitive fear. God opened Balaam’s “spiritual eyes”. Balaam saw danger spiritually.

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