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Why is God angry at Balaam?


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#1 Jon

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 03:09 PM

Hi all,

Question about Balaam. Any suggestions as to why God is angry with Balaam when he goes with the men of Moab, after God seems to give him permission to go in Num 22:20 (the KJV seems to have the tense slightly out here)?

My own studies so far have led me to conclude, firstly from the text in Numbers:

  • God had already told Balaam not to go (Num 22:12)
  • Balak wanted Balaam to curse Israel, but they were blessed by God (Num 22:6 cf. 22:12)
  • God allows Balaam to go in Num 22:20, as long as he only does what God tells him (Num 22:20)
  • In the angel's view, Balaam's way was perverse before God (Num 22:32), and therefore he must be out of line with God's request to 'do what I tell you'

    Other scriptures then explain more:
  • It would seem, from Deut 23:5, that Balaam actually wanted to curse (‘the LORD would not listen to Balaam’)
  • Balaam wanted to go for money (2 Pet 2:15, Jud 1:14), i.e. his motive was wrong

Any thoughts on the above?

Thanks,
Jon.

#2 Russell

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 05:27 PM

Numbers 25:6-8 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.


Numbers 31:8 They killed the kings of Midian with the rest of their slain, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. And they also killed Balaam the son of Beor with the sword.

Numbers 31:16 Behold, these, on Balaam's advice, caused the people of Israel to act treacherously against the LORD in the incident of Peor, and so the plague came among the congregation of the LORD.

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.

The likely events were that Balaam, after he had been unable to curse Israel, advised the introduction evil practices that caused the destruction of many in Israel.

#3 Fortigurn

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 08:35 PM

God told Balaam he could go if the men came to ask him the next day, but he didn't even wait for that, he just went even though he knew it wasn't what God wanted.

#4 Jon

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 10:50 AM

God told Balaam he could go if the men came to ask him the next day, but he didn't even wait for that, he just went even though he knew it wasn't what God wanted.


Hmm, the NET has:

"God came to Balaam that night, and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, get up and go with them; but the word that I will say to you, that you must do.”

No reference to the next day? It seems that this is a reference to Num 22:16.

Edited by Jon, 05 April 2013 - 10:51 AM.


#5 Fortigurn

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 11:48 AM

Hmm, the NET has:

"God came to Balaam that night, and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, get up and go with them; but the word that I will say to you, that you must do.”

No reference to the next day? It seems that this is a reference to Num 22:16.


The ESV has the same, but there's a bit of interesting discussion in the commentaries; the statement could just as easily refer to verse 8 as verse 16, if that's what it was supposed to mean.

#6 Janey

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 03:26 PM

V20 says "if" the men come to call thee
V21 Does not indicate they did, looks like Balaam went of his own accord !!!




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