The prophet Bilam (Balaam) is not an isolated individual, an anomaly in Scripture. He was not the first or last emissary to the Gentiles. God did not leave them without guidance. Bilam is a foreshadowing of the ministry of Saul of Tarsus, aka the apostle Paul, whose experience on the road to Damascus echoes the account in the Torah reading בָּלָק Balak of Bilam’s experience with a “recalcitrant” she-donkey.
A talking donkey may seem like fodder for a cartoon, but this passage — בָּלָק Balak, Num. 22:2-25:9 — contains a very real message for Israel about its future and the Messiah. Often, the Creator uses what we don’t expect — an animal, a prophet not of Israel — to shake up the complacent and underscore the gravity of the situation.
There is so much emphasis in Luke 19:29-40 (cf. Matt. 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-10; John 12:1-19) about Yeshua’s riding into Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) on a donkey that had never carried a burden and about the proclamation, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.” That donkey’s first burden was a profound burden, and we see throughout Scripture a number of donkeys carrying important burdens that prophetically point toward that triumphal entry.
Deuteronomy, Leviticus, large parts of Numbers and the latter chapters of Exodus are not just a lists of rules and regulations. Deuteronomy, in particular, documents the thoughts of Elohim, illustrated by how often Messiah Yeshua and the apostles quote from it. By studying these commandments, statutes and judgments — at times difficult to understand — we can see a small glimpse of how God thinks, not in the past tense but in the present tense.
Some claim they’ve had “a vision from the LORD,” telling them a new teaching or to do this or that. However, in the Bible a vision accompanies “words of the LORD.” In other words, God speaks then He shows — gives “vision” — to understand what He has said. Continue reading Gen. 15:1 — What is a ‘vision’?
Commentators claim that Melchizedek (seen in Genesis 14) was just a man. Why then do the Psalms and the letter to the Hebrews connect Melchizedek to the Messiah and to Yeshua?
The cryptic lines of Balaam’s reluctant blessing of Israel contains pictures of what Israel should expect in its Messiah.
What is the purpose of Baalam’s message to Balak?
What was the difference between the two oracles of Numbers 23? What is the significance of Baalam’s eyes and ears being opened in the oracles in Numbers 24?
What did Baalam see and hear?
What is meant by a wide valley in Num. 24:6?
What is the prophesy in “his seed will be many waters”?
What time period did Baalam see with Agag being deposed?
Which king of Israel came out of Egypt?
Who does Baalam see but is not yet in Num. 24:17?
When the Magi saw the star move what direction did the star move?
Did Yeshua’s first coming subdue Moab? When are Edom and Seir mentioned? How does this related to the prophecy of they younger ruling over the older?