Old Testament Context

By Vince Finnegan

Numbers 22:1   Moab is a descendent of Lot and his daughter.   Genesis 19:36-38

Numbers 22:2   The defeat of the Amorites is recorded in Numbers 21.

6   Balak believed that there was no military means available to withstand the forces of Israel, so he sought to battle with pagan divination. He sent for a diviner with an international reputation. The recovery of prophetic texts of Balaam in Aramaic from the sixth century in Jordan shows how very famous this man was in the ancient Near East, even centuries after his death.

Yahweh instructed Israel not to attack Moab because they were descendants of Lot, so Balak had nothing to worry about.

Deuteronomy 2:9   "Then the LORD said to me, 'Do not harass Moab, nor provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land as a possession, because I have given Ar to the sons of Lot as a possession.’”

7   Midian is a descendent of Abraham - Genesis 25:1-4. Divination is the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or unknown by supernatural means other than God. Leviticus 19:26 condemns divination.

8   The conversation that Balaam has with Yahweh leads readers to believe that he was Yahweh’s prophet. However, based upon subsequent narrative, Balaam is condemned in the Scripture for moral, ethical, and religious faults - Numbers 31:8, 16; Deuteronomy 23:3-6; Joshua 13:22; 24:9-10; Judges 11:23-25; Neh. 13:1-3; Micah 6:5; 2 Peter 2:15-16; Jude 1:11; Revelation 2:14.

9   Based upon the context preceding this verse and the context following this verse, God spoke to him by
an angel.

24   “Angel of the LORD” is used seven times in this context, “the angel of Yahweh.”

31   From the context, we may rightly conclude that angels are invisible at times.

32   The angel is on the donkey’s side in this discussion.

35   “Speak only the word which I tell you.” This is the second time he is told, verse 20. Always remember
the context.

38   Balaam understood Yahweh’s instruction.

39-41   Balak’s sacrifices were not to Yahweh, but Baal.

23:1-4   Balaam’s sacrifices were to Yahweh.


We must be willing to admit that we do not understand something and be content refusing to accept guessing to be the same as facts.

19   Yahweh had Balaam utter these very important words about the integrity of Yahweh and His
unhuman nature.

21   Balaam is the first person in the Bible to announce that Israel will have a king with the undertones of
the Messiah.

22   God brings them out of Egypt. The context is provided in the previous books.

24:7   Agag is the king of the Amalekites. This prophecy becomes significant in 1 Samuel 15.

9   This verse helps us understand 23:24. Context is very helpful!

17   This is prophecy about the immediate future and regarding Christ.

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