READ WHAT IS WRITTEN, AND AVOID READING INTO WHAT IS WRITTEN. FOCUS ON WHAT IS WRITTEN, NOT ON THAT WHICH IS NOT WRITTEN.
Scripture build up - As we study the Bible, it is appropriate to look at other Scriptures that relate to the same subject. Full comprehension of a matter often is enhanced with corresponding Scripture regarding the
The majority of Scripture can be understood in the immediate context. If understanding is sketchy after examining the context, then reading other verses in their context on the same subject is very helpful. If one verse seems to contradict what the many others say, we should embrace the many and look for clarity with the one. We never want to elevate the difficult verse above all the others that clearly agree. We also want to avoid imposing our preconceived view into what we read. A few times in our English Bible, there is an error in translation from the Hebrew or Greek text; however, these few can still be understood if we seek God’s help and study the whole.
If in our studies understanding of a particular verse or text remains elusive, resist squeezing or forcing it; rather, be patient and move on to something else. Keep open to God’s leading, embrace what you do understand, and continue to search. Some things just take time. If you do not know, it is okay to say “I do not know.” The worst thing to do is to put your own twist on the Scriptures. God’s Word gives stern warning about such behavior.
Revelation 22:18-19 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;
and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.
Balak and Balaam - the bigger picture
Look downstream and upstream:
Deuteronomy 2:9; Genesis 19:36, 37 The fear Balak had about Israel was unnecessary since God commanded Israel to leave Moab alone.
Numbers 25:1-18 Baal-Peor was worshipped by disregarding any and all sexual restraints and having extreme sexual practices and orgies. The Hebrew word Peor comes from the word pa’ar meaning open, gap, wide, or hole. Anal sex and defecation were part of the worship. Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions has a picture of Baal-peor sitting on a toilet.
Numbers 31:7-16 Balaam counseled Midian to have the women seduce the men of Israel with sex to worship
Deuteronomy 23:3-6 This information is helpful when studying the book of Ruth.
Joshua 13:22 - Deuteronomy 18:10-14
Nehemiah 13:1-3 Centuries later, after the Babylonian captivity, the moratorium was still in place
2 Peter 2:12-16; Jude 11 Balaam remains a standard of evil to avoid.
Revelation 2:14 The conclusion of the Balaam story is presented.