Parashat Balak

Lamed Messianic Studies

(Original Entry from HOD-Wordpress - 2007-06-30 8:55:26 pm)

Category - Lamed Messianic Studies, Jewish

Parashat Balak

Torah Portion: Numbers 22:2-25:9
Haftarah Portion: Micah 5:6-6:8

In this lesson, we can see what the effect of a personal encounter with G-D can do to the life of a man. We can also see in deeds the strength of G-D’s Word.

In Numbers 23:8, we see the recognition that what is blessed of HaShem cannot be changed even by the schemes of a man. After a personal encounter with the Most High (which was even unexpected as they usually are), as we read in Numbers 22, the stance and standard of a man is greatly strengthened as we see in Numbers 23:12.

We also see in Numbers 22:9-14 the protection of the favor of HaShem by the intervention of G-D Himself when it is necessary. He has even been known to put such unconventional methods to use when He really wants our full attention like making an animal to talk!

Balaam is a Greek form of the Hebrew word Bilam who was the son of Beor and was a noted magician. It literally means ‘a thing swallowed’ or ‘ruin’ and comes as a form of Bilam [Strong’s H1109] as a derivative of ‘bal’ [Strong’s H1077] which means failure, nothing, lest; and ‘am’ [Strong’s H5971] which means a people, troops, attendants, nation, flock, implied familial relationship, relative.

Balak {Balaq} [Strong’s H1111] means devastator and comes from balaq [Strong’s H1110] which means to waste, to lay waste, to devastate.

Balaam as a name seems to denote failure of the tasks he was sent on to do by Balak as a leader of a peoples or nation. That failure was in the following of man once there was a personal encounter with G-D. In this instance, we have the failure of a people to curse that which HaShem has blessed. The Word of G-D is seen again here as binding even unto Himself.

As a personal side-note, it is funny to me to think that Balak was the son of Zippor [Strong’s H6834] which means ’sparrow.’ It’s like he was literally a bird-brain. No wonder he could not get the concept that G-D is G-D and he was not. It is also interesting to me to think that Balaam was the son of Beor [Strong’s H1160] meaning burning and coming from the primative root word Baar {Ba-ar’} [Strong’s H1197] which means burn, consume, kindle, be kindled, G-D’s wrath (fig.), man’s wrath (fig.), or to consume the guilt of. The way in which Balaam was kindled in understanding and the fact that his personal guilt was consumed for following that which he knew to be the voice and instructions of G-D and denying the instructions of men, in addition to the meaning of his own name that there would be a failure in something, speaks too much of prophetical coordination than it does coincidence to me.

In Micah 6:5 of the Haftarah Portion, the reason and purpose of the events of Balak and Balaam in Numbers 22-25 are given. As it is with all things, the righteousness of the L-RD is to be made known and echoed throughout the lands. These events are another way in which the character and ways of the L-RD are being made known. And the call has not changed. Even here, the people of HaShem (The Name) in the sense of those people known by and called by The Name of G-D, are being called continually to righteousness so that they can be more like the Most High that they serve.

To follow up, let us look at the name of Bilam {bil-awm’} [Strong’s H1109] in Hebraic transmogrification [Hebraic shape-shifting as it were]. Bilam is spelled Beith, Lamed, Ayin, Mem Sophit. This is House, Study/Teach, Eye/Eye of Spring or Well, and Water/Kingdom. I read out of this the following:

A House of Study or Teaching is in the Eye of a Spring or Well
of the Kingdom Waters (or Waters of/from the Kingdom).
House used here is in the sense of a corporeal
body or an all-encompassing existence.

In other words, if someone would just slow down and heed what this man knows and found out, they might be able to learn a lot about HaShem.

If you get something else out of this, please let us know. Register and comment on what your thoughts are about this. And feel free to join our study as it is being built each Sabbath at 1:00PM.