BPotW Numbers 22 Balaam's Ass

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Bible Passage of the Week

jimkenney12

Well-Known Member
The Story of Balaam’s Ass: Numbers 22

Bible Gateway passage: Numbers 22 - New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

Background: Israel, while still wandering in what is not really wilderness but lands occupied by a variety of people. In Numbers 21, they complained about being in this forsaken land, complained about Moses and God, and were visited by a plague of poisonous snakes. Eventually Moses was instructed to make a copper snake on a pole. When people bitten by a snake looked at the snake on the pole, they were healed.

As they approached Moab, Moses asked for permission to cross the land of the Amorites. Permission was refused and they were attacked by the Amorites, They defeated the Amorites and took all of their land and cities. Then they attacked and killed all the people of Bashan, and occupied their land. They were then facing Moab which is where our story begins. Balak, the king of Moab, was frightened by the nearness and numbers of the Israelites. He knew of Balaam, a person connected to God who had the power to bless or curse armies, helping them succeed or causing them to lose. He sent for Balaam offering him several enticements to come and curse the Israelites. Balaam talked to God and refused the first request. More emissaries were sent. This time, God said to go with them, but say what I tell you to say.

Balaam then leaves for Moab on his loyal and reliable ass. Three times the ass detours, bruising Balaam’s leg the second time and lying down on the road the third time. Each time Balaam beats the ass. The third time the ass asks him what she did that caused him to treat her so badly. At that point, Balaam sees the angel of death who was waiting for him. Balaam apologizes and begs forgiveness from God. God directs him to continue on to Moab but to say only what God tells him to say.

Balak greets him and Balaam tells him he can only say what God tells him to say. Then Balak makes battle preparations.
 

jimkenney12

Well-Known Member
This story has several odd parts.

Balaam is not an Israelite but is almost certainly Semitic, living in the save area as Abraham. God seems to have a special relationship with Balaam, just as seems to be the case with Melchizedek, the priest/king of Salem in Abraham's time.

God tells Balaam to go with thd delegation but to only say what God tells him to say, implying Balaam has the power to curse or bless combatants in a battle. Then, when Balaam does go, the Angel of Death is sent to stop him. So had God decided to do Balaam in but wanted to do it on the road to Moab?

Balaam tells Balak he can only say what God tells him to say, but Balak still wants Balaam on the site of the battle. Chapter 23 has more odd stuff.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
The potential for large expansion in the myth is something you might bet your as son ... like the Mayor of Casterbridge!

At least someone finds a better home away from the warlord! Could be a shaded angel ... out of the heat?
 

Redbaron

Pirate fan since the dark ages
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Seems Balaam was in a catch-22 situation, he seemed doomed no matter what he did.
 

Pavlos Maros

Well-Known Member
The essence, of a good story, has several critical elements.
I.E. the change of fortune, the complications, the crisis, the climax, and of course the threat, Which is the most important aspect of it.
It would be a pretty piss-poor story without any one of them.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
So many ups and downs for the depressed manic type!

What could depress and ass? Mostly people and thus it goes down ...
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Nobody listening to it. (Referenced by Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh)

You mean Eeyore ide ... the primary thing as a priori and we don't know it? Isn't the a priori a subject of polity ... without adequate objective?

Sentience that is beyond us ... and that could be so give the average sapience ... much depressed ... cause mortals do not like anything sharp! Could burst their bubble ... and yet the unmentionable just goes on ... say nothing!

Then there are those that say nothing cannot exist ... thus deviant sentient!

People do not grasp distant thoughts as far ceide ...
 

Delightful Life

M&M, Cascadian Lovers
The essence, of a good story, has several critical elements.
I.E. the change of fortune, the complications, the crisis, the climax, and of course the threat, Which is the most important aspect of it.
It would be a pretty piss-poor story without any one of them.
Otherwise its just an advertizement :3
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
What is a disastrous situation without a good carrier ? One with extreme perseverance could be renamed ... and probably not learn anything after that!
 
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