June 13, 2010

Examining The Scripture XXVI: Balaam's Oracles-An Outline

In addition to yesterday's post I have chosen to include the outline of Balaam's four oracles and the content of each. Please take particular note of the third fourth oracles and what they promise and then foreshadow.

Oracle #1: The First Balaam Discourse:

a. Statement about Balaam being requested to curse Jacob and denounce Israel
b. A rhetorical question on how Balaam could curse whom God has not cursed
c. A rhetorical question on how Balaam could denounce whom God has not denounced
d. A statement about Israel dwelling apart (a nation of holy priest to God)
e. Final statement how great the nation of Israel is, they are a chosen people

Balaam would have a desire to have an end like Israel. Essentially what Balaam does here is speak kindly of Israel, they are a chosen people chosen by God.

Oracle #2: Balaam Discourse Speaking at Balak

a. Tells Balak of God’s character that is not like mans
b. That God does what he says and says what he does
c. Balak is informed that Balaam himself has been commanded to bless
i. And Balaam is powerless to resist nor can he revoke it
d. Balaam makes it clear the is no misfortune to visit Israel
e. Balaam repeats there is no curse of divination allowed against Israel
f. There actually appears to be a prophecy of great ascendency of Israel
g. i.e.: Behold a people rises like a lioness

Essentially Balaam again speaks kindly of Israel, and they will be a dominate people because of God because God will give them their victories.

Oracle #3: Another Balaam Discourse

a. A blanket statement that Balaam is receiving a vision directly from God. A compliment to the abodes of Israel and their beauty and how prolific they are.
b. A statement about Israel’s future prosperity (will crush, will devour) and multitudes that will be Israel.
c. A reiteration of the promise made to Abraham
d. Blessed is everyone who blesses you, and cursed is everyone who curses you.
The key to this oracle is prosperity and a dominate nation or a nation that should be content in their own land with their own God. As if to rub it in Balak’s face in it God again thwarts Balak and blesses Israel through Balaam.

Oracle #4: The Last Balaam Discourse

a. A repetition of the third oracle but Balaam is knocked flat/prostrate
b. Reason for being prostrate is due to the content of the vision
c. A star out of Jacob, a scepter (ruler/king) will rise out of Israel
d. Balaam is speaking of Jesus Christ, this is prophecy
e. He will conquer; conquer his enemies
f. To a lesser extent this could’ve been David also

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