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Parasha 40: Balak (Devastator) Bamidbar/Numbers 22:2-25:9
*All Scripture References from The Orthodox Jewish Bible- Referred To As OJB- unless otherwise noted
Joe Snipes (Torah Teacher) Gates To Zion Ministries
Our parasha this week deals with a very peculiar individual. He is being summoned by Balak, king of Moab, to use his ability in occult magic to help overcome the nation of Yisrael. Am Yisrael, the Second Generation, is continuing to make progress toward the Land of Cana’an which YHWH has given to them as a nachalah/inheritance. They have just come through three major battles. In each, they ultimately attained great victories as YHWH showed Himself strong on their behalf. Now Yisrael is continuing to move forward. All of Moab has become fearful, as news of the devastation with which they left the Amorite kings Sichon, and his brother Og has come. Balak, king of Moab, has become filled with fear and dread at the prospect of having to face them.
This has caused Balak to formulate a two part plan in order to secure a victory over Yisrael. First, he sent word to the Midianites, to have them join with Moab. Even though they were actual enemies, survival is a strong instinct and motivator. He then devised the second part of the plan. He sent word to Bala’am, renowned seer, and legendary magician, adept in the use of occult powers to join forces with him to stop Am Yisrael. It was apparent that Balak was not going to simply try and confront Yisrael on the grounds of conventional warfare. He, himself, as the Jewish Traditional Writings maintain, was a magician trained in the occult. Therefore, he was going to confront Yisrael and overcome them on spiritual, as well as physical planes. Bala’am’s inclusion was the most integral part of that equation.