And His Talking Donkey


Balaam's First Try

When Balaam got near Moab, King Balak met him at the border. Balak inquired as to why Balaam did not come immediately, since this was an urgent matter.  He asked, "Am I really unable to honor you?"  The word for honor is the Hebrew db@K* (kabedh, Pi'el infinitive construct), which means to honor or glorify.  The word in Hebrew dobK*-ya!  (Ikabodh, or Ichabod), which means no glory or the glory has departed, (1 Samuel 4:21) is derived from the word that means glory.  Balak makes it clear that he can honor, or glorify, Balaam.  Balak is prepared to give Balaam fame and fortune, the glory of the world. Balak was angry because Balaam hadn't hearkened to his urgent demand.  Balaam, after being softened along the way by the discipline of the Lord, proceeded to lower expectations, a characteristic of many mealy-mouthed politicians. On the eve of the Balaam's attempt to curse Israel, Balak treated Balaam to the equivalent of a Moabite state dinner.  The Moabites worshipped Baal outdoors with fornication and feasting.  The passage doesn't mention the fornication, but it does mention the feasting.  The Moabites were noted for their char-grilled beefsteak from the altars of Baal.  Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep to Baal and sent some of the choice cuts of meat to Balaam and the diplomats with him.  Since the sacrifice occurred on the eve of Balaam's attempt to curse Israel, it is likely that Balak offered the sacrifice to Jehovah rather than Baal since he wished to obtain the favor of Jehovah, the God of Israel.  Regardless of his reason, an unbeliever cannot offer a sacrifice to Jehovah.  Therefore, Balak was practicing religion.  He was in the Cosmic System.  Although the grilled steak and lamb chops were probably delicious, this was participation in idolatry via eating - i.e. Ecumenical Babylon. Since Balaam was not a Jew and was without the guidance of the Mosaic Law, he would not have known the subtlety of this infiltration of Ecumenical Babylon. Israel CampBalak took Balaam to Bamoth-Baal, which means lord of the high places, or fortresses.  This is the name of various gods, e.g. Janus or Thor.  Daniel mentions the "god of fortresses" (Daniel 11:38).  This god was believed to control the gates of cities and jails and was known as the god of the key.  For this reason the key was used as a symbol among heathen priests.  Anyway, Balaam was taken on a tour so he could observe the camp of Israel.  The three tour stops are marked on the map in red.

Israel CampThe first tour stop was Bamoth-Baal, a mountain in Moab from which Balaam could see the southeastern tip of the nation of Israel.  He could see the eastern part of the camp, probably only the Tribe of Zebulun, since Israel always camped around the Tabernacle with tribes in designated order.

Then Balaam asked Balak to build seven altars for sacrifices.  Here Balaam made a numerical mistake.  He was following Babylonian numerology - not Biblical numerology.  There should have only been one altar for the one sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 9:28; 10:12).  In Babylonian numerology the number, seven, was undoubtedly viewed as a magic number; and therefore, Balaam was using it as a good luck charm.  This was a demonstration of his apostasy, however.  There is only one sacrifice for sins and only one way of salvation (Acts 4:12). Balaam and Balak proceeded to offer a bull and a ram on each of the seven altars to secure the support of God for their evil.  There is no way that God would ever agree to support the evil motivations of anti-Semitism, for this would violate His own Integrity and His Word (Genesis 12:3).

Then the Lord put words in Balaam's mouth which were a blessing upon Israel rather than a curse (Numbers 23:7-10).  Balak was upset.

Balaam's Second Try

Balak did not give up, however.  He took Balaam to the second tour stop. From tour stop number two (reference map), Balak advised Balaam that he would be able to see only the "extreme end" of Israel, i.e. the southern border, which included the Tribes of Simeon, Reuben, and Gad.  "He took him to the field of Zophim,"  i.e. the field of spies, which was probably a lookout post on the mountain.  "Pishgah" was the name of the mountain range and not necessarily the mountain.  Mt. Nebo was one of the tallest mountains in this range and was very likely the mountain where they went.  Another verse (Deuteronomy 34:1) states that Mt. Nebo was a mountain in the Pishgah range.  "Nebo" refers to Mercury in the Babylonian pantheon.  That is why many of the Babylonian leaders had Nebo or Nebu in their names (e.g. Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan) (Jeremiah 39:13).

The same procedure for sacrifices was repeated as before, and Balaam again pronounced a blessing upon Israel  (Numbers 23:18-24).  Balak was shaken by this and demanded that Balaam neither bless nor curse Israel.

Balaam's Third Try

Balak took Balaam to tour stop number three ( Mt. Peor was at Beth-Jeshimon, the Hebrew word that is translated, "desert," which is also mentioned in Numbers 21:20.  Peor in the Hebrew is from the verb that means to open the mouth.  The Moabite goddess of love was called Baal-Peor or Baal of Peor (Numbers 25:1-3).  The worship of this goddess involved prostitution (Numbers 25:1) (Political Babylon), sacrifices and communion (Numbers 25:2) (Ecumenical Babylon), and worship of the false god (Numbers 25:2) (Cosmic Babylon).

Mt. Peor was on the west end of the camp of Israel.  The tribes on the West included Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin.  From this location Balaam had an end view and could see the entire camp of Israel.

Balaam repeated the same procedure with the seven altars, but due to his confidence, he did not go to seek omens as before (Numbers 24:1).  He again pronounced a blessing on Israel (Numbers 24:3-9).  This time the Spirit of God came upon Balaam so strongly that he was thrown to the ground (Numbers 24:4).  Balak was very angry.  He slapped his hands together and rebuked Balaam.  He ordered him away and refused to give him his wages.  He also blamed the Lord for Balaam's failure.  This was blasphemy.

Balaam's Prophecy of the World Stage

After Balak's interruption, Balaam continued his fourth oracle (Numbers 24:15-24).  In the previous oracle, Client Nation Israel was the system.  The fourth oracle, however, is eschatological.  In it, Balaam predicts events on the future world stage.  There is a national stage, and there is a world stage.  On the national stage, the actors are related to the thirteen tribes of Israel.  On the world stage, the actors are related to the nations which surround Israel to the North, South, East, and West.  Israel is located at the origin of the coordinate system.  The Z axis is the relationship with God and the rest of the entire earth is related to Israel in X and Y coordinates.  Thus, there are lands or armies of the North, South, East, and West.  The lands of the North include Assyria and Russia. The lands of the South include Africa and the pan-Arabic nations.  The nations of the East include the nations of the orient.  And the nations of the West include Europe and the United States of America. In this oracle Balaam prophesied about the coming of Christ and the star of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:5-10).  "I see him"  is a prophecy of the coming of Christ.  "I behold him, but not near" refers to the Second Advent.  The star of Jacob is prophecy of the Star of Bethlehem.  Jacob, which means chiseler, is a reference to the line of Christ, who was descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Jacob refers to the carnal believer.  Israel means prince of God and refers to the spiritual believer.  "A scepter shall rise from Israel" is a reference to the Second Advent and Millennium.  "And shatter the sides of Moab" is a reference to the destruction of Moab.  "And destroy all the sons of desolation" is a reference to the Moabites who were anti-Semitic.

Moab was subdued by David (2 Samuel 8:2).  From David to King Ahab, Moab paid tribute to Israel.  In 852 BC on the death of King Ahab, Moab mobilized an army to invade Israel.  The army of Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites set out ot destroy King Jehoshaphat.  However, God caused confusion and the Jews were delivered.  The Moabites and Ammonites attacked Edom and then turned on each other (2 Chron 20).  Later, Moab was subdued by Assyria.  The Moabites were later overrun by the Nabataeans.  At this point the Moabites lost their identity.  The Moabites are still found today in Jordan.

Edom was the land inhabited by Esau.  Seir is the mountain range that runs south from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba.  The Horites dwelt in Seir before Esau.  The Horites are also called the Hivites, but were probably the Hurrians, who first learned to use a horse and invented the chariot.  Esau married the daughter of a Horite priest called Anna.  David defeated the Edomites and Joab destroyed almost the entire male population (1 Kings 11:15-16).  The phrase, "Israel performs valiantly," is a reference to the invasion of Israel by Edom, Moab, and Ammon during the reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:22) and their defeat by faith in the Valley of Berachah (2 Chronicles 20:23-26).  They fought among themselves and destroyed each other.  The final defeat of Moab will be during the Armageddon Campaign at the Second Advent. This is a reference to the Second Advent when the Lord returns to defeat the enemies of Israel.  The "city" is Bozrah in Idumea.  Idumea is the Greek word for Edom.  It was the name given after the Nabataeans took over.

The Amalekites (Numbers 24:20) were the first of the anti-Semitic nations (Psalm 83:1-8).  Their end was destruction.  Anti-Semitism leads to cursing from God per the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:3).  No nation has survived anti-Semitism.

In Numbers 24:21 the Kenite believers were to be blessed.  They were evangelized by Moses and were pro-Semitic.  The phrase, "your nest is set in the cliff" (rock) means they are believers.  However, there was a group of Kenites who lived in Canaan (Genesis 15:19) and were anti-Semitic.  They are called "Kain" (Numbers 24:22).  They were wandering metal workers.  When Assyria overran the Northern Kingdom where the anti-Semitic Kenites had moved, those who were not killed were taken captive.  "Asshur" is Assyria.

God will protect the Jews because He has ordained it.  Those who practice anti-Semitism will perish. Kittim originally meant Cyprus, but came to refer to all of the islands settled by the Greeks in the Aegean and Mediterranean.  The ships from Kittim refer to the navy of the Revived Roman Empire in the Tribulation.  "Asshur" (Assyria)  refers to the King of the North in the Tribulation. The King of the North, who is in Egypt will be cut off by sea.  Eber (one from across the Jordan) refers to all who are anti-Semitic and are invading Israel.  Their end will be "destruction." After prophesying the history of anti-Semitism, Balaam went toward his home, but nothing says he went all the way home.  Wherever he went, he soon settled with the Midianites.


Baal Bait

Balaam was fond of the Midianite princes (Numbers 31:7-8) and was attracted to the beauty of the Midianite women.  So he returned to live with the Midianites.  And he found a way to earn his fee. Whereas, Israel could not be cursed by Balaam due to the overruling will of God, they could destroy themselves through the Law of Volitional Responsibility.  Balaam taught Balak how to lure Israel into idolatry and destroy their Marriage Culture.  "Shittim" means acacia grove.  Israel remained at the same camp on the east side of the Jordan, prior to entering the Promised Land.  Having defeated the Amalekites, they were secure from their enemies.  Meanwhile Balaam had moved back to live with the Midianites, and he began to teach Balak how to lure Israel to destruction.  Prior to Numbers 25:1, Balaam counseled Balak on how to lure Israel into cursing.  This is explained in 2 Peter 2:15, Revelation 2:14, and Numbers 31:16.

Balaam convinced Balak to use the Moabite and Midianite girls to lure the men of Israel into the Phallic Cult.  The girls were sent out on a diplomatic initiative to use their feminine and evil charms to attract the men of Israel.  The girls were the young virgins and newly initiated prostitutes of Baal, which included licentious dancing and fornication.  The Jewish men had been living an austere life in the desert for thirty-nine years.  They had their own Right Women and wives but were willing to reject the Law of Israel for the sensual pleasures of Moabite culture and Baal worship.  Both idolatry and adultery were expressly prohibited by the Mosaic Law.

Not only did the Moabite and Midianite girls offer prostitution, they also promised the best beefsteak and other culinary pleasures.  The charbroiled steaks were meat offered as sacrifices to Baal.  Because the culture of the Moabites and Midianites involved ritual eating, the girls were probably chubby or obese.  In contrast to the Jewish women who ate only manna and were probably slim, the Moabite and Midianite girls were more voluptuous.  There is ample evidence that many cultures in history revered the fat female in lieu of the slim one.  So, the invitation to the sacrifices to Baal included dining on the best cuts of beef and mutton.  Here again, if the Jewish men had only understood Logistical Grace, they would have rejected the offer.  Under Logistical Grace, God provided manna for them every day from the PX in heaven.  Those who rejected God's Logistical Grace provision were lured into the worship of Baal. The Jewish men also bowed down to worship the gods of the Moabites, which included Baal and probably Molech.  Instead of saying grace before their meals, they bowed to the power of Baal.  Bowing to worship an idol was a violation of the authority of the Mosaic Law.  Jews who worshipped Baal were enemies of the God of Israel.  The penalty for idolatry as well as adultery was capital punishment in Israel.  Thus, the Jewish men who worshipped Baal were rebelling against the God of their salvation and destined to die the sin that ends in death in the wilderness.

The infiltration of the Moabite and Midianite prostitutes was a test for the men of Israel, who were also soldiers in the Army of Israel.  Those who succumbed to the temptation died in the wilderness.  Those who rejected the temptation went into the Promised Land.  Thus, this was a test to cull those who did not have the spiritual strength to resist the lure of Satan.  Such infidels were not sanctified unto God but were slaves of the world.  Without spiritual integrity, they were unfit to receive the blessings of the Promised Land.  They demonstrated by running off into idolatry that they lacked the spiritual capacity for life to enter the next phase of their spiritual life, which was Spiritual Warfare.  Fighting to secure the Promised Land symbolizes Spiritual Warfare.

Space-Time Coordinate SystemThree counterattacks are mentioned against the men of Israel:  Fornication, eating the sacrifices to Baal, and worshipping Baal.  The substitute for love in the worship of Baal was fornication.  The Jews were commanded to love God, but the devil's counterfeit in Baal worship was fornication.  The Jews were given manna from Logistical Grace.  The counterfeit in Baal worship was beefsteak and mutton that had been sacrificed to Baal.  The Jews were commanded to worship God only.  The counterfeit in Baal worship was to worship Baal.  These three counterattacks were counterattacks of the X, Y, and Z axes of the Space-Time Coordinate System.

The Table, Baal Counterattack on Israel, shows how Baal worship attacked the three axes of the Space-Time Coordinate System.

Baal Counterattack on Israel

Axis Baal Counterfeit Babylon Counterattack
1.  Faith - X  Eating Sacrificial Meat Ecumenical Babylon
2.  Love - Y Fornication Political Babylon
3.  Hope - Z Baal Worship Cosmic Babylon

Each activity of Baal worship was a counterattack from Cosmic, Political, or Ecumenical Babylon of the Cosmic System of Satan.  Holding to faith on any one of these axes would have kept the Jewish men out of idolatry.  If they had known how to eat, they would have rejected the meat sacrificed to idols.  If they had loved their Right Woman, they would have rejected the prostitutes of Baal.  If they had known and obeyed the first of the Ten Commandments, they would have refused to worship Baal.

The Yoke of Slavery

The yoke was placed around the necks of animals, e.g. oxen and mules, to harness them to a cart or a plow.  A yoke around the neck was a symbol of slavery.  The symbol here was a Jewish man with his neck in one side of the yoke and Baal in the other side of the yoke.  Since Baal was the stronger, such a person was bound to be the slave of Baal.   After taking the bait, these Jews were enslaved to Satan's Cosmic System. The picture should have been the believer yoked to the Lord (Matthew 11:29-30).

The yoke analogy here is equivalent to the baited trap analogy of Revelation 2:14, which was previously explained under Balaam's Lust.  The Moabite and Midianite prostitutes were the bait of the trap to lure the Jewish men into the Cosmic System.  Those who took the bait had the trap of slavery close upon them.

Baal of Peor was the Baal who was worshipped in the city of Beth-Peor (Deuteronomy 3:29; 4:46) as the goddess of love in whose honor the women and virgins prostituted themselves.  As the god of war, he was known as Chemosh (Numbers 21:29).  Chemosh was also worshipped as the Sun god and the king of the nation of Moab.  He was portrayed on coins of Aeropolis, standing on a column with a sword in the right hand and a lance and shield in the left, and with two fire torches by his side.  He was appeased by the sacrifice of children in times of great distress (2 Kings 3:27).1

Israel was a Client Nation, which is a type of system.  When part of them became slaves to Baal, all of the Client Nation suffered because "the Lord was angry against Israel."  This is an anthropopathism to express God's dissatisfaction with Israel's rejection of Himself.

Capital Punishment for Offending Jews

Per the Law of Israel, idolatry was a capital offense.  The Lord commanded Moses to have the Jews who were involved in idolatry publicly executed. The style of execution was to first kill the guilty ones and then impale them upon stakes or fasten them to crosses to make a public example.  This does not mean that the suspects were not to be given fair trials per Exodus 18, however.

However, this command was never executed because events took a turn for the worse.  While the people were assembled in front of the Tabernacle, Zimri, a Jew of the tribe of Simeon, brought in a Midianite princess named Cozbi in the sight of all Israel and took her into his bedroom (Numbers 25:6).  When Phinehas, one of the priests, saw this, he grabbed his spear and went after the Jew into his bedroom.  The Hebrew hB*q% (qubah) means arch and refers to the back part of a tent behind the arch, which was the bedroom.  Phinehas caught them in the act of fornication and pierced them both through with his spear (Numbers 25:7-8).  Consequently, the plague that God had sent to judge Israel was restrained.

Before Phinehas in his zeal made atonement for Israel, however, 24,000 died in the plague.  In one day 23,000 died (1 Corinthians 10:8).

Destruction of Midian

The Lord commanded Moses to attack the Midianites because of their evil.  So Israel went to war with Midian (Numbers 31:1-7), which was not much of a war since the Midianites were nomads and not warriors.  All the men of Midian were killed along with their five kings.  They also killed Balaam (Numbers 31:8).  Thus, Balaam died due to the sin that ends in death.  He received judgment for counseling Balak to lure the Jews into the worship of Baal of Peor (Numbers 31:16).  When the Army of Israel returned with the spoil, they brought back the women and children.  Moses was angry with them for this, since the women had caused Israel to sin.  So, he commanded them to kill all the male children and all the women who were not virgins (Numbers 31:17).  This, in effect, cut off the race; for without the males they could not procreate.


Balaam was an activistic, reversionistic believer.  Although the gift of prophet was operational in Balaam, worldliness made him the enemy of God.  The angel of the Lord opposed Balaam and used a donkey to reprimand him; but nothing could prevent Balaam from following his worldly pursuits.  When God prevented him from cursing Israel with divination, Balaam convinced Balak to enlist the prostitutes of Baal to lure the men of Israel to destruction.  Balaam moved in with the Midianites and counseled them to tempt Israel with the worship of Baal, which included fornication, ritual eating, and worship of idols.

Balaam's activity was anti-Semitic.  In his reversionism, Balaam was blinded by his lust.  He lusted after money, fame, and Midianite women. His lust produced temporary insanity.  He lived in reversionism to satisfy his worldly lusts.  In so doing, he rejected the grace of God and entered into anti-Semitism, which eventually cost him his life.  He died with his worldly friends and prostitutes, the Midianites.  He rejected grace and died due to the sin that ends in death.

Balaam was the dupe of Satan, who is the enemy of Israel.  Satan's strategy in the Angelic Conflict is to destroy Israel in order to prevent the Plan of God from being fulfilled.  Those people and nations who enter into anti-Semitism have become pawns of Satan.  And history is littered with those who have been cursed by God for anti-Semitism.  No person or nation will survive anti-Semitism.  The Abrahamic Covenant was an unconditional promise to Abraham and his descendants.  The Lord said that He would bless those who blessed Israel, and curse those who cursed Israel.

Baal is active today in his role of luring those who are full of lust into the devil's camp.  Baal still seduces children and adults alike through lascivious lust as the goddess of love.  However, he also poses as the god of war.  In this role he is symbolized by the bear who murders and mauls children and seeks to annihilate Israel.  Just as the male polar bear rejects its cubs and may try to kill them, humans under the power of Baal abuse their children.  The hatred of the nation of Israel today is often inspired by Baal.

The causes of reversionism are not just the depravity of mankind under domination of the Old Sin Nature.  The reversionist, like the unbeliever, is the pawn of Satan (Ephesians 2:2).  Satan and his demons rule the world and those who do not love God are their slaves.  Satan's demons, like Baal, lure the unsuspecting into their power with the bait that arouses lust.  What appears to be a worldly attraction, leads many ignorant believers to slavery and eventuates in the sin that terminates with death.  The believer who falls for the devil's lie is doomed to slavery to Cosmos Diabolicus.

Spiritual freedom is available to those who love God and keep His commandments (Galatians 5:1).  Spiritual freedom can only be attained, however, by experiential sanctification.  Only the believer who loves God will respond to the teaching of Bible Doctrine.  Through spiritual growth from metabolization of Bible Doctrine, the believer will learn to use the weapons of his spiritual warfare.  In Spiritual Warfare, the believer with doctrine will be able to thwart the power of Satan and his demon hoards that seek to enslave the entire human race (Ephesians 6:12).  The believer with doctrine will be able to take up a defensive position on the FLOT (Forward Line of Troops) line to stop the advance of Satan (James 4:7).  When Satan's advance is stopped, the blessings of God with spiritual freedom will be added through the grace of God.

The counterattack from Baal is aimed at Marriage Culture.  The devil does not support marriage because Marriage is a divine institution.  Just as Baal lured the Jewish men away from their right women through lust for the Midianite prostitutes, men today are tempted to leave their right woman for a paramour.  Those who engage in fornication and adultery are not just demonstrating personal weakness, they are the pawns of demons like Baal.  These are powerful forces that are bent on the destruction of the Church and Israel.  Believers who take the bait will be enslaved to the Cosmic System.  They will never have the peace and prosperity of love in a marriage that is blessed by God.  Those who become Baal's victims will become like him, monsters - haters of God and mankind.

Marriage is the foundation of the culture.  It is the most intimate relationship in this life.  It is a Divine Institution designed to provide Right Man and Right Woman with love, freedom, and happiness.  Those who would squander their birthright for a mess of pottage will not only destroy their own lives but they will also bring the cursing of God upon the culture.  Just as God sent a plague to judge Israel for being yoked to Baal in Balaam's day, the land that is polluted by Baal will be the recipient of divine discipline.  Nations and cultures that take the bait of Baal are doomed to the curse of God and the sin that eventuates in death.

The Baal attack upon marriage and the culture can only be stopped by believers who love God and execute the Protocol Plan of God.  Those who dabble in Christianity are like those who taste the bait of Baal.  They are both the enemies of God.  Only those who love God and keep His commandments can secure for themselves and their posterity the spiritual blessings from God.


1. C. F. Keil and F. Delitzch (James Martin, Translator), Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. I, ISBN 0-8028-8035-5 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Co.), 1978.

Last Revision:  July 6, 2014

Author: Larry Wood

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