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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



7234
Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 4.105-4.107


παραγενομένους δὲ τοὺς πρέσβεις δέχεται ξενίᾳ φιλοφρόνως καὶ δειπνίσας ἀνέκρινε τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ διάνοιαν, τίς αὕτη ἐστὶν ἐφ' οἷς Μαδιηνῖται παρακαλοῦσι. τοῦ δ' ἐμποδὼν στάντος ἀφικνεῖται πρὸς τοὺς πρέσβεις, προθυμίαν μὲν καὶ σπουδὴν τὴν ἰδίαν ἐμφανίζων αὐτοῖς εἰς ἃ δέονται τυχεῖν, τὸν δὲ θεὸν ἀντιλέγειν αὐτοῦ τῇ προαιρέσει δηλῶν, ὃς αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον κλέος δι' ἀλήθειαν καὶ τὴν ταύτης πρόρρησιν ἀγάγοι:So Balsam received the ambassadors, and treated them very kindly; and when he had supped, he inquired what was God’s will, and what this matter was for which the Midianites entreated him to come to them. But when God opposed his going, he came to the ambassadors, and told them that he was himself very willing and desirous to comply with their request, but informed them that God was opposite to his intentions, even that God who had raised him to great reputation on account of the truth of his predictions;


τὸν γὰρ στρατόν, ᾧ καταρασόμενον αὐτὸν ἐλθεῖν παρακαλοῦσι, δι' εὐνοίας εἶναι τῷ θεῷ: συνεβούλευέ τε διὰ ταύτην τὴν αἰτίαν χωρεῖν παρ' αὐτοὺς τὴν ἔχθραν τὴν πρὸς τοὺς ̓Ισραηλίτας καταλυσαμένους. καὶ τοὺς μὲν πρέσβεις ταῦτα εἰπὼν ἀπέλυσε.for that this army, which they entreated him to come and curse, was in the favor of God; on which account he advised them to go home again, and not to persist in their enmity against the Israelites; and when he had given them that answer, he dismissed the ambassadors.


Μαδιηνῖται δὲ Βαλάκου σφόδρα ἐγκειμένου καὶ δέησιν λιπαρὰν προσφέροντος πάλιν πέμπουσι πρὸς τὸν Βάλαμον. κἀκεῖνος βουλόμενος χαρίζεσθαί τι τοῖς ἀνδράσιν ἀνήρετο τὸν θεόν, ὁ δὲ καὶ τῆς πείρας δυσχεράνας κελεύει μηδὲν ἀντιλέγειν τοῖς πρέσβεσιν. ὁ δ' οὐχ ὑπολαβὼν ἀπάτῃ ταῦτα τὸν θεὸν κεκελευκέναι συναπῄει τοῖς πρέσβεσι.3. Now the Midianites, at the earnest request and fervent entreaties of Balak, sent other ambassadors to Balaam, who, desiring to gratify the men, inquired again of God; but he was displeased at this [second] trial, and bid him by no means to contradict the ambassadors. Now Balsam did not imagine that God gave this injunction in order to deceive him, so he went along with the ambassadors;


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

12 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Deuteronomy, 17.14-17.20, 18.9-18.22 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

17.14. כִּי־תָבֹא אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ וִירִשְׁתָּהּ וְיָשַׁבְתָּה בָּהּ וְאָמַרְתָּ אָשִׂימָה עָלַי מֶלֶךְ כְּכָל־הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתָי׃ 17.15. שׂוֹם תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בּוֹ מִקֶּרֶב אַחֶיךָ תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ לֹא תוּכַל לָתֵת עָלֶיךָ אִישׁ נָכְרִי אֲשֶׁר לֹא־אָחִיךָ הוּא׃ 17.16. רַק לֹא־יַרְבֶּה־לּוֹ סוּסִים וְלֹא־יָשִׁיב אֶת־הָעָם מִצְרַיְמָה לְמַעַן הַרְבּוֹת סוּס וַיהוָה אָמַר לָכֶם לֹא תֹסִפוּן לָשׁוּב בַּדֶּרֶךְ הַזֶּה עוֹד׃ 17.17. וְלֹא יַרְבֶּה־לּוֹ נָשִׁים וְלֹא יָסוּר לְבָבוֹ וְכֶסֶף וְזָהָב לֹא יַרְבֶּה־לּוֹ מְאֹד׃ 17.18. וְהָיָה כְשִׁבְתּוֹ עַל כִּסֵּא מַמְלַכְתּוֹ וְכָתַב לוֹ אֶת־מִשְׁנֵה הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת עַל־סֵפֶר מִלִּפְנֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים הַלְוִיִּם׃ 17.19. וְהָיְתָה עִמּוֹ וְקָרָא בוֹ כָּל־יְמֵי חַיָּיו לְמַעַן יִלְמַד לְיִרְאָה אֶת־יְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו לִשְׁמֹר אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת וְאֶת־הַחֻקִּים הָאֵלֶּה לַעֲשֹׂתָם׃ 18.9. כִּי אַתָּה בָּא אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ לֹא־תִלְמַד לַעֲשׂוֹת כְּתוֹעֲבֹת הַגּוֹיִם הָהֵם׃ 18.11. וְחֹבֵר חָבֶר וְשֹׁאֵל אוֹב וְיִדְּעֹנִי וְדֹרֵשׁ אֶל־הַמֵּתִים׃ 18.12. כִּי־תוֹעֲבַת יְהוָה כָּל־עֹשֵׂה אֵלֶּה וּבִגְלַל הַתּוֹעֵבֹת הָאֵלֶּה יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מוֹרִישׁ אוֹתָם מִפָּנֶיךָ׃ 18.13. תָּמִים תִּהְיֶה עִם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ׃ 18.14. כִּי הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה יוֹרֵשׁ אוֹתָם אֶל־מְעֹנְנִים וְאֶל־קֹסְמִים יִשְׁמָעוּ וְאַתָּה לֹא כֵן נָתַן לְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ׃ 18.15. נָבִיא מִקִּרְבְּךָ מֵאַחֶיךָ כָּמֹנִי יָקִים לְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֵלָיו תִּשְׁמָעוּן׃ 18.16. כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־שָׁאַלְתָּ מֵעִם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּחֹרֵב בְּיוֹם הַקָּהָל לֵאמֹר לֹא אֹסֵף לִשְׁמֹעַ אֶת־קוֹל יְהוָה אֱלֹהָי וְאֶת־הָאֵשׁ הַגְּדֹלָה הַזֹּאת לֹא־אֶרְאֶה עוֹד וְלֹא אָמוּת׃ 18.17. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלָי הֵיטִיבוּ אֲשֶׁר דִּבֵּרוּ׃ 18.18. נָבִיא אָקִים לָהֶם מִקֶּרֶב אֲחֵיהֶם כָּמוֹךָ וְנָתַתִּי דְבָרַי בְּפִיו וְדִבֶּר אֲלֵיהֶם אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר אֲצַוֶּנּוּ׃ 18.19. וְהָיָה הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יִשְׁמַע אֶל־דְּבָרַי אֲשֶׁר יְדַבֵּר בִּשְׁמִי אָנֹכִי אֶדְרֹשׁ מֵעִמּוֹ׃ 18.21. וְכִי תֹאמַר בִּלְבָבֶךָ אֵיכָה נֵדַע אֶת־הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר לֹא־דִבְּרוֹ יְהוָה׃ 18.22. אֲשֶׁר יְדַבֵּר הַנָּבִיא בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה וְלֹא־יִהְיֶה הַדָּבָר וְלֹא יָבוֹא הוּא הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר לֹא־דִבְּרוֹ יְהוָה בְּזָדוֹן דִּבְּרוֹ הַנָּבִיא לֹא תָגוּר מִמֶּנּוּ׃ 17.14. When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein; and shalt say: ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are round about me’;" 17.15. thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose; one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; thou mayest not put a foreigner over thee, who is not thy brother." 17.16. Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses; forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you: ‘Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.’" 17.17. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away; neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold." 17.18. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book, out of that which is before the priests the Levites." 17.19. And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them;" 17.20. that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left; to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel." 18.9. When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations." 18.10. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one that useth divination, a soothsayer, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer," 18.11. or a charmer, or one that consulteth a ghost or a familiar spirit, or a necromancer." 18.12. For whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto the LORD; and because of these abominations the LORD thy God is driving them out from before thee." 18.13. Thou shalt be whole-hearted with the LORD thy God." 18.14. For these nations, that thou art to dispossess, hearken unto soothsayers, and unto diviners; but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do." 18.15. A prophet will the LORD thy God raise up unto thee, from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;" 18.16. according to all that thou didst desire of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying: ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.’" 18.17. And the LORD said unto me: ‘They have well said that which they have spoken." 18.18. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." 18.19. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto My words which he shall speak in My name, I will require it of him." 18.20. But the prophet, that shall speak a word presumptuously in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’" 18.21. And if thou say in thy heart: ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?’" 18.22. When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken; the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously, thou shalt not be afraid of him."
2. Hebrew Bible, Numbers, 22.8-22.13, 22.22 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

22.8. וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם לִינוּ פֹה הַלַּיְלָה וַהֲשִׁבֹתִי אֶתְכֶם דָּבָר כַּאֲשֶׁר יְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֵלָי וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׂרֵי־מוֹאָב עִם־בִּלְעָם׃ 22.9. וַיָּבֹא אֱלֹהִים אֶל־בִּלְעָם וַיֹּאמֶר מִי הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה עִמָּךְ׃ 22.11. הִנֵּה הָעָם הַיֹּצֵא מִמִּצְרַיִם וַיְכַס אֶת־עֵין הָאָרֶץ עַתָּה לְכָה קָבָה־לִּי אֹתוֹ אוּלַי אוּכַל לְהִלָּחֶם בּוֹ וְגֵרַשְׁתִּיו׃ 22.12. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים אֶל־בִּלְעָם לֹא תֵלֵךְ עִמָּהֶם לֹא תָאֹר אֶת־הָעָם כִּי בָרוּךְ הוּא׃ 22.13. וַיָּקָם בִּלְעָם בַּבֹּקֶר וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־שָׂרֵי בָלָק לְכוּ אֶל־אַרְצְכֶם כִּי מֵאֵן יְהוָה לְתִתִּי לַהֲלֹךְ עִמָּכֶם׃ 22.22. וַיִּחַר־אַף אֱלֹהִים כִּי־הוֹלֵךְ הוּא וַיִּתְיַצֵּב מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה בַּדֶּרֶךְ לְשָׂטָן לוֹ וְהוּא רֹכֵב עַל־אֲתֹנוֹ וּשְׁנֵי נְעָרָיו עִמּוֹ׃ 22.8. And he said unto them: ‘Lodge here this night, and I will bring you back word, as the LORD may speak unto me’; and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam." 22.9. And God came unto Balaam, and said: ‘What men are these with thee?’" 22.10. And Balaam said unto God: ‘Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me [saying]:" 22.11. Behold the people that is come out of Egypt, it covereth the face of the earth; now, come curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out.’" 22.12. And God said unto Balaam: ‘Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people; for they are blessed.’" 22.13. And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak: ‘Get you into your land; for the LORD refuseth to give me leave to go with you.’" 22.22. And God’s anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of the LORD placed himself in the way for an adversary against him.—Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.—"
3. Hebrew Bible, Daniel, 4.34 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

4.34. כְּעַן אֲנָה נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר מְשַׁבַּח וּמְרוֹמֵם וּמְהַדַּר לְמֶלֶךְ שְׁמַיָּא דִּי כָל־מַעֲבָדוֹהִי קְשֹׁט וְאֹרְחָתֵהּ דִּין וְדִי מַהְלְכִין בְּגֵוָה יָכִל לְהַשְׁפָּלָה׃ 4.34. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven; for all His works are truth, and His ways justice; and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.’"
4. Septuagint, 2 Maccabees, 6.16, 7.33, 10.4, 15.37-15.39 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

6.16. Therefore he never withdraws his mercy from us. Though he disciplines us with calamities, he does not forsake his own people.' 7.33. And if our living Lord is angry for a little while, to rebuke and discipline us, he will again be reconciled with his own servants.' 10.4. And when they had done this, they fell prostrate and besought the Lord that they might never again fall into such misfortunes, but that, if they should ever sin, they might be disciplined by him with forbearance and not be handed over to blasphemous and barbarous nations.' 15.37. This, then, is how matters turned out with Nicanor. And from that time the city has been in the possession of the Hebrews. So I too will here end my story.' 15.38. If it is well told and to the point, that is what I myself desired; if it is poorly done and mediocre, that was the best I could do.' 15.39. For just as it is harmful to drink wine alone, or, again, to drink water alone, while wine mixed with water is sweet and delicious and enhances one's enjoyment, so also the style of the story delights the ears of those who read the work. And here will be the end.'
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Cherubim, 32 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

32. Moses also represents Balaam, who is the symbol of a vain people, stripped of his arms, as a runaway and deserter, well knowing the war which it becomes the soul to carry on for the sake of knowledge; for he says to his ass, who is here a symbol of the irrational designs of life which every foolish man entertains, that "If I had had a sword, I should ere now have slain Thee." And great thanks are due to the Maker of all things, because he, knowing the struggles and resistance of folly, did not give to it the power of language, which would have been like giving a sword to a madman, in order that it might have no power to work great and iniquitous destruction among all whom it should meet with. 32. This, then, may be enough to say on these subjects; but it is necessary now to connect with these things what I am about to say, namely, that it was the Father of the universe who delivered these ten maxims, or oracles, or laws and enactments, as they truly are, to the whole assembled nation of men and women altogether. Did he then do so, uttering himself some kind of voice? Away! let not such an idea ever enter your mind; for God is not like a man, in need of a mouth, and of a tongue, and of a windpipe
6. Philo of Alexandria, On The Change of Names, 203 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

7. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 1.266 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.266. So this man, Balak, now sent some of his companions, entreating him to come to him, and he gave him some presents at once, and he promised to give him others also, explaining to him the necessity which he was in, on account of which he had sent for him. But he did not treat the messengers with any noble or consistent disposition, but with great courtesy and civility evaded their request, as if he were one of the most celebrated prophets, and as such was accustomed to do nothing whatever without first consulting the oracle, and so he declined, saying that the Deity would not permit him to go with them.
8. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 1.1-1.26, 1.248, 1.253, 1.288-1.290, 2.15, 2.41-2.59, 2.65, 2.72, 2.217, 2.275, 2.282, 2.284-2.292, 2.317, 2.320, 2.327, 2.340, 2.345-2.346, 2.348, 4.12-4.15, 4.19, 4.33, 4.40, 4.43, 4.53, 4.100, 4.102-4.104, 4.106-4.158, 4.223, 4.279, 10.203-10.210, 10.217, 10.266-10.281 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.1. 1. Those who undertake to write histories, do not, I perceive, take that trouble on one and the same account, but for many reasons, and those such as are very different one from another. 1.1. 3. I found, therefore, that the second of the Ptolemies was a king who was extraordinarily diligent in what concerned learning, and the collection of books; that he was also peculiarly ambitious to procure a translation of our law, and of the constitution of our government therein contained, into the Greek tongue. 1.1. it being an instance of greater wisdom not to have granted them life at all, than, after it was granted, to procure their destruction; “But the injuries,” said he, “they offered to my holiness and virtue, forced me to bring this punishment upon them. 1.2. For some of them apply themselves to this part of learning to show their skill in composition, and that they may therein acquire a reputation for speaking finely. Others of them there are who write histories in order to gratify those that happen to be concerned in them, and on that account have spared no pains, but rather gone beyond their own abilities in the performance. 1.2. neither could the legislator himself have a right mind without such a contemplation; nor would any thing he should write tend to the promotion of virtue in his readers; I mean, unless they be taught first of all, that God is the Father and Lord of all things, and sees all things, and that thence he bestows a happy life upon those that follow him; but plunges such as do not walk in the paths of virtue into inevitable miseries. 1.2. And when God had replied that there was no good man among the Sodomites; for if there were but ten such man among them, he would not punish any of them for their sins, Abraham held his peace. And the angels came to the city of the Sodomites, and Lot entreated them to accept of a lodging with him; for he was a very generous and hospitable man, and one that had learned to imitate the goodness of Abraham. Now when the Sodomites saw the young men to be of beautiful counteces, and this to an extraordinary degree, and that they took up their lodgings with Lot, they resolved themselves to enjoy these beautiful boys by force and violence; 1.3. But others there are, who, of necessity and by force, are driven to write history, because they are concerned in the facts, and so cannot excuse themselves from committing them to writing, for the advantage of posterity; nay, there are not a few who are induced to draw their historical facts out of darkness into light, and to produce them for the benefit of the public, on account of the great importance of the facts themselves with which they have been concerned. 1.3. After this, on the second day, he placed the heaven over the whole world, and separated it from the other parts, and he determined it should stand by itself. He also placed a crystalline [firmament] round it, and put it together in a manner agreeable to the earth, and fitted it for giving moisture and rain, and for affording the advantage of dews. 1.3. And when Jacob had given his consent to this, he agreed to stay seven years; for so many years he had resolved to serve his father-in-law, that, having given a specimen of his virtue, it might be better known what sort of a man he was. And Jacob, accepting of his terms, after the time was over, he made the wedding-feast; 1.4. Now of these several reasons for writing history, I must profess the two last were my own reasons also; for since I was myself interested in that war which we Jews had with the Romans, and knew myself its particular actions, and what conclusion it had, I was forced to give the history of it, because I saw that others perverted the truth of those actions in their writings. 1.4. 4. God therefore commanded that Adam and his wife should eat of all the rest of the plants, but to abstain from the tree of knowledge; and foretold to them, that if they touched it, it would prove their destruction. 1.5. 2. Now I have undertaken the present work, as thinking it will appear to all the Greeks worthy of their study; for it will contain all our antiquities, and the constitution of our government, as interpreted out of the Hebrew Scriptures. 1.5. He also deprived the serpent of speech, out of indignation at his malicious disposition towards Adam. Besides this, he inserted poison under his tongue, and made him an enemy to men; and suggested to them, that they should direct their strokes against his head, that being the place wherein lay his mischievous designs towards men, and it being easiest to take vengeance on him, that way. And when he had deprived him of the use of his feet, he made him to go rolling all along, and dragging himself upon the ground. 1.6. And indeed I did formerly intend, when I wrote of the war, to explain who the Jews originally were,—what fortunes they had been subject to,—and by what legislator they had been instructed in piety, and the exercise of other virtues,—what wars also they had made in remote ages, till they were unwillingly engaged in this last with the Romans: 1.6. 2. And when Cain had traveled over many countries, he, with his wife, built a city, named Nod, which is a place so called, and there he settled his abode; where also he had children. However, he did not accept of his punishment in order to amendment, but to increase his wickedness; for he only aimed to procure every thing that was for his own bodily pleasure, though it obliged him to be injurious to his neighbors. 1.7. but because this work would take up a great compass, I separated it into a set treatise by itself, with a beginning of its own, and its own conclusion; but in process of time, as usually happens to such as undertake great things, I grew weary and went on slowly, it being a large subject, and a difficult thing to translate our history into a foreign, and to us unaccustomed, language. 1.7. And that their inventions might not be lost before they were sufficiently known, upon Adam’s prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire, and at another time by the violence and quantity of water, they made two pillars, the one of brick, the other of stone: they inscribed their discoveries on them both 1.8. However, some persons there were who desired to know our history, and so exhorted me to go on with it; and, above all the rest, Epaphroditus, a man who is a lover of all kind of learning, but is principally delighted with the knowledge of history, and this on account of his having been himself concerned in great affairs, and many turns of fortune, and having shown a wonderful vigor of an excellent nature, and an immovable virtuous resolution in them all. 1.8. 3. This calamity happened in the six hundredth year of Noah’s government, [age,] in the second month, called by the Macedonians Dius, but by the Hebrews Marchesuan: for so did they order their year in Egypt. 1.9. I yielded to this man’s persuasions, who always excites such as have abilities in what is useful and acceptable, to join their endeavors with his. I was also ashamed myself to permit any laziness of disposition to have a greater influence upon me than the delight of taking pains in such studies as were very useful: I thereupon stirred up myself, and went on with my work more cheerfully. Besides the foregoing motives, I had others which I greatly reflected on; and these were, that our forefathers were willing to communicate such things to others; and that some of the Greeks took considerable pains to know the affairs of our nation. 1.9. When the rain ceased, the water did but just begin to abate after one hundred and fifty days; that is, on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, it then ceasing to subside for a little while. After this, the ark rested on the top of a certain mountain in Armenia; which, when Noah understood, he opened it; and seeing a small piece of land about it, he continued quiet, and conceived some cheerful hopes of deliverance. 1.11. Now Eleazar, the high priest, one not inferior to any other of that dignity among us, did not envy the forenamed king the participation of that advantage, which otherwise he would for certain have denied him, but that he knew the custom of our nation was, to hinder nothing of what we esteemed ourselves from being communicated to others. 1.11. Now the plain in which they first dwelt was called Shinar. God also commanded them to send colonies abroad, for the thorough peopling of the earth, that they might not raise seditions among themselves, but might cultivate a great part of the earth, and enjoy its fruits after a plentiful manner. But they were so ill instructed that they did not obey God; for which reason they fell into calamities, and were made sensible, by experience, of what sin they had been guilty: 1.12. Accordingly, I thought it became me both to imitate the generosity of our high priest, and to suppose there might even now be many lovers of learning like the king; for he did not obtain all our writings at that time; but those who were sent to Alexandria as interpreters, gave him only the books of the law 1.12. 1. After this they were dispersed abroad, on account of their languages, and went out by colonies every where; and each colony took possession of that land which they light upon, and unto which God led them; so that the whole continent was filled with them, both the inland and the maritime countries. There were some also who passed over the sea in ships, and inhabited the islands: 1.13. while there were a vast number of other matters in our sacred books. They, indeed, contain in them the history of five thousand years; in which time happened many strange accidents, many chances of war, and great actions of the commanders, and mutations of the form of our government. 1.13. 2. The children of Ham possessed the land from Syria and Amanus, and the mountains of Libanus; seizing upon all that was on its sea-coasts, and as far as the ocean, and keeping it as their own. Some indeed of its names are utterly vanished away; others of them being changed, and another sound given them, are hardly to be discovered; yet a few there are which have kept their denominations entire. 1.14. Upon the whole, a man that will peruse this history, may principally learn from it, that all events succeed well, even to an incredible degree, and the reward of felicity is proposed by God; but then it is to those that follow his will, and do not venture to break his excellent laws: and that so far as men any way apostatize from the accurate observation of them, what was practicable before becomes impracticable; and whatsoever they set about as a good thing is converted into an incurable calamity. 1.14. 3. Noah, when, after the deluge, the earth was resettled in its former condition, set about its cultivation; and when he had planted it with vines, and when the fruit was ripe, and he had gathered the grapes in their season, and the wine was ready for use, he offered sacrifice, and feasted 1.15. And now I exhort all those that peruse these books, to apply their minds to God; and to examine the mind of our legislator, whether he hath not understood his nature in a manner worthy of him; and hath not ever ascribed to him such operations as become his power, and hath not preserved his writings from those indecent fables which others have framed 1.15. Heber begat Phaleg in his hundred and thirty-fourth year; he himself being begotten by Sala when he was a hundred and thirty years old, whom Arphaxad had for his son at the hundred and thirty-fifth year of his age. Arphaxad was the son of Shem, and born twelve years after the deluge. 1.16. although, by the great distance of time when he lived, he might have securely forged such lies; for he lived two thousand years ago; at which vast distance of ages the poets themselves have not been so hardy as to fix even the generations of their gods, much less the actions of their men, or their own laws. 1.16. but, after a long time, he got him up, and removed from that country also, with his people, and went into the land then called the land of Canaan, but now the land of Judea, and this when his posterity were become a multitude; as to which posterity of his, we relate their history in another work. Now the name of Abram is even still famous in the country of Damascus; and there is shown a village named from him, The Habitation of Abram.” 1.17. As I proceed, therefore, I shall accurately describe what is contained in our records, in the order of time that belongs to them; for I have already promised so to do throughout this undertaking; and this without adding any thing to what is therein contained, or taking away any thing therefrom. 1.17. and he took himself what the other left, which were the lower grounds at the foot of the mountains; and he himself dwelt in Hebron, which is a city seven years more ancient than Tanis of Egypt. But Lot possessed the land of the plain, and the river Jordan, not far from the city of Sodom, which was then a fine city, but is now destroyed, by the will and wrath of God, the cause of which I shall show in its proper place hereafter. 1.18. 4. But because almost all our constitution depends on the wisdom of Moses, our legislator, I cannot avoid saying somewhat concerning him beforehand, though I shall do it briefly; I mean, because otherwise those that read my book may wonder how it comes to pass, that my discourse, which promises an account of laws and historical facts, contains so much of philosophy. 1.18. where Melchisedec, king of the city Salem, received him. That name signifies, the righteous king: and such he was, without dispute, insomuch that, on this account, he was made the priest of God: however, they afterward called Salem Jerusalem. 1.19. The reader is therefore to know, that Moses deemed it exceeding necessary, that he who would conduct his own life well, and give laws to others, in the first place should consider the divine nature; and, upon the contemplation of God’s operations, should thereby imitate the best of all patterns, so far as it is possible for human nature to do, and to endeavor to follow after it: 1.19. He also told her, that if she disobeyed God, and went on still in her way, she should perish; but if she would return back, she should become the mother of a son who should reign over that country. These admonitions she obeyed, and returned to her master and mistress, and obtained forgiveness. A little while afterwards, she bare Ismael; which may be interpreted Heard of God, because God had heard his mother’s prayer. 1.21. Now when Moses was desirous to teach this lesson to his countrymen, he did not begin the establishment of his laws after the same manner that other legislators did; I mean, upon contracts and other rights between one man and another, but by raising their minds upwards to regard God, and his creation of the world; and by persuading them, that we men are the most excellent of the creatures of God upon earth. Now when once he had brought them to submit to religion, he easily persuaded them to submit in all other things: 1.21. He also entreated him to be at peace with him, and to make God propitious to him; and that if he thought fit to continue with him, he should have what he wanted in abundance; but that if he designed to go away, he should be honorably conducted, and have whatsoever supply he wanted when he came thither. 1.22. for as to other legislators, they followed fables, and by their discourses transferred the most reproachful of human vices unto the gods, and so afforded wicked men the most plausible excuses for their crimes; 1.22. 4. When the lad was grown up, he married a wife, by birth an Egyptian, from whence the mother was herself derived originally. of this wife were born to Ismael twelve sons; Nabaioth, Kedar, Abdeel, Mabsam, Idumas, Masmaos, Masaos, Chodad, Theman, Jetur, Naphesus, Cadmas. 1.23. but as for our legislator, when he had once demonstrated that God was possessed of perfect virtue, he supposed that men also ought to strive after the participation of it; and on those who did not so think, and so believe, he inflicted the severest punishments. 1.23. Accordingly thou, my son, wilt now die, not in any common way of going out of the world, but sent to God, the Father of all men, beforehand, by thy own father, in the nature of a sacrifice. I suppose he thinks thee worthy to get clear of this world neither by disease, neither by war, nor by any other severe way, by which death usually comes upon men 1.24. I exhort, therefore, my readers to examine this whole undertaking in that view; for thereby it will appear to them, that there is nothing therein disagreeable either to the majesty of God, or to his love to mankind; for all things have here a reference to the nature of the universe; while our legislator speaks some things wisely, but enigmatically, and others under a decent allegory, but still explains such things as required a direct explication plainly and expressly. 1.24. And indeed Alexander Polyhistor gives his attestation to what I here say; who speaks thus: “Cleodemus the prophet, who was also called Malchus, who wrote a History of the Jews, in agreement with the History of Moses, their legislator, relates, that there were many sons born to Abraham by Keturah: 1.25. However, those that have a mind to know the reasons of every thing, may find here a very curious philosophical theory, which I now indeed shall wave the explication of; but if God afford me time for it, I will set about writing it after I have finished the present work. 1.25. She desired also that he would come and lodge with them, since the approach of the night gave him not time to proceed farther. And producing his precious ornaments for women, he said he desired to trust them to none more safely than to such as she had shown herself to be; and that he believed he might guess at the humanity of her mother and brother, that they would not be displeased, from the virtue he found in her; for he would not be burdensome, but would pay the hire for his entertainment, and spend his own money. 1.26. I shall now betake myself to the history before me, after I have first mentioned what Moses says of the creation of the world, which I find described in the sacred books after the manner following. 1.26. for when he saw that God was with Isaac, and took such great care of him, he drove him away from him. But Isaac, when he saw how envy had changed the temper of Abimelech retired to a place called the Valley, not far from Gerar: and as he was digging a well, the shepherds fell upon him, and began to fight, in order to hinder the work; and because he did not desire to contend, the shepherds seemed to get the better of him 1.248. Nor did she disdain to satisfy his inquiries, but told him her family. “They,” says she, “call me Rebeka; my father was Bethuel, but he is dead; and Laban is my brother; and, together with my mother, takes care of all our family affairs, and is the guardian of my virginity.” 1.253. upon which account he hath sent me to you, being desirous to take this damsel for his son to wife. He is his legitimate son, and is brought up as his only heir. He could indeed have had the most happy of all the women in that country for him, but he would not have his son marry any of them; but, out of regard to his own relations, he desired him to match here 1.288. 5. But Jacob was quite overcome, not so much by their kindred, nor by that affection which might arise thence, as by his love to the damsel, and his surprise at her beauty, which was so flourishing, as few of the women of that age could vie with. He said then, “There is a relation between thee and me, elder than either thy or my birth, if thou be the daughter of Laban; 1.289. for Abraham was the son of Terah, as well as Haran and Nahor. of the last of whom, Nahor, Bethuel thy grandfather was the son. Isaac my father was the son of Abraham and of Sarah, who was the daughter of Haran. But there is a nearer and later cement of mutual kindred which we bear to one another 2.15. Now Jacob was pleased with the dream: for, considering the prediction in his mind, and shrewdly and wisely guessing at its meaning, he rejoiced at the great things thereby signified, because it declared the future happiness of his son; and that, by the blessing of God, the time would come when he should be honored, and thought worthy of worship by his parents and brethren 2.15. and the reproachful manner of our ruin will hasten his end, and will directly kill him; nay, will bring him to a miserable death, while he will make haste to rid himself out of the world, and bring himself to a state of insensibility, before the sad story of our end come abroad into the rest of the world. 2.41. 2. For when his master’s wife was fallen in love with him, both on account of his beauty of body, and his dexterous management of affairs; and supposed, that if she should make it known to him, she could easily persuade him to come and lie with her, and that he would look upon it as a piece of happy fortune that his mistress should entreat him 2.42. as regarding that state of slavery he was in, and not his moral character, which continued after his condition was changed. So she made known her naughty inclinations, and spake to him about lying with her. However, he rejected her entreaties, not thinking it agreeable to religion to yield so far to her, as to do what would tend to the affront and injury of him that purchased him, and had vouchsafed him so great honors. 2.43. He, on the contrary, exhorted her to govern that passion; and laid before her the impossibility of her obtaining her desires, which he thought might be conquered, if she had no hope of succeeding; and he said, that as to himself, he would endure any thing whatever before he would be persuaded to it; for although it was fit for a slave, as he was, to do nothing contrary to his mistress, he might well be excused in a case where the contradiction was to such sort of commands only. 2.44. But this opposition of Joseph, when she did not expect it, made her still more violent in her love to him; and as she was sorely beset with this naughty passion, so she resolved to compass her design by a second attempt. 2.45. 3. When, therefore, there was a public festival coming on, in which it was the custom for women to come to the public solemnity; she pretended to her husband that she was sick, as contriving an opportunity for solitude and leisure, that she might entreat Joseph again. Which opportunity being obtained, she used more kind words to him than before; 2.46. and said that it had been good for him to have yielded to her first solicitation, and to have given her no repulse, both because of the reverence he ought to bear to her dignity who solicited him, and because of the vehemence of her passion, by which she was forced though she were his mistress to condescend beneath her dignity; but that he may now, by taking more prudent advice, wipe off the imputation of his former folly; 2.47. for whether it were that he expected the repetition of her solicitations she had now made, and that with greater earnestness than before, for that she had pretended sickness on this very account, and had preferred his conversation before the festival and its solemnity; or whether he opposed her former discourses, as not believing she could be in earnest; she now gave him sufficient security, by thus repeating her application, that she meant not in the least by fraud to impose upon him; 2.48. and assured him, that if he complied with her affections, he might expect the enjoyment of the advantages he already had; and if he were submissive to her, he should have still greater advantages; but that he must look for revenge and hatred from her, in case he rejected her desires, and preferred the reputation of chastity before his mistress; 2.49. for that he would gain nothing by such procedure, because she would then become his accuser, and would falsely pretend to her husband, that he had attempted her chastity; and that Potiphar would hearken to her words rather than to his, let his be ever so agreeable to the truth. 2.51. He also put her in mind that she was a married woman, and that she ought to cohabit with her husband only; and desired her to suffer these considerations to have more weight with her than the short pleasure of lustful dalliance, which would bring her to repentance afterwards, would cause trouble to her, and yet would not amend what had been done amiss. He also suggested to her the fear she would be in lest they should be caught; and that the advantage of concealment was uncertain, and that only while the wickedness was not known [would there be any quiet for them]; 2.52. but that she might have the enjoyment of her husband’s company without any danger. And he told her, that in the company of her husband she might have great boldness from a good conscience, both before God and before men. Nay, that she would act better like his mistress, and make use of her authority over him better while she persisted in her chastity, than when they were both ashamed for what wickedness they had been guilty of; and that it is much better to depend on a good life, well acted, and known to have been so, than upon the hopes of the concealment of evil practices. 2.53. 5. Joseph, by saying this, and more, tried to restrain the violent passion of the woman, and to reduce her affections within the rules of reason; but she grew more ungovernable and earnest in the matter; and since she despaired of persuading him, she laid her hands upon him, and had a mind to force him. 2.54. But as soon as Joseph had got away from her anger, leaving also his garment with her, for he left that to her, and leaped out of her chamber, she was greatly afraid lest he should discover her lewdness to her husband, and greatly troubled at the affront he had offered her; so she resolved to be beforehand with him, and to accuse Joseph falsely to Potiphar, and by that means to revenge herself on him for his pride and contempt of her; and she thought it a wise thing in itself, and also becoming a woman, thus to prevent his accusation. 2.55. Accordingly she sat sorrowful and in confusion, framing herself so hypocritically and angrily, that the sorrow, which was really for her being disappointed of her lust, might appear to be for the attempt upon her chastity; so that when her husband came home, and was disturbed at the sight of her and inquired what was the cause of the disorder she was in, she began to accuse Joseph: and, “O husband,” said she, “mayest thou not live a day longer if thou dost not punish the wicked slave who has desired to defile thy bed; 2.56. who has neither minded who he was when he came to our house, so as to behave himself with modesty; nor has he been mindful of what favors he had received from thy bounty (as he must be an ungrateful man indeed, unless he, in every respect, carry himself in a manner agreeable to us;) this man, I say, laid a private design to abuse thy wife, and this at the time of a festival, observing when thou wouldst be absent. So that it now is clear that his modesty, as it appeared to be formerly, was only because of the restraint he was in out of fear of thee, but that he was not really of a good disposition. 2.57. This has been occasioned by his being advanced to honor beyond what he deserved, and what he hoped for; insomuch that he concluded, that he who was deemed fit to be trusted with thy estate and the government of thy family, and was preferred above thy eldest servants, might be allowed to touch thy wife also.” 2.58. Thus when she had ended her discourse, she showed him his garment, as if he then left it with her when he attempted to force her. But Potiphar not being able to disbelieve what his wife’s tears showed, and what his wife said, and what he saw himself, and being seduced by his love to his wife, did not set himself about the examination of the truth; 2.59. but taking it for granted that his wife was a modest woman, and condemning Joseph as a wicked man, he threw him into the malefactors’ prison; and had a still higher opinion of his wife, and bare her witness that she was a woman of a becoming modesty and chastity. 2.65. This, he said, was what he saw; and he desired Joseph, that if he had any portion of understanding in such matters, he would tell him what this vision foretold. Who bid him be of good cheer, and expect to be loosed from his bonds in three days’ time, because the king desired his service, and was about to restore him to it again; 2.72. And he expected a prediction like to that of the cupbearer. But Joseph, considering and reasoning about the dream, said to him, that he would willingly be an interpreter of good events to him, and not of such as his dream denounced to him; but he told him that he had only three days in all to live, for that the [three] baskets signify 2.217. 4. When the vision had informed him of these things, Amram awaked and told it to Jochebed who was his wife. And now the fear increased upon them on account of the prediction in Amram’s dream; for they were under concern, not only for the child, but on account of the great happiness that was to come to him also. 2.275. 4. Moses having now seen and heard these wonders that assured him of the truth of these promises of God, had no room left him to disbelieve them: he entreated him to grant him that power when he should be in Egypt; and besought him to vouchsafe him the knowledge of his own name; and since he had heard and seen him, that he would also tell him his name, that when he offered sacrifice he might invoke him by such his name in his oblations. 2.282. and told him how much he had done for the good of the Egyptians, when they were despised by the Ethiopians, and their country laid waste by them; and how he had been the commander of their forces, and had labored for them, as if they had been his own people and he informed him in what danger he had been during that expedition, without having any proper returns made him as he had deserved. 2.284. 3. But when the king derided Moses; he made him in earnest see the signs that were done at Mount Sinai. Yet was the king very angry with him and called him an ill man, who had formerly run away from his Egyptian slavery, and came now back with deceitful tricks, and wonders, and magical arts, to astonish him. 2.285. And when he had said this, he commanded the priests to let him see the same wonderful sights; as knowing that the Egyptians were skillful in this kind of learning, and that he was not the only person who knew them, and pretended them to be divine; as also he told him, that when he brought such wonderful sights before him, he would only be believed by the unlearned. Now when the priests threw down their rods, they became serpents. 2.286. But Moses was not daunted at it; and said, “O king, I do not myself despise the wisdom of the Egyptians, but I say that what I do is so much superior to what these do by magic arts and tricks, as divine power exceeds the power of man: but I will demonstrate that what I do is not done by craft, or counterfeiting what is not really true, but that they appear by the providence and power of God.” 2.287. And when he had said this, he cast his rod down upon the ground, and commanded it to turn itself into a serpent. It obeyed him, and went all round, and devoured the rods of the Egyptians, which seemed to be dragons, until it had consumed them all. It then returned to its own form, and Moses took it into his hand again. 2.288. 4. However, the king was no more moved when was done than before; and being very angry, he said that he should gain nothing by this his cunning and shrewdness against the Egyptians;—and he commanded him that was the chief taskmaster over the Hebrews, to give them no relaxation from their labors, but to compel them to submit to greater oppressions than before; 2.289. and though he allowed them chaff before for making their bricks, he would allow it them no longer, but he made them to work hard at brick-making in the day-time, and to gather chaff in the night. Now when their labor was thus doubled upon them, they laid the blame upon Moses, because their labor and their misery were on his account become more severe to them. 2.291. So he went to the king, and persuaded him to let the Hebrews go to Mount Sinai, and there to sacrifice to God, because God had enjoined them so to do. He persuaded him also not to counterwork the designs of God, but to esteem his favor above all things, and to permit them to depart, lest, before he be aware, he lay an obstruction in the way of the divine commands, and so occasion his own suffering such punishments as it was probable any one that counterworked the divine commands should undergo 2.292. ince the severest afflictions arise from every object to those that provoke the divine wrath against them; for such as these have neither the earth nor the air for their friends; nor are the fruits of the womb according to nature, but every thing is unfriendly and adverse towards them. He said further, that the Egyptians should know this by sad experience; and that besides, the Hebrew people should go out of their country without their consent. 2.317. Whence it is that, in memory of the want we were then in, we keep a feast for eight days, which is called the feast of unleavened bread. Now the entire multitude of those that went out, including the women and children, was not easy to be numbered, but those that were of an age fit for war, were six hundred thousand. 2.327. So they laid the blame on Moses, and forgot all the signs that had been wrought by God for the recovery of their freedom; and this so far, that their incredulity prompted them to throw stones at the prophet, while he encouraged them and promised them deliverance; and they resolved that they would deliver themselves up to the Egyptians. 2.345. 4. But the Hebrews were not able to contain themselves for joy at their wonderful deliverance, and destruction of their enemies; now indeed supposing themselves firmly delivered, when those that would have forced them into slavery were destroyed, and when they found they had God so evidently for their protector. 2.346. And now these Hebrews having escaped the danger they were in, after this manner, and besides that, seeing their enemies punished in such a way as is never recorded of any other men whomsoever, were all the night employed in singing of hymns, and in mirth. Moses also composed a song unto God, containing his praises, and a thanksgiving for his kindness, in hexameter verse. 2.348. while, for the sake of those that accompanied Alexander, king of Macedonia, who yet lived, comparatively, but a little while ago, the Pamphylian Sea retired and afforded them a passage through itself, had no other way to go; I mean, when it was the will of God to destroy the monarchy of the Persians: and this is confessed to be true by all that have written about the actions of Alexander. But as to these events, let every one determine as he pleases. 4.12. I well remember by what entreaties both you and the Midianites so joyfully brought me hither, and on that account I took this journey. It was my prayer, that I might not put any affront upon you, as to what you desired of me; 4.12. Such a sedition overtook them, as we have not the like example either among the Greeks or the Barbarians, by which they were in danger of being all destroyed, but were notwithstanding saved by Moses, who would not remember that he had been almost stoned to death by them. 4.13. and when they see that they are enamored of them, let them take their leaves; and if they entreat them to stay, let them not give their consent till they have persuaded them to leave off their obedience to their own laws, and the worship of that God who established them, and to worship the gods of the Midianites and Moabites; for by this means God will be angry at them .” Accordingly, when Balaam had suggested this counsel to them, he went his way. 4.13. Nor did God neglect to prevent their ruin; but, notwithstanding the indignities they had offered their legislator and the laws, and their disobedience to the commandments which he had sent them by Moses, he delivered them from those terrible calamities, which, without his providential care, had been brought upon them by this sedition. So I will first explain the cause whence this sedition arose, and then will give an account of the sedition itself; as also of what settlements Moses made for their government, after it was over. 4.14. o far indeed that this transgression was already gone through the whole army of the young men, and they fell into a sedition that was much worse than the former, and into danger of the entire abolition of their own institutions; for when once the youth had tasted of these strange customs, they went with insatiable inclinations into them; and even where some of the principal men were illustrious on account of the virtues of their fathers, they also were corrupted together with the rest. 4.14. 2. Corah, a Hebrew of principal account both by his family and by his wealth, one that was also able to speak well, and one that could easily persuade the people by his speeches, saw that Moses was in an exceeding great dignity, and was uneasy at it, and envied him on that account (he was of the same tribe with Moses, and of kin to him), was particularly grieved, because he thought he better deserved that honorable post on account of his great riches, and not inferior to him in his birth. 4.15. 12. Now when Zimri had said these things, about what he and some others had wickedly done, the people held their peace, both out of fear of what might come upon them, and because they saw that their legislator was not willing to bring his insolence before the public any further, or openly to contend with him; 4.15. So he raised a clamor against him among the Levites, who were of the same tribe, and especially among his kindred, saying, “That it was a very sad thing that they should overlook Moses, while he hunted after, and paved the way to glory for himself, and by ill arts should obtain it, under the pretense of God’s command, while, contrary to the laws, he had given the priesthood to Aaron, not by the common suffrage of the multitude, but by his own vote 4.19. for if God had determined to bestow that honor on one of the tribe of Levi, I am more worthy of it than he is; I myself being equal to Moses by my family, and superior to him both in riches and in age: but if God had determined to bestow it on the eldest tribe, that of Reuben might have it most justly; and then Dathan, and Abiram, and [On, the son of] Peleth, would have it; for these are the oldest men of that tribe, and potent on account of their great wealth also.” 4.19. Since, when you shall have once proceeded so far by your wealth, as to a contempt and disregard of virtue, you will also forfeit the favor of God; and when you have made him your enemy, you will be beaten in war, and will have the land which you possess taken away again from you by your enemies, and this with great reproaches upon your conduct. You will be scattered over the whole world, and will, as slaves, entirely fill both sea and land; 4.33. and do thou, O Corah, leave the judgment to God, and await to see on which side he will give his determination upon this occasion, but do not thou make thyself greater than God. Do thou also come, that this contest about this honorable employment may receive determination. And I suppose we may admit Aaron without offense, to offer himself to this scrutiny, since he is of the same lineage with thyself, and has done nothing in his priesthood that can be liable to exception. 4.33. So the people mourned for him thirty days: nor did ever any grief so deeply affect the Hebrews as did this upon the death of Moses: 4.43. Now, therefore, since I am suspected by those very men whose being is owing to my labors, come thou, as it is reasonable to hope thou wilt; thou, I say, who showedst me that fire at mount Sinai, and madest me to hear its voice, and to see the several wonders which that place afforded thou who commandedst me to go to Egypt, and declare thy will to this people; 4.53. And truly, any one would lament them, not only on account of this calamity that befell them, which yet deserves our commiseration, but also because their kindred were pleased with their sufferings; for they forgot the relation they bare to them, and at the sight of this sad accident approved of the judgment given against them; and because they looked upon the people about Dathan as pestilent men, they thought they perished as such, and did not grieve for them. 4.102. 2. When Balak, the king of the Moabites, who had from his ancestors a friendship and league with the Midianites, saw how great the Israelites were grown, he was much affrighted on account of his own and his kingdom’s danger; for he was not acquainted with this, that the Hebrews would not meddle with any other country, but were to be contented with the possession of the land of Canaan, God having forbidden them to go any farther So he, with more haste than wisdom, resolved to make an attempt upon them by words; 4.103. but he did not judge it prudent to fight against them, after they had such prosperous successes, and even became out of ill successes more happy than before, but he thought to hinder them, if he could, from growing greater, and so he resolved to send ambassadors to the Midianites about them. 4.104. Now these Midianites knowing there was one Balaam, who lived by Euphrates, and was the greatest of the prophets at that time, and one that was in friendship with them, sent some of their honorable princes along with the ambassadors of Balak, to entreat the prophet to come to them, that he might imprecate curses to the destruction of the Israelites. 4.106. for that this army, which they entreated him to come and curse, was in the favor of God; on which account he advised them to go home again, and not to persist in their enmity against the Israelites; and when he had given them that answer, he dismissed the ambassadors. 4.107. 3. Now the Midianites, at the earnest request and fervent entreaties of Balak, sent other ambassadors to Balaam, who, desiring to gratify the men, inquired again of God; but he was displeased at this [second] trial, and bid him by no means to contradict the ambassadors. Now Balsam did not imagine that God gave this injunction in order to deceive him, so he went along with the ambassadors; 4.108. but when the divine angel met him in the way, when he was in a narrow passage, and hedged in with a wall on both sides, the ass on which Balaam rode understood that it was a divine spirit that met him, and thrust Balaam to one of the walls, without regard to the stripes which Balaam, when he was hurt by the wall, gave her; 4.109. but when the ass, upon the angel’s continuing to distress her, and upon the stripes which were given her, fell down, by the will of God, she made use of the voice of a man, and complained of Balaam as acting unjustly to her; that whereas he had no fault to find with her in her former service to him, he now inflicted stripes upon her, as not understanding that she was hindered from serving him in what he was now going about, by the providence of God. 4.111. Upon which Balaam was afraid, and was preparing to return back again: yet did God excite him to go on his intended journey, but added this injunction, that he should declare nothing but what he himself should suggest to his mind. 4.112. 4. When God had given him this charge, he came to Balak; and when the king had entertained him in a magnificent manner, he desired him to go to one of the mountains to take a view of the state of the camp of the Hebrews. Balak himself also came to the mountain, and brought the prophet along with him, with a royal attendance. This mountain lay over their heads, and was distant sixty furlongs from the camp. 4.113. Now when he saw them, he desired the king to build him seven altars, and to bring him as many bulls and rams; to which desire the king did presently conform. He then slew the sacrifices, and offered them as burnt-offerings, that he might observe some signal of the flight of the Hebrews. 4.114. Then said he, “Happy is this people, on whom God bestows the possession of innumerable good things, and grants them his own providence to be their assistant and their guide; so that there is not any nation among mankind but you will be esteemed superior to them in virtue, and in the earnest prosecution of the best rules of life, and of such as are pure from wickedness, and will leave those rules to your excellent children; and this out of the regard that God bears to you, and the provision of such things for you as may render you happier than any other people under the sun. 4.115. You shall retain that land to which he hath sent you, and it shall ever be under the command of your children; and both all the earth, as well as the seas, shall be filled with your glory: and you shall be sufficiently numerous to supply the world in general, and every region of it in particular, with inhabitants out of your stock. 4.116. However, O blessed army! wonder that you are become so many from one father: and truly, the land of Canaan can now hold you, as being yet comparatively few; but know ye that the whole world is proposed to be your place of habitation for ever. The multitude of your posterity also shall live as well in the islands as on the continent, and that more in number than are the stars of heaven. And when you are become so many, God will not relinquish the care of you, but will afford you an abundance of all good things in times of peace, with victory and dominion in times of war. 4.117. May the children of your enemies have an inclination to fight against you; and may they be so hardy as to come to arms, and to assault you in battle, for they will not return with victory, nor will their return be agreeable to their children and wives. To so great a degree of valor will you be raised by the providence of God, who is able to diminish the affluence of some, and to supply the wants of others.” 4.118. 5. Thus did Balaam speak by inspiration, as not being in his own power, but moved to say what he did by the Divine Spirit. But then Balak was displeased, and said he had broken the contract he had made, whereby he was to come, as he and his confederates had invited him, by the promise of great presents: for whereas he came to curse their enemies, he had made an encomium upon them, and had declared that they were the happiest of men. 4.119. To which Balaam replied, “O Balak, if thou rightly considerest this whole matter, canst thou suppose that it is in our power to be silent, or to say any thing, when the Spirit of God seizes upon us?—for he puts such words as he pleases in our mouths, and such discourses as we are not ourselves conscious of. 4.121. but God is more powerful than the purposes I had made to serve you; for those that take upon them to foretell the affairs of mankind, as from their own abilities, are entirely unable to do it, or to forbear to utter what God suggests to them, or to offer violence to his will; for when he prevents us and enters into us, nothing that we say is our own. 4.122. I then did not intend to praise this army, nor to go over the several good things which God intended to do to their race; but since he was so favorable to them, and so ready to bestow upon them a happy life and eternal glory, he suggested the declaration of those things to me: 4.123. but now, because it is my desire to oblige thee thyself, as well as the Midianites, whose entreaties it is not decent for me to reject, go to, let us again rear other altars, and offer the like sacrifices that we did before, that I may see whether I can persuade God to permit me to bind these men with curses.” 4.124. Which, when Balak had agreed to, God would not, even upon second sacrifices, consent to his cursing the Israelites. 4.125. Then fell Balaam upon his face, and foretold what calamities would befall the several kings of the nations, and the most eminent cities, some of which of old were not so much as inhabited; which events have come to pass among the several people concerned, both in the foregoing ages, and in this, till my own memory, both by sea and by land. From which completion of all these predictions that he made, one may easily guess that the rest will have their completion in time to come. 4.126. 6. But Balak being very angry that the Israelites were not cursed, sent away Balaam without thinking him worthy of any honor. Whereupon, when he was just upon his journey, in order to pass the Euphrates, he sent for Balak, and for the princes of the Midianites 4.127. and spake thus to them:—“O Balak, and you Midianites that are here present, (for I am obliged even without the will of God to gratify you,) it is true no entire destruction can seize upon the nation of the Hebrews, neither by war, nor by plague, nor by scarcity of the fruits of the earth, nor can any other unexpected accident be their entire ruin; 4.128. for the providence of God is concerned to preserve them from such a misfortune; nor will it permit any such calamity to come upon them whereby they may all perish; but some small misfortunes, and those for a short time, whereby they may appear to be brought low, may still befall them; but after that they will flourish again, to the terror of those that brought those mischiefs upon them. 4.129. So that if you have a mind to gain a victory over them for a short space of time, you will obtain it by following my directions:—Do you therefore set out the handsomest of such of your daughters as are most eminent for beauty, and proper to force and conquer the modesty of those that behold them, and these decked and trimmed to the highest degree you are able. Then do you send them to be near the Israelites’ camp, and give them in charge, that when the young men of the Hebrews desire their company, they allow it them; 4.131. 7. So when the Midianites had sent their daughters, as Balaam had exhorted them, the Hebrew young men were allured by their beauty, and came to discourse with them, and besought them not to grudge them the enjoyment of their beauty, nor to deny them their conversation. These daughters of the Midianites received their words gladly, and consented to it, and staid with them; 4.132. but when they had brought them to be enamored of them, and their inclinations to them were grown to ripeness, they began to think of departing from them: then it was that these men became greatly disconsolate at the women’s departure, and they were urgent with them not to leave them, but begged they would continue there, and become their wives; and they promised them they should be owned as mistresses of all they had. 4.133. This they said with an oath, and called God for the arbitrator of what they promised; and this with tears in their eyes, and all other such marks of concern, as might shew how miserable they thought themselves without them, and so might move their compassion for them. So the women, as soon as they perceived they had made them their slaves, and had caught them with their conversation, began to speak thus to them:— 4.134. 8. “O you illustrious young men! we have houses of our own at home, and great plenty of good things there, together with the natural, affectionate love of our parents and friends; nor is it out of our want of any such things that we came to discourse with you; nor did we admit of your invitation with design to prostitute the beauty of our bodies for gain; but taking you for brave and worthy men, we agreed to your request, that we might treat you with such honors as hospitality required: 4.135. and now seeing you say that you have a great affection for us, and are troubled when you think we are departing, we are not averse to your entreaties; and if we may receive such assurance of your good-will as we think can be alone sufficient, we will be glad to lead our lives with you as your wives; 4.136. but we are afraid that you will in time be weary of our company, and will then abuse us, and send us back to our parents, after an ignominious manner.” And so they desired that they would excuse them in their guarding against that danger. But the young men professed they would give them any assurance they should desire; nor did they at all contradict what they requested, so great was the passion they had for them. 4.137. “If then,” said they, “this be your resolution, since you make use of such customs and conduct of life as are entirely different from all other men, insomuch that your kinds of food are peculiar to yourselves, and your kinds of drink not common to others, it will be absolutely necessary, if you would have us for your wives, that you do withal worship our gods. Nor can there be any other demonstration of the kindness which you say you already have, and promise to have hereafter to us, than this, that you worship the same gods that we do. 4.138. For has any one reason to complain, that now you are come into this country, you should worship the proper gods of the same country? especially while our gods are common to all men, and yours such as belong to nobody else but yourselves.” So they said they must either come into such methods of divine worship as all others came into, or else they must look out for another world, wherein they may live by themselves, according to their own laws. 4.139. 9. Now the young men were induced by the fondness they had for these women to think they spake very well; so they gave themselves up to what they persuaded them, and transgressed their own laws, and supposing there were many gods, and resolving that they would sacrifice to them according to the laws of that country which ordained them, they both were delighted with their strange food, and went on to do every thing that the women would have them do, though in contradiction to their own laws; 4.141. 10. Even Zimri, the head of the tribe of Simeon accompanied with Cozbi, a Midianitish women, who was the daughter of Sur, a man of authority in that country; and being desired by his wife to disregard the laws of Moses, and to follow those she was used to, he complied with her, and this both by sacrificing after a manner different from his own, and by taking a stranger to wife. 4.142. When things were thus, Moses was afraid that matters should grow worse, and called the people to a congregation, but then accused nobody by name, as unwilling to drive those into despair who, by lying concealed, might come to repentance; 4.143. but he said that they did not do what was either worthy of themselves, or of their fathers, by preferring pleasure to God, and to the living according to his will; that it was fit they should change their courses while their affairs were still in a good state, and think that to be true fortitude which offers not violence to their laws, but that which resists their lusts. 4.144. And besides that, he said it was not a reasonable thing, when they had lived soberly in the wilderness, to act madly now when they were in prosperity; and that they ought not to lose, now they have abundance, what they had gained when they had little:—and so did he endeavor, by saying this, to correct the young inert, and to bring them to repentance for what they had done. 4.145. 11. But Zimri arose up after him, and said, “Yes, indeed, Moses, thou art at liberty to make use of such laws as thou art so fond of, and hast, by accustoming thyself to them, made them firm; otherwise, if things had not been thus, thou hadst often been punished before now, and hadst known that the Hebrews are not easily put upon; 4.146. but thou shalt not have me one of thy followers in thy tyrannical commands, for thou dost nothing else hitherto, but, under pretense of laws, and of God, wickedly impose on us slavery, and gain dominion to thyself, while thou deprivest us of the sweetness of life, which consists in acting according to our own wills, and is the right of free-men, and of those that have no lord over them. 4.147. Nay, indeed, this man is harder upon the Hebrews then were the Egyptians themselves, as pretending to punish, according to his laws, every one’s acting what is most agreeable to himself; but thou thyself better deservest to suffer punishment, who presumest to abolish what every one acknowledges to be what is good for him, and aimest to make thy single opinion to have more force than that of all the rest; 4.148. and what I now do, and think to be right, I shall not hereafter deny to be according to my own sentiments. I have married, as thou sayest rightly, a strange woman, and thou hearest what I do from myself as from one that is free, for truly I did not intend to conceal myself. 4.149. I also own that I sacrificed to those gods to whom you do not think it fit to sacrifice; and I think it right to come at truth by inquiring of many people, and not like one that lives under tyranny, to suffer the whole hope of my life to depend upon one man; nor shall any one find cause to rejoice who declares himself to have more authority over my actions than myself.” 4.151. for he avoided that, lest many should imitate the impudence of his language, and thereby disturb the multitude. Upon this the assembly was dissolved. However, the mischievous attempt had proceeded further, if Zimri had not been first slain, which came to pass on the following occasion:— 4.152. Phineas, a man in other respects better than the rest of the young men, and also one that surpassed his contemporaries in the dignity of his father, (for he was the son of Eleazar the high priest, and the grandson of [Aaron] Moses’s brother,) who was greatly troubled at what was done by Zimri, he resolved in earnest to inflict punishment on him, before his unworthy behavior should grow stronger by impunity, and in order to prevent this transgression from proceeding further, which would happen if the ringleaders were not punished. 4.153. He was of so great magimity, both in strength of mind and body, that when he undertook any very dangerous attempt, he did not leave it off till he overcame it, and got an entire victory. So he came into Zimri’s tent, and slew him with his javelin, and with it he slew Cozbi also 4.154. Upon which all those young men that had a regard to virtue, and aimed to do a glorious action, imitated Phineas’s boldness, and slew those that were found to be guilty of the same crime with Zimri. Accordingly many of those that had transgressed perished by the magimous valor of these young men; 4.155. and the rest all perished by a plague, which distemper God himself inflicted upon them; so that all those their kindred, who, instead of hindering them from such wicked actions, as they ought to have done, had persuaded them to go on, were esteemed by God as partners in their wickedness, and died. Accordingly there perished out of the army no fewer than fourteen [twenty-four] thousand at this time. 4.156. 13. This was the cause why Moses was provoked to send an army to destroy the Midianites, concerning which expedition we shall speak presently, when we have first related what we have omitted; for it is but just not to pass over our legislator’s due encomium, on account of his conduct here 4.157. because, although this Balaam, who was sent for by the Midianites to curse the Hebrews, and when he was hindered from doing it by Divine Providence, did still suggest that advice to them, by making use of which our enemies had well nigh corrupted the whole multitude of the Hebrews with their wiles, till some of them were deeply infected with their opinions; yet did he do him great honor, by setting down his prophecies in writing. 4.158. And while it was in his power to claim this glory to himself, and make men believe they were his own predictions, there being no one that could be a witness against him, and accuse him for so doing, he still gave his attestation to him, and did him the honor to make mention of him on this account. But let every one think of these matters as he pleases. 4.223. 17. Aristocracy, and the way of living under it, is the best constitution: and may you never have any inclination to any other form of government; and may you always love that form, and have the laws for your governors, and govern all your actions according to them; for you need no supreme governor but God. But if you shall desire a king, let him be one of your own nation; let him be always careful of justice and other virtues perpetually; 4.279. 34. Let no one of the Israelites keep any poison that may cause death, or any other harm; but if he be caught with it, let him be put to death, and suffer the very same mischief that he would have brought upon them for whom the poison was prepared. 10.203. 4. When Daniel was come in to the king, he excused himself first, that he did not pretend to be wiser than the other Chaldeans and magicians, when, upon their entire inability to discover his dream, he was undertaking to inform him of it; for this was not by his own skill, or on account of his having better cultivated his understanding than the rest; but he said, “God hath had pity upon us, when we were in danger of death, and when I prayed for the life of myself, and of those of my own nation, hath made manifest to me both the dream, and the interpretation thereof; 10.204. for I was not less concerned for thy glory than for the sorrow that we were by thee condemned to die, while thou didst so unjustly command men, both good and excellent in themselves, to be put to death, when thou enjoinedst them to do what was entirely above the reach of human wisdom, and requiredst of them what was only the work of God. 10.205. Wherefore, as thou in thy sleep wast solicitous concerning those that should succeed thee in the government of the whole world, God was desirous to show thee all those that should reign after thee, and to that end exhibited to thee the following dream: 10.206. Thou seemedst to see a great image standing before thee, the head of which proved to be of gold, the shoulders and arms of silver, and the belly and the thighs of brass, but the legs and the feet of iron; 10.207. after which thou sawest a stone broken off from a mountain, which fell upon the image, and threw it down, and brake it to pieces, and did not permit any part of it to remain whole; but the gold, the silver, the brass, and the iron, became smaller than meal, which, upon the blast of a violent wind, was by force carried away, and scattered abroad, but the stone did increase to such a degree, that the whole earth beneath it seemed to be filled therewith. 10.208. This is the dream which thou sawest, and its interpretation is as follows: The head of gold denotes thee, and the kings of Babylon that have been before thee; but the two hands and arms signify this, that your government shall be dissolved by two kings; 10.209. but another king that shall come from the west, armed with brass, shall destroy that government; and another government, that shall be like unto iron, shall put an end to the power of the former, and shall have dominion over all the earth, on account of the nature of iron, which is stronger than that of gold, of silver, and of brass.” 10.217. but when none of them could find out the meaning of the dream, nor discover it to the king, Daniel was the only person that explained it; and as he foretold, so it came to pass; for after he had continued in the wilderness the forementioned interval of time, while no one durst attempt to seize his kingdom during those seven years, he prayed to God that he might recover his kingdom, and he returned to it. 10.266. But it is fit to give an account of what this man did, which is most admirable to hear, for he was so happy as to have strange revelations made to him, and those as to one of the greatest of the prophets, insomuch, that while he was alive he had the esteem and applause both of the kings and of the multitude; and now he is dead, he retains a remembrance that will never fail 10.267. for the several books that he wrote and left behind him are still read by us till this time; and from them we believe that Daniel conversed with God; for he did not only prophesy of future events, as did the other prophets, but he also determined the time of their accomplishment. 10.268. And while prophets used to foretell misfortunes, and on that account were disagreeable both to the kings and to the multitude, Daniel was to them a prophet of good things, and this to such a degree, that by the agreeable nature of his predictions, he procured the goodwill of all men; and by the accomplishment of them, he procured the belief of their truth, and the opinion of [a sort of] divinity for himself, among the multitude. 10.269. He also wrote and left behind him what made manifest the accuracy and undeniable veracity of his predictions; for he saith, that when he was in Susa, the metropolis of Persia, and went out into the field with his companions, there was, on the sudden, a motion and concussion of the earth, and that he was left alone by himself, his friends fleeing away from him, and that he was disturbed, and fell on his face, and on his two hands, and that a certain person touched him, and, at the same time, bid him rise, and see what would befall his countrymen after many generations. 10.271. that afterward he saw a very great horn growing out of the head of the he-goat, and that when it was broken off, four horns grew up that were exposed to each of the four winds, and he wrote that out of them arose another lesser horn, which, as he said, waxed great; and that God showed to him that it should fight against his nation, and take their city by force, and bring the temple worship to confusion, and forbid the sacrifices to be offered for one thousand two hundred and ninety-six days. 10.272. Daniel wrote that he saw these visions in the Plain of Susa; and he hath informed us that God interpreted the appearance of this vision after the following manner: He said that the ram signified the kingdoms of the Medes and Persians, and the horns those kings that were to reign in them; and that the last horn signified the last king, and that he should exceed all the kings in riches and glory: 10.273. that the he-goat signified that one should come and reign from the Greeks, who should twice fight with the Persian, and overcome him in battle, and should receive his entire dominion: 10.274. that by the great horn which sprang out of the forehead of the he-goat was meant the first king; and that the springing up of four horns upon its falling off, and the conversion of every one of them to the four quarters of the earth, signified the successors that should arise after the death of the first king, and the partition of the kingdom among them, and that they should be neither his children, nor of his kindred, that should reign over the habitable earth for many years; 10.275. and that from among them there should arise a certain king that should overcome our nation and their laws, and should take away their political government, and should spoil the temple, and forbid the sacrifices to be offered for three years’ time. 10.276. And indeed it so came to pass, that our nation suffered these things under Antiochus Epiphanes, according to Daniel’s vision, and what he wrote many years before they came to pass. In the very same manner Daniel also wrote concerning the Roman government, and that our country should be made desolate by them. 10.277. All these things did this man leave in writing, as God had showed them to him, insomuch that such as read his prophecies, and see how they have been fulfilled, would wonder at the honor wherewith God honored Daniel; and may thence discover how the Epicureans are in an error 10.278. who cast Providence out of human life, and do not believe that God takes care of the affairs of the world, nor that the universe is governed and continued in being by that blessed and immortal nature, but say that the world is carried along of its own accord, without a ruler and a curator; 10.279. which, were it destitute of a guide to conduct it, as they imagine, it would be like ships without pilots, which we see drowned by the winds, or like chariots without drivers, which are overturned; so would the world be dashed to pieces by its being carried without a Providence, and so perish, and come to nought. 10.281. Now as to myself, I have so described these matters as I have found them and read them; but if any one is inclined to another opinion about them, let him enjoy his different sentiments without any blame from me.
9. Josephus Flavius, Jewish War, 5.367 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

5.367. And evident it is that fortune is on all hands gone over to them; and that God, when he had gone round the nations with this dominion, is now settled in Italy. That, moreover, it is a strong and fixed law, even among brute beasts, as well as among men, to yield to those that are too strong for them; and to suffer those to have dominion who are too hard
10. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 1.50, 1.258 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.258. He says farther, that “This prophet slew himself, as foreseeing the anger of the gods, and those events which were to come upon Egypt afterward; and that he left this prediction for the king in writing.”
11. New Testament, Apocalypse, 2.14, 2.16 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.14. But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to throw a stumbling block before the children of Israel , to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 2.16. Repent therefore, or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth.
12. Anon., Numbers Rabba, 20.12, 20.19 (4th cent. CE - 9th cent. CE)

20.12. וַיָּבֹא אֱלֹהִים אֶל בִּלְעָם לַיְלָה. זֶה שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב (שמות יב, מב): לֵיל שִׁמֻרִים הוּא לַה' הוּא הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה. כָּל הַנִּסִּים שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל וּפָרַע לָהֶם מִן הָרְשָׁעִים בַּלַּיְלָה הָיָה (בראשית לא, כד): וַיָּבֹא אֱלֹהִים אֶל לָבָן הָאֲרַמִּי בַּחֲלֹם הַלָּיְלָה, (בראשית כ, ג): וַיָּבֹא אֱלֹהִים אֶל אֲבִימֶלֶךְ בַּחֲלוֹם הַלָּיְלָה, (שמות יב, כט): וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה, וּכְתִיב (שמות יד, כ): וַיְהִי הֶעָנָן וְהַחשֶׁךְ וַיָּאֶר אֶת הַלָּיְלָה, (בראשית יד, טו): וַיֵּחָלֵק עֲלֵיהֶם לַיְלָה, וְכֵן כֻּלָּם. דָּבָר אַחֵר, לָמָּה נִגְלָה עַל בִּלְעָם לַיְלָה, לֹא הָיָה רָאוּי לְרוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ, לְפִי שֶׁכָּל נְבִיאֵי הַגּוֹיִם בַּלַּיְלָה מְדַבֵּר עִמָּהֶם. וְכֵן אֱלִיפַז אוֹמֵר (איוב ד, יג): בִּשְׂעִפִּים מֵחֶזְיוֹנוֹת לָיְלָה. וְכֵן אֱלִיהוּא אוֹמֵר עַל זֶה שֶׁדִּבֵּר אִתּוֹ לַיְלָה. (במדבר כב, כ): אִם לִקְרֹא לְךָ בָּאוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים קוּם לֵךְ אִתָּם. מִכָּן אַתּ לָמֵד שֶׁבַּדֶּרֶךְ שֶׁאָדָם רוֹצֶה לֵילֵךְ בָּהּ מוֹלִיכִין אוֹתוֹ, שֶׁמִּתְּחִלָּה נֶאֱמַר לוֹ (במדבר כב, יב): לֹא תֵלֵךְ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהֵעֵז פָּנָיו לַהֲלֹךְ הָלַךְ, שֶׁכֵּן כְּתִיב (במדבר כב, כב): וַיִּחַר אַף אֱלֹהִים כִּי הוֹלֵךְ הוּא. אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא רָשָׁע אֵינִי חָפֵץ בְּאִבּוּדָן שֶׁל רְשָׁעִים, הוֹאִיל וְאַתְּ רוֹצֶה לֵילֵךְ לֵאָבֵד מִן הָעוֹלָם קוּם לֵךְ. (במדבר כב, כ): וְאַךְ אֶת הַדָּבָר, לְלַמֶּדְךָ שֶׁבְּהַתְרָאָה הָלַךְ, מִיָּד וַיַּשְׁכֵּם, קָדַם וְעָמַד בִּזְרִיזוּת הוּא בְּעַצְמוֹ, אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, רָשָׁע, כְּבָר קְדָמְךָ אַבְרָהָם אֲבִיהֶם לַעֲקֹד אֶת יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ, (בראשית כב, ג): וַיַּשְׁכֵּם אַבְרָהָם בַּבֹּקֶר וַיַּחֲבשׁ אֶת חֲמֹרוֹ וגו'. (במדבר כב, כא): וַיֵּלֶךְ עִם שָׂרֵי מוֹאָב, לְלַמֶּדְךָ שֶׁהָיָה שָׂמֵחַ בְּפֻרְעָנוּת יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּמוֹתָן. 20.19. וַיִּשָֹּׂא מְשָׁלוֹ וַיֹּאמַר מִן אֲרָם יַנְחֵנִי, פָּתַח וְאָמַר מִן הָרָמִים הָיִיתִי וְהוֹרִידַנִי בָּלָק לִבְאֵר שַׁחַת. יַנְחֵנִי, כְּמָה דְאַתְּ אָמַר (יחזקאל לב, יח): נְהֵה עַל הֲמוֹן מִצְרַיִם וְהוֹרִדֵהוּ. דָּבָר אַחֵר, מִן אֲרָם, עִם רָם, שֶׁלְּמַעְלָן הָיִיתִי וְהוֹרִידַנִי בָּלָק מִכְּבוֹדִי, מָשָׁל לְמִי שֶׁמְהַלֵּךְ עִם הַמֶּלֶךְ, רָאָה לִיסְטִין הִנִּיחַ אֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ וְטִיֵּל עִם הַלִּיסְטִין, כְּשֶׁחָזַר אֵצֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ אָמַר לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ לֵךְ עִם אוֹתוֹ שֶׁטִּיַּלְתָּ עִמּוֹ, שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לְךָ שֶׁתֵּלֵךְ עִמִּי. כָּךְ בִּלְעָם נִזְקַק לְרוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְחָזַר לִהְיוֹת קוֹסֵם כְּבַתְּחִלָּה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (יהושע יג, כב): וְאֶת בִּלְעָם בֶּן בְּעוֹר הַקּוֹסֵם, לְפִיכָךְ צָוַח רָם הָיִיתִי וְהוֹרִידַנִי בָּלָק. דָּבָר אַחֵר, מִן אֲרָם יַנְחֵנִי, אָמַר לוֹ הֻשְׁוֵינוּ שְׁנֵינוּ לִהְיוֹת כְּפוּיֵי טוֹבָה, אִלּוּלֵי אַבְרָהָם אֲבִיהֶם לֹא הָיָה בָלָק, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית יט, כט): וַיְהִי בְּשַׁחֵת אֱלֹהִים אֶת עָרֵי הַכִּכָּר וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלֹהִים אֶת אַבְרָהָם וַיְשַׁלַּח אֶת לוֹט, וְלוּלֵי אַבְרָהָם לֹא פָּלַט לוֹט מִסְּדוֹם, וְאַתָּה מִבְּנֵי בָּנָיו שֶׁל לוֹט. וְאִלּוּלֵי יַעֲקֹב אֲבִיהֶם לֹא הָיִיתִי אֲנִי בָעוֹלָם, שֶׁלֹא רָאָה לָבָן בָּנִים אֶלָּא בִּזְכוּת יַעֲקֹב, שֶׁבַּתְּחִלָּה כְּתִיב (בראשית כט, ט): וְרָחֵל בָּאָה עִם הַצֹּאן, וְאִלּוּ הָיָה לוֹ בָנִים הֵיאַךְ בִּתּוֹ רוֹעָה, וּמִשֶּׁהָלַךְ יַעֲקֹב לְשָׁם נִתְּנוּ לוֹ בָנִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית לא, א): וַיִּשְׁמַע אֶת דִּבְרֵי בְנֵי לָבָן, וְכֵן אָמַר לוֹ (בראשית ל, כז): נִחַשְׁתִּי וַיְבָרְכֵנִי ה' בִּגְלָלֶךָ. (במדבר כג, ז): לְכָה אָרָה לִי, מִי שֶׁהוּא מְאָרֵר לְעַצְמוֹ מְאָרֵר, שֶׁכָּךְ כְּתִיב (בראשית יב, ג): וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ אָאֹר, וְאוֹמֵר (בראשית כז, כט): אֹרְרֶיךָ אָרוּר. לְכָה אָרָה לִי יַעֲקֹב וּלְכָה זֹעֲמָה יִשְׂרָאֵל, אִלּוּ לְאֻמָּה אַחֶרֶת בִּקֵּשׁ שֶׁאֲקַלֵּל, כְּגוֹן בְּנֵי אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק, הָיִיתִי יָכוֹל, אֶלָּא יַעֲקֹב, מֶלֶךְ שֶׁבּוֹרֵר לְעַצְמוֹ מָנָה וְעָמַד אֶחָד וְאָמַר גְּנַאי עָלֶיהָ כְּלוּם יֵשׁ לוֹ חַיִּים, וְאֵלּוּ חֶבְלָתוֹ וְנַחֲלָתוֹ וּסְגֻלָּתוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים לב, ט): כִּי חֵלֶק ה' עַמּוֹ יַעֲקֹב חֶבֶל נַחֲלָתוֹ, (שמות יט, ה): וִהְיִיתֶם לִי סְגֻלָּה. וּלְכָה זֹעֲמָה יִשְׂרָאֵל, מֶלֶךְ שֶׁנָּטַל עֲטָרָה וּנְתָנָהּ בְּרֹאשׁוֹ וְאָמַר אָדָם שֶׁאֵינָהּ כְּלוּם, יֵשׁ לוֹ חַיִּים, וְאֵלּוּ כְּתִיב בָּהֶן (ישעיה מט, ג): יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר בְּךָ אֶתְפָּאָר. מָה אֶקֹּב לֹא קַבֹּה אֵל (במדבר כג, ח), בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהָיוּ רְאוּיִין לְהִתְקַלֵּל לֹא נִתְקַלְּלוּ, כְּשֶׁנִּכְנַס יַעֲקֹב לִטֹּל אֶת הַבְּרָכוֹת נִכְנַס בְּמִרְמָה, דִּכְתִיב (בראשית כז, טז): וְאֵת עֹרֹת גְּדָיֵי הָעִזִּים, אָמַר אָבִיו (בראשית כז, יח): מִי אַתָּה, אָמַר לוֹ (בראשית כז, יט): אָנֹכִי עֵשָׂו בְּכֹרֶךָ, מִי שֶׁמּוֹצִיא שֶׁקֶר מִפִיו אֵינוֹ רָאוּי לְהִתְקַלֵּל, וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא שֶׁנִּתְבָּרֵךְ, דִּכְתִיב (בראשית כז, לג): גַּם בָּרוּךְ יִהְיֶה, וְהֵיאַךְ אֲנִי מְקַלְּלָן לֹא קַבֹּה אֵל. דָּבָר אַחֵר, מָה אֶקֹּב לֹא קַבֹּה אֵל, בְּנֹהַג שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם לִגְיוֹן שֶׁמָּרַד בַּמֶּלֶךְ חַיָּב מִיתָה, וְאֵלּוּ כָּפְרוּ בּוֹ וּמָרְדוּ וְאָמְרוּ (שמות לב, ד): אֵלֶּה אֱלֹהֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֹא הָיָה צָרִיךְ לְכַלּוֹתָן, אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה לֹא זָז מֵחִבָּתָן, לִוָּה לָהֶן עַנְנֵי כָּבוֹד וְלֹא פָסְקוּ מֵהֶם הַמָּן וְהַבְּאֵר, וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר (שמות לב, ח): כִּי עָשׂוּ עֵגֶל מַסֵּכָה. (נחמיה ט, יט כ): וְאַתָּה בְּרַחֲמֶיךָ הָרַבִּים לֹא עֲזַבְתָּם בַּמִּדְבָּר אֶת עַמּוּד הֶעָנָן לֹא סָר מֵעֲלֵיהֶם בְּיוֹמָם, וּמַנְךָ לֹא מָנַעְתָּ מִפִּיהֶם וּמַיִם נָתַתָּה לָהֶם לִצְמָאָם, וְהֵיאַךְ אֲנִי יָכוֹל לְקַלְּלָם, מָה אֶקֹב לֹא קַבֹּה אֵל, בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהָיָה מְצַוֶּה אוֹתָם עַל הַבְּרָכוֹת וְעַל הַקְּלָלוֹת, בַּבְּרָכוֹת הָיָה מַזְכִּירָן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כז, יב): אֵלֶּה יַעַמְדוּ לְבָרֵךְ אֶת הָעָם, בַּקְּלָלוֹת לֹא הָיָה טוֹבְעָן, שֶׁכֵּן הוּא אוֹמֵר (דברים כז, יג): וְאֵלֶּה יַעַמְדוּ עַל הַקְּלָלָה בְּהַר עֵיבָל. וּכְשֶׁהֵן חוֹטְאִין וְאוֹמֵר לְהָבִיא עֲלֵיהֶן קְלָלָה, אֵינוֹ כּוֹתֵב שֶׁהוּא מְבִיאָהּ, אֶלָּא בַּבְּרָכוֹת הוּא בְּעַצְמוֹ מְבָרְכָן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כח, א): וּנְתָנְךָ ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ עֶלְיוֹן וגו', (דברים כח, ח): יְצַו ה' אִתְּךָ אֶת הַבְּרָכָה, וּבַקְּלָלוֹת לֹא הָיָה טוֹבְעָן, שֶׁכֵּן הוּא אוֹמֵר (דברים כח, טו): וְהָיָה אִם לֹא תִשְׁמַע, וּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ, מֵעַצְמָן, הֱוֵי מָה אֶקֹּב לֹא קַבֹּה אֵל. כְּתִיב (במדבר כג, ט): כִּי מֵרֹאשׁ צֻרִים אֶרְאֶנּוּ, לְהוֹדִיעַ שִׂנְאָתוֹ שֶׁל אוֹתוֹ רָשָׁע שֶׁמִּתּוֹךְ בִּרְכוֹתָיו אַתָּה יוֹדֵעַ מַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ, לְמָה הַדָּבָר דּוֹמֶה, לְאָדָם שֶׁבָּא לָקֹץ אֶת אִילָן, מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ בָּקִי קוֹצֵץ אֶת הַנּוֹפִים, כָּל עָנָף וְעָנָף וּמִתְיַגֵּעַ, וְהַפִּקֵּחַ מְגַלֶּה אֶת הַשָּׁרָשִׁין וְקוֹצֵץ, כָּךְ אָמַר אוֹתוֹ רָשָׁע, מָה אֲנִי מְקַלֵּל כָּל שֵׁבֶט וְשֵׁבֶט, הֲרֵינִי הוֹלֵךְ לְשָׁרְשָׁן, בָּא לִגַּע מְצָאָן קָשִׁים, לָכֵן אָמַר: כִּי מֵרֹאשׁ צֻרִים אֶרְאֶנּוּ. דָּבָר אַחֵר, כִּי מֵרֹאשׁ, אֵלּוּ אָבוֹת, (במדבר כג, ע): וּמִגְּבָעוֹת, אֵלּוּ אִמָּהוֹת. (במדבר כג, ט): הֶן עָם לְבָדָד יִשְׁכֹּן. וּכְשֶׁהוּא מְשַׂמְּחָן מְשַׂמְּחָן לְבַדָּן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים לב, יב): ה' בָּדָד יַנְחֶנּוּ. וּכְשֶׁהָאֻמּוֹת בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה שְׂמֵחִים הֵן אוֹכְלִים עִם כָּל מַלְכוּת וּמַלְכוּת וְאֵין עוֹלֶה לָהֶם מִן הַחֶשְׁבּוֹן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר כג, ט): וּבַגּוֹיִם לֹא יִתְחַשָּׁב. (במדבר כג, י): מִי מָנָה עֲפַר יַעֲקֹב, מִי יוּכַל לִמְנוֹת מִצְווֹת שֶׁהֵן עוֹשִׂין בֶּעָפָר, (דברים כב, י): לֹא תַחֲרשׁ בְּשׁוֹר וּבַחֲמֹר, (דברים כב, ט): לֹא תִזְרַע כַּרְמְךָ כִּלְאָיִם. (במדבר יט, ט): וְאָסַף אִישׁ טָהוֹר אֵת אֵפֶר הַפָּרָה, (במדבר ה, יז): וּמִן הֶעָפָר אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בְּקַרְקַע הַמִּשְׁכָּן. (ויקרא יט, כג): שָׁלשׁ שָׁנִים יִהְיֶה לָכֶם עֲרֵלִים, וְכֵן כֻּלָּם. (במדבר כג, י): וּמִסְפָּר אֶת רֹבַע יִשְׂרָאֵל, הָרְבִיעִית שֶׁלָּהֶן, מִי יוּכַל לִמְנוֹת אֻכְלוּסִין שֶׁיָּצְאוּ מֵאוֹתָן שֶׁהָיוּ חוֹטְפוֹת וּמְחַבְּבוֹת אֶת הַמִּצְווֹת, (בראשית ל, טו): וַתֹּאמֶר לָהּ הַמְעַט קַחְתֵּךְ אֶת אִישִׁי. (בראשית ל, ג): הִנֵּה אֲמָתִי בִלְהָה בֹּא אֵלֶיהָ, (בראשית ל, ט): וַתֵּרֶא לֵאָה כִּי עָמְדָה מִלֶּדֶת. (בראשית טז, ג): וַתִּקַּח שָׂרַי אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם אֶת הָגָר, (במדבר כג, י): תָּמֹת נַפְשִׁי מוֹת יְשָׁרִים, מָשָׁל לְטַבָּח שֶׁבָּא לִשְׁחֹט פָּרָתוֹ שֶׁל מֶלֶךְ, הִתְחִיל הַמֶּלֶךְ רוֹאֶה, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִרְגִּישׁ שֶׁהַמֶּלֶךְ רוֹאֶה הִתְחִיל מַשְׁלִיךְ אֶת הַסַּכִּין וּמְשַׁפְשֵׁף בָּהּ וּמְמַלֵּא אֶת הָאֵבוּס לְפָנֶיהָ, הִתְחִיל לוֹמַר תֵּצֵא נַפְשִׁי שֶׁבָּאתִי לְשָׁחֲטָהּ וַהֲרֵי זְנַחְתִּיהָ. כָּךְ בִּלְעָם אָמַר תֵּצֵא נַפְשִׁי שֶׁבָּאתִי לְקַלֵּל וַאֲנִי אֲבָרֵךְ. (במדבר כג, יד): וַיִּקָּחֵהוּ שְׂדֵה צֹפִים רֹאשׁ הַפִּסְגָּה, רֹאשׁ שֶׁיֵּשׁ פְּרָצִים שָׁם, שֶׁשָּׁם מֵת משֶׁה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים ג, כז): עֲלֵה רֹאשׁ הַפִּסְגָּה, יֵשׁ פִּרְצָה גְדוֹלָה מִזּוֹ שֶׁרָאָה בַּנְּחָשִׁים וְהָיָה סָבוּר שֶׁשָּׁם יִכְלוּ. 20.12. 12 (Numb. 22:20) “Then God came unto Balaam at night”: This text is related (to Exod. 12:42), “That was for the Lord a night of vigil […].” All miracles which were done for Israel and which involved exacting retribution for them from the wicked took place at night: (Gen. 31:24) “And God came unto Laban the Aramean in a dream at night”: And it is written (in Gen. 20:3), “But God came unto Abimelech in a dream at night.” And it is written (in Exod. 12:29), “And it came to pass in the middle of the night.” And it is written (in Exod. 14:20), “there was the cloud with the darkness, and it cast a spell upon the night.” And it is written (in Gen. 14:15), “And he deployed at night.” And so [it was with] all of them. Another interpretation: Why did he reveal himself to Balaam by night? He was not worthy of [receiving] the holy spirit [except at night]. As He speaks at night with all the prophets of the nations, as stated (in Job 4:13), “In opinions from night visions.” And so Eliphaz says (in Job 4:13), “In a dream, a vision of the night,” about [Balaam’s] speaking with him at night. And similarly Elihou speaks about that which He had spoken with him at night. (Numb. 22:20, cont.) “If these men have come to invite you, arise and go with them”: From here you learn that in the way that a man wants to go, in it is he driven. As at first it was said to him (in Numb. 22:12), “Do not go with them.” As soon as he had become defiant, he went. As so is it written about him (in Numb. 22:22), “But God's anger was kindled because he was going.” The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, “I do not desire the death of the wicked. [But] in as much as you want to be obliterated from the world, ‘arise and go with them.’” (Numb. 22:20, cont.), “But only the thing [that I tell you are you to do].” [These words are] to teach you that he went with a warning. Immediately he got up early in the morning [preparing his donkey] quickly all by himself. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, “You wicked man! Their ancestor Abraham has already anticipated you at the binding of his son Isaac,” as stated (in Gen. 22:3), “So Abraham arose early in the morning, saddled his he-ass.” (Numb. 22:21, cont.) “And went with the princes of Moab”: [These words are] to teach you that he was as glad at the tribulation of Israel as they were. " 20.19. 19 (Numb. 23:7) “So he took up his theme and said, ‘From Aram, Balak the king of Moab has brought me, from the hills of the east.’” I was one of the exalted ones, sup31 /supclass=\"footnote\" iRamim.The midrash links this word with ARAM in Numb. 23:7.but Balak has brought me down to the pit of corruption. (Ibid.) “Brought me ( iyanheni,rt.: inhh /i),” [is to be understood] just as you say (in Ezek. 32:18), “bring (rt.: inhh /i) the masses of Egypt [and cast them down [… unto the lowest part of the netherworld along with those who go down to the pit].” sup32 /supclass=\"footnote\"Thus Numb. 23:7 comes to mean that Balak BROUGHT (rt.: iNHH /i) Balaam down to the grave. The unusual Biblical translation is necessary to fit the sense of the midrash.Another interpretation (of Numb. 23:7), “From Aram”: I was with the highest ( iram /i) of the high, and Balak has brought me down from my glory. [The matter] is comparable to one who was walking with the king. When he saw [some] robbers, sup33 /supclass=\"footnote\"Gk.: ilestai./i he left the king and toured along with the robbers. When he returned to be with the king, the king said to him, “Go with whomever you have toured with, because it not possible for you to walk with me again.” Similarly Balaam had been bound to the holy spirit. When he paired himself with Balak, the holy spirit departed from him. So he returned to being a diviner as in the beginning. Thus it is stated (at his execution in Josh. 13:22), “Balaam ben Beor the diviner….” Therefore did he yell out, “I was high up ( iram /i), and Balak brought me down.” Another interpretation (of Numb. 23:7), “From Aram, he has brought me”: [Balaam] said to [Balak], “We are alike, even both of us, for being ungrateful, because were it not for their father Abraham, there would have been no Balak. Thus it is stated (in Gen. 19:29), ‘And it came to pass that when God destroyed the cities of the plain, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot away.’ Except for Abraham, he would not have delivered Lot from Sodom; and you are one of the children of the children of Lot. sup34 /supclass=\"footnote\"As a Moabite, Balak was descended from Moab, the son of Lot. See Gen. 19:37.Moreover, if it were not for their father Jacob, I should not have been present in the world, because Laban had sons only through the merit of Jacob, since it is written at the beginning (in Gen. 29:9), ‘Rachel came with the sheep.’ Now if he had sons, how was his daughter a shepherdess? As soon as Jacob came there, sons were given to him, as stated (in Gen. 31:1), ‘Now he heard the things that Laban's sons [were saying].’ sup35 /supclass=\"footnote\"Jewish tradition gives three views on Balaam’s relation to Laban: That he was Laban himself, that he was Laban’s nephew, and that he was Laban’s grandson. See Ginzberg, vol. III, p. 354; vol.. V, p. 303, n. 229; vol. VI, pp. 123f., nn. 722f.; p. 130, n. 764.And it also says [that Laban said] (in Gen. 30:27), ‘I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me for your sake.’” (Numb. 23:7, cont.) “Come, curse Jacob for me”: Whoever curses [the Children of Jacob] is cursing himself, since it is stated (in Gen. 12:3), “and the one who curses you, I will curse.” It also says (in Gen. 27:29), “cursed be those who curse you.” (Numb. 23:7) “Come, curse [Jacob] for me […].” If you had told me to curse another people, for example, the Children of Abraham and Isaac, I would have been able [to do so]. But Jacob? When a king selects a portion for himself, and someone else gets up and speaks disparagingly about it, will he keep his life? Now these people are the Holy One, blessed be He’s, heritage, His portion, and His treasure. Thus it is stated (in Deut. 32:9), “For the Lord's share is His people; Jacob the portion of His heritage.” And it is written (in Exod. 19:5), “and you shall be My treasure.” (Numb. 23:7, cont.) “And come, denounce Israel:” When a king takes a crown and puts it on his head, and someone says of it that it is nothing, will he keep his life? Now in regard to these people it is written about them (in Is. 49:3), “Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” (Numb. 23:8) “How shall I curse [the one] whom God has not cursed”: When they deserved to be cursed, they were not cursed: When Jacob went in to receive the blessings, he went it with deception. As it is written (in Gen. 27:16), “[Then she clothed his arms and the hairless part of his neck] with the skins of goat kids.” His father said to him (in Gen. 27:18), “Who are you?” He said to him (in vs. 19), “I am Esau, your first-born.” Does not the one who puts forth a lie with his mouth deserve to be cursed? Yet not only [was he not cursed], but he was blessed; as stated (in Gen. 27:33), “he shall also be blessed.” So how do I curse them? (In the words of Numb. 23:8) “God has not cursed.” Another interpretation (of Numb. 23:8), “How shall I curse whom God has not cursed?” According to universal custom, when a legion sup36 /supclass=\"footnote\"Lat.: ilegio./i rebels against the king, it incurs the penalty of death. Now since these denied and revolted against Him, when they said [about the calf] (in Exod. 32:4), “This is your god, O Israel,” was it not necessary to have Him destroy them at that time? [Still] He did not cease to cherish them. Instead He had clouds of glory accompany them. Nor did He withhold the manna and the well from them. And so it says (in Exod. 32:4), “When they made a molten calf,” (in Neh. 9:18-20), “You in Your great mercies did not abandon them in the desert […]; and You did not withhold Your manna from their mouth […].” How can I curse them? (Numb. 23:8) “How shall I curse whom God has not cursed” When He commanded them concerning the blessings and the curses, He mentioned them (as the people) in connection with the blessings where it is stated (in Deut. 27:12), “These shall stand [on Mount Gerizim] for blessing the people;” but He did not mention them in connection with the curses. Thus it is stated (in vs. 13), “And these shall stand on Mount Ebal for the curse.” Moreover, when they sin and He plans to bring a curse upon them, it is not written that He Himself is bringing them (i.e., the curses); but with respect to the blessings, He Himself is blessing them; for so it says (in Deut. 28:1, 8), “And it shall come to pass that, if you diligently obey […], the Lord your God will set you high [over all the nations of the earth]. The Lord will command the blessing to be with you.” But with respect to the curses, it is written (according to Deut. 28:15), “And it shall come to pass that, if you do not obey […], then [all these curses] shall come upon you,” [i.e.,] of their own accord. Ergo (in Numb. 23:8), “How shall I curse whom God has not cursed?” (Numb. 23:9) “For from the top of the rocks I see him,” in order to make the hatred of that evil man (i.e., Balaam) known to you. As from his blessing you may know his thoughts. To what is he comparable? To someone who came to chop down a tree. One who is not an expert chops off the branches one at a time and becomes tired, but the clever one exposes the roots and [then] chops it down. Similarly that wicked man said, “Why shall I curse each and every tribe? Rather I will go to their roots.” When he came to touch them, he found them hard [to cut]. It is therefore stated (in Numb. 23:9), “For from the top of the rocks I see him.” Another interpretation (of Numb. 23:9): “For from the top of the rocks,” these are the patriarchs; (ibid., cont.) “and from the hills I behold him,” these are the matriarchs. (Numb. 23:9, cont.) “Here is a people dwelling alone”: When He makes them rejoice, no nation rejoices along with them. But when the nations are rejoicing in this world, they (i.e., the Children of Israel) eat with each and every kingdom, and no one is charging [such pleasures] against their account (rt: ihshb /i). sup37 /supclass=\"footnote\"In other words the pleasures that Israel enjoys in this world are not to be deducted from their pleasures in the world to come.It is so stated (in Numb. 23:9, cont.), “and they shall not be reckoned (rt.: ihshb /i) among the nations.” (Numb. 23:10) “Who has counted the dust of Jacob”: Who is able to count the commandments which they carry out upon the dust: (In Deut. 22:10,) “You shall not plow with an ox and an ass”; (in Deut. 22:9,) “You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed”; (in Numb. 19:9,) “Then someone clean shall gather the ashes of the heifer”; (in Numb. 5:17,) “[Then the high priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel] and some of the dust which is on the floor of the tabernacle”; (in Lev. 19:23,) “[Moreover, when you come into the land and plant any tree for food, you shall count its fruit as forbidden,] three years it shall be forbidden to you, [it shall not be eaten]”; and so on with all of them. (Numb. 23:10, cont.) “Or numbered the sand ( irb /i') of Israel,” [i.e.,] their copulations (rt.: irb /i') sup38 /supclass=\"footnote\"For this interpretation, cf. iNid.31a.Who can number the masses sup39 /supclass=\"footnote\"Gk.: iochloi./i that have emerged from them, from those women who seize on and cherish the commandments (of procreation), as stated (in Gen. 30:15), “But she said to her, ‘Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband?’” [And so too (in Gen. 30:3, 9),] “Here is my maid Bilhah; go into her.” “When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, [she took her maidservant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife].” [And so too (in Gen. 16:3),] “So Abraham's wife Sarai took her maidservant Hagar the Egyptian… [and gave her to her husband Abraham as a wife].” (Numb. 23:10, cont.) “Let me die the death of the upright”: The matter is comparable to a butcher who came to slaughter a cow that belonged to a king. The king began to take notice. When [the butcher] realized [what was happening], he began by discarding the knife, then giving [the cow] a rubdown [and] filling the feeding trough for it. He began to say, “Let my life be forfeit for coming to slaughter it; but observe that I have [now given it sustece].” Similarly Balaam said, “Let my life be forfeit for coming to curse, but I will bless [them].” Ergo (in Numb. 23:10), “let me die the death of the upright!” (Numb. 23:14) “So he took him to the Field of Zophim at the top of Pisgah”: He saw that [Israel would be] breached there, for it was there that Moses died, as stated (in Deut. 3:27), “Go up to the top of Pisgah …, [for you shall not cross over this Jordan].” Is there a breach greater than this? What he saw was through divinations, and he was of the opinion that because of him they would fall there."


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
apollo, intermarriage Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 89
balaam, prophecy of, according to josephus Feldman, Judaism and Hellenism Reconsidered (2006) 518, 589, 590
balaam DeJong, A Prophet like Moses (Deut 18:15, 18): The Origin, History, and Influence of the Mosaic Prophetic Succession (2022) 216; Jonquière, Prayer in Josephus Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2007) 219
buying Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 97
chrysostom, john Crabb, Luke/Acts and the End of History (2020) 285
claudius, roman emperor, expulsion of jews from rome by Feldman, Judaism and Hellenism Reconsidered (2006) 428, 518, 589, 590
daniel Jonquière, Prayer in Josephus Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2007) 219
darius Jonquière, Prayer in Josephus Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2007) 219
destruction of\n, rome Crabb, Luke/Acts and the End of History (2020) 285
deuteronomy, constitutional polity of DeJong, A Prophet like Moses (Deut 18:15, 18): The Origin, History, and Influence of the Mosaic Prophetic Succession (2022) 216
dream Jonquière, Prayer in Josephus Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2007) 219
exchange Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 89
false prophecy Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 89, 90
four- (or five‐) kingdom paradigm Crabb, Luke/Acts and the End of History (2020) 285
gods power Jonquière, Prayer in Josephus Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2007) 87
gods wrath Jonquière, Prayer in Josephus Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2007) 87
greed Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 89, 97
hospitality Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 90, 97
idolatry, food sacrificed to idols Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 89
jerusalem, temple Crabb, Luke/Acts and the End of History (2020) 285
joshua Jonquière, Prayer in Josephus Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2007) 219
masculinity Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 89
moses Jonquière, Prayer in Josephus Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2007) 87; Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 90
nebuchadnezzar Jonquière, Prayer in Josephus Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2007) 219
nicolaitans Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 89
pagan prayers Jonquière, Prayer in Josephus Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2007) 219
pergamum Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 89
providence Jonquière, Prayer in Josephus Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2007) 87
restoration within history Crabb, Luke/Acts and the End of History (2020) 285
reward Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 97
suffering Crabb, Luke/Acts and the End of History (2020) 285
teleology\n, view of history Crabb, Luke/Acts and the End of History (2020) 285
violence Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 89
virtues, of lawgivers Westwood, Moses among the Greek Lawgivers: Reading Josephus’ Antiquities through Plutarch’s Lives (2023) 156
vow' Jonquière, Prayer in Josephus Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2007) 219
war Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 89