And Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times. Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the Lord hath kept thee back from honour. And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the Lord saith, that will I speak? And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.(Numbers 24: 10-14)
Balak, the King of Moab is livid! He has gone to great expense to bring in a Seer to curse Israel, but in the three attempts to curse them, the prophet could only bless them. To make matters worse, the blessings he uttered over this strange pilgrim nation, increased in intensity each time. Israel would be blessed greatly, and her enemies would be utterly crushed.
Humanly speaking, Balaam would have been fortunate to escape the enraged Arab potentate with his life! Balak didn’t merely fire him, he ominously warns him to “flee to your place…”, as though He would have harmed or even killed him.
But Balaam isn’t quite through yet, he yet remained under the influence of the powerful Spirit of the God of Israel, and had one more devastating Word to deliver to the disappointed King. The son of Ishmael would have to listen to the unveiling of the ultimate purpose of God for this people, and of the doom of all of their enemies, of which He sat as representative;
And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
Balaam is not speaking as a typical pagan Seer; one seeking auguries, portents or omens to divine the mysteries hidden from mortal men. Balaam here , by the Spirit, speaks as a man to whom God has been pleased to reveal his will, and not on Balaam’s own terms or by His craft, but by a Sovereign act of the LORD.
I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.
Balaam saw a person of great authority, a “star” and a “Scepter” to arise out of Jacob, a mighty World Ruler would arise in the future, at the time of the end who would utterly smite Moab, and all that Moab represents, ie Heathendom that hates, fears and resists Israel to the point of seeking her destruction.
We know from subsequent history that the Moabites were subjugated by David, and eventually faded away as a people entirely, being amalgamated into the surrounding Arab peoples, and ceased from being a Kingdom as did also Ammon and Edom. But this is a prophecy about what shall transpire in the last days.
The territory once inhabited by Ammon and Moab, is now peopled by a bitter and implacable foe of Israel, indeed the whole region round about Israel is peopled by people very much in the character of King Balak, constantly clamoring for Israel’s annihilation.
Indeed they are the descendants of Ishmael, Midian, Esau, Moab, and Ammon. They are bound together by a religion that proclaims that “the last days will not come until the Muslims wipe out the jews…. “. Their hatred for Israel is described in Ezekiel 35 as the “Everlasting Hatred” that God is going to judge.
This prophecy by one of their own, a pagan seer, is a warning that they are fighting against almighty God himself in seeking to curse Israel, and that it is doomed to utter and eternal failure from the start.
Balaam proclaims that this “Star out of Jacob” will “destroy the children of Sheth. Sheth is not a name, it is a description, it means Tumult. “He will destroy the children of tumult”, that is , every rebel and trouble maker.
It is to be noted that the Islamic Arab world, has unleashed upon the civilized world a torrent of tumult, in the form of terrorism. Terrorism, sanctioned by the Koran has necessitated security precautions which has cost the world billions of dollars, has engendered many bloody conflicts, and has upset the peace in every society on the globe.Truly these are the “sons of Sheth”.
And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.
The redeemed nation first encountered national resistance against the Amalekites. Balaam saw their end, they would be blotted out forever. Death and eternal perdition to all that the Amalekites are and all that they stand for. Deuteronomy 25:17-18 tells us that Amalek’s mode of operation was terroristic, attacking the weak and sick stragglers.
And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwellingplace, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock. Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.
The Kenites were the tribe that would trick Israel into a treaty and become employed as wood hewers and water bearers for them, rather than being wiped out. Their “strong nest” was to become incorporated into Israel. Thus did the Kenites survive until the Babylonian captivity, where they were taken away with Judah.
The contrast is meant to be drawn between the Amalekites whose resistance doomed them,to the Kenites, Canaanites who assimilated into Israel and thus lived.
Balaam saw all of this . He also saw the final, great Tribulation,
And he took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God doeth this!
And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever. And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way.(Numbers 24:15-25)
Finally Balaam saw what Daniel saw centuries later, that Israel herself would come under the rule of gentile powers, first of the east, (Assur, Babylon,Persia), but finally and until the end, the West, (Ships of Kittim, Greece and Rome).
At the end, in the time of the advent of the Star, and scepter, All of Israel’s enemies will be utterly destroyed in a time of tribulation so terrible, Balaam cried out,
Alas, who shall live when God doeth this!