English Standard Version
And he came to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the LORD spoken?”
King James Bible
And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the LORD spoken?
American Standard Version
And he came to him, and, lo, he was standing by his burnt-offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath Jehovah spoken?
Returning he found him standing by his burnt sacrifice, and the princes of the Moabites with him. And Balac said to him: What hath the Lord spoken?
English Revised Version
And he came to him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the LORD spoken?
Webster's Bible Translation
And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt-offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, What hath the LORD spoken?
Numbers 23:17 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Balak reproached Balaam for this utterance, which announced blessings to the Israelites instead of curses. But he met his reproaches with the remark, that he was bound by the command of Jehovah. The infinitive absolute, בּרך, after the finite verb, expresses the fact that Balaam had continued to give utterance to nothing but blessings. לדבּר שׁמר, to observe to speak; שׁמר, to notice carefully, as in Deuteronomy 5:1, Deuteronomy 5:29, etc. But Balak thought that the reason might be found in the unfavourable locality; he therefore led the seer to "the field of the watchers, upon the top of Pisgah," whence he could see the whole of the people of Israel. The words וגו תּראנּוּ אשׁר (Numbers 23:13) are to be rendered, "whence thou wilt see it (Israel); thou seest only the end of it, but not the whole of it" (sc., here upon Bamoth-baal). This is required by a comparison of the verse before us with Numbers 22:41, where it is most unquestionably stated, that upon the top of Bamoth-baal Balaam only saw "the end of the people." For this reason Balak regarded that place as unfavourable, and wished to lead the seer to a place from which he could see the people, without any limitation whatever. Consequently, notwithstanding the omission of כּי (for), the words קצהוּ אפס can only be intended to assign the reason why Balak supposed the first utterances of Balaam to have been unfavourable. קצהוּ equals העם קצה, the end of the people (Numbers 22:41), cannot possibly signify the whole nation, or, as Marck, de Geer, Gesenius, and Kurtz suppose, "the people from one end to the other," in which case העם קצה (the end of the people) would signify the very opposite of קצהוּ (the end of it); for העם קצה is not interchangeable, or to be identified, with מקּצה כּל־העם (Genesis 19:4), "the whole people, from the end or extremity of it," or from its last man; in other words, "to the very last man." Still less does העם קצה אפס signify "the uttermost end of the whole people, the end of the entire people," notwithstanding the fact that Kurtz regards the expression, "the end of the end of the people," as an intolerable tautology. קבנו, imperative with nun epenth., from קבב. The "field of the watchers," or "spies (zophim), upon the top of Pisgah," corresponds, no doubt, to "the field of Moab, upon the top of Pisgah," on the west of Heshbon (see at Numbers 21:20). Mount Nebo, from which Moses surveyed the land of Canaan in all its length and breadth, was one summit, and possibly the summit of Pisgah (see Deuteronomy 3:27; Deuteronomy 34:1). The field of the spies was very probably a tract of table-land upon Nebo; and so called either because watchers were stationed there in times of disturbance, to keep a look-out all round, or possibly because it was a place where augurs made their observations of the heavens and of birds (Knobel). The locality has not been thoroughly explored by travellers; but from the spot alluded to, it must have been possible to overlook a very large portion of the Arboth Moab. Still farther to the north, and nearer to the camp of the Israelites in these Arboth, was the summit of Peor, to which Balak afterwards conducted Balaam (Numbers 23:28), and where he not only saw the whole of the people, but could see distinctly the camps of the different tribes (Numbers 24:2).
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
And the LORD met Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, "Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak."
And Balaam took up his discourse and said, "Rise, Balak, and hear; give ear to me, O son of Zippor:
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.