Balaam’s Donkey. Numbers 22:18-22

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#21
I'm sorry. I see NO relevance whatsoever to the Rapture in EITHER translation you just cited.

But I do agree that I'm not crazy about the NIV.

I know "rapture" is a "hot button" word and topic, for a lot of people.

Personally, I don't believe in any "rapture!" Post, Mid, Pre, or, any contrivances, of the 3 in any form.

Just doesn't make sense to me! Which many people (not saying you do) use as a crutch, or, an excuse, for being and remaining "Biblically Illiterate!" Some, even to the point of willingly ignorant. Jesus is coming here! Why would any one want to go there?

Just "wait!" And Persevere!

Ephesians 6:13

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
 

PennEd

Senior Member
Apr 22, 2013
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#22
I know "rapture" is a "hot button" word and topic, for a lot of people.

Personally, I don't believe in any "rapture!" Post, Mid, Pre, or, any contrivances, of the 3 in any form.

Just doesn't make sense to me! Which many people (not saying you do) use as a crutch, or, an excuse, for being and remaining "Biblically Illiterate!" Some, even to the point of willingly ignorant. Jesus is coming here! Why would any one want to go there?

Just "wait!" And Persevere!

Ephesians 6:13

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Well that's fine.

I happen to believe in a pre-trib rapture. I don't believe God pours out His wrath on His Bride and removes her prior to pouring it out on the unbelieving "Earth-dwellers", and further, I think there is plenty of Biblical evidence to support a pre-trib rapture. I'll explain it to you on the way up!

But on this issue, I recognize I could be wrong. ;)
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
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#23
* All who have read the Word have not come across any "left behind" or "rapture" teaching.

We do, however, have the teaching of the resurrection and being taken up to meet Jesus on the clouds by His angels.
 

Scrobulous

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#24
Of all the awesome, supernatural events in Scripture, I LOVE the talking donkey account the best!
Indeed. I love the donkey. I think his injured and long suffering tone is hilarious.
 
#25
Well that's fine.

I happen to believe in a pre-trib rapture. I don't believe God pours out His wrath on His Bride and removes her prior to pouring it out on the unbelieving "Earth-dwellers", and further, I think there is plenty of Biblical evidence to support a pre-trib rapture. I'll explain it to you on the way up!

But on this issue, I recognize I could be wrong. ;)

My "entire (and, I mean entire) family", grew up believing in the rapture! Even as a "cub", growing up, and asking biblical questions, to which my parents, or relatives, had no answer for, they said many times: "We don't have to worry!" "Cuz, we're not going to be here!" And, always saying: "Those evil men are gonna get what's coming to them!" (again) "Cuz, we ain't gonna be here!"

When my parents told me I was old enough now, that I could now choose to go to chruch, or not? I didn't walk....I ran away from church! An angry young man! I blamed my parents! I blamed Paul the apostle! I blamed God!

(fast forward 55years) I now realize? Concerning my life, and I suspect others' lives as well? "ALL things, work for GOOD, For those who love God, and are CALLED, according to His purpose!"
Really wasn't aware that I loved God all that much, asking all those questions, in those earlier years. Reckon, I did though!
Seems the good and called to His purpose, that He has chosen me for is, "way different", from that which I expected!
And? From what I be seeing all around me? It IS making a "noticeable" difference! In a good and Godly way!


But, yeah! We agree concerning the NIV!

So should that poster, to whom, I ask forgiveness from, for derailing his NIV inquiry?
I might say, in time? He may find the NIV to be not so trustworthy either. ;)
 

Scrobulous

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#26
Single word ??? The NIV you quoted gave NO reason for God to be angry at Balaam to send an angel of death to wait and strike Him down.. Therefore you come online asking why.. If we just rely on the NIV then you would end up having no reason from scripture and you would end up believing that God was unjust towards Balaam.. But in the KJV it has the critical detailed instructions from God telling Balaam only to go with them if they come and call him in the morning.. See God said only to ""rise up and go with them"" If they come and call him.. which means wake Balaam up from his sleep because he would be laying in bed and would need to rise up out of bed to go with them..

See, your reaction to my answer to your question is totally wrong.. You should be happy there is a Bible translation that is adequate and detailed and has not had words removed from scripture.. One that gives understanding and wisdom.. But how do you react? By defending the translation that has removed words from the Holy Scriptures and left you with the impression that God has been unjust and unreasonable... Absolutely amazing.. Your loyalty to a translation that has lied to you is absolutely amazing..
I am always surprised when someone suggests that a particular translation is inherently unreliable. The KJV was formed by a committee of men dedicated to producing the best possible translation of hebrew and greek. They were great scholars and they prayed. Inadvertently they produced a literary masterpiece. None the less, scholarship has advanced since the 17th century and language has changed. The NIV was produced by a similar body of dedicated scholars, who also prayed over their venture. To suggest that ‘words are removed from scripture’ in this translation is a far more amazing assertion than my so called loyalty to a translation. Any translation, honestly conducted will communicate the truth. The language may vary, but the sense should not. To imagine that the NIV has been deliberately produced to mislead readers, or is simply an incompetent translation and that the word of the Lord can only be apprehended through a 400 year old translation is astounding.

The fact that you think that I would conclude that God is unjust, simply because the NIV does not immediately reveal Balaam’s sin, is fanciful in the extreme. Honest enquiry does not lead people to make such fantastical mental leaps.

To me the challenge was to confirm Peter’s conclusion about Balaam using the NIV and to see if other members of the forum could cast some light.

Simply asserting that I cannot read or that the translation is duff goes no way to advancing the argument.
 

Scrobulous

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Sep 17, 2018
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#27
If the NIV causes you to read the Bible more? That isn't a fault.

Having said that, however, Compare the translations of Ezekiel 13:20 with the KJV.

NIV:
20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds. .

KJV:
20 Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly.


As one can see, the KJV goes pretty hard against "the rapture doctrine/thoery".

I mean, you read whatever translation/s that keeps you "in His Word!"

Just my personal preference, is that I find the NIV to be faulty.
All translations are faulty. In different places. That is what makes them all valuable. These days it is easy to line up multiple translations of the same verse or group of verses and by this means draw you own conclusions. Thank God for many translations!
 

Scrobulous

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Sep 17, 2018
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#28
Prophecy is never considered in respect to the person seen(walking by sight) . Holy men were moved by the will or hand of God,(walking by faith) not seen . We offer our private interpretation as personal commentaries as to what we believe he is teaching us. like finger prints they differ form on another

I would compare the not sending at first which was ignored by the false prophet Balaam, to God giving him over to do things he should not of. Just like when the elders of Israel gathered themselves together(not called by God's will) because of their jealously for the sounding pagan nations desiring to have a outward representative, walking by sight. They rejected our invisible God as King of kings not desiring to walking by faith. God gave them over temporally to do what they desired until the first century reformation. Therefore returning or restoring the government to the period of Judges when there was no outward representative. The kind of government we have today .

Ultimately I would suggest with Balaam as a object lesson to help s understand the teaching we find in Acts 17. This is in so much that God not seen does not live in temples made with human hands neither is he served by hands used to represent the will.

In the Old testament God uses animals to represent the clean (inspired by God as the will of God "prophecy") or the unclean to represent the will of men (false prophecy) the Ass( the unclean) the lamb (clean)

Twice in Exodus we are given the spiritual understanding in a parable to indicate the redemption we receive in Christ the lamb of God and if not born again redeemed the second death is inevitable(Break the neck)

Exodus 13:13And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.

Exodus 34:20But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty.

The Ass a ceremonial unclean animal in effect reveals that God is not served by human hands again according to Acts17. He can use a believer or a unbeliever to accomplish the good purpose of His will.

Numbers 22:28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

Three is used to denote the end of a matter.

It was not to promote we walk by sight as instant gratification rather than faith which can require patience as long suffering.

It was the subtleness of the father of lies (Satan as the god of this world) in the garden who by instant gratification tried the faith that came from hearing God not seen .When the father of lies opened the mouth of the serpent and said: "you will not surely die" opening the way for the lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh .The three avenues of the father of lies (1 John 2:16)Then they knew they were naked (the glory of God departed or lost their glow ) as the pride that came before the fall.

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world

I think it can also be applied to the man in Mathew 7 to represent a Ass or unbeliever who replied..... "have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works"?

Jesus did not say those things were not performed. But acknowledged I never knew you as a believer . Again God is not served by human hands as a will. That many, worked iniquity by claiming fame. (blasphemy)

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Mathew 7:22-23
Interesting post. Many thanks!
 
#29
All translations are faulty. In different places. That is what makes them all valuable. These days it is easy to line up multiple translations of the same verse or group of verses and by this means draw you own conclusions. Thank God for many translations!
I usually ask God for (an) "understanding" when reading the Bible. Reckon I prefer the KJV, cuz of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Helps in translating hebrew, greek, aramaic, syriac, into english more better.
 

Scrobulous

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#30
I usually ask God for (an) "understanding" when reading the Bible. Reckon I prefer the KJV, cuz of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Helps in translating hebrew, greek, aramaic, syriac, into english more better.
Exactly. Do what works for you. God will bless any honest endeavour!
 

garee

Senior Member
Mar 28, 2016
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#31
Indeed. I love the donkey. I think his injured and long suffering tone is hilarious.
It reminds me of Francis the talking mule a 60's TV series . Wonder where they got that idea from? Of course the talking horse Mr. Ed?

Looking at the word Ass and how it is used makes a good study . In once sence I think we can say without metaphors, in metaphorical phrases, as parables.... Christ the lamb of God spoke not.

Jesus is seen coming into Jerusalem riding on a donkey a kingly thing . To me that very humbling, a picture of redemption according to the ceremonial law as a shadow.

Ceremonial laws seem to have a redeeming quality. They where used to preach the gospel of Christ in respect to the suffering of Christ before hand the glory followed. 1Peter 1:11

Exodus 13:13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.

You could say the lamb of God riding on the back of a unbeliever to show God is not served by human hands in any way shape or form as the things seen.

Even the Son of Man Jesus in respect to his outward form rejected being called good teacher as the final authority of God or what the Bible calls a daysman. (Job 9:33) The Son of man seen gave glory to the father (only God not seen is good) to emphasize we walk by faith the unseen eternal

It was used to stop the madness of the false prophet Balaam

Numbers 22:28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
 

oldethennew

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2016
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#32
PS. 20:7.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember The Name of The LORD our God.
 

Adstar

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Jul 24, 2016
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#33
I am always surprised when someone suggests that a particular translation is inherently unreliable. The KJV was formed by a committee of men dedicated to producing the best possible translation of hebrew and greek. They were great scholars and they prayed. Inadvertently they produced a literary masterpiece. None the less, scholarship has advanced since the 17th century and language has changed. The NIV was produced by a similar body of dedicated scholars, who also prayed over their venture. To suggest that ‘words are removed from scripture’ in this translation is a far more amazing assertion than my so called loyalty to a translation. Any translation, honestly conducted will communicate the truth. The language may vary, but the sense should not. To imagine that the NIV has been deliberately produced to mislead readers, or is simply an incompetent translation and that the word of the Lord can only be apprehended through a 400 year old translation is astounding.

The fact that you think that I would conclude that God is unjust, simply because the NIV does not immediately reveal Balaam’s sin, is fanciful in the extreme. Honest enquiry does not lead people to make such fantastical mental leaps.

To me the challenge was to confirm Peter’s conclusion about Balaam using the NIV and to see if other members of the forum could cast some light.

Simply asserting that I cannot read or that the translation is duff goes no way to advancing the argument.
And they double down... Remember you had to come and ask for an answer .. I did not.. I knew the answer because the KJV gave the answer in the verse unlike the NIV which failed you..

Question to all the NIV supporters out there.. Who is the ""Morning Star"" according to the NIV..
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
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#34
I don’t understand this at all. How are we to make sense of it?
The issue was the motive of Balaam. Did he go with a pure motive to simply do God's will, or did he go with the motive to rake in some cash (a la many modern *evangelists*).

Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness... (2 Peter 2:15)
 

mailmandan

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Apr 7, 2014
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#35
One of the most ludicrous arguments that I have ever heard (in regards to Balaam's donkey) in a desperate effort to "get around" the fact that these Gentiles in Acts 10:43-47 had received the gift of the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues (spiritual gift which is only for the body of Christ - 1 Corinthians 12) and were saved BEFORE water baptism is that Balaam's donkey also spoke in tongues, but that does not prove the donkey was saved either. :eek:

In the first place, the Lord simply opened the mouth of the donkey to speak in order to rebuke Balaam. The donkey did not receive the gift of the Holy Spirit or the spiritual gift of tongues, which is for believers only. This same ludicrous arguments concludes that these Gentiles in Acts 10:43-47 merely received the gift of tongues, but not the gift of the Holy Spirit. :rolleyes:
 

Scrobulous

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#36
And they double down... Remember you had to come and ask for an answer .. I did not.. I knew the answer because the KJV gave the answer in the verse unlike the NIV which failed you..

Question to all the NIV supporters out there.. Who is the ""Morning Star"" according to the NIV..
Hilarious! ‘The NIV that failed me…’

The NIV text in Numbers gives no indication that Balaam sinned. The reaction of the Angel of the Lord, however, makes it perfectly plain that he did and this is confirmed by 2 Peter 2:15-16. I find it interesting that a lawyer could take the NIV text of Numbers and get Balaam acquitted of any wrong doing and make a counter-claim that God had treated him unfairly.

The issue of course, is that God is omniscient and knew what we readers of the NIV do not know, namely that Balaam, despite his protestations to the contrary, ‘loved the wages of unrighteousness.’ I think this is the only example in the bible where a seemingly innocent person is condemned by God, ‘who sees the heart’. I don’t see any weakness in there NIV translation. I see that it makes a subtle point. Things are not what they seem. Only God knows the truth.

Of course the KJV makes it possible to construct a case against Balaam. I don’t disagree with your argument. It is a little tenuous. Even by your interpretation, the text does not say whether Balak’s men awakened Balaam or not. It simply tells us that he went with them. Arguments from silence do not fare well in court, which is why my enthusiasm for your ‘jumping the gun idea’ is somewhat muted.

I was curious to hear what other people thought about this text. I didn’t ‘come for an answer’, but I did come hoping to learn something, as always. That is the point of these forums.

I am just surprised to find christians at each other’s throats over translations! Of all the things to divide believers!
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#37
Hilarious! ‘The NIV that failed me…’

The NIV text in Numbers gives no indication that Balaam sinned. The reaction of the Angel of the Lord, however, makes it perfectly plain that he did and this is confirmed by 2 Peter 2:15-16. I find it interesting that a lawyer could take the NIV text of Numbers and get Balaam acquitted of any wrong doing and make a counter-claim that God had treated him unfairly.

The issue of course, is that God is omniscient and knew what we readers of the NIV do not know, namely that Balaam, despite his protestations to the contrary, ‘loved the wages of unrighteousness.’ I think this is the only example in the bible where a seemingly innocent person is condemned by God, ‘who sees the heart’. I don’t see any weakness in there NIV translation. I see that it makes a subtle point. Things are not what they seem. Only God knows the truth.

Of course the KJV makes it possible to construct a case against Balaam. I don’t disagree with your argument. It is a little tenuous. Even by your interpretation, the text does not say whether Balak’s men awakened Balaam or not. It simply tells us that he went with them. Arguments from silence do not fare well in court, which is why my enthusiasm for your ‘jumping the gun idea’ is somewhat muted.

I was curious to hear what other people thought about this text. I didn’t ‘come for an answer’, but I did come hoping to learn something, as always. That is the point of these forums.

I am just surprised to find christians at each other’s throats over translations! Of all the things to divide believers!
I am at no ones throat.. I state what i believe.. I believe the NIV is not a good translation of the scriptures.. For you to then take that position to be a declaration of hatred towards people with an NIV Bible is classic victimhood projection .. It is actually putting forth a false allegation against another so as to attack the other persons character in an attempt to undermine the other persons position not by showing why that position is wrong but by declaring the one holding that position to be a nasty human being.. And then to add more to the point make oneself out to be the victim of the person they have falsely accused and thus victimized..

Anyway this topic has come to an end for me..
 

Scrobulous

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Sep 17, 2018
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#38
I am at no ones throat.. I state what i believe.. I believe the NIV is not a good translation of the scriptures.. For you to then take that position to be a declaration of hatred towards people with an NIV Bible is classic victimhood projection .. It is actually putting forth a false allegation against another so as to attack the other persons character in an attempt to undermine the other persons position not by showing why that position is wrong but by declaring the one holding that position to be a nasty human being.. And then to add more to the point make oneself out to be the victim of the person they have falsely accused and thus victimized..

Anyway this topic has come to an end for me..
My dear Adstar, I am in no way suggesting you are a nasty person. I am saying that you have a case, but it is possible to see the issue differently, that’s all. I don’t think we should try to divide christians into ‘NIV supporters’ and ‘KJV supporters’ or any other supporter. We are called to be one body. That is far more important that minor technical disagreements about Balaam and his Donkey.
It is OK for us to see certain things in different ways. God made us diverse. But we should always respect each other and realise that what unites us is far, far greater than what separates us.
By all means stick to the KJV if it speaks to you. That is fine. But never think that because I read the NIV, that I am your enemy.
 
Apr 1, 2018
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#39
Hi folks,
I have always loved this story and of all the possible things to cause a reader problems, I am puzzled by the content of these 5 verses. In verse 18 Balaam makes a declaration that could only be pleasing to God. In verse 19 he asks Balak’s ambassadors to wait, while he enquires of the Lord. In verse 20 God instructs Balaam to go with the men and do only as God tells him. In verse 21 Balaam does exactly as God has instructed and goes with the men. In verse 22 we find that God is very angry with Balaam ‘when he went’ and the Lord sends his angel to kill Balaam.
I don’t understand this at all. How are we to make sense of it?
Any views on this would be much appreciated.
I agree with the majority
He did not listen to God the first time he went back and asked him again which is why God sent his angel to kill him.
 

Quantrill

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2018
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#40
Ah, my friends! I would not like to be in a court of law with you as my prosecutors! In verse 12 God certainly said do not go with them and Balaam unequivocally gave them the message from God. When more ambassadors came from Balak, verse 18 gives Balaam’s response ‘even if Balak gave me a palace filled with silver and gold I couldn’t do anything beyond what the Lord commanded.’ Then he seeks God again to see ‘what else the Lord might say’ and in verse 20 God very clearly countermands his previous instruction and tells Balaam to go with the men. My question is why, when Balaam is obedient to this command, the Lord sends his angel with hostile intent.
Since writing this post, I read in 2 Peter 2:15 confirmation of what Quantrill says, but I don’t see evidence of this in Numbers. In fact the narrative confirms that God did want Balaam to go to Balak, for purposes of his own and Balaam is faithful to God throughout. In fact he risks his life by directly disobeying the wishes of his host. Certainly Balaam admits to sin in verse 34, but this was the sin of not apprehending the angel. It seems to me poor old Balaam gets a very poor press. To me he seems like a faithful prophet.
We are assuming he had impure motives, but the text doesn’t bear this out.
You will find after Balaam gave his prophecies from God that Israel had one of her backsliding moments and delved into idolatry. (Num. 25:1-3). This involved sexual sins also. (25:5-8) (25:18)

We find later in (Num. 31:16) that this was caused by Balaam's counsel. And in (Josh. 13:21-22) Balaam is killed by Israel during the conquest of the land and he is with the enemies of God.

And the scary thing here is that within the Church you can still have such prophets who teach idolatry and fornication to the people of God as Balaam did. (Rev. 2:14) They too will be heirling prophets with reward on their mind. (Jude 11)

This is why I said it is hard to imagine Balaam as a prophet of God for the things he did. But it is hard to say he was not a prophet as God used him and spoke to him.

My opinion is that he was a prophet, but one who erred greatly. He sought reward always. I think he always had this conflict with himself. This later led him to receive the reward of the enemies of God and teach them how to cause Israel to sin. It is one thing to sin. It is another to provide teaching that causes the people of God to sin.

Thus his terrible end to be killed by God's people dwelling with God's enemies.

Quantrill