Numbers 23:18-24*

Note: this is the second of Balaam’s parables. This proposal is informed by  The Literary Structure of the First Two Poems of Balaam (Num. XXIII 7-10, 18-24) Angelo Tosato, Vetus Testamentum, Vol. 29, Fasc. 1 (Jan., 1979), pp. 98-106.

18 And he took up his parable, and said,

a. Rise up, Balak,

b.  and hear;

b’. hearken unto me,

a’. thou son of Zippor:

A. a. 19 God is not a man, that he should lie;
b. neither the son of man, that he should repent:

a’. hath he said, and shall he not do it?
b’ or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

B. a. 20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless:                                    b. and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.

a’. 21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob,
b’. neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel:

C. a. the LORD his God is with him,
b. and the shout of a king is among them.

a’. 22 God brought them out of Egypt;
b’. he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

B’. a. 23 Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob,
b. neither is there any divination against Israel:

a’. according to this time it shall be said of Jacob                                                   b’. and of Israel, What hath God wrought!

A’. a.24 Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion,
b. and lift up himself as a young lion:

a’. he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey,
b’. and drink the blood of the slain.

Note: the promise of God in A is paralleled with the reference to Israel as a lion in A. Is this a reference to Genesis 49:9 where Judah, the royal tribe, is said to be as a young lion? 

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