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2014-04-16

In Numbers 24:14-19, before Balaam leaves Balak’s presence, he delivers a fourth oracle that begins almost identically to the third, but then makes some really exciting prophecies. It beings with a star coming out of Jacob. For those who demand a literal interpretation of the bible, all I can say is, “ouch!” Having a million-mile diameter ball of super-heated plasma rip from your loins must be incredibly painful! Otherwise, I think this prophecy is pretty self-explanatory. Someone from the line of Jacob will be born, lead a war against the Moabites, and conquer their lands. But rather than say it those simple terms, God, always the diva, has to talk about skull crushing.

Seir, by the way, is where Esau went to live after Jacob tricked his brother and their blind father and his brother Esau out of his birthright. Later, when Esau offered to let bygones be bygones and invited Jacob to live with him in peace in Seir, Jacob used children to lie to his brother and ran away. And now, God tells us that Jacob’s offspring will enter Esau’s homeland, kill everyone, and conquer it! Even in his death, Jacob is a huge bully to his poor brother.

Also, a lot of this oracle seems to be mistranslated. The NIV has several footnotes giving variations on the translations and pointing out that the much older (and more reliable) Masoretic Text uses different phrases in several parts.

 

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Baughbe writes:

 

The Bible: Guide to living the Thug Life

 

Oh the irony!