The Doctrine of Balaam


The doctrine of Balaam is mentioned multiple times in the Scriptures, but while this event happened while Israel was wandering in the wilderness, the doctrine is still around today.

Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Jude 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

2Pet 2:15 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;

Three times the doctrine of Balaam is mentioned by the last writers of the Scriptures, but do we really know what this is about?

Summarizing the Incident of Balaam

Num 31:15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?

Num 31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

Num 31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

Num 31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

The above Scriptures summarize what happened because of Balaam – because Balaam could not curse the Israelites through his words, Balaam instructed Balak, the Moabite king, to have the women of his kingdom intermingle with the Israelites.It is important to read the whole account of this and the fact that it takes up 4 chapters should show its importance.The complete story of Balaam is in Numbers 22-25.

Balaam – H1109, בּלעם, bil‛âm, bil-awm’, Probably from H1077 and H5971; not (of the) people, that is, foreigner; Bilam, a Mesopotamian prophet; also a place in Palestine: – Balaam, Bileam.

H1077, בּל, bal, bal, From H1086; properly a failure; by implication nothing; usually (adverbially) not at all; also lest: – lest, neither, no, none (that . . . ), not (any), nothing.

H1086, בּלה, bâlâh, baw-law’, A primitive root; to fail; by implication to wear out, decay (causatively consume, spend): – consume, enjoy long, become (make, wax) old, spend, waste.

Elb% (Elb%BLH) ac: Wear co: ? ab: Terror: A flowing away of function, life or strength.

Elb% (Elb%B-LH) – Wear Out: [freq. 17] (vf: Paal, Piel) |kjv: waxed old, old, consume, waste, enjoy| {str: 1086, 1089}

Elb% (Elb%B-LH) – Worn Out: [Hebrew and Aramaic][freq. 6] |kjv: old, wear out| {str: 1080, 1087}

H5971, עם, ‛am, am, From H6004; a people (as a congregated unit); specifically a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively a flock: – folk, men, nation, people.

H6004, עמם, ‛âmam, aw-mam’, A primitive root; to associate; by implication to overshadow (by huddling together): – become dim, hide.

Mmo% (Mmo%AhMM) ac: Hide co: ? ab: ?: [Unknown connection to root;]

Mmo% (Mmo%Ah-MM) – Hide: [freq. 3] (vf: Paal, Hophal) |kjv: hide, dim| {str: 6004}

Primitive roots of Balaam present a function to wear out, waste away, decay by associating, overshadowing, and huddling together.Blending stuff into something pure overshadows the pure and pure becomes corrupted.

Themes of Balaam Throughout Scripture

In The Garden

Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

In this passage, we see the initial doctrine of Balaam.Of all trees created, there was only one that we were instructed not to eat from and this tree contained a mixture of both good and evil.Consuming this
mixture caused death.

The Time of Noah

Gen 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

Gen 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.

Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.

In the time of Noah, we have a mixing of the sons of Elohim (God) and the daughters of men.These were all men and women by the standard of Creation, but there is a difference mentioned between them – one was of YHWH, the other was of man.When the sons of Elohim took the daughters of men as wives, they mixed one seed with another, just as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Once the sons of Elohim had corrupted themselves by mixing with the daughters of men, YHWH then purposed to destroy the earth and all that He had created.

The Example of Abram

Gen 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

Gen 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Gen 12:4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram [was] seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

Gen 12:5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

Although Abram was instructed to leave his father’s family behind before he goes to the land, we find that it was not just Abram and Sarai that came out of Haran.Lot comes with him, and again we see a mixture of YHWH’s plan and man’s modifications to that plan.

The Example of Jacob

Gen 34:19 And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob’s daughter: and he [was] more honourable than all the house of his father.

Gen 34:20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,

Gen 34:21 These men [are] peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, [it is] large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.

Gen 34:22 Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they [are] circumcised.

Gen 34:23 [Shall] not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs [be] ours? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.

Gen 34:24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.

Just as Jacob enters and settles into the land after his period of exile, we have the incident with Dinah, Jacob’s daughter.In this incident, where the local governor’s son rapes Dinah, it is suggested (as seen in the above verses) that the city mix with the people of Israel.An interesting note here is the reason they wanted to mix with Israel as documented in verse 23.

The Examples of Israel

The Mixed Multitude

Exod 12:37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot [that were] men, beside children.

Exod 12:38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, [even] very much cattle.

Exod 12:48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.

Exod 32:7 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted [themselves]:

Exod 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

It is a common misconception that the people of the mixed multitude were the Egyptians who celebrated Pesach with Israel, but according to Scripture, once you celebrate Pesach, you are a part of Israel.This mixed multitude went with Israel, but was not a part of Israel.Because these people were allowed to mix with Israel just before they were to enter into the land, this whole generation died in the wilderness.

Mixed – H6154, ערבערב, ‛êreb‛ereb, ay’-reb, eh’-reb

The second form used in 1Ki_10:15 with the article prefixed); from H6148; the web (or transverse threads of cloth); also a mixture, (or mongrel race): – Arabia, mingled people, mixed (multitude), woof.

H6148, ערב, ‛ârab, aw-rab’

A primitive root; to braid, that is, intermix; technically to traffic (as if by barter); also to give or be security (as a kind of exchange): – engage, (inter-) meddle (with), mingle (self), mortgage, occupy, give pledges, be (-come, put in) surety, undertake.

Bro% (Bro%AhRB) ac: Mix co: Market ab: ?: A mixture of wares as found in the market place.

Bro% (Bro%Ah-RB) – I. Barter: To exchange an item or service for another. [Hebrew and Aramaic] II. Mix: As mixing one thing with another. [Hebrew and Aramaic] III. Sweet: [Unknown connection to root;] [freq. 34] (vf: Paal, Hitpael, Participle) |kjv: surety, meddle, mingle, pledge, become, engage, intermeddle, mortgage, occupier, occupy, undertake, sweet, pleasure, pleasing, pleasant, mingle| {str: 6148, 6149, 6151}

Bro% (Bro%Ah-RB) – I. Woof: For the mixing of cords when weaving. II. Mixed: III. Sweet: [Unknown connection to root;] [freq. 13] |kjv: woof, mixed, sweet| {str: 6154, 6156}

Multitude – H7227, רב, rab, rab

By contraction from H7231; abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank, quality): – (in) abound (-undance, -ant, -antly), captain, elder, enough, exceedingly, full, great (-ly, man, one), increase, long (enough, [time]), (do, have) many (-ifold, things, a time), ([ship-]) master, mighty, more, (too, very) much, multiply (-tude), officer, often [-times], plenteous, populous, prince, process [of time], suffice (-ient).

H7231, רבב, râbab, raw-bab’, A primitive root; properly to cast together (compare H7241), that is, increase, especially in number; also (as denominative from H7233) to multiply by the myriad: – increase, be many (-ifold), be more, multiply, ten thousands.

Bbr% (Bbr%RBB) ac: ? co: Abundant ab: ?: An abundance of number, strength or authority.

Bbr% (Bbr%R-BB) – I. Increase: To grow in number. II. Shoot: The shooting of arrows from an archer. [Unknown connection to root] [freq. 19] (vf: Paal, Pual) |kjv: many, multiply, increase, more, manifold, thousand, shoot| {str: 7231, 7232}

Balaam’s Advice

Num 22:1 And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan [by] Jericho.

Num 22:2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.

Num 22:3 And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they [were] many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.

Num 22:4 And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all [that are] round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor [was] king of the Moabites at that time.

Num 22:5 He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which [is] by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me:

Num 25:1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.

Num 25:2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.

Num 25:3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

Num 25:4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.

Num 25:5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.

Num 25:16 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Num 25:17 Vex the Midianites, and smite them:

Num 25:18 For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor’s sake.

Num 31:15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?

Num 31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

Num 31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

The above Scriptures give a small idea as to the advice of Balaam to Balak and the Midianites.The advice was simple and effective – to mix the Midianite women with the Israelite men which drew them away from the ways of YHWH.

Neh 13:1On thatH1931 dayH3117 they readH7121 in the bookH5612 of MosesH4872 in the audienceH241 of the people;H5971 and therein was foundH4672 written,H3789 thatH834 the AmmoniteH5984 and the MoabiteH4125 should notH3808 comeH935 into the congregationH6951 of GodH430 for ever;H5704 H5769

Neh 13:2BecauseH3588 they metH6923 notH3808 (H853) the childrenH1121 of IsraelH3478 with breadH3899 and with water,H4325 but hiredH7936 (H853) BalaamH1109 againstH5921 them, that he should curseH7043 them: howbeit our GodH430 turnedH2015 the curseH7045 into a blessing.H1293

Neh 13:3Now it came to pass,H1961 when they had heardH8085 (H853) the law,H8451 that they separatedH914 from IsraelH4480 H3478 allH3605 the mixed multitude.H6154

The Rebuilding of Jerusalem

Ezra 9:1 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, [doing] according to their abominations, [even] of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

Ezra 9:2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of [those] lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.

Ezra 9:3 And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.

Ezra 9:4 Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.

Even after the exile of Judah to Babylon and the dispersion of the Northern Kingdom into Assyria and Persia, Israel did not learn to be set-apart and not to mix themselves amongst the nations.

The Doctrine of Balaam

Deut 22:9 Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.

Deut 22:10 Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.

Deut 22:11 Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, [as] of woollen and linen together.

Torah instructs us that even in the most miniscule items, we are not to mix things.If this is the case for even the threads of our clothes, how much more should it be in the greater things of Torah?Even the mingling of our own thoughts and practices with that of Torah is not acceptable, we are not to add to or take away from the instructions that YHWH has given us.

Deut 12:1 These [are] the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.

Deut 12:2 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:

Deut 12:3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.

Deut 12:4 Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God.

Deut 12:29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;

Deut 12:30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

Deut 12:31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

Deut 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

From the themes presented above, we can see that any mixture leads to destruction or trials.We can also see a pattern that this mixing happens just before or just as Israel is entering the land.

The Prayer of Yahushua

John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

John 17:13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

John 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

What part of this world still holds onto you?What is mixed in with YHWH’s Word?What keeps you from serving your Master completely?Things to meditate on, then make a choice.Choose Life and be separate from the mixed.

That they separated – H914, בּדל, bâdal, baw-dal’, A primitive root; to divide (in various senses literally or figuratively, separate, distinguish, differ, select, etc.): – (make, put) difference, divide (asunder), (make) separate (self, -ation), sever (out), X utterly.

Ldb% (Ldb%BDL) ac: Separate co: Piece ab: ?: [from: db]

Ldb% (Ldb%B-DL) – Separate: To divide or separate something. [freq. 42] (vf: Niphal, Hiphil) |kjv: separate, divide, difference, asunder, severed| {str: 914}

Ldb% (Ldb%B-DL) – Piece: Something that is divided or separated from something else. [freq. 1] |kjv: piece| {str: 915}

Neh 13:3Now it came to pass,H1961 when they had heardH8085 (H853) the law,H8451 that they separatedH914 from IsraelH4480 H3478 allH3605 the mixed multitude.H6154

Dan 2:43And whereasH1768 thou sawestH2370 ironH6523 mixedH6151 with miryH2917 clay,H2635 they shallH1934 mingle themselvesH6151 with the seedH2234 of men:H606 but they shallH1934 notH3809 cleaveH1693 oneH1836 toH5974 another,H1836 even asH1888 H1768 ironH6523 is notH3809 mixedH6151 withH5974 clay.H2635

Mingle – H6151, ערב, ‛ărab, ar-ab’, (Chaldee); corresponding to H6148; to commingle: – mingle (self), mix.

H6148, ערב, ‛ârab, aw-rab’, A primitive root; to braid, that is, intermix; technically to traffic (as if by barter); also to give or be security (as a kind of exchange): – engage, (inter-) meddle (with), mingle (self), mortgage, occupy, give pledges, be (-come, put in) surety, undertake.

“Mingle” came from same root of “mixed.”

Deu 30:19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Deu 30:20That thou mayest love YHWH thy Elohim, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which YHWH sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

What functions do the Nicolaitans serve?

Rev 2:5RememberG3421 thereforeG3767 from whenceG4159 thou art fallen,G1601 andG2532 repent,G3340 andG2532 doG4160 theG3588 firstG4413 works;G2041 or elseG1490 I will comeG2064 unto theeG4671 quickly,G5034 andG2532 will removeG2795 thyG4675 candlestickG3087 out ofG1537 hisG848 place,G5117 exceptG3362 thou repent.G3340

Rev 2:6ButG235 thisG5124 thou hast,G2192 thatG3754 thou hatestG3404 theG3588 deedsG2041 of theG3588 Nicolaitans,G3531 whichG3739 I alsoG2504 hate.G3404

Rev 2:14ButG235 I haveG2192 a few thingsG3641 againstG2596 thee,G4675 becauseG3754 thou hastG2192 thereG1563 them that holdG2902 theG3588 doctrineG1322 of Balaam,G903 whoG3739 taughtG1321 BalacG904 to castG906 a stumblingblockG4625 beforeG1799 theG3588 childrenG5207 of Israel,G2474 to eatG5315 things sacrificed unto idols,G1494 andG2532 to commit fornication.G4203

Rev 2:15SoG3779 hastG2192 thouG4771 alsoG2532 them that holdG2902 theG3588 doctrineG1322 of theG3588 Nicolaitans,G3531 which thingG3739 I hate.G3404

Nicolaitans – G3531, Νικολαΐ́της, Nikolaitēs, nik-ol-ah-ee’-tace, From G3532; a Nicolaite, that is, adherent of Nicolaus: – Nicolaitane.

G3532, Νικόλαος, Nikolaos, nik-ol’-ah-os, From G3534 and G2004; victorious over the people; Nicolaus, a heretic: – Nicolaus.

G3534, νῖκος, nikos, nee’-kos, From G3529; a conquest (concretely), that is, (by implication) triumph: – victory.

G3529, νίκη, nikē, nee’-kay, Apparently a primary word; conquest (abstractly), that is, (figuratively) the means of success: – victory.

G529 mapped to H5331, נצחנצח, netsachnêtsach, neh’-tsakh, nay’-tsakh

From H5329; properly a goal, that is, the bright object at a distance travelled towards; hence (figuratively), splendor, or (subjectively) truthfulness, or (objectively) confidence; but usually (adverbially), continually (that is, to the most distant point of view): – alway (-s), constantly, end, (+ n-) ever (more), perpetual, strength, victory.

H5329, נצח, nâtsach, naw-tsakh’

A primitive root; properly to glitter from afar, that is, to be eminent (as a superintendent, especially of the Temple services and its music); also (as denominative from H5331), to be permanent: – excel, chief musician (singer), oversee (-r), set forward.

G2004, ἐπιτάσσω, epitassō, ep-ee-tas’-so

From G1909 and G5021; to arrange upon, that is, order: – charge, command, injoin.

G2004 mapped to H6680, צוה, tsâvâh, tsaw-vaw’

A primitive root; (intensively) to constitute, enjoin: – appoint, (for-) bid. (give a) charge, (give a, give in, send with) command (-er, ment), send a messenger, put, (set) in order.

Nicolaitans purpose is to enjoin their doctrines to overtake and make permanent their doctrines over the original.This is just like the doctrine of Balaam, designed to be a stumbling block.What doctrines do we have in our lives that are stumbling blocks that prevent us from really obeying our Father in Heaven, and worshipping Him, YHWH in Spirit and in Truth?

Dan 7:24And the tenH6236 hornsH7162 out ofH4481 this kingdomH4437 are tenH6236 kingsH4430 that shall arise:H6966 and anotherH321 shall riseH6966 afterH311 them; and heH1932 shall be diverseH8133 fromH4481 the first,H6933 and he shall subdueH8214 threeH8532 kings.H4430

Dan 7:25And he shall speakH4449 great wordsH4406 againstH6655 the most High,H5943 and shall wear outH1080 the saintsH6922 of the most High,H5946 and thinkH5452 to changeH8133 timesH2166 and laws:H1882 and they shall be givenH3052 into his handH3028 untilH5705 a timeH5732 and timesH5732 and the dividingH6387 of time.H5732

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