ONE OF the most cryptic and fascinating sections in the entire Bible is the focus of our study this week: On the surface, it’s a message from God to the Prince of Tyre, who, at the time of Ezekiel, was a man named Ithobaal III. However, it’s clear from the context that this was really directed at the divine rebel from Eden.
Balaam son of Beor was a prophet for profit. The frightened king of Moab hired him to curse Israel so that his tiny nation would not be overrun. Instead, Balaam blesses Israel three times. We also discuss the incident in the desert with the fiery serpents (saraph nachash) and the Israelites’ defeat of the giant kings Sihon and Og.