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Wednesday, December 11 2013
Numbers 23: Balaam's Parables
"And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel. How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed?"
Balaam was a "diviner," a prophet for hire (see also What's The Bible Word For False Prophet?) and sorcerer (see also What Is Sorcery?), who was summoned by Balak, the king of Moab, to put a curse on the Israelites who sought only to pass through Moabite territory on the way to their own homeland on the other side of the Jordan (see Numbers 22: Balak and Balaam). Before Balaam arrived, the LORD had given him, perhaps for the first and only time in his life, a true prophecy to deliver to Balak by means of parables (see the Fact Finder question below to understand the meaning of "parable").
"23:1 And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams. 23:2 And Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bullock and a ram.
Balak did not appreciate the truth that he was given by Balaam, so he demanded again that Balaam put a curse on the Israelites. Balaam replied, according to the command of the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God), with another parable that was also favorable to the Israelites.
"23:13 And Balak said unto him, Come, I pray thee, with me unto another place, from whence thou mayest see them: thou shalt see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence. 23:14 And he brought him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.
Balak then had Balaam go "unto another place; peradventure it will please God that thou mayest curse me them from thence." The result would be the same.
"23:27 And Balak said unto Balaam, Come, I pray thee, I will bring thee unto another place; peradventure it will please God that thou mayest curse me them from thence. 23:28 And Balak brought Balaam unto the top of Peor, that looketh toward Jeshimon.
Fact Finder: In what way is a Biblical parable like a telescope mirror?
This Day In History, December 11
361: Julian (known as "the Apostate") entered Constantinople (named after the Roman Emperor Constantine; see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy) as sole Emperor of the then collapsing and fragmenting Roman Empire (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
630: Muhammad led an army of 10,000 to conquer Mecca. The religion that he created, known as "Islam," quickly spread across the Middle East, Africa and southern Europe (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad and The Prophet Daniel: Kings Of The North and South).
1205: John Grey, Bishop of Norwich, was elected Archbishop of Canterbury. He was later rejected by Pope Innocent III.
1640: English Puritans introduced the "Root and Branch" petition to the Long Parliament in London.
1688: King James II abdicated the British throne.
1792: King Louis XVI of France was put on trial for treason.
1845: The Sonderbund was established by the 7 Catholic Swiss cantons to oppose anti-Catholic measures by Protestant cantons.
1845: In India, Sikhs crossed Sutlej and made a surprise attack on the British, starting the Anglo-Sikh War.
1899: During the second British-Boer War, the British under Methuen attempted to advance and were defeated with the loss of over 1,000 men by 9,000 Boers under Cronje at the Battle of Magersfontein.
1901: Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi flew a kite fitted with an aerial from the Cabot Memorial Tower on Signal Hill in Newfoundland which enabled him to receive the world's first transatlantic radio message. Sent from Cornwall, England, it consisted of 3 dots, the Morse Code signal for the letter "s".
1917: British forces under General Edmund Allenby liberated Jerusalem (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1930: The Bank of The United States in New York failed and closed all of its 60 branches. The bank had over 400,000 depositors.
1931: Britain's Statute of Westminster gave complete legislative independence to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, and Newfoundland.
1936: Britain's King Edward VIII told a radio audience that he was abdicating the throne to marry U.S. divorcee Wallis Simpson. Edward had reigned for only 11 months, the shortest reign since that of Edward V in the 15th century. George VI, father of Elizabeth II, became king.
1937: Italy withdrew from the League of Nations.
1941: Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; the U.S. then declared war on them. Poland declared war on Japan. Cuba, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Guatemala all declared war on Germany and Italy.
1941: Japanese forces occupied Guam.
1948: Newfoundland signed an agreement to become Canada's 10th province.
1955: Israeli forces attacked Syrian positions on the Sea of Galilee.
1961: Captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was found guilty and sentenced to death by a court in Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah). He was hung in May of the next year.
1962: Arthur Lucas and Ronald Turpin were hung at Toronto's Don Jail (Turpin murdered a Toronto police officer while fleeing an armed robbery; Lucas, who was a U.S. citizen from Georgia, murdered an undercover U.S. narcotics officer from Detroit while he was visiting Toronto). There were 710 executions in Canada between 1867 (when Canada became a self-governing member of the British Empire) and 1962 when the death penalty was abolished.
1967: The Concorde, a joint British-French development and the world's first supersonic airliner, was formally introduced in France.
1973: West Germany and Czechoslovakia signed a treaty nullifying the 1938 Munich Pact which sanctioned Hitler's seizure of the Sudetenland.
1983: The first visit to Lutheran church by a pope was made by Pope John Paul II in Rome.
1991: European Community leaders signed the "Maastricht Treaty" which aimed for a common foreign policy and a single currency by 1999.
2001: China joined the World Trade Organization.
2008: Bernard Madoff was arrested and charged with securities fraud in a $50 billion Ponzi scheme (some debt-swamped countries are using the same principle to delay economic collapse - using more borrowed money to just be able to pay the interest on the massive debt that they already have).