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THE SCIENCE OF CORRESPONDENCES

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 << Numbers 22, 23, 24 Balaam's Blessing >>

alt7 THE children of Israel were journeying down towards the head of the Red Sea to compass the land of Edom when they were bitten by the fiery serpents. Their journey is described in Numbers xxi. and Deuteronomy ii. and iii. They made a circuit around Edom and turned northward through the pasture country east of the Dead Sea. They passed by the Moabites and the Ammonites, who, like the Edomites, were related to them, being descendants of Lot, the nephew of Abraham. But they conquered two kingdoms of the Amorites in this eastern country: the land of king Sihon, south of the brook Jabbok, and Bashan, north of the Jabbok, which was ruled by the giant king Og. The Jabbok is a brook which runs into the Jordan about half-way between the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee.

Then the people encamped in the plains of Jordan among the acacia trees, not far from the Dead Sea. The bluffs of the upland pastures rose above them, and from some high points people could look down upon their camp in the plain below.

Now we hear of Balaam. He was a prophet. Pethor, his home, seems to have been a town on the Euphrates River. Here in the far East there still remained some wise men who had knowledge of the Lord and of heavenly things, handed down from the ancient time. Long years after this there were wise men in the East who knew something of Ihe Lord. Messengers came from Balak, king of Moab, to Balaam's home with a present, asking him to come and curse the children of Israel. Balaam would gladly have done what they asked, but the Lord forbade him and he dared not go.

Balak sent again more and more honorable messengers than at first. Balaam wished in his heart to go with them, and this time the Lord let him go, but he must speak only the Lord's words. Balaam's real wish was to do Israel harm; for, although he spoke the blessing from the Lord, he made Balak lead the people into idolatry and wickedness. (Rev. ii. 14.)

As Balaam was on his journey, the Lord sent His angel to meet him in the way, to warn him to speak only what He should give him to speak. The Lord caused it to seem to Balaam that words came from the mouth of his ass. It was a sign of the Lord's power, which made him more willing to obey.

When Balaam came to Balak, although the king offered great rewards, he dared not speak but as the Lord told him.

We see the king of Moab taking Balaam to a mountain-top from which they could see part of the camp of Israel lying in the plain of Jordan below. Many mountain-tops in that country still show the remains of altars and other signs of idolatry. This mountain was one used for the worship of Baal the sun god. They built seven altars and offered sacrifices, but the Lord gave only words of blessing for Israel. The king took Balaam to another top where they could see a part of the camp. Again they built seven altars and made sacrifice, but again the Lord gave only blessing. Once more the king took Balaam to a third mountain, this time where he could see all Israel "abiding in his tents according to their tribes," and here again he blessed them from the Lord.

Let us read the story, and see how different the words of Balaam's prophecy are from common words. They were not Balaam's words, but the Lord's. You will see in them, a promise of the Lord's coming.

And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho.

And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. 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. 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: Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed. And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak. And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam. And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee? And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying, Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out. And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed. And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the LORD refuseth to give me leave to go with you. And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us. And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they. And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people. And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more. Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will say unto me more. And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.

And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?  And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay. Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.

And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive. And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again. And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak. And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost coast. And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote thee to honour?  And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak. And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kirjathhuzoth. And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him. And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost part of the people. And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams. And Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bullock and a ram. And Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure the LORD will come to meet me: and whatsoever he sheweth me I will tell thee. And he went to an high place. And God met Balaam: and he said unto him, I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered upon every altar a bullock and a ram. And the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak. And he returned unto him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt sacrifice, he, and all the princes of Moab. 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?
        or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied? 
        For from the top of the rocks I see him,
        and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone,
        and shall not be reckoned among the nations.
        Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel?
        Let me die the death of the righteous,
        and let my last end be like his! 

  And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether. And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD hath put in my mouth? 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. 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. And he said unto Balak, Stand here by thy burnt offering, while I meet the LORD yonder. And the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus. And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the LORD spoken?  And he took up his parable, and said,

          Rise up, Balak, and hear;
          hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:
          God is not a man, that he should lie;
          neither the son of man, that he should repent:
          hath he said, and shall he not do it?
          or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? 
          Behold, I have received commandment to bless:
          and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
          He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob,
          neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel:
          the LORD his God is with him,
          and the shout of a king is among them.
          God brought them out of Egypt;
          he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
          Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob,
          neither is there any divination against Israel:
          according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel,
          What hath God wrought! 
          Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion,
          and lift up himself as a young lion:
          he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey,
          and drink the blood of the slain.

And Balak said unto Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all. But Balaam answered and said unto Balak, Told not I thee, saying, All that the LORD speaketh, that I must do?  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. And Balak brought Balaam unto the top of Peor, that looketh toward Jeshimon. And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams. And Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar. And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. And he took up his parable, and said,

            Balaam the son of Beor hath said,
            and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
            He hath said, which heard the words of God,
            which saw the vision of the Almighty,
            falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: 
            How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob,
            and thy tabernacles, O Israel! 
            As the valleys are they spread forth,
            as gardens by the river's side,
            as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted,
            and as cedar trees beside the waters.
            He shall pour the water out of his buckets,
            and his seed shall be in many waters,
            and his king shall be higher than Agag,
            and his kingdom shall be exalted.
            God brought him forth out of Egypt;
            he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn:
            he shall eat up the nations his enemies,
            and shall break their bones,
            and pierce them through with his arrows.
            He couched, he lay down as a lion,
            and as a great lion: who shall stir him up?
            Blessed is he that blesseth thee,
            and cursed is he that curseth thee.

And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times. Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honour. And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the LORD, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the LORD saith, that will I speak?  And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days. And he took up his parable, and said,

            Balaam the son of Beor hath said,
            and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
            He hath said, which heard the words of God,
            and knew the knowledge of the most High,
            which saw the vision of the Almighty,
            falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
            I shall see him, but not now:
            I shall behold him, but not nigh:
            there shall come a Star out of Jacob,
            and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel,
            and shall smite the corners of Moab,
            and destroy all the children of Sheth.
            And Edom shall be a possession,
            Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies;
            and Israel shall do valiantly.
            Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion,
            and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city. ....

And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way.----Numbers XXII, XXIII, XXIV. 1-19, 25.

Author: William L. Worcester 1904

Spiritual Correspondences

      Ass >> Natural faculties of understanding

      Blocking of Balaam's ass >> The Lord helps Balaam through an external circumstance 

      Mountain-tops >> Interior state of Heavenly affection

      Balaam's parable >> The blessedness of true life in Heaven

      Fruitful Trees >> Heavenly Intelligence

      Unicorn and lion >> Strength of heavenly affection

      Balaam's Prophecy >> Coming of the Lord

      Moab >> Evil in hell

      Sons of Sheth >> Falsities in hell

      Break the corners of Moab >> Destroy the power of evil

Spiritual Meaning

 NUMBERS XXII

1And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho.
 
I. But the man of the Spiritual Church, in advancing towards the heavenly life, is in a state of the adulteration Jericho of good, as to the external man who is in the knowledges of goodness and truth.
 
 2And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.
 
2 And the evil derived from the falsity of such good, is disturbed by the predominance of the spiritual man over the evil of the na tural man in general.

 3And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.
 
3. For those who are confirmed in the evil of corrupted good, greatly fear genuine truth, because it prevails against them; and are brought into distress by the powerful influence of the man of the church.
 
 4And 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.
 
4. And therefore they have the perception through the falsities that are confirmed in them, that spiritual truths will take away all their delights, even as corrupted natural affection takes away all spiritual truth. And such evil natural affections derived from falsity, are the governing principles with those who adulterate good.
 
 5He 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:
 
5. Wherefore these consult falsity derived from evil, which interprets the truth from selfish love, and from knowledges most external, desiring communication, and inspiring the perception, that the man of the Spiritual Church, having been delivered from the tyranny of the merely natural life, and having been instructed in Divine Truths in all fulness, is oposed to adulterated good;
 
 6Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.
 
6. That therefore his destruction is desired, because falsity cannot withstand truths, but yet that it may possibly prevail, and in fact' do injury, in order that truths may be separated; being possessed by the delusion ~ that falsity of this kind is all-powerful and is either able to effect' conjunction with heaven through selfish love, or to cause aversion from it.
 
 7And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak.
 
7. Wherefore also those who are confirmed in the evil of adulterated good and in its falsities, in such a state of the church or of the individual, seek to gain communication with those who teach truth from selfish principles, by exerting and stimulating in them the love of reward, and having done so, to scatter the fears of adulterated good, and aid those who desire to throw off the influence of the spiritual man.
 
8And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.
 
8. And hence the false prophet from his selfishness, temporizes with the insinuations of evil and falsity, suggesting delay in the state of obscurity, and that an answer shall be given according to the Word of the Lord; for corrupted good and its falsities abides .with those who would teach truth for selfish purposes.
 
  9And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee?
 
9. But Divine Truth also has influence with them externally, and suggests inquiry as to the quality of evil influences.
 
 10And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying,
 
10. And confession is made that evil from the falsity of corrupted good insinuates,
 
 11Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out.
 
11. That the man of the Spiritual Church is delivered from the bondage of the natural man, has been instructed, and is predominant in the external man; and that therefore corrupted good desires the suppression of him, or.. if possible, to fight against him and to destroy him.

 12And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.

 12. But the false prophet, or teacher, perceives from the Word in his understanding, that he ought not to be associated with corrupted good and its falsities; and also that the man of the church is not averted from the Lord but has conjunction with Him.
 
 13And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the LORD refuseth to give me leave to go with you.
 
13. And therfore, in a state of illustration, superstition and fear, he desires to separate himself from corrupted good c:nd its. falsities, leaving them In their own delights, because the power of Divine Truth prevails with him in that state.
 
 14And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us.
 
14. And consequently evil and its falsity are apparently separated from communication with the Word falsified and it is perceived by the corrupted man that he cannot avail himself of its influence.

 15And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they.
 
15. But still, corrupted good is persistent, and again communicates with the false teacher by exciting in him the love of reward more intensely.
 
 16And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me:
 
16. And thence the false teacher perceives, from the evil derived from the falsity of adulterated good, that he ought by all means to be conjoined with the evil of corrupted good.
 
 17For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.
 
17. For the love of honour, and glory, and reward, and evil, is willing, for the sake of its own ends, to be submissive to the power of the Word falsified, desiring eagerly the destruction of genuine truths.
 
 18And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.
 
18. But the false teacher thinks, from the evident force of the truth, that although corrupted good should be able externally to enrich him wi th all abundance of truths and good affections together, yet it is impossible to exceed the limits of Divine Truth, which outwardly controls the wicked, and compels their obedience.
 
 19Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will say unto me more.
 
19. And yet under the influence of selfish love which causes obscurity, he still temporizes, in the hope that even the Lord Himself may change.
 
 20And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.
 
20. And therefore, according to his state of obscurity, he perceives from Divine Truth, when selfish impulses and thoughts are strong, that he must be drawn on by them, while still he is aware that he cannot exceed the force of Divine Truth from the Lord.
 
 21And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.
 
2 I. And therefore, in another state of illustration, he is roused to activity, adapting the rational faculty of the natural man to his selfish aspirations, and then proceeds to communicate with adulterated good.
 
 22And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.
 
22. But by so doing he is averted from Divine Truth, which cannot but be actually opposed to his fallacies and infatuation. He is led for him. ward, however, by delusive arguments supported by ex ternal appearances of good and truth.
 
 23And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
 
23. But the Rational, in spite of its condition, perceives Divine Truth from Divine Good as its opponent, and also its power to destroy falsity; and therefore it is diverted from the path of error, and naturally tends to conjunction with good; but the affection of falsity perverts the Rational, and forces it to bend to its requirements.
 
 24But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.
 
24. Again the progress of error is opposed by Divine Truth from Divine Good as manifested in the obscure perception of spiritual truths limited by the appearances of good and truth in the external or natural man.
 
 25And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again.
 
25. And still the Rational perceives that Divine Truth, as before, is opposed to it; and although deluded by appearances, is strongly drawn to them, the natural affections thus being injured; and again the affection of falsity perverts the Rational to cause it to err,
 
 26And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.
 
26. And yet again the progress of error is impeded by Divine Truth from Divine Good in the state where falsity is confirmed, and where, therefore, no divergence from the path of error is possible.
 
 27And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.
 
27. But still the Rational perceives the opposition of Divine Truth from Divine Good, and at the same time is prostrated by the force of truth on the one hand, and falsity
on the other; and the false teacher being confirmed' in error is averted from the truth and the Rational is still more injured by ultimate falsified truths.
 
 28And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
 
28. And yet, even then; it has power from the Lord to utter truths, and to charge the depraved will with injustice, as to the rej-ection of good, the rejection of truth, and confirmation in errors.
 
 29And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.
 
29. And thence the Rational perceives that it is naturally opposed to evil and error, and that evil desires its destruction by 'means of falsity through which all sense of right or wrong is obliterated.
 
 30And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.
 
30. And yet, in spite of all Divine Good speaks through the Rational, and insinuates that it is the servant of the will, and has been obedient to it through the course of life, nor is it ever uninfluenced by the will; and this the corrupted man is compelled to acknowledge,
 
 31Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.
 
31. And now, therefore, even the false teacher is caused to perceive that Divine Truth from Divine Good is totally opposed to him and that truth is destructive of falsity, and therefore, externally, he is submissive both as to the understanding and will.
 
 32And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me:
 
32 And from the Lord he perceives that he has abused the Rational, has rejected good and truth, and has confirmed himself in falsity; and also that Divine Truth must necessarily oppose him, because of his perverted state;
 
 33And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.
 
33. That the Rational in every case had perceived the truth, and had been disposed to avoid error; and that unless this had been so, liberty of choice would not have been left to the corrupted will, even when the Rational was free.

 34And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.
 
34. Whence the corrupted will now perceives that it has opposed Divine Truth, and has been blinded by selfish desires; and therefore, from selfish fear, it is willing to be outwardly obedient,
 
 35And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
 
35. But now Divine Truth teaches that every man must be left to act according to reason and liberty; and yet that the Divine Providence secretly controls all things for the best; and thus the corrupted man decides in favour of his own selfish desires.
 
 36And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost coast.
 
36. And therefore the state of adulterated good is intensified by communication with the corrupted understanding; for the will flows into the understanding and conjoins itself therewith in accommodated doctrine, which, in this case, is the conjunction of evil with falsity on the ultimate plane of life.
 
 37And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote thee to honour?
 
37. And the corrupted understanding perceives from the impulses of the depraved will that it desires to confirm its state by falsities. Why then has there been hesitation? And is not selfish love able to promote and exalt its votaries?
 
 38And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.
 
38. But the corrupted will now perceives from the light of truth itself, present in the corrupted understanding, that indeed it desires to gratify selfish love, but that it cannot overcome the power of genuine truth, and must, even from selfish considerations, comply with its requirements.
 
 39And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kirjathhuzoth.
 
39. And therefore the conjunction of the corrupted understanding and the depraved will is, as yet, most external.
 
 40And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him.
 

40. But the depraved will now influences the understanding by the force of its affections both external and internal, and thus makes that conjunction a little stronger.
 
 41And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost part of the people.
 
41. And then in a state of illustration from the falsities of corrupted worship from selfish love, the corrupted understanding is gifted, for the time being, with the perception of the opposing truths of the church remotely.

Author: Rev. HENRY MACLAGAN (1911)

 NUMBERS XXIV

1And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.
 
I. But now the corrupted understanding,perceiving that, from Divine Good, the spiritual  man has conjunction with the Lord, ceases to pervert the truth by making it appear as falsity, and is led interiorly to contemplate the rejection of all truth.
 
 2And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him.
 
2. But also, the understanding being elevated, he is enabled to contemplate the state of the spiritual man as in heavenly order according to general truths, and for the time being, is influenced by Divine Truth.
 
 3And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
 
3. And thus perceives from the genuine literal sense of the Word, in which is revealed the internal sense, that the corrupted understanding derived from the corrupted will from itself, is unable to see truths.
 
 4He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
 
4. But that still, when influenced externally both as to affection and thought, he can discern truths in a state of apparent humility, and of spiritual enlightenment.
 
 5How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel!
 
5. And that the truly spiritual man is a form of loveliness both as to external and
internal life.
 
 6As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.
 
6. For in lowest states of good he is abundant in truths and in lowest states of truth is nourished from the Word; his realizations of interior truths from victory in temptation, are from the Lord alone; and his perceptions of internal truth are from the Word;
 
 7He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.
 
7. Truths in abundance are with him in their receptacles, and the increase of good and truth with him is according to his reception of truths in all their variety; his central governing principle of Divine Truth is superior to all falsities from interior evil, and his state of good is superior to all selfish delights.
 
 8God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.
 
8. He is delivered from the bondage of the natural man by the power of the truth; he is gifted with full power against evil, as if from himself, even in the natural degree; he has power to over ome all evils that oppose hirn; and he can disperse all falsities by means of the truths of the Word.
 
 9He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.
 
9. He is at rest from the conflicts of temptation as to truth and as to good, when fully regenerated; he has conjunction with the Lord as to all his faculties; and he is averted from all evils.
 
 10And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times.
 
10. And now therefore the corrupted man is altogether averted from Divine Truth and there is with him the conjunction of evil and falsity; and it is perceived that, although the corrupt will desires the destruction of good and truth, yet they are secure against his attacks even in the greatest degree.
 
 11Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honour.
 
11. Consequently he desires entire separation from the truth; he had been persuaded that, by means of truths he should be able to promote all selfish purposes, but he is now forced to the conviction that Divine Love is totally opposed to selfishness and its rewards.
 
 12And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying,
 
12. And yet the corrupted man is made aware that truth from the Lord had always been clearly revealed to him, and that he had received the perception,
 
 13If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the LORD, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the LORD saith, that will I speak?
 
13. That although he should be enriched with an abundance of knowledge and delight in the understanding, yet that could not change the truth, nor could it promote both good and evil; for the truth is not from man, but from the Lord who is unchangeable.

 14And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.
 
14. And further that now, therefore, the truth must be taken away from the wicked, and be given to the good; and that it reveals the state of the good and the evil alike in the Judgment.
 
 15And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
 
15. And thus that from the Divine Word, in which is the spiritual sense, it may be known, that even those who are in falsity from evil and are blind as to all genuine truths,
 
 16He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
 
16. May yet be compelled to outward obedience, and also to the realization of truth in its outward form as a manifestation of Divine Good, as an exhibition of the Divine Omnipotence, as producing the semblance of humility, and as giving revelation.
 
 17I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
 

17. For he perceives that the Lord reveals Himself in the Word and yet that the wicked reject Him; he knows that He is manifested as Divine Truth, and yet that the wicked do not love this Truth; for he knows that the Lord has revealed Himself even to the natural man in the natural world, and to the spiritual man in the spiritual world, fully overcoming the powers of evil, and. delivering man from the dominion of falsity;
 
 18And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.
 
15. And therefore also that His Human has been made Divine both as to good and as to truth, although, through hereditary evil from the mother, it had been subject to temptation; and that thus the Spiritual Church has been formed, and the spiritual man, as from himself has power against evil.
 
19Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.
 
19. For by the Human, the Lord exercises His Omnipotence, and expels from the church the prevailing power of evil.
 
 25And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way.
 
25. But Divine Truth itself is elevated above all natural delights, is separated from them, and is finally conjoined to Divine Good. And corrupted good, therefore, is entirely separated from all truth and is conjoined with falsity.

Author: Rev. HENRY MACLAGAN (1911)

 NUMBERS XXIII

 1And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams.
 

I. And now there is perception from falsified truths with him who is in adulterated good, that the Lord must be worshipped superstitiously from natural and spiritual affections apparently in all completeness and in all holiness.
 
 2And Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bullock and a ram.
 
2. And this is actually effected; for natural affection and spiritual affection, seem to be in true worship as to willand understanding.
 
 3And Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure the LORD will come to meet me: and whatsoever he sheweth me I will tell thee. And he went to an high place.
 
3. And it seems to corrupted good that such worship must be genuine and constant; also that there is aspiration under the influence of falsified truths, after interior communication with the Lord, and the desire that selfish worship may be accepted; also that thus the corrupted man is to be enlightened. But in this worship there ,is no genuine good or truth.
 
 4And God met Balaam: and he said unto him, I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered upon every altar a bullock and a ram.
 
4 Although there is external communication. And therefore the corrupted man is fully persuaded that he is in genuine worship both as to the natural and spiritual minds.
 
 5And the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak.
 
5 Moreover, there is influx from the Divine Good by Divine Truth into the intellect of the corrupted man giving the perception that although, interiorly, he is in adulterated good, yet, exteriorly, he must utter genuine truths.
 
 6And he returned unto him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt sacrifice, he, and all the princes of Moab.
 
6. And therefore now, the corrupted man receives revelation according to his state which is that of earnest external worship without internal both as to will and understanding.
 
 7And 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.
 
7 And hence there is perception from the Word through its genuine literal sense in which is the spiritual sense, that adulterated good surely desires the knowledges of good and truth; also that falsified truth thence is given externally, for conjunction by !ove with the Lord, while yet It IS Inwardly in aversion therefrom both as to natural and spiritual realities;
 
 8How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?
 
8. And is compelled to acknowledge, nevertheless, that what is manifestly true cannot be false; and that what is manifestly good cannot be evil.
 
 9For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.
 
9. For all natural truths are seen from natural good, and all spiritual truths are seen from spiritual good, and both are manifestations of the Lord; while the man of the Spiritual Church is in faith conjoined with charity, nor can he be in the prevailing love of evils.
 
 10Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!
 
10. Nor is the qualify of the regenerated natural man as to the abundance of truth, or of the will of the regenerated spiritual man as to canjunction with the Lord, known to any but the Lord Himself. And even the corrupted man appears to be desirous of regeneration, and this too, both as to the will and understanding.
 
 11And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether.
 
11. And it is perceived by the corrupted man in spite of his evil state, not only that he is essentially in evil and desires the destruction of good  and truth, but also that these are utterly opposed to him, because they are from the Lord and give conjunction withHim.
 
 12And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD hath put in my mouth?
 
12. But still, in externals, he acknowledges the Lord and His Word, and is compelled to put on the appearance of reverence for it, and even to utter its precepts, as if they proceeded fronlgenuine faith and charity on his part.
 
 13And 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.
 
13. But now a change of state takes place, in which the corrupted will and the perverted understanding are more closely conjoined; and then there is another perception of opposing goods and truths somewhat more internal, the desire to cause aversion continuing.
 
 14And 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.
 
14. For, under the influence of selfish love the understanding contemplates the truths of the church, and investigates their quality preparing again to simulate genuine worship both as to the natural and spiritual affections.
 
 15And he said unto Balak, Stand here by thy burnt offering, while I meet the LORD yonder.
 
15. And again such worship is continued and communication with the Lord is sought for,
 
 16And the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus.
 
16. Such communication being granted according to the state, while still the corrupted understanding is interiorly conjoined with adulterated good,
 
 17And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the LORD spoken?
 
17. And this conjunction actually takes place while there is yet more earnest devotion as to both affection and thought, revelation frbm the Lord being eagerly desired.
 
 18And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:
 
18. And hence this is given from the genuine truth of the Word in which is the spiritual sense, namely, that adulterated good must be elevated as to the understanding, that it may perceive the good and truth of the Word,
 
 19God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
 
19. And must learn indeed that Divine Truth is not like human thought, changeable and liable to err; and that Divine Good is not like human affection, variable and needing repentance; for what is essentially true, that the Divi.ne Being always does; and what is essentially good, that He always promotes.

 20Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
 
20. Nor it is possible for even the perverted understanding, when brought into the light of truth, to avoid seeing that the good have conjunction with the Lord, nor can evil prevent this conjunction with thosewho are in good.
 
 21He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.
 
21. For with them the natural man is obedient to natural truths, and the spiritual man is obedient to spiritual truths; and with them good is conjoined to truth internally and externally;
 
 22God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
 
22. They are delivered from all the evils of the natural man corrupted; and are endowed with the full power of natural good from the Lord.
 
 23Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!
 
23. Nor can they be overcome by those who pervert and prostitute Divine Truths, when they are made to appear as falsities in the natural or spiritual degree of their minds. For both the natural and spiritual man regenerated are under the protection of the Lord, and to Him all their salvation is due.
 
 24Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.
 
24. And the regenerated natural, acting from regenerated spiritual affection, is all powerful; and so also is natural truth conjoined with that affection; nor does the good man atall rest until good and truth are fully appropriated by him, and until the evil and falsity of adulterated good are entirely removed.
 
 25And Balak said unto Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.
 
25. But the corrupted man who is confirmed in his wickedness desires entire separation from both natural and spiritual good.
 
 26But Balaam answered and said unto Balak, Told not I thee, saying, All that the LORD speaketh, that I must do?
 
26. And at the same time, in that state, he clearly perceives from the light of truth in his understanding, that he is compelled externally to be obedient to the laws of Divine Order.
 
 27And 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.
 
27. And yet. he is so infatuated from selfish love, that he still desires to make a final effort to shake off the influence of the good and the true by further delusions.
 
 28And Balak brought Balaam unto the top of Peor, that looketh toward jeshimon.
 
28. And therefore he is now led into the state of the interior will, from which he discerns that he is about to be quite desolated as to all good and truth.
 
 29And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams.
 
29. While still from the corruptedunderstanding he is disposed again  to simulate true worship, and this both as to the natural and spiritual affections as before.
 
 30And Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.
 
30 And he proceeds to do so, in reality devoting to selfish worship every natural affection and every spiritual affection.

Author: Rev. HENRY MACLAGAN (1911)

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