And now, behold, I go unto my people
According to thine order, I shall not stay to make thee uneasy with my company, only I crave thy patience to hear me a little before we part:
come therefore, and I will advertise thee;
about some things that shall come to pass in future time, respecting this people, and thine, and other nations, both near and remote; and he hoped by this to bring him into a better temper, and part good friends: or "I will counsel thee"; what thou shall do, as the Targum of Onkelos, and so makes a sentence of this of itself, independent of, and distinct from what follows, beginning the next clause thus,
and I will show them what this people
referring the former to the counsel Balaam gave to Balak, how to seduce the people into idolatry; and the Targum of Jonathan expresses it at large;
``come, I will counsel thee, go and prepare victualling houses, and place lewd women there to sell food and drink at a low price, and bring this people to eat, and drink, and be drunken; and let them lie with them, and deny their God, and they will be delivered into thine hands in a little time, and many of them will fall;''which advice was followed, ( Numbers 25:1 Numbers 25:2 ) and is referred to, ( Numbers 31:16 ) ( Revelation 2:14 ) but though Balaam did give him such advice before he left him, which is highly probable, yet it is not what is intended here, since what follows is closely connected with the above clause, and contains the thing he advertised or advised him of:
what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days;
not what the Moabites should do to the Israelites now, as the Vulgate Latin version, quite contrary to the original text, but what the Israelites should do to the Moabites in future times; not only in the times of David, by whom they were subdued, ( 2 Samuel 8:2 ) but in much later times, even in the times of Alexander, or King Jannaeus, who overcame them, as Josephus F2 relates. Now this might be said to Balak to make him easy, that it would not be until the latter days, many hundreds of years hence, ere the people of Israel would fight with Moab, and subdue it; and therefore he need be under no concern about them, since he would meet with no trouble from them in his time, nor his people for years to come.
F2 Antiqu. l. 13. c. 13. sect. 5.