Numbers 24:2

2 Balaam looked up and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. Then the spirit of God came upon him,

Numbers 24:2 Meaning and Commentary

Numbers 24:2

And Balaam lifted up his eyes
Being on Mount Peor:

and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes;
in that exact order in which they were directed to encamp under four standards, and so many tribes under each standard, ( Numbers 2:1-34 )

and the Spirit of God came upon him;
not in his grace but in his gifts; not as a spirit of sanctification, but as a spirit of prophecy, as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan paraphrase it; and so sometimes the Spirit of God in this sense has come upon wicked men, as on Caiaphas and others, ( John 11:51 ) ( Matthew 7:22 Matthew 7:23 ) .

Numbers 24:2 In-Context

1 Now Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, so he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness.
2 Balaam looked up and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. Then the spirit of God came upon him,
3 and he uttered his oracle, saying: "The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is clear,
4 the oracle of one who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, who falls down, but with eyes uncovered:
5 how fair are your tents, O Jacob, your encampments, O Israel!