Numbers 23:13

Balaam’s Second Message

13 Then Balak said to him, “Come with me to another place where you can see them; you will not see them all but only the outskirts of their camp. And from there, curse them for me.”

Read Numbers 23:13 Using Other Translations

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 Balak said to him, "Please come with me to another place, from which you may see them. You shall see only a fraction of them and shall not see them all. Then curse them for me from there."
Then King Balak told him, “Come with me to another place. There you will see another part of the nation of Israel, but not all of them. Curse at least that many!”

What does Numbers 23:13 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Numbers 23:13

And Balak said unto him
Seemingly satisfied with his answer, however, he could not help himself, and was willing to make the best of him he could, and try what he could do with him another time and elsewhere:

come, I pray thee, with me unto another place, from whence thou mayest
see them;
for he had a mighty notion that both the sight of the people, and the place from whence they were seen, would greatly contribute to answer the end he had in view, cursing the people:

thou shall see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all;
for he thought, either that he was so charmed with so glorious a sight as the regular encampment of such a body of people was, that he could not find in his heart to curse them; or that he was so terrified at the sight of such a vast number of people, that he dared not attempt it; and therefore Balak proposed to have him to a place where he could only see a part of them and not the whole:

and curse me them from thence:
that part, hoping that when he had cursed them he would gradually go on till he had cursed them all: but there is this objection to our version, and the sense it directs to, that Balaam had been brought to a place already, where he had seen the utmost part of the people, ( Numbers 22:41 ) wherefore some read F8 the middle clause in a parenthesis, and in the past tense "(for thou hast seen but the utmost part of them, and hast not seen them all)"; and therefore would have him come to a place where he might see them all, and curse them from thence.


FOOTNOTES:

F8 So Vatablus.
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