Numbers 24:20

Balaam’s Fifth Message

20 Then Balaam saw Amalek and spoke his message: “Amalek was first among the nations, but their end will be utter destruction.”

Read Numbers 24:20 Using Other Translations

And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.
Then he looked on Amalek and took up his discourse and said, "Amalek was the first among the nations, but its end is utter destruction."
Then Balaam looked over toward the people of Amalek and delivered this message: “Amalek was the greatest of nations, but its destiny is destruction!”

What does Numbers 24:20 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Numbers 24:20

And when he looked on Amalek
The country of Amalek, which lay to the south of the land of Canaan, ( Numbers 13:29 ) and which Balaam had a view of from the mountain of Peor, where he now was:

and he took up his parable, and said;
the parable of his prophecy, as the Targum of Jonathan, and pronounced it aloud:

Amalek was the first of the nations;
not the first nation in the world, nor the chief and principal for numbers, riches, or strength, but the first that made war with Israel, as all the three Targums paraphrase it, as they did, see ( Exodus 17:8 ) ,

but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever;
this was threatened to them by the Lord upon that battle, and is confirmed by this prophecy of Balaam: and after this, orders were given to Israel to blot out their remembrance, ( Deuteronomy 25:19 ) , and which, in a good measure, though not completely, was done in the times of Saul, ( 1 Samuel 15:8 1 Samuel 15:9 ) and after that they were distressed by David, ( 1 Samuel 27:9 ) ( 1 Samuel 30:17 1 Samuel 30:18 ) ( 2 Samuel 8:12 ) and the rest of them were smitten by the sons of Simeon, in the days of Hezekiah, ( 1 Chronicles 4:41-43 ) , after which we hear of them no more: Amalek may be considered as a type of antichrist, the son of perdition, who shall go into it, shall come to his end, and there shall be none to help him; which will be true of all the antichristian party, the enemies of Christ, who will be destroyed by him, and perish eternally; see ( Daniel 11:45 ) ( Revelation 17:8 ) .

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