Balaam was a heathen diviner who lived at Pethor, a city of Mesopotamia. Balaam was hired by Balak, king of Moab, to curse Israel. He wanted to curse Israel for the rich reward Balak offered. Although belonging to the Midianites, Balaam possessed some knowledge of the true God, his fame was great but he became self conceited and covetous. Balaam told of a "star" rising out of Jacob. Balaam advised the Israelites to commit fornication, the effect of this was a plague. The young women of Moab inveighed the Hebrews to the impure and idolatrous worship of Baal-Peor, for which 24,000 Israelites were slain. A battle was afterward fought with the Midianites in which Balaam sided with them. He was famous for his supposed spiritual powers.

Baalam though eager for gain was led to ask counsel of God, who forbade his going. "Balaam, also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them... Behold these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord... Nevertheless, the Lord thy god would not hearken unto Balaam; but the Lord thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto you, because the Lord your God loved you. But I (God) would not hearken to Balaam; therefore he blessed you still so I delivered you out of his hand... O my people, remember now what Balak... consulted and what Balaam... answered... that you may know the righteousness of the Lord."

Peter: "Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam, the son of Boser, who loved the wages of unrighteousness. But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with a man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the was of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity."

[294, 298, Numbers 22, 23, Jude, Joshua, Deuteronomy, Micah, II Peter, BD, 380]

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