Balaam & Balak by Patrick Henry Reardon

Balaam & Balak

The story of the meeting of Balaam and Balak (Num. 22:36–39) is structured on a psychological contrast between the two men: The impatience of the king of Moab is set at variance with the caution of the soothsayer from Pethor. This opposition, established immediately, endures as long as the two men are together (24:25).

Because Balaam delayed coming to Moab, Balak’s greeting is already a remonstration: “Did I not earnestly send to you, calling for you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?”

After this greeting—if greeting we can call it—Balak is eager for his hired soothsayer to start saying a bit of vigorous sooth against the recently arrived forces of Israel. This is, after all, what Balak is paying him to do.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more from the online archives

34.1—January/February 2021

Whose Wife Shall She Be?

Jesus' Astonishing Other Teaching on Marriage by James Ware

28.2—March/April 2015

The Icon of Materialism

Why Scientism's Cherished Progress Narrative Fails by Jonathan Witt

31.2—March/April 2018

Reason Takes Up Arms

How Best to Face the Total War of the Anti-Culture by R. J. Snell

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00