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A Midianite prophet who resided at Pethor, son of Beor or Bosor. He was hired by Balak king of Moab to curse Israel, but God compelled him to bless instead of curse His chosen people. Though he talked piously his heart was evidently set on getting the reward from Balak (Jude 1111Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. (Jude 11)). The angel of Jehovah withstood him, and he was rebuked by his ass, yet he was allowed to go on his way (Num. 22-24; Deut. 23:4, 64Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee. (Deuteronomy 23:4)
6Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever. (Deuteronomy 23:6)
; Josh. 24:9-109Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you: 10But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand. (Joshua 24:9‑10)). Though compelled by God to bless Israel, he most treacherously counseled Balak to seduce them by means of the Midianitish women, (Num. 31:1616Behold, 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. (Numbers 31:16); 2 Pet. 2:1515Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (2 Peter 2:15); Rev. 2:1414But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. (Revelation 2:14)), which led to their gross idolatry (Num. 25:1-21And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 2And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. (Numbers 25:1‑2)): see BAAL-PEOR. After Israel was punished for their sin, they were avenged on Moab, and among the slain was Balaam. In Joshua 13:2222Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them. (Joshua 13:22) he is called a soothsayer, and when he was with Balak he sought enchantments. In Numbers 23:1515And he said unto Balak, Stand here by thy burnt offering, while I meet the Lord yonder. (Numbers 23:15) the words “the LORD” are added by the translators. Numbers 24:1 Says that he went not then as at other times to meet enchantments. But he was overpowered by God. In the passages in the New Testament he is held up as an example of consummate wickedness and apostasy.