Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9): Weekly Portion. The Prophetic Section
Duration ca. 39 minutes
Bilaam was a pagan prophet and major religious functionary who had been hired by King Balak of Moab in conjunction with the Elders of Midian to curse the People of Israel.
We summarized the historical events and process in a previous article.
See: The Talking Ass! Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9): Weekly Portion. The Narrative Section
Three times, one after the other, Balak took Balaam to different high places where he could overlook a separate section of the Israelites. Each time Balaam was made by God to bless Israel rather than cursing them as both he and balak wished to do. Balak was angry at Balaam and dismissed him saying the enormous reward he had intended to give him would not be forthcoming. Balaam then uttered another Prophercy concerning what Israel would do the forces of Balak in the last days.
We therefore have four prophecies from Balaam concerning different aspects of the Israelite nation.
In the brief exposition below we shall concentrate on matter directly connected with the Ten Tribes of Israel.
[Numbers 23:7] AND HE TOOK UP HIS PARABLE, AND SAID, BALAK THE KING OF MOAB HATH BROUGHT ME FROM ARAM, OUT OF THE MOUNTAINS OF THE EAST, SAYING, COME, CURSE ME JACOB, AND COME, DEFY ISRAEL.
# CURSE # in Hebrew #Arar# literally meaning diminish, weaken.
Jacob and Israel need each other to express themselves. When Jacob and Israel are mentioned together one of the intentions is Judah and the Ten Tribes of Israel. Which one is which is disputed. Superficially Israel should mean the Ten Tribes who had belonged to the Kingdom of Israel and are often called simply Israel. When however Israel is juxtaposed with Jacob then the identifications are reversed (Malbim).
6 Indeed He says,
It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.
Balaam knew he could not destroy Israel so he hoped (says Rabbi Hirsch) to permanently prevent the two aspects, #Jacob# and #Israel# from acting in unison. We can take this explanation one step further in line with explanations of Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel and the Malbim. When Judah and Israel are juxtaposed in Scripture then Judah means the Jews and Israel the Ten Tribes. At other times #Israel# alone usually means the Ten Tribes but it can also stand for Judah. The same applies to the name #Jacob# alone. When #Israel# and #Jacob# are mentioned in the same verse then both Judah and the Ten Tribes are intended. Which is which in such a case appears to be debatable and possibly can change according to the context. Things are not as simple as they may seem. We will have to go through all the relevant verses and make a thorough analysis. At all events #Israel# and #Jacob# when mentioned in the same verse can refer to Judah and Ten Tribes. Both sides need each other to fulfill their own destinies.
Balaam intended to permanently keep them separated but God refused to allow him.
The Midrash says:
##And you find that Israel will not be redeemed until they become one unity, as it says,
[Jeremiah 3:18] IN THOSE DAYS THE HOUSE OF JUDAH SHALL GO UNTO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, AND THEY SHALL COME TOGETHER OUT OF THE LAND OF THE NORTH TO THE LAND THAT I HAVE GIVEN FOR AN INHERITANCE UNTO YOUR FATHERS.
Only when they are one unity will they merit receiving the Divine Presence.##
Tanchuma, Nitzavim, 1;18
In order to curse Israel Balaam needed to separate Jacob from Israel meaning to create a division between Judah and the Ten Tribes. He succeeded in part or at least what he intended to do did come to pass later.
The Separation of Judah from Joseph in some respects is a curse.
It is a bad thing in itself.
Nevertheless, on occasion the linkage of Judah with the Ten Tribes can have a negative effect.
It may be that in certain circumstances Judah and Joseph should not link up. We find cases where Judah was warned not to co-operate with Israel, e.g.
[2-Chronicles 20:37] THEN ELIEZER THE SON OF DODAVAH OF MARESHAH PROPHESIED AGAINST JEHOSHAPHAT, SAYING, BECAUSE THOU HAST JOINED THYSELF WITH AHAZIAH, THE LORD HATH BROKEN THY WORKS. AND THE SHIPS WERE BROKEN, THAT THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO GO TO TARSHISH.
The Division between Judah and the Ten Tribes had been intended by Divine Providence for the sake of the Israelites themselves and of mankind in general.
The Purpose of Exile and Loss of Identity
Nevertheless, in general the union of the two entities is desirable in principle and we should want it to take place.
[Numbers 23:8] HOW SHALL I CURSE, WHOM GOD HATH NOT CURSED? OR HOW SHALL I DEFY, WHOM THE LORD HATH NOT DEFIED?
[Numbers 23:9] FOR FROM THE TOP OF THE ROCKS I SEE HIM, AND FROM THE HILLS I BEHOLD HIM: LO, THE PEOPLE SHALL DWELL ALONE, AND SHALL NOT BE RECKONED AMONG THE NATIONS.
Alone and not with other peoples, not subject to the same limitations as they are
but above them though bearing heavier responsibilities.
[Numbers 23:10] WHO CAN COUNT THE DUST OF JACOB, AND THE NUMBER OF THE FOURTH PART OF ISRAEL? LET ME DIE THE DEATH OF THE RIGHTEOUS, AND LET MY LAST END BE LIKE HIS!
Innumerous people, very very many.
# THE FOURTH PART. Hebrew "rova" also connoting offspring.
See: Immense Multitudes
LET ME DIE THE DEATH OF THE RIGHTEOUS. We are told here that eventually the People of Israel will repent.
They will become righteous!!
[Numbers 23:11] AND BALAK SAID UNTO BALAAM, WHAT HAST THOU DONE UNTO ME? I TOOK THEEÂ Â TO CURSE MINE ENEMIES, AND, BEHOLD, THOU HAST BLESSED THEM ALTOGETHER.
[Numbers 23:12] AND HE ANSWERED AND SAID, MUST I NOT TAKE HEED TO SPEAK THAT WHICH THE LORD HATH PUT IN MY MOUTH?
[Numbers 23:13] 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.
Balak supposed that by directing the attention of Balaam to a portion or a particular aspect of the whole of the people it would be easier to find fault with them and the Almighty might allow the curse to take effect.
So too, often when misguided souls criticize the Brit-Am/Hebrew Nations Ten Tribes Movement or our beliefs they home in on certain specific points hoping to isolate them from the overall context and this denigrate the whole of what we stand for!
If you ever have to defend Brit-Am or hear criticisms against Brit-Am beware of our opponents using this tactic. Do not let them get away with taking points out of context.
[Numbers 23:14] AND HE BROUGHT HIM INTO THE FIELD OF ZOPHIM [prophets], TO THE TOP OF PISGAH [the Highest Point], AND BUILT SEVEN ALTARS, AND OFFERED A BULLOCK AND A RAM ON EVERY ALTAR.
#ZOPHIM# in Hebrew means #seers#. In Biblical Hebrew the word can mean prophet. In Modern Hebrew the Boy Scouts are also called #Zophim# (or #Tsophim#) since the word also has the meaning of #scouts#.
THE TOP OF PISGAH: #Pisgah# means the topmost height, summit.
[Numbers 23:15] AND HE SAID UNTO BALAK, STAND HERE BY THY BURNT OFFERING, WHILE I MEET THE LORD YONDER.
[Numbers 23:16] AND THE LORD MET BALAAM, AND PUT A WORD IN HIS MOUTH, AND SAID, GO AGAIN UNTO BALAK, AND SAY THUS.
[Numbers 23:17] AND WHEN HE CAME TO HIM, BEHOLD, HE STOOD BY HIS BURNT OFFERING, AND THE PRINCES OF MOAB WITH HIM. AND BALAK SAID UNTO HIM, WHAT HATH THE LORD SPOKEN?
[Numbers 23:18] AND HE TOOK UP HIS PARABLE, AND SAID, RISE UP, BALAK, AND HEAR; HEARKEN UNTO ME, THOU SON OF ZIPPOR:
[Numbers 23:19] GOD IS NOT A MAN, THAT HE SHOULD LIE; NEITHER THE SON OF MAN, THAT HE SHOULD REPENT: HATH HE SAID, AND SHALL HE NOT DO IT? OR HATH HE SPOKEN, AND SHALL HE NOT MAKE IT GOOD?
The blessings on the whole at one level were unconditional and have to be fulfilled.
See Genesis 22:17 #By Myself have I sworn# says God, by Himself, unconditionally.
[Numbers 23:20] BEHOLD, I HAVE RECEIVED COMMANDMENT TO BLESS: AND HE HATH BLESSED; AND I CANNOT REVERSE IT.
It cannot be reversed.
[Numbers 23:21] HE HATH NOT BEHELD INIQUITY IN JACOB, NEITHER HATH HE SEEN PERVERSENESS IN ISRAEL: THE LORD HIS GOD IS WITH HIM, AND THE SHOUT OF A KING IS AMONG THEM.
The word translated as #shout# is #truah# which also denotes exultation. #A king# here can be understood to mean God. God is with him since exultation in God is in his heart (S.R. Hirsch).
At the simple level it could connote monarchical governments and the ultimate reign of the Messiah son of David to be preceded (in the case of the Ten Tribes) by the reign of the Messiah son of Joseph.
[Numbers 23:22] GOD BROUGHT THEM OUT OF EGYPT; HE HATH AS IT WERE THE STRENGTH OF AN UNICORN.
A unicorn. In Hebrew #raem#: a #raem# is sometimes described as a kind of ancient giant buffalo-like bull (related to the European auroch) that once existed (in AKKADIAN #RIMU#) or an antelope BUT the name was also applied to a unicorn. In Mesopotamian and Egyptian iconography we find unicorns depicted from an early time. #Raem#translated as unicorn in the Septuagent (Greek translation) and major early commentators (Saadia Gaon, Yehudah HaLevi, etc) understood it to mean unicorn. Unicorns were depicted in Egyptian and Assyrian heraldic emblems. #Unicorn# is how the name was understood. Aside from the question as to whether unicorns ever existed, it is enough that the concept was known. The unicorn became the emblem of Scotland: The Scottish coat of arms has two unicorns. When Scotland united with England the lion and the unicorn were together on the British coat of arms. The Midrash says that #raem# (unicorn) was the symbol of Joseph. In our passage Israel is likened to a unicorn. Only in Britain does the unicorn appear as a national symbol.
See: Lion and Unicorn
Unicorns Did Exist!!
[Numbers 23:23] SURELY THERE IS NO ENCHANTMENT AGAINST JACOB, NEITHER IS THERE ANY DIVINATION AGAINST ISRAEL: ACCORDING TO THIS TIME IT SHALL BE SAID OF JACOB AND OF ISRAEL, WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT!
#NO ENCHANTMENT AGAINST JACOB# [lo Nachash beYaacov] may also be interpreted as saying "there is no witchcraft in Jacob".
The source of our strength is from the Almighty. We should remember this and not give cognizance to lesser powers and elements.
If we cling to God we do not have to fear witchcraft, evil eye, spiritualism, voodoo, etc. A lot of superstitions may have something in them though some claim they are all gimmicks etc.
This also applies to psychological complexes and traumas.
Whatever the case we should cling to the Almighty and disregard other powers whether real or not.
#WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT# Certain things are decreed and will happen no matter what anybody does.
[Numbers 23:24] BEHOLD, THE PEOPLE SHALL RISE UP AS A GREAT LION, AND LIFT UP HIMSELF AS A YOUNG LION: HE SHALL NOT LIE DOWN UNTIL HE EAT OF THE PREY, AND DRINK THE BLOOD OF THE SLAIN.
GREAT LION. In Hebrew "Lavi". The Commentary HaKtav and HaKabballah of Rabbi Yaakov Tzvi Mecklenburg (Germany, 1785-1865)
says that this means a female lion who when she minds her cubs can be more ferocious than the male one.
Here we have Israel likened to a lion; above Israel was likened to a unicorn. The lion and the unicorn feature on the British national coat of arms as the official symbol of Britain. The Jews are also symbolized by a lion.
[Numbers 23:25] AND BALAK SAID UNTO BALAAM, NEITHER CURSE THEM AT ALL, NOR BLESS THEM AT ALL.
It works both ways. In Proverbs it says that the kindness of a wicked person is cruel. A RIGHTEOUS MAN REGARDETH THE LIFE OF HIS BEAST: BUT THE TENDER MERCIES OF THE WICKED ARE CRUEL [Proverbs 12:10].
Sometimes it is better not to have anything to do with a bad person even if you think you can benefit from associating with him or her.
[Numbers 23:26] BUT BALAAM ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO BALAK, TOLD NOT I THEE, SAYING, ALL THAT THE LORD SPEAKETH, THAT I MUST DO?
[Numbers 23:27] AND BALAK SAID UNTO BALAAM, COME, I PRAY THEE, I WILL BRING THEE UNTO ANOTHER PLACE; PERADVENTURE IT WILL PLEASE GOD THAT THOU MAYEST CURSE ME THEM FROM THENCE.
[Numbers 23:28] AND BALAK BROUGHT BALAAM UNTO THE TOP OF PEOR [Place of Defecation], THAT LOOKETH TOWARD JESHIMON [Desolation].
PEOR means #exposure# even indecent exposure or the act of excretion.
JESHIMON is another term for wilderness especially a wild untamed bleakish wilderness. The names used in this portion are those of the places concerned but they also hint at aspects of existence that Balaam and Balak wished to exploit in order to curse Israel.
[Numbers 23:29] AND BALAAM SAID UNTO BALAK, BUILD ME HERE SEVEN ALTARS, AND PREPARE ME HERE SEVEN BULLOCKS AND SEVEN RAMS.
[Numbers 23:30] AND BALAK DID AS BALAAM HAD SAID, AND OFFERED A BULLOCK AND A RAM ON EVERY ALTAR.
[Numbers 24:1] AND WHEN BALAAM SAW THAT IT PLEASED THE LORD TO BLESS ISRAEL, HE WENT NOT, AS AT OTHER TIMES, TO SEEK FOR ENCHANTMENTS, BUT HE SET HIS FACE TOWARD THE WILDERNESS.
[Numbers 24:2] AND BALAAM LIFTED UP HIS EYES, AND HE SAW ISRAEL ABIDING IN HIS TENTS ACCORDING TO THEIR TRIBES; AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD CAME UPON HIM.
There is a very deep implication here. He saw Israel encamped ACCORDING TO THEIR TRIBES and then received Divine Inspiration!
The Importance of Israelite Unity
The Commentary "Nativot Shalom" (Rabbi Shalom Noach Berezovsky of Slonim 1911-2000):
#HE SAW ISRAEL ABIDING IN HIS TENTS ACCORDING TO THEIR TRIBES; AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD CAME UPON HIM. He saw Israel united, together, dwelling according to their tribes, as one entity with one heart. Obviously Balaam lacked the strength to disconnect them from cleaving to the Almighty. This is as the Righteous Ones tell us that the pathway to loving God is through Love of Israel. Jews [i.e. Israelites in general, ed.] should love each other as it says, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF [Leviticus 19:18]. By Israelites dwelling in unity with love and amity to each other they achieve love of the Almighty. This is the strength that binds the Jew to God Almighty!....Even after the MOST SERIOUS OF TRANGRESSIONS the Israelites have the option of purification through connecting to the source of purity by uniting together?#
[Numbers 24:3] AND HE TOOK UP HIS PARABLE, AND SAID, BALAAM THE SON OF BEOR HATH SAID, AND THE MAN WHOSE EYES ARE OPEN HATH SAID:
[Numbers 24:4] HE HATH SAID, WHICH HEARD THE WORDS OF GOD, WHICH SAW THE VISION OF THE ALMIGHTY, FALLING INTO A TRANCE, BUT HAVING HIS EYES OPEN:
[Numbers 24:5] HOW GOODLY ARE THY TENTS, O JACOB, AND THY TABERNACLES, O ISRAEL!
This hints at proper family life. God wants the Israelites to live well and properly. This is good at the individual level and ensures national vitality and survival.
Netivot Shalom (Rabbi Sholom Noach Berezovsky 1911-2007) says it means Yeshivot and Houses of Rabbinical Study. There is some truth in this . These laces vitalize the Israelite soul at the subconscious level. Today there are forces at work that want to stop or curtail the learning of Torah. Some of these elements are renegade Jews and others are non-Jewish including those in Europe. So too, amongst the Ten Tribes there are very many forces agaisnt the truth of the Bible and Bible Learning.
[Numbers 24:6] AS THE VALLEYS ARE THEY SPREAD FORTH, AS GARDENS BY THE RIVER'S SIDE, AS THE TREES OF LIGN ALOES WHICH THE LORD HATH PLANTED, AND AS CEDAR TREES BESIDE THE WATERS.
LIGN ALOES. Hebrew "ahalim". Onkelos translates it as "Busmayia" i.e. a scented garden. Others seem to understand it as the KJ has, a kind of fragrant wood that grows in China, Thailand, and Northern India.
The Israelites will be settled in rich fertile areas where the geographical surroundings are conducive to the production of wealth and prosperity.
[Numbers 24:7] HE SHALL POUR THE WATER OUT OF HIS BUCKETS, AND HIS SEED SHALL BE IN MANY WATERS, AND HIS KING SHALL BE HIGHER THAN AGAG, AND HIS KINGDOM SHALL BE EXALTED.
##POUR THE WATER OUT OF HIS BUCKETS## The Commentator, #The Natziv#, on this verse brings a tradition concerning a partial exile of Israelites even before the Assyrian Conquest and Exile of the Ten Tribes.
He says: #In the time of the Judges there were many wars and many were expelled amongst the peoples of the world.#
The Israelites will be spread all over the world though usually concentrated in certain areas. Israel will be a determining factor. He will distribute wealth and power to others and make decisions affecting them.
AGAG represents the most powerful ruler in the non-Israelite world. Israel will surpass his might. Commentators suggested that all the monarchs of Amalek were called Agag in the same way as all the rulers of Egypt were referred to as Pharoah.
Agag may derive from the Hebrew "gag" meaning roof or highest point. S.R. Hirsch indicates that it connotes supreme ruler and is related to the term Gog in Ezekiel 38:2.
Similarly we have the title Kaiser and Czar both of which derive from the Roman Caesar. Julius Caesar was the first Roman Emperor and so all subsequent Emperors were referred to as Caesar in his honor. De Gobineau however in his French-language History of the Persians suggested that the root KSR comes from Indo-European sources and connotes ruler. It could also be a form of Esau whose name may have been pronounced as KoS.
#Many waters# in all Oceans and on every sea. A powerful world-encompassing kingdom.
The Lost Ten Tribes shall RULE THE WAVES and be in MANY WATERS
The Lost Ten Tribes today are to be found in many Oceans:
Australia in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
New Zealand in the Pacific.
South Africa in Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
The British Isles and Western Europe in the Atlantic and North Sea.
Canada and the USA in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
[Numbers 24:8] GOD BROUGHT HIM FORTH OUT OF EGYPT; HE HATH AS IT WERE THE STRENGTH OF AN UNICORN: HE SHALL EAT UP THE NATIONS HIS ENEMIES, AND SHALL BREAK THEIR BONES, AND PIERCE THEM THROUGH WITH HIS ARROWS.
A mighty nation defeating all its enemies. There is hardly a nation in the world that at some stage or other was not defeated in battle by Britain and/or the USA. Again we have the symbol of the Unicorn. The Midrash (Numbers Rabah 2;7) says that the unicorn is the symbol of Manasseh. It is true that the unicorn is now part of the symbolic coat of arms of the UK but they derived it from Scotland which has two unicorns on its standard. The USA is dominated by Manasseh. Is the above verse hinting that Manasseh (symbolized by the unicorn) would end up being the most powerful tribe?
Be the Dominant World Power
BARS 29. Most Nations of the World have been invaded by Britain at some time!
[Numbers 24:9] HE COUCHED, HE LAY DOWN AS A LION, AND AS A GREAT LION: WHO SHALL STIR HIM UP? BLESSED IS HE THAT BLESSETH THEE, AND CURSED IS HE THAT CURSETH THEE.
Again a lion. Lion and unicorn = symbols of Britain.
A Blessing to Others
Light to the Nations
[Numbers 24:10] AND BALAK'S ANGER WAS KINDLED AGAINST BALAAM, AND HE SMOTE HIS HANDS TOGETHER: AND BALAK SAID UNTO BALAAM, I CALLED THEE TO CURSE MINE ENEMIES, AND, BEHOLD, THOU HAST ALTOGETHER BLESSED THEM THESE THREE TIMES.
HE SMOTE. from the Hebrew "va-Yispok" from the root SPaK. This is the source of the English work "spank".
[Numbers 24:11] THEREFORE NOW FLEE THOU TO THY PLACE: I THOUGHT TO PROMOTE THEE UNTO GREAT HONOUR; BUT, LO, THE LORD HATH KEPT THEE BACK FROM HONOUR.
[Numbers 24:12] AND BALAAM SAID UNTO BALAK, SPAKE I NOT ALSO TO THY MESSENGERS WHICH THOU SENTEST UNTO ME, SAYING,
[Numbers 24:13] IF BALAK WOULD GIVE ME HIS HOUSE FULL OF SILVER AND GOLD, I CANNOT GO BEYOND THE COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD, TO DO EITHER GOOD OR BAD OF MINE OWN MIND; BUT WHAT THE LORD SAITH, THAT WILL I SPEAK?
[Numbers 24:14] AND NOW, BEHOLD, I GO UNTO MY PEOPLE: COME THEREFORE, AND I WILL ADVERTISE THEE WHAT THIS PEOPLE SHALL DO TO THY PEOPLE IN THE LATTER DAYS.
[Numbers 24:15] AND HE TOOK UP HIS PARABLE, AND SAID, BALAAM THE SON OF BEOR HATH SAID, AND THE MAN WHOSE EYES ARE OPEN HATH SAID:
In Hebrew the words translated as #WHOSE EYES ARE OPEN# (Satoom Ha-Ayin] can also be rendered as #having a blind eye#. Odin the Nordic god also had only one eye. He had sacrificed the other eye in order to obtain the knowledge of magic.
[Numbers 24:16] HE HATH SAID, WHICH HEARD THE WORDS OF GOD, AND KNEW THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE MOST HIGH, WHICH SAW THE VISION OF THE ALMIGHTY, FALLING INTO A TRANCE, BUT HAVING HIS EYES OPEN:
[Numbers 24:17] I SHALL SEE HIM, BUT NOT NOW: I SHALL BEHOLD HIM, BUT NOT NIGH: THERE SHALL COME A STAR OUT OF JACOB, AND A SCEPTRE SHALL RISE OUT OF ISRAEL, AND SHALL SMITE THE CORNERS OF MOAB, AND DESTROY ALL THE CHILDREN OF SHETH.
Who is Moab today? One of the European nations? Bavaria? Austria? Poland? Lithuania? Latvia? Ukraine? Part of the population of Japan?
#Children of Seth# is explained to mean all of mankind. Seth was a son of Adam and Eve. I would look for an alternative explanation.
[Numbers 24:18] AND EDOM SHALL BE A POSSESSION, SEIR ALSO SHALL BE A POSSESSION FOR HIS ENEMIES; AND ISRAEL SHALL DO VALIANTLY.
Edom and Seir are usually taken to be different names for the same entity. This is explained to mean that Israel will inherit the territory of Edom. It could also mean that Israel will inherit the power and position of Edom. Much of the non-Israelite world and part of the Israelite one is in control of elite groups partially descended from Edomites.
Only the seed of Joseph is capable of defeating Edom and they have proven themselves capable of that.
See: Joseph Defeats Esau
[Numbers 24:19] OUT OF JACOB SHALL COME HE THAT SHALL HAVE DOMINION, AND SHALL DESTROY HIM THAT REMAINETH OF THE CITY.
[Numbers 24:20] 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.
[Numbers 24:21] AND HE LOOKED ON THE KENITES, AND TOOK UP HIS PARABLE, AND SAID, STRONG IS THY DWELLINGPLACE, AND THOU PUTTEST THY NEST IN A ROCK.
[Numbers 24:22] NEVERTHELESS THE KENITE SHALL BE WASTED, UNTIL ASSHUR SHALL CARRY THEE AWAY CAPTIVE.
This verse may be interpreted differently as the Rabbinical Commentators have done:
## EVEN IF YOU SHALL BE WIPED AWAY KEIN FOR A PERIOD WHEN ASHUR [ASSYRIA] TAKES YOU CAPTIVE [YOU SHALL RETURN WITH THE TEN TRIBES!##
The Kenites here are those who were to convert together with Jethro and attach themselves to the Children of Israel. They always remained as a somewhat separate group. They were exiled by the Assyrians with the Ten Tribes. They are destined to return with them (Rashi). The Rechabites were part of the Kenites descended from Jethro. Jewish Tradition in 2nd Temple Times believed the Rechabites were together with the Ten Tribes and to be found in the Isles of the Blessed which usually meant Ireland but could mean both Ireland and Britain.
Brit-Am Now no. 1411. #7. Rechabites: A New and Unexpected Source? Jewish Traditions Placed the Lost Ten Tribes in the British Isles!!
Aed and the Lost Tribes in Britain. The Lost Ten Tribes in Celtic and Arabic Lore
The Names of Ireland and the Ten Tribes
[Numbers 24:23] AND HE TOOK UP HIS PARABLE, AND SAID, ALAS, WHO SHALL LIVE WHEN GOD DOETH THIS!
[Numbers 24:24] AND SHIPS SHALL COME FROM THE COAST OF CHITTIM, AND SHALL AFFLICT ASSHUR, AND SHALL AFFLICT EBER, AND HE ALSO SHALL PERISH FOR EVER.
We have no clear solution to propose for this verse but may only make remarks that could help others.
#Chittim# often identified as a place in Cyprus but Jewish tradition from very early times identified #Chittim# with the Romans.
Harold Hemenway (#Is the Bible Racist?#) identified part of the Southern Chinese and Japanese as Chittim.
The Chinese and Japanese together nowadays probably do have as many (or more) boats than any other major world grouping.
Asshur is Assyria meaning part of Europe, usually part of Germany and Austria.
EBER probably means the Israelite Hebrews. The Celtic British and Irish and at least part of the other Celtic peoples called themselves #Iberi# and are so listed in the Geography of Ptolemy. #Iberi# means Hebrews.