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Balaam

israelites ass angel riding

Balaam appears in Numbers 22-24; he was commissioned by the king of Moab to curse the Israelites who were arriving in the Transjordan area. He set off on his task, riding on an ass, but three times a sword-bearing *angel appeared to the ass, inhibiting the animal from moving. Balaam, increasingly infuriated, beat the animal and threatened to kill it. The ass finally spoke to Balaam, explaining, and the angel appeared to him also. Balaam was convinced of *God’s power and refused to curse the Israelites; rather, he followed God’s directions, offered sacrifices to God and blessings on the Israelites. Numbers 24: 17 cites Balaam’s prophetic vision of a “Star Out of Jacob,” which language seems to speak to the primacy of the Davidic dynasty. Later, however, living with the Midianites, he encouraged the Israelites into the cult of Baalpeor ); he was eventually killed by the Israelites. Balaam is depicted in art most often riding on an ass and being halted by a sword-bearing angel; he is occasionally also shown pointing to a star in the sky.
Balanchine, George (real name, GeorgiMelitonovich Balanchivadze) [next] [back] Bakri, Mohamed (1953–) - PERSONAL HISTORY, INFLUENCES AND CONTRIBUTIONS, THE WORLD’S PERSPECTIVE, LEGACY, BIOGRAPHICAL HIGHLIGHTS, PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY:

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