34 results for author: Mark Hathaway


Balaam’s Third Prophecy – Part 2

Numbers 24 Then he took up his oracle and said: “The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor, The utterance of the man whose eyes are opened, The utterance of him who hears the words of God, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Who falls down, with eyes wide open: “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob! Your dwellings, O Israel! Like valleys that stretch out, Like gardens by the riverside, Like aloes planted by the LORD, Like cedars beside the waters. He shall pour water from his buckets, And his seed shall be in many waters. “His king shall be higher than Agag, And his kingdom shall be exalted. “God brings him out of Egypt; He ...

Balaam’s Third Prophecy – Part 1

We come to the third time Balak King of Moab implores Balaam to curse Israel. Predictably, God places a word of blessing for Israel in Balaam’s mouth, not the sentence of demise Balak is hoping to hear. Let’s work our way through this seven verse passage. Numbers 24 Then he took up his oracle and said: “The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor, The utterance of the man whose eyes are opened, The utterance of him who hears the words of God, Who sees the vision of the Almighty,  Who falls down, with eyes wide open: “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob! Your dwellings, O Israel! Like valleys that stretch out, Like ...

Balaam’s Second Prophecy

King Balak has responded to the cries of his people. They were “sick with dread” because of Israel (Numbers 22:3). He comes up with a brilliant plan to defeat this seemingly unstoppable nation. Recognizing his inferior position, Balak realizes to gain the upper hand, Israel must be cursed. He employs Balaam, the best known diviner of the time, to call down the curse upon the warrior nation. Balaam opens his mouth to curse Israel but a blessing comes out instead. Numbers 23:13-26 records King Balak’s second demand for a curse against Israel and the end result. Let’s look at verses 18 through 24.     Then he took up his oracle and ...

Not a Nickname – Part Two

God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. In this series of articles we are considering the significance of that name change. I would venture to say that when we hear the name Israel, we immediately think of a tiny little nation with a population of roughly eight and a half million people, just barely bigger than New Jersey, in the middle east. Israel was however, the name of a man before it became the name of a nation. When we encounter the word Israel in the Bible we have the luxury of context indicating man or nation as we read. Genesis 25  Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan ...

Not a Nickname (Part One)

I originally intended to write a series on the four prophetic blessings of Balaam. I’m still planning to, but this will prove to be an important detour in that plan. In my previous post titled "BALAAM’S FIRST PROPHECY - THE CONCLUSION", I said the following. Ok, what? Dust of Jacob? With this phrase Balaam is telling his audience that the nation is descended from one person, a man named Jacob. He paints the picture of a walking man leaving a trail of dust behind him. With this figure of speech Balaam declares that the posterity of a single man is incalculable. This nation is so large that it is almost impossible to count even just a fourth ...

Balaam’s First Prophecy – the Conclusion

Last time we looked at the first two verses in Balaam’s prophecy. Here’s the whole thing again. Numbers 23:7-10 And he took up his oracle and said: “Balak the king of Moab has brought me from Aram, From the mountains of the east. ‘Come, curse Jacob for me, And come, denounce Israel!’ “How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how shall I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced? For from the top of the rocks I see him, And from the hills I behold him; There! A people dwelling alone, Not reckoning itself among the nations. “Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number one-fourth of Israel? Let me die the death ...

Balaam’s First Prophecy

Many, if not most of us, are familiar with the story of Balaam in the Old Testament. Maybe we don’t remember the man’s name, but we certainly remember hearing about his talking donkey. But like all familiar Biblical stories, there are significant details we fail to recall. The sensational is easy to recall - it tends to demand our attention. I want to ignore the sensational talking donkey in this story, and instead consider the first recorded prophecy of Balaam. Let me get you up to speed. God, via a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night, is leading the nation of Israel out of Egypt, through the wilderness toward the promised land. On ...

The House of Peter and Andrew

In my previous post, “Translation Decisions” I talked about the house where the paralytic man was healed. According to the gospel account (Mark 2:4), the man’s friends could not get him past the crowd to Jesus, so they broke up the roof and lowered him down. In the last paragraph of that post I asked the following questions. So either way, “at home” or “in the house” Jesus had return to a place He had previously stayed. Can we know the specific house? Is the house significant? What else might have occurred in this house during Jesus’ time here on earth? In “Translation Decisions”, I said, “Examining verses ...

Translation Decisions

Mark 2:1 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. (NKJV) If you were going to study this verse, desiring to understand it better, you might pick a word to study. You’ve been diligent to keep the concept of “context” in mind as you examine God’s word. You’ve correctly concluded that there are no unnecessary words in His Holy book. You want to understand how key words influence the meaning of the text you are studying. Time to select a word to study….which word would you select in Mark 2:1? Obviously, we need not restrict ourselves to a single keyword in any given passage, but for ...

I Am

Textual Context Leading up to the verse I want to examine today, Jesus has been engaged in conversation with the religious leaders and scholars among the Jews. The conversation morphed into a discussion of their genealogy. They claimed to be descendants of Abraham, which they believed gave them standing with God. Jesus pointed out to them, that though they were indeed in Abraham’s lineage, their spiritual father was actually the devil, not Abraham, and certainly not God. “I Am” Claims Made by Jesus One way Jesus demonstrated His deity throughout the Gospel of John, was to make seven “I AM” claims using metaphoric language. They ...