Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Bileam, the donkey, and the Angel (by Gustav Jager, 1836)Balaam (Hebrew: בִּלְעָם) is a prophet in the Torah, his story occurring in Numbers 22-24). The etymology of his name is uncertain, and discussed below. Every ancient reference to Balaam considers him a non-Israelite, a prophet, and the son of Beor, though Beor is not so clearly identified. Though other sources describe the apparently positive blessings he delivers upon the Israelites, he is reviled as a "wicked man" in the major story concerning him.

The stories
There are two fairly separate accounts of Balaam in the Bible:
  1. Balaam and Balak, containing a brief aside concerning Balaam and the donkey
  2. Balaam and the Midianites

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