MESSIAH-4/Bilaam’s Messianic Age


© 2018 by Rabbi Zvi Aviner

Bilaam and the Messiah-4/What would bring a Messiah

The Greatest Story Ever Told
The Story of the Holy Spark that Turned into a Huge Holy Flame


1:The Third prophecy: Israel’s camp

The Prophet Bilaam was deeply bewildered.  To his shock, he had a vision of Shaday looking for a drop of semen, from which a righteous person would rise.  Such a drop, he had been told, was embedded in no other person than in the Moabite King Balak, the arch enemy of Israel who had hired  him precisely to curse Israel and wipe them out of the world.  How could that vision be true? The prophet had already laughed  at his vision so much, that he subsequently fell and lost an eye.  Yet with his one remaining eye he could see more than others could ever see.  And what he saw shocked him even more.

He had seen, in his first revelation, Israel’s roots: the Patriarchs

He had seen, in his second revelation their pure faith,

Now, from the height of the Baal Peor he was seeing their entire camp. .

Indeed, the Baap Peor was the highest mountain in the area, dedicated to the Peor.  But there is another. deeper meaning to the phrase.  The worshiping of the Baal Peor was the ugliest and most disgusting idol worshiping  ever conceived by sick human mind. The Hebrew word  “Peor’ (also in ancient Moabite language)  designates “an open, dark and filthy cavity.’  The rabbis said that the worshipers  of the Baal Peor were asked to defecate in front of the idol, besides doing other filthy acts.

Hence one thing is sure: Examining Israel from the Peor’s level, Israel looks extremely nice, even in Bilaam’s eye.   This time, as the “Angel of YHVH” had predicted, his heart and mouth could concur while blessing Israel. Compared to the Peor, Israel’s’ camp looked heavenly pure.

“And Bilaam saw that it was good in YHVH eyes to bless Israel

so he did not go as every other time towards divination

but he set his face towards the wilderness” (24:1)

Where would his prophecy lead him? Who would be that Righteous Person who Shaday was looking for in King Balak’s semen? And who would be Balak’s daughter ruling over Israel?


:2: Israel’s society

“And Bilaam lifted up his eyes and he saw Israel abiding according to its tribes.
And the Spirit of ELKM came upon him, and he took up his discourse and said….
‘How good are your tents, O Jacob, and your tabernacles, O Israel…”

Israel’s tents and tabernacles
In contrast to King Balak’s accusations, Israel’s camp was extremely well organized and civilized. It had four wings, flags, and in its midst stood the Holy Tabernacle.  .No, Israel was not like a locust covering the eyes of the Earth nor were they a herd of wild oxen.  They were perfectly qualified to be counted among the nations.

But that camp, Bilaam noticed, was arranged in a way different from all other national camps.  Israel’s tents were set up so that no person  could see the inside of his neighbor’s tent, to prevent coveting (Midrash).  Israel  cherish modesty and privacy.   .

Torah academies and synagogues
Moreover,the “tents” that he saw also refer to Torah Academies and synagogues.  Israel’s society is full of Torah learning and praying.

3: Seeing the entire tree

From the height of his third Vision Bilaam saw now the entire structure of Israel’s Tree:

Like the winding brooks, like garden by the rivers’ side,
Like aloes which YHVH has planted, like cedar trees beside waters…”

 The roots of the Tree  are the Patriarchs
The stalk of the Tree is Israel’s true faith
The the Tree’s Crown is their Torah society


And what would the Tree grow? 

The prophet continued:  :

“Like aloes which YHVH has planted,
like cedar trees beside waters…
He shall pour waters out of his baskets
Moistening his seed in plenty of waters
And his King shall overcome Agag
And his kingdom will be exalted”
(Numbers 24:7-8)

The Tree would give beautiful fruit:  A king who would overcome Agag, the generic name for the King of Amalek.  There is no wonder that the prophet mentions this historical  .event in the future since “Israel was commanded to do three things as they enter the Holy Land: (1) To elect a king (2) who would smite Amalek (3) before he builds a permanent house for the Holy Aark (Temple).   Bilaam was referring to the first king of Israel, King Saul, who indeed decimated Amalek and their  king, Agag.     .

But the prophet continued right away: “He shall pour waters out of the basket” inferring to Saul whose kingship would be short lived.
And he adds: “And his kingship shall be exalted…”  referring to the king who would replace Saul, namely David.  .His kingship would last forever. No other person may ever replace David and his kingship on Israel. .

Cultivate the Tree
With only one sharp eye the prophet could see now the entire process of bringing a person like David to the world. For David is not just a warrior, a king, but also the author of Psalms.

And to grow such a beautiful fruit on Israel’s tree, it would take generations of a special process. To bring David, the tree must

(1) Remain connected to its roots, the Patriarchs, by pure sexual  procreation.

(2) Its stalk must be strong with pure faith

(3) its crown should breath the air of Torah Academies and Synagogues.

Only such a Tree can produce a precious soul such as  David.


4: David’s roots

The  prophet understood now who the “righteous person” that Sahday was seeking is.  He is David.  But one thing shocked him to his root: the seed of David, he knew, was embedded in King Balak’s semen! He had laughed at that Vision and had subsequently lost one of his eyes!

Hence David would descend from King Balak. But how? The prophet looked hard.  And  he saw a poor Moabite girl crossing the Jordan River at Jericho, from Moab to the Land of Israel.  She was accompanied by an older woman, her mother-in-law Naomi. They were returning to the Land of Judah.

The prophet must have heard them talking.  Naomi besieged Ruth to return to her home, but Ruth was adamant: “Your nation is my nation, and your G-d is my G-d” she said to Naomi.  By these words she would become the mother of all converts to Judaism. The Torah prohibits Israelite to marry a Moabite male, but not a female. .

And Ruth, the prophet saw, would become the grandmother of King David.  She would see also King Solomon on his throne.

But from where would Ruth come?

Bilaam could see also that part.  Ruth would come from the Moabite King Eglon,  the grandson of King Balak!


The solution for King Balak’s dream

Now the prophet had gained a solution to Balak’s dream.  The daughterin his dream  who would rule over Israel, would be Ruth!

No wonder that the rabbis stated that Balak was no less a visionary than Bilaam.  This is why the verse said “And Balak th eson of Zipor saw.”  He had a true vision!

The holy spark that turned into holy flame

The prophet Bilaam also understood in full his vision about Shaday examining semen and eggs to see from where a righteous person would rise.

He saw the entire process that started with a Sodomite whore, Lot’s daughter, who slept with her father to be impregnated with Moab. She comited a horrible incense, yet with a good intention to save the world.  She had a tiny holy spark in her soul. This act of filthy incense but with good intention has a name: act of “hessed.” Thus a brother who sleeps with his sister  has committed hessed. (Adam’s sons who married their sisters for they had no other choice committed hessed. )   .

That tiny holy spark in Lot’s daughter, the prophet realized, would turn in history into the great flame of faith in Ruth, who would bring forth David!
We would call that process genetic engineering.  This is what Shaday, the Attribute of providence, does!

In fact, Balak himself came to know YHVH. His grandson, King Eglon, died when he stood up hearing the name of ELKM. No wonder his grand daughter Ruth grew up to favor Israel and her faith.


5: David’s son

With this new insight, the prophet turned  to the king: “Are you happy?” He  asked the king, after telling him what he had just learned.

“Over my dead body!” the furious king barked as it says: .

“I brought you to curse my enemies, but you blessed them these three times!

Now run away to your home! I promised to honor you, but YHVH won’t let you get any honor!:

Go home! I have thought to honor you, but you’ve stopped me from doing that! ” (24: 10-11)

Nothing could kindle Bilaam’s wrath as the news about cancelling his  monetary compensation.  Full with anger he told the king: 

“Now that I am going back to my people,
come therefore and I shall tell you what this people
Will do to your people in the end of time…” (Numbers 24: 14)

This David, the prophet said, would harm YOUR PEOPLE!  And he elaborated:


The Star of Jacob 

“I see it, but not now, I behold it, but it is not near
A star shall come out of Jacob,
a scepter shall rise out of Israel

And he shall cut the corners of Moab…”
(Numbers 24: 17)

The simplest explanation of the verse is that he foresaw David who would fight and conquer Moab with wrath. David avenged the historical hatred of Moab to Israel.

But tradition holds that “the star of Jacob” refers to David’s Son, the Messiah.
His roots would be encored  in the patriarchs
His strength, like a tree stalk,  would be his faith
And the air he would breath is Torah.

A ‘proo’f for this interpretation of Bilaam’s prophecy lies in the historical fact that the leader of the  last Jewish revolt against Rome was named by the rabbis of his time as “the star shall rise in Jacob” in shirt “Bar Kokhva” the son of the star.”

7: What shall the Messiah do?

The prophet mentions Amalek, then Edom, whom the Messiah would overcome. Then he added:

“He will smote the tents of Shet:
And burn Cain…”

Shet was Adam’s young son.  Cain was his oldest son.  As we recall, humanity split after Adam to two rival camps (see our classes on IDOLATRY)

 1. Shet’s Children who worship YHVH (MERCY) alone
2. Cain’s  Children who worship ELKM alone (Judgment)

These camps fought each other to the death. Their bloodshed brought the Flood.
Our society too is still split between similar camps: one worshiping  MERCY,  the other ELHM (Allah)
Bilaam foresaw the Messiah uniting humanity to one faith again.
Can you describe better the role of the coming Messiah?

8: Billam’s Council

So why does the Messiah not come? What hold him back? The answer lies in Bilaam’s Council.

Seeing that his  compensation was lost, the prophet turned to the king: “I have another solution to your dream,” he said, “I can offer you another solution to your dream, how your daughter may overcome Israel!”

She can’t overcome them by force!” the king said, “my wise men have already told me that!”
“For a house full of silver and gold, I shall tell you how she would overcome them! : the prophet said.

“I promise to compensate you for the right advice,” the king said.

“To stop David and his son from coming, you need to destroy their Tree.

“It won’t be enough to destroy the crown  of their tree,  their academies and synagogues. They would surely built then again and again.

“It won’t be enough to damage the stalk of their Tree, their faith, since it is a true faith.They would not give it up.

“But you can sever the Tree’s  roots.  This would kill the tree forever and stop David and his son from coming…”

“And how would I do this?” The king asked.

“Heavens has shown you how,” said the prophet,  “dress up the most beautiful girls of Moab, appoint your daughter over them and send them to Israel loaded with bread and fruit gifts. Instruct your daughter and her girls to enchant Israel’s boys and lead them to adapt your Peor Faith. Sever their connection to their patriarchs, the Tree would die and David and his son would not come!”

King Balak was so pleased to hear Bilaam’s council, that he filled his house with silver and gold. The prophet then returned home.

King Balak went on right away to implement Bilaam’s council. He sent his daughter with the prettiest  girls of Moab and they enticed the Israelite males to the Baal Peor. As a result, thousands of Israelite men either disappeared from Israel or died.  Moses then waged war against Midyan and killed Bilaam “for the bad council he had given about the daughters of Moab” (29: 16)

Bilaam passed away but his council is still in effect.
So if you wonder why the Messiah has not yet come, remember Bilaam.
Every Jewish person, who has either died by the sword or removed from his faith by intermarriage with a person from another faith, is a terrible lost to humanity. It is a victory for Bilaam and Balak, delaying the forthcoming of David.