Parsha Balak בָּלָק is the fortieth parsha in the annual reading cycle. It is the seventh reading in Bamidbar (Numbers). It is combined with parsha Chukat when the second day of Shavuot falls on a Shabbat. I have discovered two ways to spell Balak and Balaq.
Balak בָּלָק is the name of the king of the Moabites. Stong’s defines as “devastator“. The Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew defines the three letter root as “destroy“, “render uninhabitable“. The extended meanings are “destroying” or “devastating” with a reference to Isaiah 24:1.
Balak בָּלָק is the second word and the first distinctive word in the Hebrew text (see text below).
Parsha Balak Readings
Torah: Numbers (Bemidbar) 22:2-25:9
Halftorah: Mich 5:6-6:8
Brit Hahagaddah: Romans 11:25-32
Parsha Balak Aliyah
First reading — Numbers (Bemidbar) 22:1-12
Second reading — Numbers (Bemidbar) 22:13 -20
Third reading — Numbers (Bemidbar) 22:21-38
Fourth reading — Numbers (Bemidbar) 22:39-41; 23:1-12
Fifth reading — Numbers (Bemidbar) 23:13-26
Sixth reading — Numbers (Bemidbar) 23:27-30; 24:1-13
Seventh reading — Numbers (Bemidbar) 24:14 -25; 25:1-9
Parsha Balak Stats
- Hebrew letters – 5,357
- Hebrew words – 1,455
- Pesukim (sentences) – 104
- Verses – 104
- Lines in a Torah Scroll- 178
- Double Count – 0
- See Hebrew text for Parsha Balak
- Number of Mitzvot in Parsha Balak – 0
- Maimonides says: 0
- Positive – 0
- Negative – 0
- Sefer ha-Chinuch says: 0
- Positive – 0
- Negative – 0
Parsha Balak Scriptures
Numbers (Bamidbar) 22:2-12 (Parsha Balak, Aliyah 1)
Num 22:2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.
Num 22:3 And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many; and Moab was overcome with dread because of the children of Israel.
Num 22:4 And Moab said unto the elders of Midian: ‘Now will this multitude lick up all that is round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field.’ – And Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. –
Num 22:5 And he sent messengers unto Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying: ‘Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt; behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me.
Num 22:6 Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me; peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.’
Num 22:7 And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spoke unto him the words of Balak.
Num 22:8 And he said unto them: ‘Lodge here this night, and I will bring you back word, as the LORD may speak unto me’; and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.
Num 22:9 And God came unto Balaam, and said: ‘What men are these with thee?’
Num 22:10 And Balaam said unto God: ‘Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me saying:
Num 22:11 Behold the people that is come out of Egypt, it covereth the face of the earth; now, come curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out.’
Num 22:12 And God said unto Balaam: ‘Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people; for they are blessed.’
Numbers (Bamidbar) 22:13 -20 (Parsha Balak, Aliyah 2)
Num 22:13 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak: ‘Get you into your land; for the LORD refuseth to give me leave to go with you.’
Num 22:14 And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said: ‘Balaam refuseth to come with us.’
Num 22:15 And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they.
Num 22:16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him: ‘Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor: Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me;
Num 22:17 for I will promote thee unto very great honour, and whatsoever thou sayest unto me I will do; come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.’
Num 22:18 And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak: ‘If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do any thing, small or great.
Num 22:19 Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will speak unto me more.’
Num 22:20 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him: ‘If the men are come to call thee, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak unto thee, that shalt thou do.’
Numbers (Bamidbar) 22:21-38 (Parsha Balak, Aliyah 3)
Num 22:21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.
Num 22:22 And God’s anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of the LORD placed himself in the way for an adversary against him. – Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. –
Num 22:23 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field; and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
Num 22:24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a hollow way between the vineyards, a fence being on this side, and a fence on that side.
Num 22:25 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD, and she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; and he smote her again.
Num 22:26 And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.
Num 22:27 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD, and she lay down under Balaam; and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with his staff.
Num 22:28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam: ‘What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?’
Num 22:29 And Balaam said unto the ass: ‘Because thou hast mocked me; I would there were a sword in my hand, for now I had killed thee.’
Num 22:30 And the ass said unto Balaam: ‘Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden all thy life long unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee?’ And he said: ‘Nay.’
Num 22:31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face.
Num 22:32 And the angel of the LORD said unto him: ‘Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I am come forth for an adversary, because thy way is contrary unto me;
Num 22:33 and the ass saw me, and turned aside before me these three times; unless she had turned aside from me, surely now I had even slain thee, and saved her alive.’
Num 22:34 And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD: ‘I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me; now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back.’
Num 22:35 And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam: ‘Go with the men; but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak.’ So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
Num 22:36 And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto Ir-moab, which is on the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost part of the border.
Num 22:37 And Balak said unto Balaam: ‘Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote thee to honour?’
Num 22:38 And Balaam said unto Balak: ‘Lo, I am come unto thee; have I now any power at all to speak any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.’
Numbers (Bamidbar) 22:39-41 (Parsha Balak, Aliyah 4)
Num 22:39 And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kiriath-huzoth.
Num 22:40 And Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him.
Num 22:41 And it came to pass in the morning that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into Bamoth-baal, and he saw from thence the utmost part of the people.
Numbers (Bamidbar) 23:1-12 (Parsha Balak, Aliyah 4)
Num 23:1 And Balaam said unto Balak: ‘Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams.’
Num 23:2 And Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bullock and a ram.
Num 23:3 And Balaam said unto Balak: ‘Stand by thy burnt-offering, and I will go; peradventure the LORD will come to meet me; and whatsoever He showeth me I will tell thee.’ And he went to a bare height.
Num 23:4 And God met Balaam; and he said unto Him: ‘I have prepared the seven altars, and I have offered up a bullock and a ram on every altar.’
Num 23:5 And the LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said: ‘Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak.’
Num 23:6 And he returned unto him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt-offering, he, and all the princes of Moab.
Num 23:7 And he took up his parable, and said: From Aram Balak bringeth me, the king of Moab from the mountains of the East: ‘Come, curse me Jacob, and come, execrate Israel.’
Num 23:8 How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? And how shall I execrate, whom the LORD hath not execrated?
Num 23:9 For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, it is a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.
Num 23:10 Who hath counted the dust of Jacob, or numbered the stock of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let mine end be like his!
Num 23:11 And Balak said unto Balaam: ‘What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether.’
Num 23:12 And he answered and said: ‘Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD putteth in my mouth?’
Numbers (Bamidbar) 23:13-26 (Parsha Balak, Aliyah 5)
Num 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.’
Num 23:14 And he took him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered up a bullock and a ram on every altar.
Num 23:15 And he said unto Balak: ‘Stand here by thy burnt-offering, while I go toward a meeting yonder.’
Num 23:16 And the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said: ‘Return unto Balak, and thus shalt thou speak.’
Num 23:17 And he came to him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt-offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him: ‘What hath the LORD spoken?’
Num 23:18 And he took up his parable, and said: Arise, Balak, and hear; give ear unto me, thou son of Zippor:
Num 23:19 God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: when He hath said, will He not do it? or when He hath spoken, will He not make it good?
Num 23:20 Behold, I am bidden to bless; and when He hath blessed, I cannot call it back.
Num 23:21 None hath beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath one seen perverseness in Israel; the LORD his God is with him, and the shouting for the King is among them.
Num 23:22 God who brought them forth out of Egypt is for them like the lofty horns of the wild-ox.
Num 23:23 For there is no enchantment with Jacob, neither is there any divination with Israel; now is it said of Jacob and of Israel: ‘What hath God wrought!’
Num 23:24 Behold a people that riseth up as a lioness, and as a lion doth he lift himself up; he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.
Num 23:25 And Balak said unto Balaam: ‘Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.’
Num 23:26 But Balaam answered and said unto Balak: ‘Told not I thee, saying: All that the LORD speaketh, that I must do?’
Numbers (Bamidbar) 23:27-30 (Parsha Balak, Aliyah 6)
Num 23:27 And Balak said unto Balaam: ‘Come now, I will take thee unto another place; peradventure it will please God that thou mayest curse me them from thence.’
Num 23:28 And Balak took Balaam unto the top of Peor, that looketh down upon the desert.
Num 23:29 And Balaam said unto Balak: ‘Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams.’
Num 23:30 And Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered up a bullock and a ram on every altar.
Numbers (Bamidbar) 24:1-13 (Parsha Balak, Aliyah 6)
Num 24:1 And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at the other times, to meet with enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.
Num 24:2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel dwelling tribe by tribe; and the spirit of God came upon him.
Num 24:3 And he took up his parable, and said: The saying of Balaam the son of Beor, and the saying of the man whose eye is opened;
Num 24:4 The saying of him who heareth the words of God, who seeth the vision of the Almighty, fallen down, yet with opened eyes:
Num 24:5 How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, thy dwellings, O Israel!
Num 24:6 As valleys stretched out, as gardens by the river-side; as aloes planted of the LORD, as cedars beside the waters;
Num 24:7 Water shall flow from his branches, and his seed shall be in many waters; and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.
Num 24:8 God who brought him forth out of Egypt is for him like the lofty horns of the wild-ox; he shall eat up the nations that are his adversaries, and shall break their bones in pieces, and pierce them through with his arrows.
Num 24:9 He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a lioness; who shall rouse him up? Blessed be every one that blesseth thee, and cursed be every one that curseth thee.
Num 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.
Num 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.’
Num 24:12 And Balaam said unto Balak: ‘Spoke I not also to thy messengers that thou didst send unto me, saying:
Num 24:13 If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; what the LORD speaketh, that will I speak?
Numbers (Bamidbar) 24:14 -25 (Parsha Balak, Aliyah 7)
Num 24:14 And now, behold, I go unto my people; come, and I will announce to thee what this people shall do to thy people in the end of days.’
Num 24:15 And he took up his parable, and said: The saying of Balaam the son of Beor, and the saying of the man whose eye is opened;
Num 24:16 The saying of him who heareth the words of God, and knoweth the knowledge of the Most High, who seeth the vision of the Almighty, fallen down, yet with opened eyes:
Num 24:17 I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh; there shall step forth a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite through the corners of Moab, and break down all the sons of Seth.
Num 24:18 And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also, even his enemies, shall be a possession; while Israel doeth valiantly.
Num 24:19 And out of Jacob shall one have dominion, and shall destroy the remnant from the city.
Num 24:20 And he looked on Amalek, and took up his parable, and said: Amalek was the first of the nations; but his end shall come to destruction.
Num 24:21 And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his parable, and said: Though firm be thy dwelling-place, and though thy nest be set in the rock;
Num 24:22 Nevertheless Kain shall be wasted; How long? Asshur shall carry thee away captive.
Num 24:23 And he took up his parable, and said: Alas, who shall live after God hath appointed him?
Num 24:24 But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim, and they shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall come to destruction.
Num 24:25 And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place; and Balak also went his way.
Numbers (Bamidbar) Chapter 25:1-9 (Parsha Balak, Aliyah 7)
Num 25:1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moab.
Num 25:2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods; and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
Num 25:3 And Israel joined himself unto the Baal of Peor; and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
Num 25:4 And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up unto the LORD in face of the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.’
Num 25:5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel: ‘Slay ye every one his men that have joined themselves unto the Baal of Peor.’
Num 25:6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting.
Num 25:7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand.
Num 25:8 And he went after the man of Israel into the chamber, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
Num 25:9 And those that died by the plague were twenty and four thousand.
Mich 5:6-14 (Parsha Barak, Haftarah)
Mic 5:7 (5:6) And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples, as dew from the LORD, as showers upon the grass, that are not looked for from man, nor awaited at the hands of the sons of men.
Mic 5:8 (5:7) And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through, treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and there is none to deliver.
Mic 5:9 (5:8) Let Thy hand be lifted up above Thine adversaries, and let all Thine enemies be cut off.
Mic 5:10 (5:9) And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and will destroy thy chariots;
Mic 5:11 (5:10) And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and will throw down all thy strongholds;
Mic 5:12 (5:11) And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers;
Mic 5:13 (5:12) And I will cut off thy graven images and thy pillars out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thy hands.
Mic 5:14 (5:13) And I will pluck up thy Asherim out of the midst of thee; and I will destroy thine enemies.
Mic 5:15 (5:14) And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the nations, because they hearkened not.
Mich 6:1-8 (Parsha Barak, Haftarah)
Mic 6:1 Hear ye now what the LORD saith: Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice.
Mic 6:2 Hear, O ye mountains, the LORD’S controversy, and ye enduring rocks, the foundations of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with His people, and He will plead with Israel.
Mic 6:3 O My people, what have I done unto thee? And wherein have I wearied thee? Testify against Me.
Mic 6:4 For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of bondage, and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
Mic 6:5 O My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him; from Shittim unto Gilgal, that ye may know the righteous acts of the LORD.
Mic 6:6 ‘Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before Him with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old?
Mic 6:7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?’
Mic 6:8 It hath been told thee, O man, what is good, and what the LORD doth require of thee: only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.
Romans 11:25-32 (Parsha Barak, Renewed Covenant)
Rom 11:25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
Rom 11:26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
Rom 11:27 “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
Rom 11:28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.
Rom 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Rom 11:30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience,
Rom 11:31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy.
Rom 11:32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
- Covenant & Conversation Commentary – Rabbi Sacks book on Amazon. Parsha NAME contains a total of four different articles on pages #.
- Number 1 -20 The Anchor Bible: A New Translation – Baruch Levine – Scholarly commentary with a lot of focus on the Hebrew text. Many not be for the average person.
- Number 1 -20 The Anchor Bible: A New Translation – Baruch Levine – Scholarly commentary with a lot of focus on the Hebrew text. Many not be for the average person.
- JPS Torah Commentary – Jacob Milgrom – Milgrom is the scholar I used for a portion of Genesis and Exodus. Although scholarly this may be a little more accessible to the average bible student.
- The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon – One of the most used Hebrew and English Lexicons among serious Bible students.
- Numbers (Bamidbar) Introduction
- Numbers 22 (Bamidbar) | Bible Hub Interlinear Numbers 22
- Numbers 23 (Bamidbar) | Bible Hub Interlinear Numbers 23
- Numbers 24 (Bamidbar) | Bible Hub Interlinear Numbers 24
- Numbers 25 (Bamidbar) | Bible Hub Interlinear Numbers 25
- Bamidbar – 34th Parsha – Nu. 1.1 – 4.20
- Naso – 35th Parsha – Nu. 4.21 – 7.89
- Beha’alotcha – 36th Parsha – Nu. 8.1 – 12.1+
- Shelach – 37th Parsha – Nu. 13.1 – 15.41
- Korach – 38th Parsha – Nu. 16.1 – 18.32
- Chukat – 39th Parsha – Nu. 19.1 – 22.1 (DP1)
- Balak – 40th Parsha – Nu. 22.2 – 25.9 (DP1)
- Pinchas – 41st Parsha – Nu. 25.10 – 29.40 (30.1)
- Matot– 42nd Parsha – Nu. 30.1 (2) – 32.42 (DP2)
- Masei – 43rd Parsha – Nu. 33.1 – 36.13 (DP2)
- Chukat | Balak – Nu. 19.1 – 25.9
- Matot | Masei – Nu. 30.2 – 36.13
WSB SHOW PODCAST
- Hebrew in Israel – Torah Portion Balaq – Yoel HaLevi’s teaching series Learn Torah on Parsha Balaq
- Hebrew in Israel – Haftarah Portion Balaq – Yoel HaLevi teaching series Learn Torah on the Haftarah on Parsha Balaq
- Torah Pearls #40 – Balak – Nehemia Gordan’s teaching on Parsha Balak
- Prophet Pearls #40 – Balak – Nehemia Gordan’s teaching series on the Haftarah for Parsha Balak
- Covenant and Conversion – Rabbi Sacks Video teaching in 5771 on Balak.
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