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Numbers 24:17

    Numbers 24:17 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, And a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, And shall smite through the corners of Moab, And break down all the sons of tumult.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    I see him, but not now: looking on him, but not near: a star will come out of Jacob, and a rod of authority out of Israel, sending destruction to the farthest limits of Moab and on the head of all the sons of Sheth.

    Webster's Revision

    I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, And a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, And shall smite through the corners of Moab, And break down all the sons of tumult.

    World English Bible

    I see him, but not now. I see him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob. A scepter will rise out of Israel, and shall strike through the corners of Moab, and break down all the sons of Sheth.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    I see him, but not now: I behold him, but not nigh: There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, And a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, And shall smite through the corners of Moab, And break down all the sons of tumult.

    Definitions for Numbers 24:17

    Nigh - Near.
    Smite - To strike; beat.

    Clarke's Commentary on Numbers 24:17

    I shall see him, but not now - Or, I shall see him, but he is not now. I shall behold him, but not nigh - I shall have a full view of him, but the time is yet distant. That is, The person of whom I am now prophesying does not at present exist among these Israelites, nor shall he appear in this generation. There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel - a person eminent for wisdom, and formidable for strength and power, shall arise as king among this people. He shall smite the corners of Moab - he shall bring the Moabites perfectly under subjection; (See 2 Samuel 8:2); and destroy all the children of Sheth. The original word קרקר karkar, from קרה karah, to meet, associate, join, blend, and the like, is variously translated; vastabit, he shall waste, Vulgate - προνομευσει, shall prey on, Sept - ישלוט yishlot, shall rule over, Targum - Shall shake, Arabic - barbend, shall put a yoke on, Pers - Shall unwall, Ainsworth, etc., etc.

    The Targum of Onkelos translates the whole passage thus:

    "I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but he is not near. When a king shall arise from the house of Jacob, and the Messiah be anointed from the house of Israel, he shall slay the princes of Moab, and rule over all the children of men."

    The Jerusalem Targum is a little different:

    "A king shall arise from the house of Jacob, a redeemer and governor from the house of Israel, who shall slay the chiefs of the Moabites, and empty out and destroy all the children of the East."

    Rabbi Moses ben Maimon has, in my opinion, perfectly hit the meaning of the prophecy in the following paraphrase of the text:

    "I shall see him, but not now. This is David - I shall behold him, but not nigh. This is the king Messiah - A Star shall come out of Jacob. This is David - And a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel. This is the king Messiah - And shall smite the corners of Moab. This is David, (as it is written, 2 Samuel 8:2 : And he smote Moab, casting them down to the ground) - And shall destroy all the children of Sheth. This is the king Messiah, of whom it is written, (Psalm 72:8), He shall have dominion from sea to sea."

    Barnes' Notes on Numbers 24:17

    Render, I see him, though he be not now: I behold him, though he be not near. Balaam here describes what is actually before him in inward vision.

    Him - i. e., the prince, represented in the succeeding words by the Star and Scepter. The star has among all nations served as a symbol of regal power and splendour: and the birth and future glory of great monarchs were believed by the ancients to be heralded by the appearance of stars or comets: compare also Isaiah 14:12; Daniel 8:10; Revelation 1:16, Revelation 1:20; Revelation 2:1; Revelation 9:1.

    The corners of Moab - literally, "the two sides of Moab," i. e., the length and breadth of the land: compare Jeremiah 48:45.

    Destroy all the children of Sheth - Rather, "overthrow the sons of tumult," i. e., the warriors of Moab, whose valour and fierceness is frequently referred to elsewhere (compare Exodus 15:15; Isaiah 15:4; Isaiah 16:6, etc.) Compare Jeremiah 48:45.