on Numbers 24 :7
He shall pour the water out of his buckets, etc. - Here is a very plain allusion to their method of raising water in different parts of the East. By the well a tall pole is erected, which serves as a fulcrum to a very long lever, to the smaller end of which a bucket is appended. On the opposite end, which is much larger, are many notches cut in the wood, which serve as steps for a man, whose business it is to climb up to the fulcrum, in order to lower the bucket into the well, which, when filled, he raises by walking back on the opposite arm, till his weight brings the bucket above the well's mouth: a person standing by the well empties the bucket into a trench, which communicates with the ground intended to be watered.
His seed shall be in many waters - Another simple allusion to the sowing of rice. The ground must not only be well watered, but flooded, in order to serve for the proper growth of this grain. The rice that was sown in many waters must be the most fruitful. By an elegant and chaste metaphor all this is applied to the procreation of a numerous posterity.
His king shall be higher than Agag - This name is supposed to have been as common to all the Amalekitish kings as Pharaoh was to those of Egypt. But several critics, with the Septuagint, suppose that a small change has taken place here in the original word, and that instead of מאגג meagag, than Agag, we should read מגוג miggog, than Gog. As Gog in Scripture seems to mean the enemies of God's people, then the promise here may imply that the true worshippers of the Most High shall ultimately have dominion over all their enemies.
on Numbers 24 :7
Balaam's native soil was ordinarily irrigated by water fetched from the neighboring Euphrates, and carried in buckets suspended from the two ends of a pole. Thus the metaphor would import that Israel should have his own exuberant and unfailing channels of blessing and plenty. Some take the word to be predictive of the future benefits which, through the means of Israel, were to accrue to the rest of the world.
Agag - The name, apparently hereditary (compare 1 Samuel 15) to the chieftains of Amalek, means "high." The words point to the Amalekite kingdom as highly prosperous and powerful at the time (compare Numbers 24:20); but also to be far excelled by the future glories of Israel. The Amalekites never in fact recovered their crushing defeat by Saul (1 Samuel 15:2 ff), though they appear again as foes to Israel in the reign of David (1 Samuel 27:1-12 and 30). The remnant of them was destroyed in the reign of Hezekiah 1 Chronicles 4:43.
on Numbers 24 :7
24:7 He shall pour the water - That is. God will abundantly water the valleys, gardens, and trees, which represent the Israelites; he will wonderfully bless his people, not only with outward blessings, of which a chief one in those parts was plenty of water, but also with higher gifts and graces, with his word and spirit, which are often signified by water, and at last with eternal life, the contemplation whereof made Balaam desire to die the death of the righteous. His seed shall be in many waters - This also may be literally understood of their seed, which shall be sown in waterish ground, and therefore bring forth a better increase. His King - That is, the King of Israel, or their chief governor. Than Agag - Than the King of the Amalekites, which King and people were famous and potent in that age, as may be guessed by their bold attempt upon so numerous a people as Israel. And it is probable, that Agag was the common name of the Amalekitish Kings, as Abimelech was of the Philistines, and Pharaoh of the Egyptians, and Caesar of the Romans.