Numbers 22:5

Hebrew Bible

4 So the Moabites said to the elders of Midian, “Now this mass of people will lick up everything around us, as the bull devours the grass of the field.” Now Balak son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at this time. 5 And he sent messengers to Balaam son of Beor at Pethor, which is by the Euphrates River in the land of Amaw, to summon him, saying, “Look, a nation has come out of Egypt. They cover the eye10 of the earth, and they are settling next to me. 6 So now, please come and curse this nation for me, for they are too powerful for me. Perhaps I will prevail so that we may conquer them and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.”

Joshua 13:22

Hebrew Bible

21 It encompassed all the cities of the plain and the whole realm of King Sihon of the Amorites who ruled in Heshbon. Moses defeated him and the Midianite leaders Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba (they were subjects of Sihon and lived in his territory). 22 The Israelites killed Balaam son of Beor, the omen reader, along with the others. 23 The border of the tribe of Reuben was the Jordan. The land allotted to the tribe of Reuben by its clans included these cities and their towns.

 Notes and References

"... After designating him as "son of Beor," Numbers 22:5 adds the term petorah. This is frequently understood as a place name, "at Pethor," presumably a site in Mesopotamia. But attempts to identify "Pethor" with a known Mesopotamian site (e.g., Pitru on the Euphrates) have been unconvincing. In this context the word is best explained as the Aramaic term for "diviner" or "dream interpreter." This explanation finds support in a passage from Joshua 13:22: "Balaam, son of Beor, the diviner" In the Joseph story a derivative from this root is used as a technical term denoting dream interpretation (Genesis 40:8; 41:13). It is no doubt significant that Balaam is called a petorah only here, in the first part of the Balaam story, which is also the only passage that describes him receiving divine revelations at night ..."

Barré, Michael L. The Portrait of Balaam in Numbers 22-24 (pp. 254-266) Interpretation, Vol. 51, No. 3, 1997

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