Numbers 24:6

Hebrew Bible

3 Then he uttered this oracle: “The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eyes are open, 4 the oracle of the one who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty, although falling flat on the ground with eyes open: 5 ‘How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob, and your dwelling places, O Israel! 6 They are like valleys stretched forth, like gardens by the river’s side, like aloes that the Lord has planted, and like cedar trees beside the waters. 7 He will pour the water out of his buckets, and their descendants will be like abundant water; their king will be greater than Agag, and their kingdom will be exalted.

Psalm 92:12

Hebrew Bible

11 I gloat in triumph over those who tried to ambush me; I hear the defeated cries of the evil foes who attacked me. 12 The godly grow like a palm tree; they grow high like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Planted in the Lord’s house, they grow in the courts of our God. 14 They bear fruit even when they are old; they are filled with vitality and have many leaves. 15 So they proclaim that the Lord, my Protector, is just and never unfair.

 Notes and References

"... Beyond the sense of divine protection that is brought out in Numbers 20 and 21, Balaam offers blessing to Israel. Whereas the narrative sec­tions of chapters 22-24 speak primarily of protection from danger, Balaam's oracles hold out the promise of positive elements such as progeny, protection from sin, rootedness, and military success. One implementation of this theme of blessing can be seen in the extended simile in Balaam's third oracle, where Israel's good fortune is likened to a tree planted in a garden (Numbers 24:5-7). The language used here shares in the complex of imagery found in Jeremiah 17:7-8, Ezekiel 47:12, and Psalms 1 and 92. Whereas this symbolism does not originate with Balaam, or even within Israel, the present context provides some interesting contrasts with less positive images in Genesis 2-3 ..."

Savran, George Beastly Speech: Intertextuality, Balaam's Ass, and the Garden of Eden (pp. 33-55) Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 1994

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