Pseudo Philo Biblical Antiquities 18:5


3 And Balaam said: Lo, this is good in the sight of Balac, but he knoweth not that the counsel of God is not as man's counsel. And he knoweth not that the spirit which is given unto us is given for a time, and our ways are not guided except God will. Now therefore abide ye here, and I will see what the Lord will say to me this night. 4 And in the night God said unto him: Who are the men that are come unto thee? And Balaam said: Wherefore, Lord, dost thou tempt the race of man? They therefore cannot sustain it, for thou knewest more than they, all that was in the world, before thou foundedst it. And now enlighten thy servant if it be right that I go with them. 5 And God said to him: Was it not concerning this people that I spake unto Abraham in a vision saying: Thy seed shall be as the stars of heaven, when I raised him up above the firmament and showed him all the orderings of the stars, and required of him his son for a burnt offering? and he brought him to be laid upon the altar, but I restored him to his father. And because he resisted not, his offering was acceptable in my sight, and for the blood of him did I choose this people. And then I said unto the angels that work subtilly: Said I not of him: To Abraham will I reveal all that I do? 6 Jacob also, when he wrestled in the dust with the angel that was over the praises, did not let him go until he blessed him. And now, behold, thou thinkest to go with these, and curse them whom I have chosen. But if thou curse them, who is he that shall bless thee?

Genesis Rabbah 44:12


AND HE BROUGHT HIM FORTH WITHOUT - HA-HUZAH. R. Joshua said in R. Levi’s name: Did He then lead him forth without the world, that it says, And HE BROUGHT HIM FORTH WITHOUT? It means, however, that He showed him the streets of heaven, as you read, While as yet He had not made the earth, nor the outer spaces—huzoth. R. Judah b. R. Simon said in R. Johanan’s name: He lifted him up above the vault of heaven; hence He says to him, (HABBET) NOW TOWARD HEAVEN, HABBET signifying to look down from above. The Rabbis said: [God said to him]: ‘Thou art a prophet, not an astrologer,’ as it says, Now therefore restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet In the days of Jeremiah the Israelites wished to entertain this belief [in astrology], but the Holy One, blessed be He, would not permit them. Thus it is written, Thus saith the Lord : Learn not the way of the nations, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven, etc.: your ancestor Abraham wished to entertain this belief long ago, but I would not permit him. R. Levi said: While the sandal is on your foot tread down the thorn; he who is placed below them fears them, but thou [Abraham] art placed above them, so trample them down [ignore them]. R. Judan said in R. Leazar’s name: Three things nullify a decree [of evil], viz. prayer, righteousness, and repentance. And the three are enumerated in one verse: If My people, upon whom My Name is called, shall humble themselves, and pray - here you have prayer; And seek My face alludes to righteousness, as you read, I shall behold Thy face in righteousness; And turn from their evil ways denotes repentance; after that, Then will I forgive their sin. R. Huna said in R. Joseph’s name: Also change of name and good deeds. Change of name is learned from Abraham and Sarah. Good deeds, from the people of Nineveh, for it says, And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil ways. Some say, change of place, too, for it says, Now the Lord said unto Abram: Get thee out of thy country, etc. R. Huna said: Also fasting, as it says, The Lord answer thee in the day of trouble. Raba b. Mehasia and R. Hama b. Guria said in Rab’s name: Fasting is as effective for counteracting an evil dream as fire for consuming tow. R. Joseph said: Providing it is done on the same day, even on the Sabbath.

 Notes and References

Murphy, Frederick James Divine Plan, Human Plan: A Structuring Theme in Pseudo-Philo (pp. 5-14) The Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 77, No. 1, 1986

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