Organized Conspiracy vs. Moses' Israel

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Bismarck, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. Bismarck

    Bismarck
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    In the Book of Numbers (Ch. 22-31) we read about Israel's encounter with Balaam on their way from the Wilderness to Canaan. Balaam proposed the crafty strategy of luring Israel into sin, so that YHWH-God would revoke his protection of Israel —*then Israel could be destroyed. This under-handed under-mining of God's Folk is called the "Doctrine of Balaam", and Balaam so instructed all the leaders of Moab.


    Bearing this in mind, after the initial gains of the Book of Joshua, by the time Judges comes around, Israel is indeed being lured into sin, through the "Doctrine of Balaam". Furthermore, throughout the Books of Samuel and Kings - Chronicles, Israel is lured further and further into sin — until Shalmanesser, Sargon, and Nebuchadrezzar chastised Israel for her sins.


    I draw a connection here. I believe that the undermining of Israel, as described in Judges — Kings / Chronicles, was not just happenstance, but was rather an organized and orchestrated implementation of Balaam's doctrine by all the surrounding nations, acting wittingly in concert. In short, there was "method to the madness".

    (To make a crude analogy to the movie "Usual Suspects", there really was an "arch-criminal behind it all", all the sin/crime wasn't just random acts of thuggery and violence, but orchestrated according to a (subtle and sly) master plan.)


    Furthermore, the NT thrice refers to the Doctrine of Balaam: Jude 11 records "the error of Balaam," II Peter 2:15 records "the way of Balaam," and Rev. 2:14 records "the doctrine of Balaam."

    Thus, we see that this organized conspiracy to undermine Israel lasted for ~1300 years, from before the time of Joshua's conquests to the days of the Messiah Yeshua the Nazarene.
     
  2. Bismarck

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    In 1967, a fragment from the "Book of Balaam" was recovered in the remains of an ancient school at Deir Alla in Transjordan (E. of Jordan River). This makes Balaam the oldest Biblical person attested independently by archaeology.

    Not only that, but as I said it appears that the ruined building was some kind of school or learning site. It was destroyed by an earthquake around 760 BC. That's 500 years after Balaam encountered Israel in Numbers 22-31. Clearly the nations around Israel nursed Balaam's memory, and his teaching, in organized schools, for half a millennium.

    (!!)

    http://www.christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a014.html
     
  3. ReformedBaptist

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    Is this conspiracy recorded in Holy Scripture? Why do you think there is some sort of 1300 year conspiracy?
     
  4. saturneptune

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    I really have to join the other posters in this thread and ask where you got that? Balaam is one account in the OT, of rebellion against God's Providence. The purpose of the whole OT is to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus Christ, and one can see God's handiwork and directing history throughout the whole Testement.

    The only repeated pattern that exists is Israel gets into trouble because of sin and God's Judgement. Israel then repents and cries out for help. God through His mercy forgives them and things get better. After a period of time, Israel starts relying on itself, forgets God, and starts the pattern again, over and over.

    There is no conspiracy here, just God's plan being worked out.

    I like to learn new and unique things from the Bible as much as anyone, but there is nothing here.
     
  5. Bismarck

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    Balaam specifically instructs the enemies of Israel how they may destroy her — by luring Israel into sin, so that Israel becomes vulnerable to God's wrath.

    Then, from Judges — 2 Kings (2 Chr), this is exactly what we see play out — Israel is lured into sin, and is punished by God's wrath.


    Moreover, this luring into sin is exactly what the serpent did to Eve in Eden.


    That is the value of Scripture — you can see the adversary at work, undermining Israel for century after century after century.


    And the Messiah and his Apostles all clearly saw it, and warned their followers against it.


    ADDENDUM:

    Emperor Julian the Apostate reigned from 361-363 AD. He was the last pagan Emperor of Rome. He tried vigorously to undermine Christendom. Amongst many other things, he said:

    Now, not only was Julian anti-Christian and pro-Pagan, but (in particular) he was pro-Judaism (!). In 363, on his way to his fateful war against Persia, Julian stopped in Jerusalem and ordered a magnificent rebuilding of Herod's Temple. A personal friend of his, Ammianus Marcellinus, wrote this about the effort:


    THUS WE SEE that, after some 1600 years of constant "satanic attack" against Israel — through the Doctrine of Balaam — from the days of Moses and Joshua, through those of the Messiah, up until Julian the Apostate, Israel was progressively undermined further and further. In the days of Joshua, Israel was strong and vigorous, and mightily anti-Pagan. But its strength was sapped more and more, until it was subjugated to foreign rule (722 BC, 586 BC), rejected its own Messiah and was decimated by war (70 AD), and finally it stood shoulder to shoulder with Pagans — and Emperor Julian — against its own Messiah and his Church.
     
  6. rjprince

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    I tend to agree with Bismark that there is indeed a conspiracy. I see the chief conspirator as the power behind Balaam and all other attempts to lead all of God's people of all time into sin -- Satan.
     
  7. David Lamb

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    There were all sorts of followers of false religions that led (or sought to lead) God's people astray. Balaam was one of them. But in God's sight, Israel sinned in following them. God doesn't say, "Well, it's not their fault - Balaam and his followers organised a conspiracy." Think of the number of times He calls them "stiff-necked", and accuses them of playing the harlot with false gods. An excample is Judges 2.11-15:

    11 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals;
    12 and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger.
    13 They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.
    14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies.
    15 Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for calamity, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed.

    I can see no biblical reason to single Balaam out. Yes, he is mentioned in the New Testament, but so are the Baals and other false religions.
     
  8. Bismarck

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    True. However, b-e-f-o-r-e you ever read of "Ba'al" or "Asherah" or any other false religion luring Israel into sin, you read of Balaam and his "assault plan" on how the pagan heathens could ultimately undermine, sap, and implode Israel (who was then "exploding" onto their heathen pagan scene).

    May I please illustrate this??


    In the Hebrew Old Testament, the word Ba'al is encoded (Strong's Concordance) as H1168. The first time you encounter this word is in Judges 2:11, "And the sons 01121 of Israel 03478 did 06213 evil 07451 in the eye 05869 of YHWH 03068, and served 05647 Baalim 01168. Note that Ba'alim is the Hebrew plural of Ba'al.


    By contrast, the word Baalam is encoded (Strong's Concordance) as H1109. You first read this word in Numbers 22:5, and all told it appears some 57 times (Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua) b-e-f-o-r-e you ever read the word Ba'al.


    NOTE: It is also interesting that Judges 2:11 reads, "and the sons of Israel... served Ba'alim", which is almost the exact same pronunciation as "served Ba'alam".
     
  9. David Lamb

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    Yes, "Balaam" is mentioned before "Baal", but not before any instance of Israel turning to false religions. In Genesis 35.2-4, we read:

    2 And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments.
    3 "Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone."
    4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.

    and in Exodus 32.1-8, we can read part of the account of the calf of gold:

    1 ¶ Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, "Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him."
    2 And Aaron said to them, "Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me."
    3 "So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.
    4 And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, "This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!"
    5 So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, "Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD."
    6 Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
    7 ¶ And the LORD said to Moses, "Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves.
    8 "They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’"​


    Notice particularly the words of God in verse 7, "have corrupted themselves", and in verse 8, "They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them." No idea there of a conspiracy against them, and this was years before Balaam.
     
  10. Bismarck

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    Why does Mankind have a predilection to sin?

    Because of the Fall of Mankind, induced by the adversary's trickery, waaay back in Genesis 3.

    Balaam is not the root of the problem. The root of the problem is satan, who has been luring mankind into sin since Eden.

    If mankind had no internal predilection to sin, satan / Balaam would have nothing to work with — no "hold" or "purchase" on Mankind.

    (1) satan impregnated Mankind with sin, to wit, a sinful nature (Genesis 3).

    (2) Then, the minions of satan (eg. Balaam) use that sinful nature to lure Mankind into sin and imprison him there in sin (John 8:34-5; Rom 6:6; 2 Tim 2:26).


    The whole Mighty Work of YHWH-Elohim through Moses was leading Israel out of bondage into holiness, purity and freedom, culminating in the Messiah's mission. For, the Messiah is truth (John 14:6), and the Truth sets us free (John 8:32).

    The adversary then reacted by trying to ply the age-old game, of pandering to sinful nature and shackling in sin.


    Ultimately, my argument does not begin in Numbers 22, but Genesis 3.



    ADDENDUM:

    As a step in the implementation of the Doctrine of Balaam, the Moabites use their womenfolk to lure Israelite men into sin. We read:

    While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab. These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of YHWH was kindled against Israel. And YHWH said to Moses, "Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the YHWH, that the fierce anger of YHWH may turn away from Israel.
    Numbers 25:1-4

    This is, in essence, precisely what Eve did to Adam in Eden (Gen 3:6).

    (Now look at America today (!), get it?? get it??)
     
    #10 Bismarck, Sep 11, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2007
  11. ReformedBaptist

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    Bismarck,

    I am still struggling with recieving words of you. I am left wondering why you didn't answer the questions I posed to you previously, albeit related to the OP, but not the OP. Why have you not answered? Would you do me this kindness and answer that my heart may be refreshed in the Lord?
     
  12. David Lamb

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    With the exception of your idea that Satan impregnated Mankind with a sinful nature, I agree. That is perhaps why others (including myself) are not finding it easy to understand why you seem to lay such stress upon Balaam, who was just one of the many tools Satan has used from the Fall in Eden to the present time. Indeed, you yourself wrote (emphasis mine): "the minions of satan (eg. Balaam) use that sinful nature to lure Mankind into sin."

    Regarding the notion of Satan impregnating Mankind with a sinful nature, I would say that the bible teaches that Satan tempted Mankind to sin, but it was Mankind's Fall into sin that brought about the devastating change of nature.
     
  13. Bismarck

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    If I wittingly lure you out of an upper story window, and you fall and break your leg, I broke your leg. Let us please not split hairs. I broke your leg, I did something, that something broke your leg, er go, I broke it.
     
  14. David Lamb

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    To an extent, I agree. In Acts 2.22-24, Peter says to the Jews (emphasis mine):

    22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know––
    23 "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;24 "whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.

    The Crucifixion was according to the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, yet this did not lessen the Jews' guilt. Likewise, I am not saying that Balaam was innocent. Nevertheless, I still wonder why you single him out for special treatment from the countless others who have lured God's people away.
     
  15. Bismarck

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    I see Balaam as a kind of "nexus" or "node" through whom, as it were, the adversary's influence flows out to all those "countless others who have lured God's people away".

    Balaam is, crudely, the adversary's "general" for the "Canaan Sector".

    As I showed, their was a "Rabbinical School" at Deir Allah, destroyed by earthquake in c. 750 BC, which put the words of Balaam up on its walls. The Canaanites surrounding Israel lauded, praised, recorded, and taught Balaam's words for at least 500 years (!!) from the days of Moses & Joshua in Moab to that earthquake.

    Balaam was clearly the chief, head influence against Israel. Every pagan act of infiltration and subversion of Israel was from Balaam's playbook.

    I suppose you might crudely say that "the adversary delegated all authority to Balaam" for "anti-Israel operations".

    Again, every pagan act of infiltration and subversion of Israel was from Balaam's playbook, and the Canaanites surrounding Israel lauded, praised, recorded, and taught Balaam's words for at least 500 years.
     
  16. Bismarck

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    I see Balaam as a kind of "nexus" or "node" through whom, as it were, the adversary's influence flows out to all those "countless others who have lured God's people away".

    Balaam is, crudely, the adversary's "general" for the "Canaan Sector".

    As I showed, their was a "Rabbinical School" at Deir Allah, destroyed by earthquake in c. 750 BC, which put the words of Balaam up on its walls. The Canaanites surrounding Israel lauded, praised, recorded, and taught Balaam's words for at least 500 years (!!) from the days of Moses & Joshua in Moab to that earthquake.

    Balaam was clearly the chief, head influence against Israel. Every pagan act of infiltration and subversion of Israel was from Balaam's playbook.

    I suppose you might crudely say that "the adversary delegated all authority to Balaam" for "anti-Israel operations".

    Again, every pagan act of infiltration and subversion of Israel was from Balaam's playbook, and the Canaanites surrounding Israel lauded, praised, recorded, and taught Balaam's words for at least 500 years.
     
  17. David Lamb

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    OK, suppose (for the moment) that your view of Balaam is true, how does that belief affect your life as a Christian? 2 Timothy 3.16-17 says:

    16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
    17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.​


    True, Balaam, and those who followed his teaching, is a warning, and in that way, "instruction in righteousness", but I specifically mean your view about him being a nexus, the adversary's "general" for the "Canaan Sector", the head influence over Israel. How does your belief in these things affect your life as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ?
     

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