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19 A ruler will be established from Jacob;
he will destroy the remains of the city.’”[a]

Balaam’s Final Prophecies

20 Then Balaam[b] looked on Amalek and delivered this oracle:[c]

“Amalek was the first[d] of the nations,
but his end will be that he will perish.”

21 Then he looked on the Kenites and uttered this oracle:

“Your dwelling place seems strong,
and your nest[e] is set on a rocky cliff.

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  1. Numbers 24:19 tn Or, understanding the Hebrew word for “city” as a place name, “of Ir” (cf. NRSV, NLT).
  2. Numbers 24:20 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Balaam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  3. Numbers 24:20 tn Heb “and he lifted up his oracle and said.” So also in vv. 21, 23.
  4. Numbers 24:20 sn This probably means that it held first place, or it thought that it was “the first of the nations.” It was not the first, either in order or greatness.
  5. Numbers 24:21 sn A pun is made on the name Kenite by using the word “your nest” (קִנֶּךָ, qinnekha); the location may be the rocky cliffs overlooking Petra.