4. All of the wisdom that he acquired came from that bird. This is what he used to do: he bowed down before THE BIRD, burned incense, covered his head, bent over and spoke. He would say, 'The nation,' and the bird would reply to him, 'Yisrael.' He would say, 'Much,' and the bird would respond, 'Many (Heb. rav)' in commemoration of the great one (Heb. rav) that traveled among them. They whispered to each other seventy times, BALAK AND THE BIRD. He would say, 'Poor,' and the bird would say, 'Great (Heb. rav).' He then was afraid, as it is written: "And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many (Heb. rav)" (Bemidbar 22:3), assuredly rav.
9. Sihon was the desert colt and Moab's security depended on him. "For Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites" (Bemidbar 21:13), MEANING THAT HE WAS HIS NEIGHBOR AND GUARDED HIS BORDER. Come and see: When Yisrael destroyed the city of Sihon, the proclamation went forth in the Heavenly Kingdom, MEANING AMONG THE SEVENTY CHIEFTAINS OF THE SEVENTY NATIONS: Gather together, you mighty who rule over other nations, and see how the Emorite kingdom is destroyed.
13. From here on, woe to you Moab, since your protector has been broken. Therefore, as soon as Moab saw that their defense was breached, then "Moab was sore (Heb. meod) afraid of the people" (Bemidbar 22:3). What is "meod?" It means very, that is, more than death, SINCE MEOD ALLUDES TO THE ANGEL OF DEATH.
16. "And Moab said to the elders of Midian, 'Now shall this company lick up...'" (Bemidbar 22:4). Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verse: "And he showed me Joshua the High Priest standing before the angel of Hashem" (Zecharyah 3:1). How much should a man watch his ways in this world and walk in a true path, since all the actions of a person are recorded before the King and are inscribed before Him, and all are counted. The guards at the gates stand and give evidence and request true justice, and the judge is ready to receive the evidence. Those who have claims FOR THEIR JUSTIFICATION murmur and do not know if they should go from the right or turn to the left side.
27. Come and see, the celestial adversary descends, as we have already explained, being transformed into the image of an ox. All these evil spirits that were sentenced to be entered into Gehenom, he licks them up in an instant and grabs them, and descends and gives them over to Dumah, after he swallows them up. This is what is said: "And Moab said to the elders of Midian, 'Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licks up...'" (Bemidbar 22:4). That is that known ox, WHICH IS THE ADVERSARY, that stands constantly ready to cause evil for all the world's inhabitants. "The grass of the field" (Ibid.), are the spirits of people, who are the grass of the field. "The field" is that certain field, MEANING MALCHUT.
60. One day, the friends were sitting and contending with each other, MEANING THEY WERE HAVING A DISCUSSION AMONG THEMSELVES. Rabbi Elazar, Rabbi Aba, Rabbi Chiya, Rabbi Yosi and the rest of the friends were present. They said that it is written: "Do not harass Moab, nor contend with them in battle..." (Devarim 2:9). That was for the sake of Ruth and Naamah, who were destined to come from their midst. AND IF SO, Tziporah, the wife of Moses who came from Midian, and Jethro and his offspring, who came out of Midian, who were all truly just, most certainly SHOULD HAVE PROTECTED MIDIAN. Furthermore, Moses grew up in Midian and still, the Holy One, blessed be He, told him, "Execute the vengeance of the children of Yisrael on the Midianites" (Bemidbar 31:2), YET MOSES' MERIT DID NOT PROTECT THEM. Therefore, there is an inappropriate bias in this matter, since Midian appeared worthier to be saved than Moab.
61. Rabbi Shimon said, There is no comparison between he who is going to gather the figs and he who already gathered them, SINCE RUTH AND NAAMAH HAD NOT YET COME OUT FROM AMON AND MOAB, WHICH IS NOT THE CASE WITH TZIPORAH, WHO HAD ALREADY EMERGED FROM MIDIAN. Rabbi Elazar said to him, Although they already gathered THE FIGS, it is still a merit AND THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN SAVED DUE TO THEIR MERIT. He said to him, Whoever has not collected the figs yet constantly guards that fig tree, so that it should not get any harm for the sake of the figs that are still to grow. He abandons the tree and does not watch it after collecting the figs.
62. So with Moab, that was to produce in the future these figs, RUTH, AND HER OFFSPRING, the Holy One, blessed be He, guarded them, as it says, "Do not harass Moab." Midian had already produced the figs and they were collected, as it is written: "Vex the Midianites" (Bemidbar 25:17), since from here on, this fig tree will no longer produce fruit. Therefore, it deserves to be burned by fire. He opened the discussion saying, "And Moab said to the elders of Midian..." (Bemidbar 22:4). Moabites are the ones who started TO DISTRESS YISRAEL. For the sake of the figs, RUTH AND HER OFFSPRING, that Moab will produce in the future, they were saved from punishment.
64. Rabbi Aba said that it is written: "And Hashem said to me, 'Do not harass Moab, nor contend with them in battle...'" It is also written: "And when you come near, opposite the children of Amon, harass them not, nor contend with them" (Devarim 2:19). The injunction ABOUT AMON'S CHILDREN was similar to this one, WITH MOAB. What difference was there between the one and the other? They seem of equal weight. We were taught that when YISRAEL approached the children of Moab, Yisrael displayed themselves to them in all their battle gear, as if they wished to provoke them. As for the Amonites, Yisrael were covered in their clothing and the battle gear was not visible at all. Yet, the scriptures seem to indicate that they were equal.
65. Rabbi Elazar said, Certainly it is so. We were also taught that the one was impudent, as it is written: "And called his name Moab" (Beresheet 19:37). Yisrael appeared impudently before them as she was impudent and said, 'Moab,' meaning I have this son from my father (Heb. me'av). However, the younger one, who said "Ben Ami" (Ibid. 38), 'son of my nation,' was discreet in her manners; Yisrael, too, were discreet in their manners to her, that they were enveloped in the cover of a Talit and appeared to them as real brothers. We have already explained this.
67. The child said, By the fragrance of your clothes, I see that Amon and Moab were provoking you. How did you save yourselves from them? You had no battle gear in your hands. Without it, HOW did you travel securely without fear? Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba and the friends marveled. Rabbi Aba said, Praised is this road and praised is our lot that we were worthy of seeing this. They prepared the table again.
93. He opened by saying, "And Moab said to the elders of Midian" (Bemidbar 22:4). HE ASKS: It does not say, 'The elders of Moab said to the elders of Midian,' but "Moab said." That means that the young OF MOAB took counsel of the elders OF MIDIAN, and the older ones followed after THE WISHES OF THE YOUNGER ONES and gave them advice. What was the advice with which they counseled them? They took for themselves bad advice. The ELDERS OF MIDIAN said to Moab, We have grown a bad crop among us. And who is it? It is their master, Moses. There was among us a priest who took care of him and supported him in his house and gave him his daughter for a wife. Furthermore, he gave him money and sent him to Egypt to destroy the whole country. And he, THE PRIEST, and his entire household got carried away after him. If we could root out from the world that master of theirs, all his people would be uprooted from the world. The entire disastrous advice in the matters of Pe'or stemmed from Midian.
94. Come and see that everything stemmed from Midian; the thrust of their counsel was about Moses, and with the advice of Midian they hired Bilaam. When they realized that Bilaam was incapable, they followed another bad idea, and they freely loosened their women and daughters even more than Moab. About the women of Midian, it is written: "Behold, these caused the children of Yisrael..." (Bemidbar 31:16). Everything stemmed from Midian. They took counsel with their chief that he should loosen his daughter, since they were plotting to ensnare Moses in their net. They adorned her with many spells, so she should successfully catch the head OF YISRAEL. And the Holy One, blessed be He, "turns wise men back" (Yeshayah 44:25).
96. Everything originated in Midian in several ways. Therefore, Midian was punished and the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses, "Execute the vengeance of the children of Yisrael on the Midianites" (Bemidbar 31:2). For you, it is appropriate and becoming. As for Moab, I leave them alone until the two jewels will come out from among them. Here's David son of Yishai who will take revenge on Moab, and will rinse the loaded pot of filth from Pe'or. This is what it says, "Moab is My washpot" (Tehilim 60:10) assuredly. As long as these two jewels did not come out of there, they were not punished. As soon as they came out, David came and washed clean the pot from their filth, and all received their punishment, Midian during the time of Moses and Moab during the time of David.
98. He opened the discussion with the verse: "And Hashem said to me, 'Do not harass Moab'" (Devarim 2:9). HE INQUIRES: Until now, didn't we know that the Holy One, blessed be He, talked to Moses and not with anyone else, that the verse needed to inform us that? "Hashem said to me?" Why "to me?" HE RESPONDS: It is only to Moses that the Holy One, blessed be He, gave the command not to lay siege to Moab; to anyone else, He did not GIVE SUCH A COMMAND. He did not give this command to David. Therefore, IT IS WRITTEN: "And Hashem said to me, 'Do not harass Moab'," not even a small part of their boundary, because from them will come out the one who will provide vindication for Yisrael and provide them with revenge ON MOAB. That is David, who is a descendant of Ruth the Moabite.
99. "Nor contend with them in battle" (Ibid.): All this was a command to Moses; however, someone else was permitted. If you would venture to say that Joshua and the elders, who lived long after him, were also permitted, it is not so. All were from the original courthouse of Moses and whatever was forbidden to Moses was also forbidden to them. Furthermore, the goodly jewels have not yet come out from among them, since Ruth came in the days of the Judges and she was the daughter of Eglon, king of Moab. Eglon died because Ehud killed him and another king was appointed. This daughter of Eglon remained and was in the hands of a nurse, in the fields of Moab. As soon as Elimelech arrived there, he took her for his son.
101. At that time, the Holy Spirit rested on David. THE HOLY SPIRIT, THAT IS MALCHUT, said to him,: David, when I measured the entire universe and threw lots, and Yisrael was "the lot (Heb. chevel) of His inheritance" (Devarim 32:9), I remember what Moab did to "the lot of His inheritance." It is written: "And measured them with a line (Heb. chevel)" (II Shmuel 8:2), meaning with the very measuring line of Hashem's inheritance THAT IS YISRAEL. That line was hanging on to all those who issued from that seed OF MOAB THAT DID HARM YISRAEL IN THE DAYS OF MOSES.
223. Balak was from the descendants OF JETHRO and deviated from the ways of his father. When the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian, who were friends in their idol worship, saw that Jethro and his descendants adhered to the Shechinah, this one distanced himself from them. They came and crowned him king over them at that time, as it is written: "And Balak the son of Tzipor was king of Moab at that time." At that time, he was the king, something that he was not before then. Therefore, it is written: "the son of Tzipor" THAT ALLUDES TO JETHRO WHO WAS CALLED 'TZIPOR' TO INDICATE that it was not proper to do so, BECAUSE HE WAS FROM THE DESCENDANTS OF JETHRO CALLED 'TZIPOR.' HE INQUIRES: It says, "And Balak...saw," but it should have said 'heard.' What is the meaning here of: "saw?" HE RESPONDS: He saw a vision and he knew that he will fall into the hands of Yisrael. Yisrael will first fall into his hands and only afterward would he fall into Yisrael's hands. That is the reason it says: "And Balak the son of Tzipor saw."
252. "For they are too mighty for me" (Bemidbar 22:6). HE INQUIRES: Until that time, where had YISRAEL done battle with them, and beaten them? At which location had they met up with the sword OF YISRAEL and showed their strength like mighty men to display their power, SO THAT HE ALREADY KNEW THAT YISRAEL WAS TOO MIGHTY FOR HIM? What is the meaning of, "For they are too mighty for me?" HE RESPONDS: It is only that this wicked one was wise and foresaw in the distant future that King David, who stemmed from Ruth the Moabite, had the valor and strength of a lion. He will conduct and wage difficult wars and be victorious over Moab, and place him under his feet. THEREFORE, he said "(lit.) he is mighty" IN A SINGULAR FORM, meaning he who inherited that power, one of their kings who will stem from us, FROM RUTH THE MOABITE, to destroy Moab.
253. "Perhaps I shall prevail, that we mignt smite them" (Ibid.): HE ASKS: This verse should have read: 'Perhaps I shall prevail, that I may smite them' or 'perhaps we shall prevail, that we may smite them.' WHY DOES IT SAY: "I SHALL PREVAIL, THAT WE MAY SMITE?" HE RESPONDS: It is only that this wicked man was wise. He said, I see here one hand, MEANING ONE POWER, a powerful lion extending its paw. Maybe I can prevail with you, meaning that if we join together and cut off that lion's paw, THAT IS, THROUGH A CURSE, before that king comes into the world, he will not drive out Moab from its location. THEREFORE IT SAYS, "I SHALL PREVAIL" IN SINGULAR FORM AND "WE MAY SMITE" IN THE PLURAL FORM, BECAUSE THE MEANING IS, PERHAPS I COULD JOIN WITH YOU AND WE WILL BOTH SMITE IT.
255. In spite of all this, the wicked Balak did not abandon his design of sorcery, but rather he gathered up and picked all types of weeds and sorcery of snake heads, and took a cauldron of witchcraft. Balak stuck it 1,500 cubits underground and stored it for the end of days. When David came, he dug to the depth of 1,500 cubits, exposed the water from the depths and poured libations over the altar. At that moment, WHEN THE WATER LIBATIONS WERE POURED, he said, I will cleanse WITH THESE WATERS that cauldron OF SORCERY OF BALAK, as it is written: "Moab is My washpot" (Tehilim 60:10), assuredly My washpot.
265. "For I know that he whom you bless is blessed" (Ibid.). HE ASKS: From where did he know that? HE RESPONDS: It was already explained and it is written: "Who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land, out of his hand" (Bemidbar 21:26), since he hired Bilaam TO CURSE HIM. However, "for I know" MEANS that he had this knowledge through his wisdom. FURTHERMORE, BECAUSE IT IS WRITTEN: "He whom you bless is blessed," what was the need TO MENTION blessing here, since his aim was to curse? If his prior knowledge of Bilaam was in relation to the curse, what is the intention of: "He whom you bless is blessed?"
267. Furthermore, "go to the meeting (Heb. ikareh) yonder (Heb. coh)" MEANS I will lead and pull that level down with transgressions, defilement, nightly uncleanness (Heb. keri) and the defilement that will be caused by His children. And she will destroy them. HE DEFINES IKAREH AS DERIVED FROM KERI. Immediately, "And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divinations in their hand" (Bemidbar 22:7) in order to avoid the excuses of the wicked one who says that he does not possess the particular magic which he may need, and who will thereby be able to restrain himself from joining them.
282. Another explanation of, "And takes away the understanding of the aged" is : "And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand" (Bemidbar 22:7). He took away their reasoning powers so they could not control their witchcraft at all "and spoke to him the words of Balak" (Ibid.) loudly and openly, and not quietly BECAUSE HIS HEARING WAS IMPAIRED. He had a blemish in his ear, a blemish in his eye and a blemish in his leg. In these three areas, he had a blemish AND DISABILITY, because he was equipped for the Other Side. That was necessary for the Other Side, WHICH IS a place where there is a blemish. Each kind follows its own kind.
284. "And the princes of Moab abode" (Ibid.). However, the princes of Midian left them and did not want to remain there, although the ministers of Moab did stay, as it is written: "And the princes of Moab abode" on their own. Midian would have acted appropriately IF THEY WOULD HAVE separated from them altogether, if in the end they would have caused no harm, and not eventually been in the counsel of Bilaam that sent their wives and women to Yisrael at Shitim to lead them astray. The scripture points out their sin, as it is written: "For they vex you with their wiles, with which they have beguiled you in the matter of Pe'or, and in the matter of Kozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister..." (Bemidbar 25:18). With these two things they sinned, WITH PE'OR AND KOZBI and their iniquity was great. And with their tail, THAT IS, EVENTUALLY, they struck later. Therefore, they remained with him and the Midianites left on their own.
285. Another explanation of: "And the princes of Moab abode with Bilaam:" It was fine for Midian to leave if that was their wish. However, the staying over of those from Moab who remained caused them to have a good reward due to their remaining there, while the Midianites' leaving caused them harm. Why is this? It is because those who stayed cared for the glory ot the words of the Holy One, blessed be He, while those who left did not care at all.
286. HE EXPLAINS HIMSELF: At the time, that wicked one said: "And I will bring you back word, as Hashem shall speak to me" (Bemidbar 22:8), instantly, those of Moab were shook up to hear this and stayed there, and those of Midian did not care at all and left. THEREFORE, they were punished afterward, which is why the ministers of Moab remained with Bilaam. That night, this wicked one was whispering whispers and performed witchcraft, and brought upon himself a spirit from above. Instantly, "Elohim came to Bilaam," simply Elohim, meaning his own level, of the Other Side, that is in the left.
287. "And said, 'What men are these with you'" (Bemidbar 22:9): That was his own level of the left side that needed to ask, BECAUSE IT DIDN'T KNOW. Although the friends remarked on this differently, they indicated that the Holy One, blessed be He, was testing him with His words, because there were three WHO ELOHIM PUT TO A TEST. One was Hezekiah, one was Ezekiel and one was Bilaam. Two of them did not stand up to the test properly and one did. Who was it? That was Ezekiel, as it is written THAT THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, ASKED HIM, "Can these bones live?" (Yechezkel 37:3). And he answered, "And I answered, Hashem, Elohim You know" (Ibid.) Hezekiah said: "They are come from a far country, from Babylon" (II Melachim 20:14). Bilaam said, "Balak the son of Tzipor, king of Moab, has sent to me" (Bemidbar 22:10) TO SHOW THAT he is important in the eyes of rulers and kings. HOWEVER, the Holy One, blessed be He, simply asked him in order to mislead him and allow him to err, as it is written: "He makes nations great and destroys them" (Iyov 12:23). And this has been explained.
292. "And Bilaam said to the Elohim, 'Balak the son of Tzipor, king of Moab...'" (Bemidbar 22:10). He mentioned the king of Moab TO SHOW THAT an important king sent for him. "King of Moab," indeed! Look at the arrogance of that wicked man, because it is written THAT HE SAID king of Moab instead of A KING over Moab, WHICH SHOULD HAVE indicated a person who is not worthy to be a king, but became a king over Moab FOR SOME REASON. Of the first KING, it is written: "Who had fought against the former king of Moab" (Bemidbar 21:26). IT DOES NOT REFER TO THE FIRST KING AS A KING OVER MOAB, AS IT IS WRITTEN: "AND BALAK THE SON OF TZIPOR WAS KING OVER MOAB" (BEMIDBAR 22:4), DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE EARLIER KING WAS a king, the son of a king, royalty descended from royalty. However, about this one, IT IS WRITTEN: "BALAK THE SON OF TZIPOR was king over Moab." The scripture testifies, "king over Moab" - THAT HE WAS NOT DISTINGUISHED, BUT BILAAM SAID TO ELOHIM, "BALAK THE SON OF TZIPOR, KING OF MOAB." Here, I remarked that he intended to give pride to his arrogant heart, SAYING LOOK HOW all the royalty of the world send me messengers.
336. He opened the discussion with the verse: "O My people, remember now what Balak, king of Moab devised" (Michah 6:5). "My people;" how much is the Holy One, blessed be He, compassionate to His children, even though they sinned against Him. All His words to them are with love, like a father to his son. If a son sins against his father and he beats him yet as much as he beats him he doesn't repent his ways; if he scolds him with words but he does not accept from him, his father then says, I do not wish to continue to do to my son as I have done until now. If I beat him, his head will hurt and his pain will be upon me. If I scold him, his expression will be strange. What shall I do? I can only go and beg of him and speak to him softly, so he should not get saddened.
338. "O My people, remember now what Balak, king of Moab devised, and what Bilaam, the son of Beor answered him." "Remember now:" Remember, I pray you, "what...devised." Now we should observe what the advice of Balak was against the holy people. The Torah did not consider Balak as anything in comparison to Laban, as it says, "An Arammian wished to destroy my father" (Devarim 26:5). (THE REST IS MISSING)
372. He opened with the verse: "Yah has chastised me severely: but He has not given me up to death" (Tehilim 118:18). King David said, "YAH HAS CHASTISED ME SEVERELY" about all that he had done in this world and he said about the confidence he had in that world, "BUT HE HAS NOT GIVEN ME UP TO DEATH." For from everything that happened to him in this world - that he was pursued and he escaped from all his pursuers to a strange land, in the land of Moab, and in the land of the Philistines - the Holy One, blessed be He, has saved him and did not leave him to die. He said, "BUT HE HAS NOT GIVEN ME UP TO DEATH" about his confidence in that world, THE ETERNAL.
422. People that know the location OF AZA AND AZAEL visit them. They teach people witchcraft, enchantments and divinations. These dark mountains are referred to as the mountains of old. What is the reason? Because the darkness preceded the light. That is why the dark mountains are called "Mountains of old." Laban and Bilaam learned witchcraft from them and that is what Bilaam said, "Balak the king of Moab has brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of old" (Bemidbar 23:7).
425. During that time, there was nobody in the world who was with them, AZA AND AZAEL, except for him, BILAAM, who would daily shut himself with them in those mountains. That is why it says, "Balak the king of Moab has brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of old," surely from "the mountains of old," WHICH ARE THE MOUNTAINS OF THE DARKNESS, AS MENTIONED, and not from the land of the people of the east (also: 'of old').