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BALAK (bā'lăk, Heb. bālāq, devastator). A king of Moab in Moses’ day who hired Balaam, a diviner from the Euphrates, to pronounce a curse on the Israelites (Num.22.1-Num.22.41-Num.24.1-Num.24.25; Judg.11.25; Mic.6.5; Rev.2.14). Frightened by the story of Israel’s victory over Sihon and Og, he evidently thought that the favor of the Lord could be turned from Israel to his own nation. Instead of cursings, he heard blessings; but he achieved his end in an indirect way when he followed Balaam’s advice to seduce the people of Israel to idolatry, a sin that resulted in heavy judgment on the chosen people. See also Balaam.

BALAK bā’ lăk (בָּלָ֖ק, devastator). Moabite king, the son of Zippor. Balak was king of Moab when Israel emerged from the wilderness to enter Canaan. Having seen what the Hebrews had done to the Amorites, he attempted to prevent Israel’s advance by hiring Balaam to curse them (Num 22:1-6). He built altars at three different sites for the purpose, but each attempt failed. He remains throughout Heb. history as an example of the folly of attempting to thwart Jehovah’s will (Josh 24:9; Judg 11:25).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

balaq, ("devastator" or "one who lays waste"): Mentioned in connection with the story of Balaam/Balak (Nu 22-24; compare Jos 24:9; Jud 11:25; Mic 6:5; Re 2:14). He was the king of Moab who hired Balaam to pronounce a curse on the Israelites.

See Balaam.

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