Balak Facts for 9-13 Year Olds

Categories: Old Testament / New Testament

  • Stories about Balak occur in Numbers 22-24.
  • He is the son of Zippor, whose name means “sparrow.”
  • There is no more information about Zippor.
  • Scholars are not sure what the name Balak means. Some think it means “devastator.”
  • Balak is the king of Moab at the time the Israelites are marching towards the Promised Land.
  • The reputation of the Israelites has preceded them.
  • They have already fought and defeated several Canaanite nations.
  • Moab is “in great dread” of the Israelites because there are so many of them.
  • They don’t know that God has instructed Israel not to harm the Moabites but to pass them by. (See Deut. 2:8-9)
  • Here though, the Moabites are so overcome with fear they say to the elders of Midian, “This horde will now lick up all that is around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.”
  • They expect the Israelites to take their livestock and grain, leaving them with nothing.
  • The Moabites don’t know that God is still providing the Israelites with manna every day.
  • The Moabites and Midianites ask Balaam, a known prophet and diviner, to pronounce a curse upon the Israelites.
  • They are willing to pay Balaam handsomely.
  • When Balaam arrives, he asks God, and God tells him to bless the Israelites, which he does.
  • Then Balak’s anger burns against Balaam because he didn’t curse the Israelites. Balak tells Balaam to go home and refuses to pay him.