From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Balak (disambiguation).

Balak was a king of Moab described in the Book of Numbers in the Hebrew Bible for his dealings with Balaam. Balak tries to hire Balaam for the purpose of cursing Israel (Numbers 22:1-5). The famous and enigmatic scene of the speaking donkey ensues (Numbers 22:21-35). Balak died when Joshua began his conquest of Canaan. According to Numbers 22:2, and Joshua 24:9, Balak was the son of Zippor.

Revelation 2:12 - 2:14 says about Balak: 12 `And to the messenger of the assembly in Pergamos write: These things saith he who is having the sharp two-edged sword: 13 I have known thy works, and where thou dost dwell—where the throne of the Adversary [is] -- and thou dost hold fast my name, and thou didst not deny my faith, even in the days in which Antipas [was] my faithful witness, who was put to death beside you, where the Adversary doth dwell. 14 `But I have against thee a few things: That thou hast there those holding the teaching of Balaam, who did teach Balak to cast a stumbling-block before the sons of Israel, to eat idol-sacrifices, and to commit whoredom; (Young's Literal Translation)[1]

Other sources detailing the story of Balak.

Balak is also the name of the weekly parshah or portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading that tells the story of Balak in the Book of Numbers.


There are various proposed etymologies for the name Balak, all having to do with "waste" - The name Balak comes from the sparsely used Hebrew verb (balaq), waste or lay waste (Isaiah 24:1,3; Jeremiah 51:2). There are no derivations of this verb besides this name. Other proposals are: Devastator (BDB Theological Dictionary), Empty (NOBS Study Bible Name List), or Wasting (Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names).