Billam's Other Prophecy: The Deir Alla Inscription

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    In 1967 an inscription was discovered on a wall at Deir Alla in Jordan that had been broken by an earthquake. Assuming the reconstruction and the translation are even somewhat correct, the text tells of a prophecy of disaster by the navi Balaam ben Beor.

    Some scholars argue that this text is a copied over portion of a larger “Sefer Balaam” that has been lost. The inscription, written in Aramaic, is estimated to have been written between 880 and 770 BCE (in the middle of Bais Rishon).

    Archeologists and secular scholars interpret and translate the inscription to fit into their paradigm. The following is how I think the beginning of the inscription should be translated/paraphrased (to the best of my ability) within our paradigm.

    “Warnings of Balaam bar Beor the Chozeh Elokim (the archeologists assume that this should be translated seer of gods) the Lord comes to in the night with the commandment of the Lord to Balaam bar Beor saying, ‘would that someone do something without hesitation to reveal what message there is.’ Balaam got up in the morning, behold it was a terrible vision. He fasted and cried day and night. His people came to him and said ‘Balaam bar Beor, why are you fasting and why are you crying? He said to them ‘sit and I will tell you what Shakai has said. Come and see the works of the Lord. The heavenly hosts and Shakai arranged a meeting and they said to Shagar ‘Do not burst open the latches of heaven. In your clouds danrkness reigns with no glimmer, pitch darkness, not clear night. . . .”

    There is a lot more. Including portions that appear to admonish people for serving avodah zara.




    Thanks for this. Very interesting. Do you speak the native language? If this is in Jordan then it is probably from the same Maamad that the Torah is talking about.


    Archeologist think that Deir Alla is the same as Petor (i.e. Billam’s hometown).

    The language appears to be an aramaic/hebrew mix. I am trusting the archeologists on what the letters are (the script used is unrecognizable to me).

    I don’t think it is the same Maamad, there aren’t any real connections between the Billam’s prophecies in the Torah and the ones in this text. It probably takes place before the story in the Torah (only because Billam didn’t live very long afterward.)




    bump for the parsha


    Wow, that’s really interesting.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Thanks, benignuman.


    Yes. This is bumpworthy.

    I wonder how significant his coming was to the Jews in the dessert. Did they even know he was there before they found it in the Torah? Did they hear about it from the Moabite girls? Did they know he was coming and tremble? Or did they laugh it off?


    Despite the name of the Parsha, Bilam was more infamous than Bolok.


    is that wall the wall that lavan and yakov built. yigar suhadusa?

    ☕️coffee addict


    acording to r yaakov reisman (in far rockaway/5 towns) they didn’t

    according to somewhere else (can’t remember where) they got all haughty from the brachos so i guess they knew


    It sounds like Bilaam did tshuvah so why did they kill him?


    YW Moderator-42

    Billaam advised Balak to use the B’nos Midyan to persuade the Jews to sin. He caused thousands of deaths in Klal Yisroel and was a rasha gamur. He only didn’t curse B’nei Yisroel because Hashem didn’t let him.


    Dear Wisey,
    Being a prophet does intrinsically mean that one is righteous or is acting in accordance with Hashem’s Will.

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