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A Guide to Bible Study Methods Found in Scripture

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Numbers 24:15-19 Star from Jacob

Posted by adventbiblestudy on March 6, 2013

Study methods explained. Bible stories, studies with links between Old and New Testament texts.

Learning about prophecies fulfilled shows how to understand all scripture.

Numbers 24:15-19 NLTse This is the message Balaam delivered: “This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, (16) the message of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open: (17) I see him, but not here and now. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel. It will crush the foreheads of Moab’s people, cracking the skulls of the people of Sheth. (18) Edom will be taken over, and Seir, its enemy, will be conquered, while Israel marches on in triumph. (19) A ruler will rise in Jacob who will destroy the survivors of Ir.”

This prophecy pointing to Jesus is usually restricted to the simple terms of a star from Jacob, pointing to Jesus and His birth, and a scepter from Israel pointing to His role as King of kings. Previous prophecies taught Bible study techniques. Once we look for the Bible study technique taught, names of tribes and nations stand out. Each of these are easy examples to study.

Another interesting point to consider is God’s choice of a prophet. Why did God use Balaam to deliver a prophecy? Balaam was hired by Balak son of Zippor, the Moabite king to curse Israel. Eventually Balaam was killed. All five of the Midianite kings–Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba–died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. (Numbers 31:8 NLTse).

God often speaks to people we do not think as having a real relationship with Him. When Abraham would not listen to God, but introduced his wife, Sarah, by saying, “She is my sister.” God spoke to King Abimelech of Gerar. King Nebuchadnezzar wrote Daniel chapter 4. Why would God use people we would not expect to be prophets? What is the lesson?

Looking at the text we see a number of nations listed. We cannot tell what the message is until we look back at the original texts. The first and easiest to research and understand is Moab.

Genesis 19:36-38 NLTse As a result, both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their own father. (37) When the older daughter gave birth to a son, she named him Moab. He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Moabites. (38) When the younger daughter gave birth to a son, she named him Ben-ammi. He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Ammonites.

Sheth teaches us another study lesson. When we search the word we do not find another text Sheth is found in. The next step is to check the Concordance to see the definition of the original word which tells us, Sheth is the same as Seth, Adam’s third son.



From H7896put, that is, substitutedSheth, third son of Adam: – SethSheth.

It is much easier to find information on Edom. Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means “red.”) (Genesis 25:30 NLTse). We learn another valuable study lesson from the same chapter. We learn important details about Esau by simply looking back a few verses. “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.” (Genesis 25:31 NLTse).

It may surprise some people to see we learn more about Esau, or Edom when we look up Seir.

For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle. Thus dwelt Esau in mount SeirEsau isEdom. And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir: (Genesis 36:7-9 KJV).

Once we see Seir is a location, a mountain, there may be other spiritual implications involved which will require further study. In the proper context a mountain can represent religious beliefs.

The word Ir shows us another lesson we see when comparing another translation.

Numbers 24:19 KJV Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.

The KJV translated Ir as city. Once again we can check the Concordance for the original definition.


eer, awr, aw-yar’

From H5782 a city (a place guarded by waking or a watch) in the widest sense (even of a mere encampment or post): – Ai [from margin], city, court [from margin], town.

A study on a prophecy Jesus fulfilled would not be complete without locating New Testament texts explaining the fulfillment. The two symbols are star and scepter.

Matthew 2:1-2 NLTse Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, (2) “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”

2 Peter 1:19 NLTse Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place–until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.

Revelation 22:16 NLTse “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star.”

Hebrews 1:8 NLTse But to the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice.

We see there was a good reason for Jesus to constantly point religious leaders and His disciples to scripture. Jesus was not only pointing them to prophecies He was about to fulfill, but to texts explaining how to understand scripture. Jesus knew the religious leaders of His day had no idea how to interpret prophesy. Jesus pointed them to the keys, but their pride and self absorbed attitudes kept them from learning anything. After more than two thousand years, Jewish leaders still reject every bit of information Jesus gave them. To a large degree Christian leaders choose to mix simple study principles from God’s Word with the mistakes the Pharisees made.

This one prophecy about Jesus showed us how to compare Old Testament texts with scripture from the New, which clearly explained how the prophecy was fulfilled. It also showed us proper use of the original language with the aid of a Concordance. We also saw how scripture has an unexpected way of providing details. Each of these are evidence of God’s influence the Bible was written through the aid of His Spirit. Not only evidence of His personality and plan of salvation, but the fullness of His plan. Not only did God’s plan of salvation save the world, it also contains lessons showing us how to understand each and every step in His plan.


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