Monday, July 23, 2012

Why did Chazal say that Balaam and Laban are the same person?

Balaam was the magician-prophet who was hired by the king of Moav to attack the Israelite with curses; Laban was Jacob's father-in-law and Issac's brother-in-law. Though divided in time by several hundred years, the Midrash says they are the same person. Why?

The simple person will give a simple answer and say that the claim is made by the Midrash because (a) its true; and (b) we can be certain its true because we posses a tradition, passed teacher to student, that is incontestably true.

Unfortunately, such a claim about the mesorah is often made ridiculous by the contents of the mesorah itself.

For instance, the Talmud (BT Sanhedrin 105a) says that Balaam's father Beor was Laban; meanwhile, TPJ and Yalkut Shemoni say that Balaam himself was Laban. Was Laban Balaam or was he his father Beor? An incorruptible mesorah would not have produced two contradictory identifications. This alone undermines the simple answer, parodied above, and shows that the simple person who insists on it is not acting out of faith or piety, but from ignorance.

The suggestion that Laban was Balaam , then, is not a statement of received, historical fact but the product of an interpretation. The Sages saw something, or perhaps a collection of things, which suggested to them that Balaam and Laban were the same person (or, if you with to allegorize their words*, that they shared some essential traits.)

*As usual, I think such allegories are afterthoughts that strain credulity. Here is TPJ on Num 22:5: He sent messengers to Laban the Aramean he is Balaam who wanted to swallow [= bala] the people of Israel. This does not sound like an allegory. It sounds like  a positive identification, and its far simpler to say that the author of TPJ believed what he wrote, ie, the Laban and Balaam were the same man.

What did the Sages see? Here's a proposed list:

1: Numbers 22:5 tells us Balaam lived near "The River" This is either the Tigris or the Euphrates. The Book of Jubilees places Aram's between the Tigris and the Euphrates (Wikiepdia). Aram is Laban's home region and also how he is often identified (Laban the Aramean). Moreover, Deuteronomy 23:5 says specifically Balaam came from Aram-Naharaim (the Aram of two Rivers)

2: Laban knows the four-letter names of God and uses it to greet Abraham's servant, and at least three more times besides; Balaam also knows this names and uses it first to brush off Balak's messenger, and three more times as his story continues. Pharaoh, remember, did not recognize this name. The fact that Balaam and Laban, both pagans, used it comfortably suggests they have something in common.

3: God speaks to both Laban (Gen 31:24) and Balaam (Num. 22:20) in dreams at at night. The language used to describe these visitations is nearly identical

And God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night
And God came to Balaam at night


So to sum up, Laban and Balaam both came from the same place, shared a recognition of God that was unexpected for their time and place, and they were both visited by God in dreams. I propose that it was these three things that led the authors of TPJ and Yalkut Shemoni to conclude that Balaam and Laban were one and the same.

Search for more information about Balaam and Laban at4torah.com 

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

ambien for sale no prescription enjoy ambien high - online prescription for ambien

Anonymous said...

buy diazepam diazepam 10 mg efectos colaterales - best place buy diazepam

Anonymous said...

zolpidem drug ambien overdose lethal - ambien cr

Anonymous said...

alprazolam price xanax withdrawal pain - xanax withdrawal uk

Anonymous said...

ativan pharmacy symptoms of ativan addiction - ativan overdose in dogs

Anonymous said...

diazepam half life cheap diazepam india - diazepam dosage guide

Anonymous said...

xanax online flexeril xanax drug interactions - vyvanse drug interactions xanax

Anonymous said...

diazepam cheap diazepam dosage size - where to buy diazepam 2mg

Anonymous said...

order ativan online ativan rx 7 - ativan dosage compared xanax

Anonymous said...

diazepam 10mg buy diazepam 5mg usa - diazepam dosage as muscle relaxant

Anonymous said...

order xanax can buy xanax online us - xanax recreational use weed

Anonymous said...

lorazepam without prescription antidote to ativan overdose - how to buy ativan

Anonymous said...

buy valium diazepam diazepam online shop - order diazepam online no prescription

Anonymous said...

order ambien online overnight can u buy ambien - ambien dosage for insomnia

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online overnight delivery ambien generic walgreens - ambien is what class drug

Anonymous said...

soma price is buying soma online illegal - buy soma online ship florida

Anonymous said...

ambien zolpidem ambien side effects for men - can get ambien online

Anonymous said...

soma no prescription where to buy aura soma - carisoprodol zolpidem

Anonymous said...

buy valium online valium high blood pressure medication - half life for valium

Anonymous said...

where to buy valium online generic valium from india - can you buy valium over the counter

Anonymous said...

valium antidepressant dosage valium goutte - will 10mg valium do me

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online ambien side effects suicidal thoughts - risks of ambien and pregnancy

Anonymous said...

buy soma online somanabolic muscle maximizer and all bonus programs - buy soma online without rx

Anonymous said...

buy ambien no prescription ambien cr withdrawal insomnia - buy ambien online forum

Anonymous said...

soma online somanabolic muscle maximizer work - generic drug for soma

Anonymous said...

Knowledge comes from experience alone.

4wPbm http://www.cheapuggbootsan.com/
wLwq http://www.michaelkorsoutletez.com/
zRqy http://www.cheapfashionshoesam.com/
4pMzm http://www.burberryoutletxi.com/
5iCnn http://www.nflnikejerseysshopxs.com/
9iDrl http://www.coachfactoryoutlesa.com/
7vTgb 9zDwx 9dAyb 7yLoa 5qOqy 2wPrw 9gCty 0cKww 3yAbz

Anonymous said...

Blogger: DOVBEAR - Post a Comment generic acomplia rimonabant - cheap acomplia diet pills http://www.a6soft.com/#cheap-acomplia-diet-pills

Anonymous said...

Blogger: DOVBEAR - Post a Comment order acomplia - buy acomplia no prescription http://www.a6soft.com/#buy-acomplia-no-prescription

Anonymous said...

Hi, MoxoredapeTox cheap accutane - accutane no prescription http://www.josoclasolucio.com/#accutane-pills

Anonymous said...

Hello, order lasix no prescription - furosemide online http://www.jacksbackyarddallas.com/#furosemide-online

Anonymous said...

Hello, venlafaxine online - venlafaxine without prescription http://www.effexorcostonline.com/#venlafaxine-without-prescription

Anonymous said...

Hello, order lasix no prescription - furosemide online http://www.jacksbackyarddallas.com/#furosemide-online

Anonymous said...

Hello, cheap generic propecia - generic propecia no prescription http://www.wheretobuymedsonline.com/propecia/

Anonymous said...

Drug Abuse Ages acomplia 20mg pills - rimonabant online http://www.buydiscountedisotretinoin.net/#rimonabant-online

Anonymous said...

Is Norflex A Scheduled Drug generic rimonabant - where can i buy acomplia online http://www.buydiscountedisotretinoin.net/#where-can-i-buy-acomplia-online

Anonymous said...

Compulsive Medication Obsessive where can i buy acomplia online - buy generic acomplia http://www.buydiscountedisotretinoin.net/#buy-generic-acomplia

Anonymous said...

Hooked Illegal Drugs acomplia diet pills - buy acomplia online http://www.buydiscountedisotretinoin.net/#buy-acomplia-online

Anonymous said...

Patient Compliance To Medication acomplia online no prescription - order acomplia http://www.buydiscountedisotretinoin.net/#order-acomplia

Anonymous said...

Hello, cytotec price - generic cytotec http://www.cytotecforlessonline.net/#generic-cytotec

Anonymous said...

advitleva buy cheap seroquel - buy generic seroquel http://www.seroqueldiscounts.com/

Anonymous said...

advitleva cheap quetiapine - cheap generic seroquel http://www.seroqueldiscounts.com/

Anonymous said...

Hello, cytotec 200mg - buy cytotec http://www.cytotecforlessonline.net/#buy-cytotec

Anonymous said...

advitleva propecia cost - propecia price http://www.bestpricefinasteride.com/

Anonymous said...

dalsCleax buy diazepam online no prescription - order valium online no prescription http://www.diazepamonlinesale.com/#order-valium-online-no-prescription

Anonymous said...

dalsCleax diazepam online - valium for sale http://www.diazepamonlinesale.com/#valium-for-sale

Anonymous said...

dalsCleax accutane without rx - buy roaccutane http://www.isotretinoinlowcost.com/#buy-roaccutane

Anonymous said...

Is Gasoline A Drug buy cheap meridia - order sibutramine http://www.meridiaonlineorder.net/#order-sibutramine , [url=http://www.meridiaonlineorder.net/#meridia-diet-pills-online ]meridia diet pills online [/url]

Anonymous said...

Honolulu Hawaii Drug Busts sibutramine price - meridia for sale http://www.meridiaonlineorder.net/#meridia-for-sale , [url=http://www.meridiaonlineorder.net/#buy-meridia-online ]buy meridia online [/url]

Anonymous said...

Friends, prozac no prescription - fluoxetine without rx http://www.prozaccheaponline.net/#fluoxetine-without-rx , [url=http://www.prozaccheaponline.net/#order-fluoxetine-online ]order fluoxetine online [/url]

Anonymous said...

Friends, prozac online pharmacy - order fluoxetine http://www.prozaccheaponline.net/#order-fluoxetine , [url=http://www.prozaccheaponline.net/#buy-fluoxetine-no-prescription ]buy fluoxetine no prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

2, stendra online pharmacy - cheap stendra http://www.stendraonlinecost.com/#cheap-stendra , [url=http://www.stendraonlinecost.com/#generic-stendra ]generic stendra [/url]

Anonymous said...

2, ambien without prescription - cheap generic ambien http://www.opensourcewcms.com/#cheap-generic-ambien , [url=http://www.opensourcewcms.com/#buy-ambien ]buy ambien [/url]

Anonymous said...

tni [url=http://www.zoloftonlinesales.net/#zoloft-no-prescription ]order zoloft online no prescription [/url] - buy zoloft without prescription - zoloft without rx http://www.zoloftonlinesales.net/#buy-sertraline-online-no-prescription ,

Anonymous said...

tni clomiphene online pharmacy - clomiphene online http://www.clomidonlinediscount.net/#cheap-clomiphene, [url=http://www.clomidonlinediscount.net/#cheap-clomiphene]clomiphene without prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

3. propecia cost - propecia price http://featuredlink.net/#propecia-price , [url=http://featuredlink.net/#cheap-propecia ]cheap propecia [/url]

Anonymous said...

6, sumatriptan no prescription - imitrex no prescription needed http://www.imitrexonlinebuy.com/#sumatriptan-no-prescription, [url=http://www.imitrexonlinebuy.com/#imitrex-sale]sumatriptan no prescription[/url]

Anonymous said...

6, imitrex sale online - imitrex online pharmacy http://www.imitrexonlinebuy.com/#imitrex-for-sale, [url=http://www.imitrexonlinebuy.com/#imitrex-sale-online]buy sumatripan[/url]

Anonymous said...

ooo!!! Buy Topiramate - buy topiramate http://www.cheaptopamaxorder.net/#cheap-topamax, [url=http://www.cheaptopamaxorder.net/#cheap-topamax]Topamax Online[/url]

Anonymous said...

2013 generic bupropion - cheap bupropion http://www.wellbutrinforsaleonline.net/, [url=http://www.wellbutrinforsaleonline.net/]zyban quit smoking [/url]

Anonymous said...

2013 bupropion online - buy bupropion http://www.wellbutrinforsaleonline.net/, [url=http://www.wellbutrinforsaleonline.net/]generic bupropion [/url]

Anonymous said...

2013 buy prednisolone online - buy cheap prednisone http://www.prednisoneonlinerx.net/index.html, [url=http://www.prednisoneonlinerx.net/index.html]buy generic prednisone [/url]

Anonymous said...

c, order klonopin - klonopin price http://www.klonopindiscountsale.net/, [url=http://www.klonopindiscountsale.net/]order klonopin online[/url]

Anonymous said...

c, generic klonopin - buy klonopin online http://www.klonopindiscountsale.net/, [url=http://www.klonopindiscountsale.net/]klonopin for sale[/url]

Anonymous said...

4, generic strattera - strattera no prescription http://www.stratterabenefits.net/#atomoxetine-online-pharmacy, [url=http://www.stratterabenefits.net/#buy-strattera]generic strattera[/url]

Anonymous said...

4, atomoxetine without prescription - atomoxetine price http://www.stratterafastonline.net/, [url=http://www.stratterafastonline.net/]order strattera online no prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

3, [url=http://www.maxaltonlinehelp.net/] Cheap Maxalt[/url] - Maxalt For Sale - maxalt price http://www.maxaltonlinehelp.net/.

Anonymous said...

2, [url=http://www.zolofthelpsleep.net/]Zoloft Online[/url] - Zoloft Price - buy zoloft without rx http://www.zolofthelpsleep.net/.

Anonymous said...

Me and ozzy fucked tougher, trying to show to our god!

FUCK YES!' prior to cumming inside my warm pussy. were still fucking

Look at my web-site ... hcg injections

Anonymous said...

generic accutane - accutane no prescription http://www.isotretinoinonsale.net/, [url=http://www.isotretinoinonsale.net/]purchase accutane[/url]

Anonymous said...

6, [url=http://www.isotretinoinonlinerx.net/] Accutane Cost[/url] - Generic Accutane - buy accutane online http://www.isotretinoinonlinerx.net/ .

Anonymous said...

6, [url=http://www.nexiumpricewatch.net/] Nexium Price [/url] - Cheap Nexium - nexium pill http://www.nexiumpricewatch.net/ .

Anonymous said...

5, [url=http://www.stratterarxcoupon.net/]Strattera For Sale[/url] - Buy Strattera Online - buy generic strattera http://www.stratterarxcoupon.net/ .

Anonymous said...

11, [url=http://www.nemedicalmassage.com/] Generic Reductil[/url] - Sibutramine Diet Pill - cheap sibutramine http://www.nemedicalmassage.com/ .

Anonymous said...

11, [url=http://www.solarcraftaudio.com/]purchase gabapentin[/url] - neurontin online - purchase gabapentin online http://www.solarcraftaudio.com/ .

Anonymous said...

14, [url=http://www.autobankla.com/] Effexor Price [/url] - Effexor Price - generic effexor xr http://www.autobankla.com/ .