And Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered together the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them around about the tabernacle. And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit tested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them: and they were of them that were written, but went not out into the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.
And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
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And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? The various conditions of clairvoyance are clearly described by Moses. Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian whom he had married, and they said Num. Hath he not also spoken by us? And the Lord heard it. And the Lord came down in a pillar of the cloud and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house.
With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently and not in dark speeches, and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold.
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For the Lord speaks through revelation and by means of the light, and not by word of mouth, neither can God be seen by mortal eyes, for He says in another place, "No man can behold me and live. The language of God is the influence of a higher light through which the spirit which he pervades becomes electrified. It is not less significant that the bite of the fiery serpents was healed by gazing upon the brazen serpent.
And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against thee: pray unto the Lord that he take away the serpents from us.
And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, make thee a fiery serpent and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. The visions and prophecies of Balaam, son of Beor, to whom Balak sent Messengers, that he might curse Israel, are also of a remarkable character.
In Numbers , 15, 16, 17, 19, we have an account of the visions of the heathen seer, in which was announced the advent of Christ: "And the spirit of the Lord came upon him and he took up his parable and said: And the man whose eyes are open hath said : He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High, which saw the visions of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open, I shall see him, but not now; I shall beheld him, but not nigh; there shall come a Star out of Jacob and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel.
Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion. Balak, king of the Moabites, being afraid of the Israelites, desired to form a league with the Midianites. But since neither the Moabites nor the Midianites felt like engaging in hostilities with the Israelites, they resorted to magic, and since they had no magician among themselves, they sent for Balaam, who was celebrated for his powers of charming and divining.
Balaam invited them to tarry over night; in the morning he arose and made known to the messengers that God neither permitted him to curse the Israelites, nor allowed him to accompany them to their country, for "that people was favored of God. Balaam, a mixture of faith and fickleness, of truth and avarice, of true prophecy and magic, said to the servants of Balak: "If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.
Here follows the history of Balaam's perfect somnambulism. Being a visionary, he was divided within himself, because he tried to serve God and Mammon. His conscience upbraided him. The ass, with characteristic obduracy, preferred the fields to the uneven paths in the vineyards, and when force was employed to turn her in the way, she thrust herself against the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall, for which he smote her with his staff; and since there was no path to turn aside either to the right or to the left, the ass fell down under Balaam, and he smote her again.
Finally the ass spoke to Balaam and pointed out to him his unreasonable conduct, and when he came unto himself he again saw the angel instead of the ass; but his conscience smote him ; he confessed his sin and promised to go back again. But the angel permitted him to proceed upon condition that he should speak only what the Lord had commanded him to say, which condition he fulfilled in spite of every temptation that Balak could offer; and he went not at other times to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness. This spurious prophet had no truly divine inspirations, but he prophesied in the same manner as do our mesmeric clairvoyants.
For, first, he always went into retirement, when he was about to prophesy, to avoid outward disturbance, which no true prophet ever did. Second, His inward perceptions were opened by closing his outward senses. According to the Arabic, Balaam was called "the man with the closed eye," and this induces Tholuck to compare his condition to a state of magnetic ecstasy. Fourth, Balaam made use of certain external means to throw himself into an ecstatic state, which true prophets never did.
He was led from place to place in order to obtain visions, differing in their nature, so as to make them conform with the pleasure of Balak. He even employed magic, for it is written: "And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.
In the days of the judges and kings, dreams and prophetic visions signified the same thing.
In 1 Samuel , we read: "In olden times in Israel, when men inquired of the Lord, they said: Come let us go to the seer, for they were called seers who are now called prophets. And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the Lord," etc. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. We read in Deuteronomy "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or wonder, and the sign or wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying Let us go, after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them: Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
It would be tedious as well as superfluous to recite all the visions of the prophets. In the meantime we will not pass over the most remarkable in silence.
In 1 Samuel 16, we find the history of Saul, who, after the spirit of God had departed from him, became gloomy and ill, and whose condition could only be ameliorated by the sweet sounds of music. And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on the harp: and it shall come to pass when the evil spirit of God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well: and Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me, etc.
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. If there arise among you prophets, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth a sign, etc.
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Saul was a seeker after signs and wonders, for he at one time inquired of Samuel about his missing asses; at another time he inquired of the witch of Endor, and at another time he depended upon deceptive dreams. The witch said to Saul: "Wherefore dost thou ask of me, seeing that the Lord is departed from thee, and thy kingdom is gone out of thy hand. The most remarkable of these visions were those of Samuel and David. The history of the aged king David, who could no more obtain warmth of body, even though he was covered with clothing, we have already related.
Among all the prophets of the old dispensation there was none more exalted than Elias, whose very name was a synonym for a higher grade of being. We find in him an example of great significance in magnetic transactions. And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord, my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?
And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. And the Lord heard the voice of Elias; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elias took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him to his mother.
Of a similar kind a still more remarkable instance of the striking and powerful magnetic influence is given in the history of the Shunammite's son who was restored to life by the prophet Elisha. And he said unto his father, My head, my head! And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.
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And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door and went out. And she called unto her husband and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again. And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him today? And she said It shall be well. So she went, and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel.
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