Balak – Balak, Balaam and a Talking Donkey

Balak means “waste”, as it is written:

הִנֵּה יְהוָה בּוֹקֵק הָאָרֶץ וּבוֹלְקָהּ Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty and maketh it waste…(Isaiah 24:1)


Balaam means “not a people”, as it is written:

וַאֲנִי אַקְנִיאֵם בְּלֹא-עָם …and I will rouse them to jealousy with a no-people… (Deu 32:21)


The word “waste” בוֹלְקָהּ and “no-people” בְּלֹא-עָם have the same gematria in 143, thus uniting the two into one alliance in cursing Israel.

The gematria of the two names and their meanings:

Balak בָּלָק 132
Waste בוֹלְקָהּ 143
Balaam בִּלְעָם 142
No people בְּלֹא-עָם 143


Astonishingly, 560 is the gematria of בָּלָק בֶּן-צִפּוֹר, Balak son of Zippor.

The target of Balak and Balaam is Israel, which in gematria and ordinal number is 605, as follows:

Israel in gematria יִשְׂרָאֵל 541
Israel in ordinal number יִשְׂרָאֵל 64


The sum of the alliance (560) and their target (605) is 1165, which is exactly the gematria of:

Balak son of Zippor King of Moab בָּלָק בֶּן-צִפּוֹר מֶלֶךְ מוֹאָב 699
Balaam son of Beor (without Vav) בִּלְעָם בֶּן-בְּעֹר 466



The difference between the above two names is: 699 – 466 = 233, which is the gematria of “Tree of Life” עֵץ הַחַיִּים.

Astonishingly, 1165 is the sum of “Tree of Life” and “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” in gematria:

Tree of Life עֵץ הַחַיִּים 233
Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil עֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע 932


It is now obvious that Balak and Balaam’s attempt to curse Israel is the repeat of the Snake’s attempt to curse Adam and Eve.

The difference is that in the garden it was one (Snake) against two (Adam and Eve), while in this week’s Parashah, it was two (Balak and Balaam) against one (Israel).

The final two letters of Balak and Balaam can be rearranged as Amalek, and the remaining three letters spell Babylon, the former is the archenemy of Israel, and the latter is the mother of all idolatries:

Balak לָק בָּ
Balaam עָם בִּלְ
Amalek עֲמָלֵק
Babylon בָּבֶל


And of course, the gematria of Amalek and Babylon would be the same as Balak and Balaam, as follows:

Amalek עֲמָלֵק 240 132 בָּלָק Balak
Babylon בָּבֶל 34 142 בִּלְעָם Balaam
  274 274


274 in mirror image is 472, which is exactly the gematria of בִּלְעָם בֶּן-בְּעוֹר, Balaam son of Beor (with a Vav).


Snake and Donkey

Animal symbolizes lust, so there is no need for animal to speak; in contrast, man is expected to have a rational mind, so he has the ability to speak.

There are two exceptions in the Torah where animals did speak, symbolizing their ascension to the level of man, the level of intellectual mind.

The snake talked in the garden between the “Tree of Life” and “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”, the gematria is 1165, as discussed above.

The donkey talked on the road between “Balaam son of Beor” and “Balak son of Zippor King of Moab”, the gematria is also 1165, as discussed above.

The snake ascended to the level of intellectual mind to deceive the woman (Eve), but the donkey ascended to the level of intellectual mind to rebuke the man (Balaam).

There are two types of snake that bit Israel (Num 21:6); Balaam rode on a female donkey and Mashiach rode on a male donkey:

Fiery snake שָׂרָף 580
Serpent נָּחָשׁ 358
Male donkey (without Vav) חֲמֹר 248
Female donkey (without Vav) אֲתֹן 451


1637 is the 260th prime number, and 260 = 10 x 26, this is by the hand of YHVH.

The difference between 1637 and 1165 is 472, which is the gematria of בִּלְעָם בֶּן-בְּעוֹר, Balaam son of Beor, with a Vav.

The male talking snake seduced Eve in order to overthrow Adam, and Balak hired Balaam only to be rebuked by Balaam’s female talking donkey.

The donkey symbolizes the rectified snake, Balaam symbolizes the corrupted Eve, and Balak symbolizes the corrupted Adam.

Adam אָדָם 45
Eve חַוָּה 19
Snake נָּחָשׁ 358
Balak בָּלָק 132
Balaam בִּלְעָם 142
Donkey (with a prefix Hey) הָאָתוֹן 462


The average number of the three characters is: 1158 / 3 = 386, which is the gematria of Yeshua יֵשׁוּעַ, alluding to the final rectification and redemption.


Eve sinned by listening to the snake, but Balaam sinned by not listening to the donkey.

The gematria of Eve, snake and donkey is 828:

Eve חַוָּה 19
Snake נָּחָשׁ 358
Donkey (without Vav) אֲתֹן 451


The average number is 828 / 3 = 276, which is the triangle number of 23, the gematria of Chayah חַיָּה, the primordial Eve prior to sin, symbolizing the rectified Eve, when she ultimately learns to not listen to the snake, but listen to the donkey.

If Snake symbolizes lust, then the female donkey would symbolize a rectified mind. The rectification of Eve lies in her ability to resist the lust with the clarity of mind.


The Talking Snake

Adam was the King, Eve was to serve Adam, and the Snake was to serve Eve, the original design.

The Snake seduced Eve because it lusted for the beauty of Eve and the honor of Adam.

Adam represents the Mind (Neshamah), Eve represents the Heart (Ruach), and Snake represents the Liver, in which is the blood of lust (Nefesh):

Adam אָדָם 45
Eve חַוָּה 19
Snake נָּחָשׁ 358
Mind מֹחַ 48
Heart לֵב 32
Liver כָּבֵד 26


528 is the triangle number of 32, the gematria of heart לֵב, which corresponds to Eve, because her act tipped the balance.

The rectification would be Mind over Heart, and Heart over Lust. The first letter of mind, heart and liver in their right order spell King מֶלֶךְ.


The Talking Donkey

Balak was the King, and Balaam was hired to serve Balak, and the donkey was to serve Balaam, as per the pattern in the garden.

Balak wanted to curse Israel because of his fear (Num 22:3), and fear is of the mind.

Balaam accepted the offer for personal honor (Num 22:17), and honor is of the heart.

A male Donkey would represent the lust, being the beast of burden, the gematria:

Mind Balak בָּלָק 132
Heart Balaam בִּלְעָם 142
Lust Donkey חֲמוֹר 254


Astonishingly, the sum is also 528, which is the triangle number of 32, and 32 is the gematria of the heart לֵב, an exact repeat of the pattern in the garden, with Balaam at the center whose act can tip the balance again, a critical opportunity for rectification.

But the donkey in the Parashah is not Chamor חֲמוֹר, which is male. Balaam’s donkey is called Aton אֲתֹן, which is a female donkey.

Chamor חֲמוֹר means Materialism חֹמֶר, hence the opposite denotes Spirituality, which is what the talking donkey come to symbolize, in order to rectify the original snake. For if the mind is corrupted (Balak), and the heart seeks honor (Balaam), the animal soul must be rectified at the root.

The donkey and snake can only be rectified with the coming of Mashiach who rode on a donkey:

גִּילִי מְאֹד בַּת־צִיֹּון הָרִיעִי בַּת יְרוּשָׁלִַם הִנֵּה מַלְכֵּךְ יָבֹוא לָךְ צַדִּיק וְנֹושָׁע הוּא עָנִי וְרֹכֵב עַל־חֲמֹור וְעַל־עַיִר בֶּן־אֲתֹנֹֽות׃ Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy king cometh unto thee, he is triumphant, and victorious, lowly, and riding upon an ass, even upon a colt the foal of an ass. (Zechariah 9:9)


The male donkey Mashiach rode on is called the son of the female donkey, as it is written:

Upon a male donkey, even upon a colt, the son of a female donkey עַל־חֲמֹור וְעַל־עַיִר בֶּן־אֲתֹנֹֽות 1649


This comes to teach us the Mashiach is the one that will ultimately rectify the “materialism” of the world by riding on it, i.e. controlling it.

Astonishingly, 1649 is exactly the gematria of the two types of snake and two genders of donkey, as follows:

Fiery snake שָׂרָף 580
Serpent נָּחָשׁ 358
Male donkey (with Vav) חֲמֹור 254
Female donkey (with Vav) אָתוֹן 457


When lust is rectified, it is elevated to the level of the mind as symbolized by the female donkey, but the heart (Balaam) failed to listen to the mind which is the rectified lust (donkey), and instead listened to the corrupted mind (Balak) which has a gloried lust.

With Balaam’s female donkey, the rectification is centered around Adam:

Balak בָּלָק 132
Balaam בִּלְעָם 142
Donkey (without the Vav) אֲתֹן 451
Mind מֹחַ 48
Heart לֵב 32
Liver כָּבֵד 26


831 is the sum of the triangle number of the three letters of Adam אָדָם, as follows:

ם ד א  
∆40 ∆4 ∆1
820 10 1 831


A rectified Adam is one with Chayah, the primordial bride, and the two shall become one flesh:

Adam (mind) אָדָם 45
Eve (heart) חַוָּה 19
Snake (lust) נָּחָשׁ 358
Balak (mind) בָּלָק 132
Balaam (heart) בִּלְעָם 142
Donkey with Vav (rectified lust which is mind) אָתוֹן 457
Chayah (rectified Adam and Eve) חַיָּה 23


Astonishingly, 1176 is exactly the triangle number of 48, the gematria of the mind מֹחַ, representing the ultimate rectification of the mind with the coming of Mashiach, for the four letters of Mashiach מָּשִׁיחַ can be permuted to read יֵשׁ מֹחַ, there is mind.

About the Author
Insight into the weekly Torah study with a focus on gematria...
Related Topics
Related Posts