Balaam (bāˈləm) [key], the central character in an amalgam of Israelite traditions found in the Book of Numbers. Hired by Balak, king of Moab, to curse the Hebrews encamped in the Jordan valley, Balaam could only bless them. Later, Balaam seduced the Israelites to commit evil, an act for which he was killed.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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