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    The son of Tzippor – Balak

    King Balak’s name is linked with the verb “to lick” because his power “licked up” his enemies.

    It is possible that this is one of the ancient Hebrew words that gave rise to a word in English. Other examples are keren, which may have a connection with “corner”, and mazon, which might be connected with “maize”.

    Whether or not these ideas have any validity, we are entitled to be bothered by the statement that Balak was the son of “Tzippor” (Num. 22:2) which literally is “a bird”.

    Tzippor, Balak’s father, ruled Moab in the time of Moses. If his name is Hebraic, it may be from a root that means “to chirp”, possibly because he had a happy disposition (others think he was a gossip-monger).

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