Who Was Balaam?

Q. I always took it for granted that Balaam, son of Beor  was a descendant of Shem, the godly line of Noah.  I assumed he was a descendant of Eber (hebrew speaking), and had some insight into Jehovah.  It says in Numbers 31:8 the Israelites killed the kings of Midian, including Balaam, the son of beor.  Also, are the Midianites the sons of Japheth/Madai from  Genesis 10:2?

A. Balaam, son of Beor was not of the tribes of Israel. He was from Pethor in Aram Naharaim (Deut. 23:4), a place on the Euphrates River in North West Mesopotamia.  Balaam was a pagan prophet for hire who was warned by God not to prophesy against the Israelites (Num. 22:9-12). He was killed by troops under the command of Moses along with 5 Kings of Midian (Num. 31:8).

The Midianites were the descendants of Madai, a son of Japeth.  Later they were known as the Medes who teamed up with Persia to defeat Babylon.  Today we know them as the Kurds.

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