What ever happened to Balak after the Bil'am affair? Bil'am is referred to often as Bil'am HaRasha' (the wicked), and he is blamed for the entire encounter as well as the Ba'al Pe'or incident. But wasn't Balak to blame for conceiving of the idea of cursing Bnei Yisrael? I thought the Ba'al Pe'or idea was the Plan B of that effort, which I'd think would at least give him a share of the blame there as well. Did he repent? Do we know anything of his descendants?

  • Bil'am is also killed in the later war with Midyan.
    – Double AA
    Mar 11, 2013 at 16:08
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    Isn't there a midrash about Ruth coming from him?
    – Isaac Moses
    Mar 11, 2013 at 16:09
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    @IsaacMoses, Horiyos 10b.
    – jake
    Mar 11, 2013 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


Hat tip to jake for his comment above regarding what became of Balaq's descendants. The Talmud Bavli in Masekhet Horayot (10B) states (Original, English):

בשכר מ"ב קרבנות שהקריב בלק הרשע זכה ויצתה ממנו רות דאמר רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא רות בת בנו של עגלון בן בנו של בלק מלך מואב

As a reward for the forty-two sacrifices which the wicked Balak offered he gained the privilege of having Ruth descended from him; for R. Jose son of R. Hanina said: Ruth was the daughter of the son of Eglon who was the son of the son of Balak, King of Moav.

  • Whoa, that means that Dawidh HaMelekh is a descendant of Balaq!
    – Lee
    Jun 28, 2015 at 19:21
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    That concept should not surprise you any more than the notion that Mashiach will be a descendant of two "Illegal" birth directions. By being a descendant of Peretz - who was born by Yehuda having relations with his daughter-in-law, and by Ruth, a descendant of Moab who is the son of one of Lot's daughters having relations with her father.
    – DanF
    Jul 5, 2017 at 14:21

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