2 Peter 2:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey--an animal without speech--who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet's madness.

New Living Translation
But Balaam was stopped from his mad course when his donkey rebuked him with a human voice.

English Standard Version
but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

Berean Study Bible
But he was rebuked for his transgression by a donkey, otherwise without speech, that spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness.

Berean Literal Bible
But he had reproof for his own transgression by a mute donkey; having spoken in a man's voice, it restrained the madness of the prophet.

New American Standard Bible
but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.

King James Bible
But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
but received a rebuke for his transgression: A donkey that could not talk spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet's irrationality.

International Standard Version
But he was rebuked for his offense. A donkey that normally cannot talk spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet's insanity.

NET Bible
yet was rebuked for his own transgression (a dumb donkey, speaking with a human voice, restrained the prophet's madness).

New Heart English Bible
but he was rebuked for his own disobedience. A mute donkey spoke with a man's voice and stopped the madness of the prophet.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But the reproof of his violation was a dumb donkey which spoke with the voice of men, restraining the madness of the Prophet.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But he was convicted for his evil. A donkey, which normally can't talk, spoke with a human voice and wouldn't allow the prophet to continue his insanity.

New American Standard 1977
but he received a rebuke for his own transgression; for a dumb donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.

Jubilee Bible 2000
and was rebuked for his iniquity; a dumb animal accustomed to a yoke (upon which he was seated), speaking with man's voice, hindered the madness of the prophet.

King James 2000 Bible
But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb donkey speaking with man's voice restrained the madness of the prophet.

American King James Version
But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbade the madness of the prophet.

American Standard Version
but he was rebuked for his own transgression: a dumb ass spake with man's voice and stayed the madness of the prophet.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But had a check of his madness, the dumb beast used to the yoke, which speaking with man's voice, forbade the folly of the prophet.

Darby Bible Translation
but had reproof of his own wickedness -- [the] dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the folly of the prophet.

English Revised Version
but he was rebuked for his own transgression: a dumb ass spake with man's voice and stayed the madness of the prophet.

Webster's Bible Translation
But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice, forbad the madness of the prophet.

Weymouth New Testament
But he was rebuked for his transgression: a dumb ass spoke with a human voice and checked the madness of the Prophet.

World English Bible
but he was rebuked for his own disobedience. A mute donkey spoke with a man's voice and stopped the madness of the prophet.

Young's Literal Translation
and had a rebuke of his own iniquity -- a dumb ass, in man's voice having spoken, did forbid the madness of the prophet.
Study Bible
Deliverance from False Prophets
15They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bosor, who loved the wages of wickedness. 16But he was rebuked for his transgression by a donkey, otherwise without speech, that spoke with a man’s voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. 17These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.…
Cross References
Numbers 22:21
So Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his donkey and went with the leaders of Moab.

Numbers 22:23
When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off from the way and went into the field; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the way.

Numbers 22:28
And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?"

Psalm 39:11
"With reproofs You chasten a man for iniquity; You consume as a moth what is precious to him; Surely every man is a mere breath. Selah.
Treasury of Scripture

But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbade the madness of the prophet.

the dumb.

Numbers 22:22-33 And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the …

the madness.

Ecclesiastes 7:25 I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, …

Ecclesiastes 9:3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that …

Hosea 9:7 The days of visitation are come, the days of recompense are come; …

Luke 16:11 If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, …

Acts 26:11,24,25 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to …

(16) But was rebuked for his iniquity.--Literally, But had a conviction of his own transgression--i.e., was convicted of it, or rebuked for it. His transgression was that, although as a prophet he knew the blessedness of Israel, and although God gave him leave to go only on condition of his blessing Israel, he went still cherishing a hope of being able to curse, and so winning Balak's promised reward.

The dumb ass.--Literally, a dumb beast of burden. The same word is rendered "ass" in Matthew 21:5, in the phrase "foal of an ass." In Palestine the ass was the most common beast of burden, horses being rare, so that in most cases "beast of burden" would necessarily mean "ass."

Forbad the madness.--Strictly, hindered the madness; and thus the trivial discrepancy which some would urge as existing between this passage and Numbers 22 disappears. It has been objected that not the ass but the angel forbad Balaam from proceeding. But it was the ass which hindered the infatuation of Balaam from hurrying him to his own destruction (Numbers 22:33). The word for "madness" is probably chosen for the sake of alliteration with "prophet"--prophtou paraphronian. It is a very rare formation, perhaps coined by the writer himself.

Verse 16. - But was rebuked for his iniquity; literally, but had a rebuke for his own transgression. The word for "rebuke" (ἔλεγξιν) Occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. The guilt of offering the wages of unrighteousness rested with Balak; Balaam's own transgression lay in his readiness to accept them - in his willingness to break the law of God by cursing, for filthy lucre's sake, those whom God had not cursed. The dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbade the madness of the prophet. The word for "ass" is literally "beast of burden" (ὑποζύγιον, as in Matthew 21:5). "Dumb" is literally "without voice;" naturally without voice, it spake with the voice of man. The word ἐκώλυσεν, rendered "forbade," is rather "checked," or "stayed." The word for "madness" (παραφρονίαν) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. The ass checked the prophet's folly by her shrinking from the angel, and by the miracle that followed; the angel, while permitting Balaam to expose himself to the danger into which he had fallen by tempting the Lord, forbade any deviation from the word to be put into his mouth by God. Balaam obeyed in the letter; but afterwards the madness which had been checked for the moment led him into deadly sin (Numbers 31:16). We observe that St. Peter assumes the truthfulness of the narrative in the Book of Numbers (see Mr. Clark's note in the 'Speaker's Commentary' on Numbers 22:28). But was rebuked for his iniquity,.... Which was not merely going along with the messengers of Balak, for he had leave from the Lord so to do, Numbers 22:20; but going along with them with a desire to curse Israel, when it was the will of God he should go and bless them, in order to get Balak's money; so that his governing iniquity was covetousness, which led him to other sins; and for this he was rebuked by the angel, Numbers 22:32, as well as reproved by his ass, Numbers 22:28, for

the dumb ass, as it was naturally so, the ass on which he rode,

speaking with man's voice; which was supernatural and miraculous, for it was God that opened the mouth of the ass: the mouth of that ass is said, by the Jews (m), to be one of the ten things created between the two evenings on the sixth day of the creation; that is, as the gloss on it says, concerning which it was decreed, that its mouth should be opened to speak what this ass said; and the occasion of it may be seen in Numbers 22:22. Lactantius (n) observes, that there are two stars in the constellation of Cancer, which the Greeks call the "asses"; and which, the poets feign, are those that carried Liberus over a river, when he could not pass it; to one of which he gave this for a reward, "ut humana voce loqueretur", "that it should speak with man's voice"; a fable, no doubt, hatched from the sacred history, and said in imitation of this ass. Which

forbad the madness of the prophet: and so Balaam, though a diviner and soothsayer, is called by the Jewish writers (o); who, they say, was first a prophet, and then a soothsayer, from whom Jerom (p) seems to have received the tradition; who says, that he was first a holy man, and a prophet of God, and afterwards, through disobedience, and a desire of gifts, was called a diviner; for his eyes were opened, and he saw the vision of the Almighty; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied many things concerning Israel, and the Messiah, and others, Numbers 24:4. His madness lay in going with the messengers of Balak, Numbers 22:21, in order to curse Israel, contrary to the will of God, Numbers 22:12; and it is madness in any to oppose God in his counsels, purposes, providences, and precepts; and every sin, which is an act of hostility against God, has madness in it; and this of Balaam's was forbid by his ass, and he was convinced of it. Very appropriately is mention made of this dumb ass, when the persons here spoken of were as natural brute beasts, and worse than them, 2 Peter 2:12.

(m) Pirke Abot, c. 5. sect. 6. & Jarchi in ib. Sepher Cosri, par. 2. p. 254. (n) De falsa Religione, l. 1. c. 21. (o) Pesikta, Ilmedenu & Gerundensis apud Drus in loc. T. Bab Sanhedrin fol. 106. 1. Aben Ezra in Numbers 32.28. (p) Tradition. Heb. in Genes. fol. 69. D. 16. was rebuked—Greek, "had a rebuke," or conviction; an exposure of his specious wickedness on his being tested (the root verb of the Greek noun means to "convict on testing").

his—Greek, "his own": his own beast convicted him of his own iniquity.

ass—literally, "beast of burden"; the ass was the ordinary animal used in riding in Palestine.

dumb—Greek, "voiceless-speaking in man's voice"; marking the marvellous nature of the miracle.

forbade—literally, "hindered." It was not the words of the ass (for it merely deprecated his beating it), but the miraculous fact of its speaking at all, which withstood Balaam's perversity in desiring to go after God had forbidden him in the first instance. Thus indirectly the ass, and directly the angel, rebuked his worse than asinine obstinacy; the ass turned aside at the sight of the angel, but Balaam, after God had plainly said, Thou shalt not go, persevered in wishing to go for gain; thus the ass, in act, forbade his madness. How awful a contrast—a dumb beast forbidding an inspired prophet!2:10-16 Impure seducers and their abandoned followers, give themselves up to their own fleshly minds. Refusing to bring every thought to the obedience of Christ, they act against God's righteous precepts. They walk after the flesh, they go on in sinful courses, and increase to greater degrees of impurity and wickedness. They also despise those whom God has set in authority over them, and requires them to honour. Outward temporal good things are the wages sinners expect and promise themselves. And none have more cause to tremble, than those who are bold to gratify their sinful lusts, by presuming on the Divine grace and mercy. Many such there have been, and are, who speak lightly of the restraints of God's law, and deem themselves freed from obligations to obey it. Let Christians stand at a distance from such.
Jump to Previous
Ass Beast Checked Disobedience Donkey Dumb Error Folly Forbad Forbid Human Iniquity Madness Mute Pointed Prophet Prophet's Rebuke Rebuked Received Reproof Speaking Speech Stop Stopped Talking Transgression Voice
Jump to Next
Ass Beast Checked Disobedience Donkey Dumb Error Folly Forbad Forbid Human Iniquity Madness Mute Pointed Prophet Prophet's Rebuke Rebuked Received Reproof Speaking Speech Stop Stopped Talking Transgression Voice
Links
2 Peter 2:16 NIV
2 Peter 2:16 NLT
2 Peter 2:16 ESV
2 Peter 2:16 NASB
2 Peter 2:16 KJV

2 Peter 2:16 Biblia Paralela
2 Peter 2:16 Chinese Bible
2 Peter 2:16 French Bible
2 Peter 2:16 German Bible

Alphabetical: a and beast But by donkey for he his madness man man's mute of own prophet prophet's rebuke rebuked received restrained speaking speech spoke the transgression voice was who with without wrongdoing

NT Letters: 2 Peter 2:16 But he was rebuked for his own (2 Pet. 2P iiP ii Pet) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
2 Peter 2:15
Top of Page
Top of Page