Numbers 22:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.

New Living Translation
Balaam's donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand. The donkey bolted off the road into a field, but Balaam beat it and turned it back onto the road.

English Standard Version
And the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road.

New American Standard Bible
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.

King James Bible
And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD standing on the path with a drawn sword in His hand, she turned off the path and went into the field. So Balaam hit her to return her to the path.

International Standard Version
all of a sudden the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with an unsheathed sword in his hand! The donkey turned off the road and went into an open field. Balaam started beating the donkey in order to turn her back to the road,

NET Bible
And the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn in his hand, so the donkey turned aside from the road and went into the field. But Balaam beat the donkey, to make her turn back to the road.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When the donkey saw the Messenger of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn, the donkey turned off the road into a field. Balaam hit the donkey to get it back on the road.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his sword drawn in his hand; and the ass turned aside out of the way and went into the field. Then Balaam smote the ass to turn her into the way.

King James 2000 Bible
And the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the donkey turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the way.

American King James Version
And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

American Standard Version
And the ass saw the angel of Jehovah standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The ass seeing the angel standing in the way, with a drawn sword, turned herself out of the way, and went into the field. And when Balaam beat her, and had a mind to bring her again to the way,

Darby Bible Translation
And the ass saw the Angel of Jehovah standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand; and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field, and Balaam smote the ass to turn her into the way.

English Revised Version
And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

World English Bible
The donkey saw the angel of Yahweh standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and the donkey turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the way.

Young's Literal Translation
and the ass seeth the messenger of Jehovah standing in the way, and his drawn sword in his hand, and the ass turneth aside out of the way, and goeth into a field, and Balaam smiteth the ass to turn it aside into the way.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

22:22-35 We must not think, that because God does not always by his providence restrain men from sin, therefore he approves of it, or that it is not hateful to him. The holy angels oppose sin, and perhaps are employed in preventing it more than we are aware. This angel was an adversary to Balaam, because Balaam counted him his adversary; those are really our best friends, and we ought so to reckon them, who stop our progress in sinful ways. Balaam has notice of God's displeasure by the ass. It is common for those whose hearts are fully set in them to do evil, to push on violently, through the difficulties Providence lays in their way. The Lord opened the mouth of the ass. This was a great miracle wrought by the power of God. He who made man speak, could, when he pleased, make the ass to speak with man's voice. The ass complained of Balaam's cruelty. The righteous God does not allow the meanest or weakest to be abused; but they shall be able to speak in their own defence, or he will some way or other speak for them. Balaam at length has his eyes opened. God has many ways to bring down the hard and unhumbled heart. When our eyes are opened, we shall see the danger of sinful ways, and how much it was for our advantage to be crossed. Balaam seemed to relent; I have sinned; but it does not appear that he was sensible of this wickedness of his heart, or willing to own it. If he finds he cannot go forward, he will be content, since there is no remedy, to go back. Thus many leave their sins, only because their sins have left them. The angel declared that he should not only be unable to curse Israel, but should be forced to bless them: this would be more for the glory of God, and to his own confusion, than if he had turned back.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 23. - And the ass saw the angel of the Lord. This was clearly part of the miracle, the σήμειον which was to exhibit in such a striking manner the stupidity and blindness of the most brilliant and gifted intellect when clouded by greed and selfishness. It is nothing to the point that the lower animals have a quicker perception of some natural phenomena than men, for this was not a natural phenomenon; it is nothing to the point that the lower animals are credited by some with possessing "the second sight," for all that belongs to the fantastic and legendary. If the ass saw the angel, it was because the Lord opened her eyes then, as he did her mouth afterwards.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way,.... Which Balaam did not; his eyes being held from seeing him by the power and providence of God, that he might be reproved and rebuked by his ass, to whom God gave power to see, more than to him, as Jarchi notes, so that he had little reason to boast of his visions and revelations, and that he was the man whose eyes were open: the angel stood in the very pathway on which the ass was carrying Balaam: and his sword drawn in his hand; as threatening to destroy him, and as if he was just about to push at him, and signifying hereby not only that he deserved to die, but what death he should die of, namely, by the sword, as he did, Numbers 31:8.

and the ass turned aside out of the way; out of the common road, to save its master and itself, from a natural principle of self-preservation: and went into the field; adjoining to, and that lay along the road side:

and Balaam smote the ass to turn her into the way; with his staff, as in Numbers 22:27 to bring her into the common road again.



Numbers 22:23 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Angel and Balaam's Donkey
22But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. 23When 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. 24Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path of the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side.…
Cross References
2 Peter 2:16
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.

Numbers 22:22
But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.

Numbers 22:24
Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides.
Treasury of Scripture

And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

the ass saw

2 Kings 6:17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray you, open his eyes, that …

1 Chronicles 21:16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand …

Daniel 10:7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me …

Acts 22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; …

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise…

2 Peter 2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb donkey speaking with man's …

Jude 1:11 Woe to them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily …

the ass turned

Jeremiah 8:7 Yes, the stork in the heaven knows her appointed times; and the turtle …

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OT Law: Numbers 22:23 The donkey saw the angel of Yahweh (Nu Num.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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