Numbers 22:19
Now therefore, I pray you, tarry you also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will say to me more.
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(19) Tarry ye also here this night.—Balaam knew that God was “not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent” (Numbers 23:19); and yet he indulged the vain expectation that he might be allowed to curse those whom God had declared to be blessed.

Numbers 22:19. Tarry ye also this night — “Here,” says Bishop Butler, p. 123 of his Sermons at the Rolls, “the iniquity of his heart begins to disclose itself. An honest man would, without hesitation, have repeated his former answer, that he could not be guilty of so infamous a prostitution of the sacred character with which he was invested, as, in the name of a prophet, to curse those whom he knew to be blessed: but instead of this he desires the princes of Moab to tarry that night with him also; and, for the sake of the reward, deliberates whether, by some means or other, he might not be able to obtain leave to curse Israel.”22:15-21 A second embassy was sent to Balaam. It were well for us, if we were as earnest and constant in prosecuting a good work, notwithstanding disappointments. Balak laid a bait, not only for Balaam's covetousness, but for his pride and ambition. How earnestly should we beg of God daily to mortify such desires in us! Thus sinners stick at no pains, spare no cost, and care not how low they stoop, to gratify their luxury, or their malice. Shall we then be unwilling to do what is right? God forbid! Balaam's convictions charged him to keep to the command of God; nor could any man have spoken better. But many call God theirs, who are not his, not truly because not only his. There is no judging men by their words; God knows the heart. Balaam's corruptions at the same time inclined him to go contrary to the command. He seemed to refuse the temptation; but he expressed no abhorrence of it. He had a strong desire to accept the offer, and hoped that God might give him leave to go. He had already been told what the will of God was. It is a certain evidence of the ruling of corruption in the heart, to beg leave to sin. God gave Balaam up to his own heart's lusts. As God sometimes denies the prayers of his people in love, so sometimes he grants the desires of the wicked in wrath.Ye also - i. e., as the other envoys before you. Had Balaam possessed a sincere spirit of obedience, he would have found in the first instructions Numbers 22:12 a final decision upon the matter. His hypocritical importunity with God when the fresh messengers came from Balak demonstrates his aversion to God's declared will. 19, 20. tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the Lord will say unto me more—The divine will, as formerly declared, not being according to his desires, he hoped by a second request to bend it, as he had already bent his own conscience, to his ruling passions of pride and covetousness. The permission granted to Balaam is in accordance with the ordinary procedure of Providence. God often gives up men to follow the impulse of their own lusts; but there is no approval in thus leaving them to act at the prompting of their own wicked hearts (Jos 13:27). Possibly he may change his mind, or yield to my renewed suit. Thus he sought to make God and his conscience stoop to the service of his pride and covetousness, which was abominable. Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night,.... As the former messengers had; this shows his strong inclination to go along with them, and do what was desired of him, could he be permitted; otherwise he might and ought to have told the messengers at once that Balak needed not to have given himself and them so much trouble, since it was not in his power to do for him what he requested; nor would he attempt it, as being contrary to the will of God, and therefore it would be their best way to return as soon as they could; but instead of that, he desires them to stay that night, which must give them some hope of succeeding in their embassy:

that I may know what the Lord will say unto me more; he hoped he would change his mind, and say something to him different from, and contrary to what he had before declared unto him, which to suppose of God is great vileness and wickedness; to such a pitch did his greedy desire after riches and honour work him up into; he ought to have been satisfied with the answer already given him, and not to have inquired more.

Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will say unto me {i} more.

(i) Because he tempted God to require him contrary to his commandment, his petition was granted, but it turned to his own condemnation.

19. Balaam had learnt (Numbers 22:12) that Israel was a people on whom God’s blessing rested. It was therefore impossible for him to go and curse them. But when Balak’s more splendid retinue of princes travelled all the way to Mesopotamia to beg him again to come, he asked God again whether he might go, not to curse but to deliver a divine message whatever it might prove to be. And on his arrival he immediately told Balak that this was the purpose for which he had come (Numbers 22:38).God then expressly forbade him to go with the messengers to curse the Israelites, as the people was blessed; and Balaam was compelled to send back the messengers without attaining their object, because Jehovah had refused him permission to go with them. קבה־לּי, Numbers 22:11, imper. of נקב equals קבב (see at Leviticus 24:11).
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