Numbers 22:30
And the ass said to Balaam, Am not I your ass, on which you have ridden ever since I was your to this day? was I ever wont to do so to you? And he said, No.
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(30) Ever since I was thine.—Literally, ever since thou livedst,i.e., all thy life long. The Targums of Jonathan and of Jerusalem paraphrase thus—“upon which thou hast ridden from thy youth unto this day.” “An Arabic writer,” says Dr. Gill, in his Commentary, in loc., “makes mention of an ass that the owner rode on forty years.”

Unto this day.—The use of these words in this place serves to throw light upon such passages as Deuteronomy 3:14, “called them after his own name . . . unto this day,” and shows that they do not necessarily denote that the events to which reference is made were separated by any very long interval.

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.And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass - The account was perhaps given by Balaam to the Israelites after his capture in the war against Midian. Compare Numbers 31:8. That which is here recorded was apparently perceived by him alone among human witnesses. God may have brought it about that sounds uttered by the creature after its kind became to the prophet's intelligence as though it addressed him in rational speech. Indeed to an augur, priding himself on his skill in interpreting the cries and movements of animals, no more startling warning could be given than one so real as this, yet conveyed through the medium of his own art. 28. the Lord opened the mouth of the ass—to utter, like a parrot, articulate sounds, without understanding them. That this was a visionary scene is a notion which seems inadmissible, because of the improbability of a vision being described as an actual occurrence in the middle of a plain history. Besides, the opening of the ass's mouth must have been an external act, and that, with the manifest tenor of Peter's language, strongly favors the literal view [2Pe 2:15, 16]. The absence of any surprise at such a phenomenon on the part of Balaam may be accounted for by his mind being wholly engrossed with the prospect of gain, which produced "the madness of the prophet" [2Pe 2:16]. "It was a miracle, wrought to humble his proud heart, which had to be first subjected in the school of an ass before he was brought to attend to the voice of God speaking by the angel" [Calvin]. No text from Poole on this verse. And the ass said unto Balaam,.... Made a reply to him, as if it understood what he said, and had the faculty of reasoning and discoursing, as well as of speaking, which is very amazing:

am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? or rather, "ever since thou wast"; not ever since he was in being, but ever since he could ride, so Aben Ezra; according to which, it seems that this was the first he rode upon, and which he had always been used to; hence the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem paraphrase it,"upon which thou hast rode from thy youth unto this day;''and be it that Balaam was a man pretty well advanced in years, an ass is a creature that lives a long time: Pliny says (r) it lives thirty years; and an Arabic writer (s) makes mention of an ass that the owner of it rode on forty years:

was I ever wont to do so unto thee? to start out of the way, or lie down with him, could anyone instance be given of it? suggesting that she was a sure footed creature, and had always carefully and safely carried him, for which it appeals to him:

and he said, nay; she had never been used to serve him in such a manner as she had now, and therefore he might have concluded that something more than ordinary was the matter; and it is much his conscience had not accused him that he was wrong in coming with the princes, taking the alarm from these circumstances, had he not been an hardened creature, or, at least, had he not been so eagerly bent on riches and honour.

(r) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 43. (s) Algiahid in Damir. apud Bochart, ut supra, (Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 14.) col. 195.

And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever {n} since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.

(n) Since you have been my master.

30. The ass is not represented as uttering any deep teaching or giving him a message from God. She merely defends herself against the charge of making sport of him; had he ever known her do such a thing during all the years he had owned her?The angel then stationed himself in a pass of the vineyards where walls (גּדר, vineyard walls, Isaiah 5:5) were on both sides, so that the animal, terrified by the angel, pressed against the wall, and squeezed Balaam's foot against the wall, for which Balaam smote her again.
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