And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honorable than they.…
Balaam is very sure that he shall confine himself to the word of the Lord, but he, himself, out of his own heart, has begun to entertain the purpose of getting upon the scene of these glittering temptations. He proposes to remain a true man, but he enjoys the company of these honourable princes. He will remain a true man, but he would like to be near a king who can send such presents. He will remain a true man, but, once in Moab, his wit will stand him in hand better than in these dull regions where he dwells. It is the old, old story of humanity — dallying with temptation in the field of the imagination, bribing conscience with fair promises, yet all the while moving up to the forbidden thing. It is a history not seldom repeated. Oh, no! I shall never become a miser, but I propose to be exceedingly prudent. I shall never throw away my reputation, my character, but I will feed eye and ear and imagination with pictures of forbidden pleasure. I shall never become a drunkard, but I will drink in moderation. I shall never permit myself to be called a selfish man, but I will take good care of myself in this rough world. I shall never become dishonest, but I will keep a keen eye for good chances. Thus it is that men are passing to ruin over a path paved with double purposes. Balaam now gets a different answer. The first time he is honest and open, and is told to remain; the next time he takes into the interview his own desires, which are against his convictions, and a half-formed purpose, and he comes out of it with the answer he wants; desire has taken the lead of conscience. He starts on his ill-fated journey, meets with strange, confounding experiences — reflections of the moral confusion into which he has fallen — experiences, however, that serve to steady and buttress him on his professional side, but are not able to prevent his fall as a man.
(T. T. Munger.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they.