That night God came to Balaam and told him, “Since these men have come for you, get up and go with them. But do only what I tell you to do.”
So the next morning Balaam got up, saddled his donkey, and started off with the Moabite officials.
But God was angry that Balaam was going, so he sent the angel of the to stand in the road to block his way. As Balaam and two servants were riding along,
Balaam’s donkey saw the angel of the 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.
Then the angel of the stood at a place where the road narrowed between two vineyard walls.
When the donkey saw the angel of the , it tried to squeeze by and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So Balaam beat the donkey again.
Then the angel of the moved farther down the road and stood in a place too narrow for the donkey to get by at all.
This time when the donkey saw the angel, it lay down under Balaam. In a fit of rage Balaam beat the animal again with his staff.
Then the gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam.
“You have made me look like a fool!” Balaam shouted. “If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!”
“But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life,” the donkey answered. “Have I ever done anything like this before?” “No,” Balaam admitted.