And Balaam answered, and said unto the servant's of Balak,
&c.] Who were not only princes of the land, but officers of state in the court of Balak:
if Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go
beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more;
which is well spoken, had it been from his heart: he speaks very respectfully of God, calling him by his great and incommunicable name Jehovah, the Being of beings; representing him as the object of his worship and adoration, as he might be along with other gods, which was the practice of the Heathens in those times, particularly the Syrians, among whom Balaam lived; so did Laban and others before him: likewise he makes a profession of him, and claims an interest in him, which he might the rather do, to make himself look greater, as being the servant of the most high God; for the Gentiles in those times, and indeed in later times, had a notion of one supreme God, superior to all the rest; and this Jehovah Balaam claimed as his God: he speaks very well of the word of God, to which he pretended so strict a regard, that he would not transgress it in the least, for all that Balak could give him or more, no, not for all the money in the world; and yet his heart at the same time went after his covetousness, and he was eagerly desirous and greedy of getting the advantages into his hands that were offered him; for he hoped that God would change his mind, and alter his word, and give him leave to go and get the money, as appears by what follows.