And the Lord came unto Balaam at night
As before, ( Numbers 22:9 ) it may be in a dream; the Targum of Jonathan is as there,
``a word came from the Lord:''and said unto him, if the men come and call thee, rise up, and go with
this was said, as some think, not seriously, but sarcastically, or rather in an angry manner, bidding him go, if he would; so giving him up to his own heart's lusts, or, at most; only permitting him to go with them, but not to curse Israel; and this permission to go seems to be on this condition, if the princes first called him, and were urgent on him to go with them: this was a trial of Balaam, whether he would be eager and forward to go, or patiently wait until he should be called; or the words may be rendered, "seeing", or because F7,
they are come to call thee: but yet the word which I shall say unto
thee, that shall thou do;
whether he would or not, he should be forced to do it, as Jarchi; and therefore go not with any intention to curse Israel, which shall never be done; wherefore to go would be vain and fruitless, since he would never be able to answer the design of Balak: but still Balaam hoped, it not being so fully and clearly expressed as before, that he should not curse Israel; that God would say something else unto him, though he had no reason at all for it, but all the reverse; so blinded was he with a greedy desire of riches and honour.
F7 (Ma) "quandoquidem", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Noldius, p. 88. & Ainsworth.