And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way,
&c.] Which Balaam did not; his eyes being held from seeing him by the power and providence of God, that he might be reproved and rebuked by his ass, to whom God gave power to see, more than to him, as Jarchi notes, so that he had little reason to boast of his visions and revelations, and that he was the man whose eyes were open: the angel stood in the very pathway on which the ass was carrying Balaam: and his sword drawn in his hand; as threatening to destroy him, and as if he was just about to push at him, and signifying hereby not only that he deserved to die, but what death he should die of, namely, by the sword, as he did, ( Numbers 31:8 ) ( 1 Chronicles 21:16 )
and the ass turned aside out of the way;
out of the common road, to save its master and itself, from a natural principle of self-preservation: and went into the field; adjoining to, and that lay along the road side:
and Balaam smote the ass to turn her into the way;
with his staff, as in ( Numbers 22:27 ) to bring her into the common road again.