And Balaam said unto the ass, because thou hast mocked me,
&c.] Or rather "defiled me", as the word is rendered in ( Job 16:15 ) by running with him against a wall, and by lying down with him in the dust and dirt, and so the Arabic version renders it,
``because thou hast rolled me in the dirt;''
the sense of mocking is not easy to be understood, unless it be that it exposed him to be mocked and laughed at by others, by turning aside, and lying down, and being so unruly; but then there were only his servants with him, to whom only he could be exposed in such a manner, which one would think would not have given him so much concern, and put him into such a passion: the word sometimes is used for seeking occasion, and such a sense it may have here, as that it sought an opportunity or occasion to throw him, and so to kill him, or at least to do him harm, see ( Daniel 6:4 )
I would there were a sword in my hand, for now would I kill thee:
so enraged was he, and his passion was so great, that he was not at all frightened and amazed to hear the ass speak, though Josephus F17 represents him as disturbed and astonished at it; but some think, he being used to converse with spirits in the shapes of various creatures, it was no surprise to him to hear it speak.
F17 Antiqu. l. 4. c. 6. sect. 3.