And the angel of the Lord said unto him
When risen up, and standing before him:
wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times?
the brute creatures are not to be beaten without cause, nor to be misused and abused by men, even their owners:
behold, I went out to withstand thee;
the ass was not to be blamed, nor to be beaten for turning aside, or lying down, it was I that stood in the way, and hindered its going forward, and this was done by me on purpose to oppose and stop thee:
because thy way is perverse before me;
the journey he took was not with his good liking and approbation, and especially seeing he went with an intention, if possible, to serve Balak, and curse Israel; the way of his heart was bad, which the Lord knew; it was not directed according to his will, but swerved from it; the Targum of Jonathan is,
``it is manifest before me that thou seekest to go and curse the people, and the thing is not agreeable to me.''