Come now, therefore, I pray thee
To my country, city, and court:
curse me this people;
by imprecations on them; and which being attended with various rites and ceremonies, brought calamities on persons, which men of Balaam's character were supposed to have power to do:
for they are too mighty for me;
to oppose and subdue by force of arms; and therefore was obliged to have recourse to such arts and methods he was master of; suggesting, that he was able to do more by his divinations than could be effected by an army of men:
peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may
drive them out of the land;
there is hope, by taking such measures, that they may be prevailed over and conquered; and that, together with your curses, and my army, we may be able to smite them, and destroy them; you with your tongue, and I and my people with the sword, and so drive them quite out of the land, and get a clear riddance of them:
for I wot that he whom thou blessest [is] blessed, and he whom thou
cursest [is] cursed;
so high an opinion had the king of Moab of this soothsayer and diviner, from the report he had had of the mighty feats done by him; as, that those for whom he asked for blessings from heaven had them, and those on whom he imprecated evils, they came upon them; and this was a prevailing custom among the Heathens in later times, and particularly the Romans; not only to endeavour to get the gods of the people from them they were at war with, and whose cities they besieged, praying that they would leave such places, cities, and their temples; but also wished evils to cities and armies, and prayed the gods to fill them with flight, fear, and terror, and that such evils might come upon them, which had on others F4.
F4 Vid. Macrob. Saturnal. l. 3. c. 9.