Numbers 22:32

32 The angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.[a]

Numbers 22:32 in Other Translations

KJV
32 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me:
ESV
32 And the angel of the LORD said to him, "Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me.
NLT
32 “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the LORD demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me.
MSG
32 God's angel said to him: "Why have you beaten your poor donkey these three times? I have come here to block your way because you're getting way ahead of yourself.
CSB
32 The Angel of the Lord asked him, "Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? Look, I came out to oppose you, because what you are doing is evil in My sight.

Numbers 22:32 Meaning and Commentary

Numbers 22:32

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.''

Numbers 22:32 In-Context

30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said.
31 Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.
32 The angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.
33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”
34 Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.