And Balaam said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned,
&c.] That is, in beating the ass; not that he was sensible of his sin of covetousness, and of the evil disposition of his mind, and of his wicked intention in going along with the princes to curse Israel, if possible, and get Balak's presents and preferments:
for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me;
signifying, that if he had known it, he should not have smitten the ass, but submitted himself to the will of the angel:
now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again;
which he spoke very coldly and faintly, not caring heartily to go back, unless forced to it; for seeing a drawn sword in his hand, he might be afraid of his life should he persist in his journey, and therefore feigns a readiness to go back, quitting it on condition that his going forwards was displeasing; whereas he knew it was, especially his going with an evil mind to hurt Israel if possible.