And he took up his parable, and said
Pronounced the word, the prophetic word, which God had put into his mouth; so the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem call it, the parable of his prophecy; so called, because, in prophecies, often figurative and enigmatical expressions are used, and also sententious and weighty ones, either of which are sometimes called parables; see ( Psalms 78:2 ) ( Job 27:1 ) ( 29:1 ) ( Proverbs 1:6 ) ,
Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from
or Syria, that is, from Mesopotamia, as the Septuagint translate it; and so the Targum of Jonathan, from Aram or Syria, which is by Euphrates:
out of the mountains of the east:
it being the mountainous part of Mesopotamia or Chaldea, where Balaam dwelt, which lay to the east of the land of Moab:
saying, come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy
he owns that this was Balak's view in sending for him; nor does he deny that be himself came with such an intention, could he be able to execute it; even curse the people of Israel, with the utmost abhorrence and detestation of them, and in the most furious and wrathful manner, as the last word used signifies.