And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.
a. ASV: And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.
b. YLT: And Balaam riseth in the morning, and saddleth his ass, and goeth with the princes of Moab,
c. Amplified Bible Classic: And Balaam rose up in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.
d. Septuagint: And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.
e. Stone Edition Torah/Prophets/Writings: Balaam arose in the morning and saddled his she-donkey and went with the officers of Moab.
1. “And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass…”
a. [And] Balaam [Strong: 1109 Bilʻâm, bil-awm'; probably from H1077 and H5971; not (of the) people, i.e. foreigner; Bilam, a Mesopotamian prophet; also a place in Palestine:—Balaam, Bileam.]
b. rose up [Strong: 6965 qûwm, koom; a primitive root; to rise (in various applications, literal, figurative, intensive and causative):—abide, accomplish, × be clearer, confirm, continue, decree, × be dim, endure, × enemy, enjoin, get up, make good, help, hold, (help to) lift up (again), make, × but newly, ordain, perform, pitch, raise (up), rear (up), remain, (a-) rise (up) (again, against), rouse up, set (up), (e-) stablish, (make to) stand (up), stir up, strengthen, succeed, (as-, make) sure(-ly), (be) up(-hold, -rising).]
c. [in the] morning [Strong: 1242 bôqer, bo'-ker; from H1239; properly, dawn (as the break of day); generally, morning:—(+) day, early, morning, morrow.]
d. [and] saddled [Strong: 2280 châbash, khaw-bash'; a primitive root; to wrap firmly (especially a turban, compress, or saddle); figuratively, to stop, to rule:—bind (up), gird about, govern, healer, put, saddle, wrap about.]
e. [Strong: 853 'eth ayth apparent contracted from 226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly, self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely):--(as such unrepresented in English).]
f. [his] ass [Strong: 860 ʼâthôwn, aw-thone'; probably from the same as H386 (in the sense of patience); a female donkey (from its docility):—(she) ass.]
2. “...and went with the princes of Moab.”
a. [and] went [Strong: 3212 yâlak, yaw-lak'; a primitive root (compare H1980); to walk (literally or figuratively); causatively, to carry (in various senses):—× again, away, bear, bring, carry (away), come (away), depart, flow, follow(-ing), get (away, hence, him), (cause to, made) go (away, -ing, -ne, one's way, out), grow, lead (forth), let down, march, prosper, pursue, cause to run, spread, take away (-journey), vanish, (cause to) walk(-ing), wax, × be weak.]
b. with [Strong: 5973 `im eem from 6004; adverb or preposition, with (i.e. in conjunction with), in varied applications; specifically, equally with; often with prepositional prefix (and then usually unrepresented in English):--accompanying, against, and, as (X long as), before, beside, by (reason of), for all, from (among, between), in, like, more than, of, (un-)to, with(-al).]
c. [the] princes [Strong: 8269 sar, sar; from H8323; a head person (of any rank or class):—captain (that had rule), chief (captain), general, governor, keeper, lord,(-task-)master, prince(-ipal), ruler, steward.]
d. [of] Moab [Strong: 4124 Môwʼâb, mo-awb; from a prolonged form of the prepositional prefix m- and H1; from (her [the mother's]) father; Moab, an incestuous son of Lot; also his territory and descendants:—Moab.]
1). Most people who read the passage miss what happened in verses 20-22. Perhaps the translation they read confuses them or they just don’t see it. The Lord got mad at Balaam because Balaam didn’t wait for the men to call on him. The first thing in the morning he just saddled his ass and went. This is the only explanation for the response from God. If the verses in Numbers 22:20-22 are compared with Numbers 22:35, it is obvious that the only real difference between to two was the condition the LORD stated in verse 20: “If the men come to call thee…” Why would God be mad enough to kill him because he was doing something that God had said he could do? He was mad enough to kill him because he didn’t wait. It was disobedience.
2). NIV Study Bible: There appears to be a contradiction between the permission God grants Balaam here and the prohibition he had given earlier (v. 12), and then the anger the Lord displayed against Balaam on his journey (v. 22). The difficulty is best understood a lying in the contrary character of Balaam. God forbidden him to go curse Israel. He then allowed Balaam to go, but only if he would follow the Lord’s direction. But Balaam’s real inventions were known to the Lord, and so with severe displeasure he confronted the pagan prophet.
a). Adam Clarke Commentary: “Mr. Shuckford observes that the pronoun הוא hu is sometimes used to denote a person's doing a thing out of his own head, without regard to the directions of another. Thus in the case of Balaam, when God had allowed him to go with the messengers of Balak, if they came in the morning to call him; because he was more hasty than he ought to have been, and went to them instead of staying till they should come to him, it was said of him, not כי הלך ki halach, that he went, but כי הולך הוא ki holech hu, i. e., he went of his own head - without being called; and in this, Mr. Shuckford supposes, his iniquity chiefly lay - Connex., vol. iii., p. 115.”
b). Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown Commentary: “God's anger was kindled because he went--The displeasure arose partly from his neglecting the condition on which leave was granted him--namely, to wait till the princes of Moab "came to call him" [Num 22:20], and because, through desire for "the wages of unrighteousness" [Pe2 2:15], he entertained the secret purpose of acting in opposition to the solemn charge of God.”