Numbers 22:21-38 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Balaam, the Donkey, and the Angel
21 So Balaam rose in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. 22 But God’s anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the ass, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand; and the ass turned aside out of the road, and went into the field; and Balaam struck the ass, to turn her into the road. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she pushed against the wall, and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall; so he struck her again. 26 Then the angel of the Lord went ahead, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 When the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the ass with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 And Balaam said to the ass, “Because you have made sport of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” 30 And the ass said to Balaam, “Am I not your ass, upon which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Was I ever accustomed to do so to you?” And he said, “No.”
31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face. 32 And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your ass these three times? Behold, I have come forth to withstand you, because your way is perverse before me; 33 and the ass saw me, and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have slain you and let her live.” 34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that thou didst stand in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in thy sight, I will go back again.” 35 And the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men; but only the word which I bid you, that shall you speak.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.
36 When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, on the boundary formed by the Arnon, at the extremity of the boundary. 37 And Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?” 38 Balaam said to Balak, “Lo, I have come to you! Have I now any power at all to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak.”