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Bible Commentaries

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Numbers 22

Verses 1-41

We now come to the story of BaIaarn. It is evident that he was a remarkable personality. He appears in the story as a man of integrity, who attempted a literal obedience to the will of God. We are arrested by the fact that he was fist forbidden, and afterwards consented, to go in response to the invitation of Balak. The only explanation that is satisfactory is that while desiring to maintain a literal and external obedience, his heart was lusting after the riches promised him by Balak. To this the word of Peter bears witness, "Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the hire of wrong-doing" ( 2Pe 2:15 ).

As he went on his journey, a startling and supernatural intervention occurred.

Had his heart been set upon doing right for its own sake, he would surely have turned back at that point.

His hesitation was revealed in the words, "If it displease Thee, I will get me back again." Therefore permission to proceed was again granted to him, but a limit was set on his speech.

In this story we have again a remarkable illustration of the working of an abiding principle. Man is compelled to work out what is deepest within him, while all the way God works toward changing that internal condition. Circumstances are overruled for the development in outward manifestation of the inward truth.

Balaarn loved the hire of wrong-doing and so long as that love remained within him, he was driven forward, even though the sin of his action was revealed by the divine interventions.

He returned to Balak and in doing so manifested an external obedience to the will of God in declaring to him that he could speak only the word that God put into his mouth. Underneath there still lurked the love of hire. He attempted to compromise between obedience and this love.

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Numbers 22". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gcm/numbers-22.html. 1857-84.