Parashat Balak 5774 (on misleading others and the paths of peace)

Written for the JTS Torah Commentary

That night God came to Balaam and said, “Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.” Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. And God was very angry when he went. (Num. 22:20–22)

Poor Balaam. He does what God tells him to do, and God gets angry with him. This strange response is explained by most traditional Jewish sources by resorting to a caricature of Balaam as a wicked person who hates the Israelites and loves the wealth and glory that Balak promised him in exchange for cursing them.

Read more at JTS Torah Online →


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