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Aug 3, 2011

52 A donkey talked! Would you be surprised?

In the Old Testament's Book of Numbers, an ordinary donkey started to talk. But the extraordinary occurrence didn't even phase the man who heard it! What happened first of all, Balaam the prophet couldn't see an angel standing in the road, but his donkey could see it

Numbers 22:22 As Balaam [the prophet] was riding along on his donkey, accompanied by his two servants, the angel of the LORD stood in the road to bar his way. ... 27 When the donkey saw the angel, it lay down. Balaam lost his temper and began to beat the donkey with his stick.

The prophet wasn't one bit surprised when the donkey talked! The text doesn't say whether his two servants were surprised, either

28 Then the LORD gave the donkey the power of speech, and it said to Balaam, "What have I done to you? Why have you beaten me these three times?" 29 Balaam answered, “Because you have made a fool of me! If I had a sword, I would kill you.”

Soon Balaam could see the angel, too. And he marveled at its appearance

31 Then the LORD let Balaam see the angel standing there with his sword; and Balaam threw himself face downward on the ground.

But he wasn't amazed to hear the donkey talk!

Recap: Naturally, you don't hear a donkey talk every day. But one day, when one talked, Balaam took it in stride. He was unaware that a divine power made the animal talk. The way I see it, a real person wouldn't act that way. But a fictional character would.

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