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Bible says that the Donkey spoken to him, and Yes, it could have been a surprise. But what that Donkey spoke to him might have been a surprise. But in those days Prophet have seen God integrated with them, answered them, instructed them too directly. Here Balaam knows that he was going against the will of God, He might have even expected that God will interfere. He even saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way. So I do not think a speaking donkey would have been a big surprise to Balaam at that moment, as he know he might have expected that God will stop him in someway.
Balaam was a pagan prophet who practiced divination and other magic arts, led Israel into apostasy, and was identified as a false prophet by Peter and Jude (2 Peter 2:15-16; Jude 1:11). Since Balaam had certain spiritual powers (Num. 22:6) it is doubtful his donkey was an ordinary animal; rather, the donkey was possessed by some kind of demonic entity which made it possible for Balaam to have much better service than from an ordinary donkey. The possessed donkey was given the power to speak (Num. 22:28), thereby proving that the Lord knew all about it. Balaam didn't register surprise because his magical arts might have done similarly with other animals to some degree.
The main problem with this episode of Balaam and the donkey is why did the Lord open up the donkey's mouth? It wasn't to shock or impress Balaam, because with his dark arts, he wouldn't be surprised. In the account Balaam takes the speaking donkey in stride, talks back to him, and continues to beat him. What did surprise Balaam was seeing the angel of the Lord and so he fell flat on his face. Why was this miracle included in the scripture? It doesn't contribute to the story of Balaam and doesn't seem to have a point.There must be a bit of missing information in the narrative. Unless the angel said more than is recorded, the alternative is that the donkey wasn't an ordinary animal. Actually, it is unlikely that Balaam would ride an ordinary animal, since he wasn't an ordinary man. This is the only instance in the Bible where an animal has been given speech by the Lord. The full details are not disclosed.
The question, “Did Balaam's donkey really talk to him?” might better be posed as, “Why wasn’t Balaam shocked when his donkey spoke to him “with a man’s voice” (2 Peter 2:16, niv)?” Obviously, it wasn’t commonplace even for a pro soothsayer. The Devil spoke through a snake when he deceived Eve (Gn 3:1ff; 2 Co 11:3), and it could have happened that in the past the Devil’s demons had talked to Balaam through animals. Someone has to have reached “rock bottom” if God has to use animals to communicate with him.
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