Balak, Siman 6 בלק, ו׳
1 א

וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים אֶל בִּלְעָם לֹא תֵּלֵךְ עִמָּהֶם. אָמַר לוֹ: אִם כֵּן אֲקַלְּלֵם בִּמְקוֹמִי. אָמַר לוֹ: לֹא תָּאֹר אֶת הָעָם. אָמַר, אִם כֵּן אֲבָרְכֵם. אָמַר לוֹ: אֵין צְרִיכִין לְבִרְכָתְךָ, כִּי בָּרוּךְ הוּא. אוֹמְרִים לָהּ לַצִּרְעָה, לֹא מִדֻּבְשָׁךְ וְלֹא מֵעֻקְצָךְ. וַיָּקָם בִּלְעָם בַּבֹּקֶר וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל שָׂרֵי בָּלָק לְכוּ אֶל אַרְצְכֶם. לֹא אָמַר לָהֶם לֹא נָתַן לִי הַמָּקוֹם רְשׁוּת לֵילֵךְ וְלֹא לְקַלֵּל, אֶלָּא, מֵאֵן ה' לְתִתִּי לַהֲלֹךְ עִמָּכֶם. אָמַר לִי, אֵין כְּבוֹדְךָ לֵילֵךְ עִם אֵלּוּ, אֶלָּא עִם גְּדוֹלִים מֵהֶם, שֶׁהוּא חָפֵץ בִּכְבוֹדִי. וַיָּקוּמוּ שָׂרֵי מוֹאָב וְגוֹ'. לְפִיכָךְ, וַיֹּסֵף עוֹד בָּלָק שְׁלֹחַ וְגוֹ', וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל בִּלְעָם וַיֹּאמְרוּ כֹּה אָמַר בָּלָק וְגוֹ' כִּי כַּבֵּד אֲכַבֶּדְךָ מְאֹד וְגוֹ', יוֹתֵר מִמַּה שֶּׁהָיִיתָ נוֹטֵל לְשֶׁעָבַר, אֲנִי נוֹתֵן לְךָ. וְכָל שֶׁאַתָּה חָפֵץ וּמַה שֶּׁאַתָּה גּוֹזֵר אֶעֱשֶׂה. וַיַּעַן בִּלְעָם וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל עַבְדֵי בָּלָק אִם יִתֵּן לִי בָּלָק מְלֹא בֵיתוֹ כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב וְגוֹ'. מִכָּאן אַתָּה לָמֵד, שֶׁהָיָה בּוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים, אֵלּוּ הֵן, עַיִן רָעָה, וְרוּחַ גְּבוֹהָה, וְנֶפֶשׁ רְחָבָה. עַיִן רָעָה, דִּכְתִיב: וַיִּשָּׂא בִּלְעָם אֶת עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל. רוּחַ גְּבוֹהָה, דִּכְתִיב: מֵאֵן ה' לְתִתִּי לַהֲלֹךְ עִמָּכֶם. נֶפֶשׁ רְחָבָה, דִּכְתִיב: אִם יִתֵּן לִי בָּלָק וְגוֹ'. אִלּוּ הָיָה מְבַקֵּשׁ לִשְׂכֹּר חֵילוֹת לְהִלָּחֵם כְּנֶגְדָּן, סָפֵק נוֹצְחִין, סָפֵק נוֹפְלִין. לֹא דַּיּוֹ שֶׁיִּתֵּן כָּךְ וְנוֹצֵחַ. הָא לָמַדְתָּ, שֶׁכֵּן בִּקֵּשׁ. לֹא אוּכַל לַעֲבֹר. נִתְנַבֵּא שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכֹל לְבַטֵּל בְּרָכוֹת שֶׁנִּתְבָּרְכוּ הָאָבוֹת מִפְּנֵי הַשְּׁכִינָה. וְעַתָּה שְׁבוּ נָא בָזֶה גַּם אַתֶּם הַלַּיְלָה. מַהוּ גַּם אַתֶּם. שֶׁסּוֹפְכֶם לֵילֵךְ בְּפָחֵי נֶפֶשׁ כָּרִאשׁוֹנִים. וְאֵדְעָה מַה יֹּסֵף ה' דַּבֵּר עִמִּי, שֶׁהָיָה מִתְנַבֵּא שֶׁעָתִיד לְהוֹסִיף לָהֶם בְּרָכוֹת עַל יָדוֹ.

(Numb. 22:12:) “Then God said unto Balaam, ‘You shall not go with them.’” He said to Him, “If so, I will curse them from where I am.”22Numb. R. 20:10. He said to him, (ibid., cont.) “You shall not curse the people.” He said to Him, “Let me bless them.” He said to him, “They do not need your blessing, (ibid., cont.) ‘for they are blessed.’” Similarly one says to a hornet, “None of your honey and none of your sting.” (Numb. 22:13:) “So Balaam arose in the morning and said to the ministers of Balak, ‘Go unto your own land….’” Balaam did not tell them, “The Holy One, blessed be He, did not give me permission either to go or to curse.” [He] simply [said] (ibid., cont.:), “’The Lord refused to let me go with you.’ He said to me, ‘It is not in accord with your honor to go with these people. Rather [you must go] with people greater then they,’ since He takes pleasure in my being honored.” (Numb. 22:14:) “So the ministers of Moab arose [and came unto Balak and said, ‘Balaam has refused to go with us.’]” Therefore (in vs. 15), “Once again Balak sent ministers, [more numerous and more honorable than the first ones].” (Numb. 22:16-17:) “Then they came unto Balaam and said to him, ‘Thus has Balak ben Zippor said, “[Please do not refrain from coming unto me.] For I will surely honor you greatly.”’” [Even] more than what you [wanted] formerly I will give you. Moreover, everything that you desire and whatever you ordain I will do. (Numb. 22:18:) “But Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, ‘[Even] if Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, [I could not transgress the command of the Lord my God to do less or more].’” From here you learn that he had three things. And they are an evil eye, a haughty spirit and a greedy soul:23See Avot 5:19. An evil eye, as it is written (in Numb. 24:2), “Then Balaam raised his eyes and saw Israel.” A haughty spirit, as it is written (according to Numb. 22:13), “for the Lord refused to let me go with you.” A greedy soul, as it is written (according to Numb. 22:18), “[Even] if Balak should give me [his house full of silver and gold].” [He said to Balak,] “If you sought to hire soldiers to fight against them, it is a question whether they would vanquish them or fail, [yet you would pay it]; is it not [then proper] that you would give it to vanquish [them with certainty]?” See you have learned that he sought this. (Ibid., cont.:) “I could not transgress [the command of the Lord my God].” [He was] prophesying that he could not annul the blessings with which the ancestors had been blessed by the mouth of the Divine Presence. (Numb. 22:19:) “Now you also please stay here tonight.” What is the meaning of “you also.” That in the end you will go in disappointment like the former [messengers]. (Ibid., cont.:) “So that I may know what else (rt.: ysp) the Lord may say to me.” Thus he prophesied that the Holy One, blessed be He, was going to multiply (rt.: ysp) blessings for them through him.