3:9ג׳:ט׳
1 א

איכה. יוֹדֵעַ הָיָה הֵיכָן הוּא אֶלָּא לִכָּנֵס עִמּוֹ בִּדְבָרִים, שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא נִבְהָל לְהָשִׁיב אִם יַעֲנִישֵׁהוּ פִּתְאוֹם (בראשית רבה), וְכֵן בְּקַיִן אָמַר לוֹ אֵי הֶבֶל אָחִיךָ (בראשית ד), וְכֵן בְּבִלְעָם מִי הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה עִמָּךְ (במדבר כ"ב), לִכָּנֵס עִמָּהֶם בִּדְבָרִים, וְכֵן בְּחִזְקִיָּה בִּשְׁלוּחֵי מְרֹאדַךְ בַּלְאֲדָן:

איכה WHERE ART THOU — He knew where he was, but He asked this in order to open up a conversation with him that he should not become confused in his reply, if He were to pronounce punishment against him all of a sudden. Similarly in the case of Cain, He said to him, (4:9) “where is Abel thy brother?” Similarly with Balaam, (Numbers 22:9) “what men are these with thee?” — to open up a conversation with them; so, also, in the case of Hezekiah with reference to the messengers of Merodach-baladan (Isaiah 39:3).