22,13 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak: ‘Get you into your land; for JEHOVAH refuseth to give me leave to go with you.’ 22,14 And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said: ‘Balaam refuseth to come with us.’ 22,15 And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they. 22,16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him: ‘Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor: Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me; 22,17 for I will promote thee unto very great honour, and whatsoever thou sayest unto me I will do; come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.’ 22,18 And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak: ‘If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of JEHOVAH my God, to do any thing, small or great. 22,19 Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what JEHOVAH will speak unto me more.’ 22,20 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him: ‘If the men are come to call thee, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak unto thee, that shalt thou do.’
COMMENT: Up to this point, Balaam does not realize what his task is. He is merely bargaining for the best offer.