When I started reading the story of Balaam, I got kind of excited because I've read and heard about the talking donkey a lot. But even though I'm familiar with the Bible and it's stories, I sometimes forget the finer details like the following verses about Balaam:
"And God... said to [Balaam], 'If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you.' So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. But God's anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as his adversary." (Numbers 22: 20-22)
If the Lord had just given him permission, why was he angry with Balaam when he left? Not only was he angry, but he was an "adversary" to him. Here are some theories...
Okay. I'm sure everyone who read through Exodus remembers this scene:
"At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin and touched Moses' feet with it and said, 'Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!' So he let him alone. It was then that she said, 'A bridegroom of blood,' because of the circumcision."
When I came across this part of Exodus, my response was like Dana's last year after she read about goat breeding in Genesis: "WHAAAAT?" Strangely enough, I don't remember reading this passage last year. What on earth does it mean, and is it of any significance to the story of Moses?
Mostly everyone is familiar with the "serpent" who is introduced to the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. I wonder if he was actually a serpent, in the way we think a serpent to look, before he was cursed by the LORD God. My first reason for pondering this is because the serpent talks. He smooth talks Eve into partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Serpents don't talk. After he is cursed by the LORD God, there is no more dialogue from the serpent. He doesn't say, "Oh shoot! I've been cursed." The only other time in the Bible when an animal talks is in Numbers 22:28, and that was only through the Lord's power. However, anything can happen in a piece of literature. Good grief, if Harry Potter can fly and make magical things happen with a flick of this wand, I think a serpent can talk. Next, and more legitimate, is my second reason. When the LORD God curses the serpent, he says, "Because you have done this... on your belly you shall go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life." Why would he curse a creature already on his belly to be on his belly for the rest of his life? That would hardly be a curse at all. This observation of Genesis leads me to believe that the serpent wasn't a serpent before he was cursed. But, let's see what some sources have to say.