Owned by pagan Prophet Balaam
Appears in Numbers 22 of The Old Testament (22: 21-33)
Accompanied Balaam on his journey to join the Moabites in cursing the Israelites
Saw an angel of God with a drawn sword, standing in front of them on the road (sent by God to prevent Balaam from assisting King Balak and the Moabites)
Opened his mouth to speak to berate Balaam for beating her after swerving to avoid the angel (who also proceeded to berate Balaam)
Why Balaam's Donkey might be annoying
She probably inspired hokey holiday myths like the Dominick the Donkey and Nestor the Long-Eared Donkey.
The second time she swerved to try and avoid The Angel blocking the path, she crushed Balaam's foot against a wall.
She was sarcastic when she opened her mouth to chastise Balaam ('Have I been in the HABIT of doing this to you?!')
Interestingly, Balaam doesn't come off as all that 'shocked' that his donkey is talking in the first place, giving way to questions as to whether this was a common occurrence back in the Biblical era.
Whoever wrote the Book of Numbers clearly portrayed 'the ass' to be a female, but subsequent adaptations usually make 'her' a male.
Presumably the reason being is that its just flat-out 'funnier' to have a talking donkey speak with a man's voice instead of a woman's (koff Eddie Murphy in Shrek *koff*).
The story might just be a thinly-veiled metaphor meant to show how much a selfish prick Balaam is that he requires a sermon from his own donkey (others have simplified it to say that the message conveyed is that 'any dumb-ass can preach the word of God').
Why Balaam's Donkey might not be annoying
She prevented her master from committing an act tantamount to treason (or at least delayed it).
She is proof that the Bible condemns animal abuse.
She was depicted in a famous painting by Rembrandt.
Many cartoon illustrations depicting her run-in with the Angel are adorably drawn.
She had the innate capability of seeing a divine being where her owner and his servants could not.
When she asked why Balaam was hitting her, he basically responded that if he had a sword he probably would have used it on her for being stubborn (anger issues...)
After revealing himself, the Angel outright admitted that he would probably have killed Balaam if not for his donkey's actions (and he also says he would have spared the donkey).
Her story is one of only two major instances in The Bible in which animals are gifted with the ability to speak to humans (the only other time this happens is The Serpent in Genesis, whom many believe to be Satan).
Jewish tradition teaches that she died right after the incident, so that people couldn't say 'This is the animal that spoke' and make her the object of worship.
Her stubbornness foreshadowed Balaam's aggravating King Balak, by refusing to curse the Israelites, and instead praising them, 'on three occasions' (par his bargain with The Angel).
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