Numbers: The term “jackass” tends to be derogatory. In this scene the “ass” (KJV) outshines the prophet. The ass sees the angel of the LORD where the seer (i.e., the prophet) does not. (Don’t you just love irony?) Balaam had been approached by emissaries from Balak of Moab (Descended from Lot nephew of Abraham) to return with the emissaries back to Balak to curse the Jews. Balak had asked several times but Balaam kept refusing. The LORD did not want him to go. Balaam’s ass kept stalling on the way and Balaam would beat her to get her going. Finally the ass lay down and spoke to her master: pay attention.
Gospel: Matthew 21:23-32
New Testament: Romans 7:1-12
Old Testament: Numbers 22:21-38