Numbers 22:30??

  1. Douay-Rheims Bible

The *** said: Am not I thy beast, on which thou hast been always accustomed to ride until this present day? tell me if I ever did the like thing to thee. But he said: Never.

Does the Donkey literally talk? I’m confused

  1. Does the Bible give a mathematically incorrect value of Pi?

What does the value of PI have anything to with the Bible.

look at this note from verse 28 from the Douay-Rheims

28 “Opened the mouth”… The angel moved the tongue of the ***, to utter these speeches, to rebuke, by the mouth of a brute beast, the brutal fury and folly of Balaam.

You might have overlooked this. Some notes are hard to miss.

1 Kings 7:23

in the Douay-Rheims?? or modern bibles??

3 Kings 27 from the Haydock Bible Commentary

Ver. 23. Brim, in diameter. The circumference was about 30 cubits; for it is not exactly three [but pi (3.14159…)] times as much as the diameter. (Calmet) — The latter is [approximately] as 7 to 22, with respect to the circumference. But the Scripture takes no notice of trifles. (Menochius)

so no it doesn’t give an incorrect value for PI

Thank you! I must buy that book, the Haydock Bible Commentary!

What does it say about Numbers 22:30?

It doesn’t have any commentary on 22:30, but 22:28 which sometimes includes verses 28-31. I also contains notes from the Challoner version in which I provided you. Here what the prelude to 22:30 reads

Ver. 28. Opened the mouth, &c. The angel moved the tongue of the ***, to utter these speeches, to rebuke, by the mouth of a brute beast, the brutal fury and folly of Balaam. (Challoner) — St. Thomas Aquinas (ii. 2. q. 105) says, an angel spoke by the mouth of the ***, in like manner as the devil did by that of the serpent, Genesis iii. Infidels deride this miracle, and some have thought that it was only in the imagination of Balaam, that this dialogue was formed. (Maimonides) — St. Gregory of Nyssa, seems to think that the *** only brayed as usual, and that the soothsayer, being accustomed to augur from the voice of animals, understood its meaning. But St. Peter says, the dumb beast…speaking with man’s voice, forbade the folly of the prophet, 2 Peter ii. 16. God did not endue it with understanding on this occasion, but only formed, by its mouth, such sounds as might serve to repress the cruel folly of Balaam. But he was more stupid than the ***. “Being accustomed, it seems, to such prodigies,” (monstris) and intent upon lucre, he paid no further regard to such a wonderful transaction, but held conversation with his ***, without any emotion. (St. Augustine, q. 48, 50.) (Calmet) — The pagan historians relate many instances of beasts and trees speaking; (Grotius) so that they object to this history, and to that of the serpent, with a very bad grace, as St. Cyril remarks, in his third book against Julian. (Haydock) — They relate that the *** of Bacchus spoke to him, and the horse and elephant of Achilles and Porus addressed their respective masters, while the oaks of Dodona were famous for their oracles. (Calmet) — The river Causus said, “Hail, Pythagoras.” (Porphyrius, cited by St. Cyril, &c.) (Haydock)

The Haydock Bible Commentary is very pricey at 125 dollars. I bought one for my sister’s wedding, which is May 2. It is available online at

I once had a Bible professor in College and he repeatedly told us, “The Scripture is divinely inspired, footnotes aren’t.”

For my two cents, the donkey spoke. Now which would be the greater miracle, if a donkey spoke because an angel moved its tongue, or if it spoke because God willed that it speak? Why would either case be more believable than the other?

Animals do think, you know. If you speak sharply to your dog, it will look hurt and wonder why you are yelling at it. Even such a primative thought as that could be expressed if speech were granted. It isn’t as though the donkey said anything overly profound to Balaam.

Are you insinuating that Commentary shouldn’t be used explaining the passage that are scriptural??? Honestly people here will use commentary to get their point across weather it be the Haydock Bible Commentary, Navarre or works of St. Thomas Aquinas. What do you have against commentary?

  1. Yes - God can use the jawbone of an a[r]ss to slay thousands (Judges 15:16) just as He he can use the jawbone of ignorant fishermen to speak prophecy just as he can ride a donkey into glory just as easily as He can make an arss speak its complaint against its master.

  2. No - the bible does not give a mathematically incorrect value for Pi (π).
    If one uses 1 Kings 7:23 we see the wisdom of Solomon quite clearly within the precision of the lexical elements of the Hebrew language used as numbers.

We also have the proof validated in our created nature that is made in God’s own image. Da Vinci discovered this in his Vitruvian Man in what is often called “The Proportions of Man”. :wink:


Of course not! Commentaries and footnotes are wonderfully helpful in understanding Scripture. Just as the Encylopedia Britannica is wonderfully informative on almost any topic you choose to look up. But, they are not inspired, they are not divine revelation. As long as that is kept in mind, they are great blessings.

I look to the message of the passage - especially rather the debate with someone on this… what is being communicated ? - a story about disobedience to God and following your own directives …

Did the animal actually speak? Well God could certainly make the animal speak - all things are possible for God. :thumbsup:

Could God inspire humor in a story to get his point across? Yes … God does have a sense of humor - just look at - well - people! :wink:

If a 1000 years from now some being comes across a book about Winnie the Pooh that teaches the benefits of listening to ones parents and being kind, would the truth of the message be lost because bers don’t speak and tigers don’t bounce on their tails?

Some things are very important in illustrating the power and love of our God … some things are not … genre in the writings of scripture is important - and every people has had variety in the stories of their existence …

I like this passage - never hear it on a Sunday - would it make people sit up an take notice :wink:

I used it once in RCIA discussion on scripture, a year later a lady from that years formation called me … “where is the talking donkey in the Bible?.. My husband said there wasn’t any talking animals in the bible and I bet him $50 that there was” …

Well … for a small finders fee :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

No … I just told her where to find the passage and told her to take him to dinner with the $50 :thumbsup:

As for these:

1a. Talking animals are not unusual. They are found outside the OT, so why must they never be found inside ? If Homer can make the horse of Achilles talk - see Iliad 19 - why can the author of Numbers not have a talking jenny ?

b. The story gains by having a talking animal - it becomes much funnier than if it did not, & this helps to underline the folly of the prophet: he turns out to be less sensitive to the things of God than a mere beast of burden. A talking jenny is only one element in the story, & the story is not primarily about the talking jenny.

c.Is this a real event ? What do you think ? :slight_smile:

  1. Some people claim it doesn’t. It looks as though it does. Does it matter ?
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