Balaam has vibes that would make an animal rights fan foam at the mouth. Balaam is a sorcerer, and as such, is very much in demand. In fact, when the king of Moab, 400 miles to the north hears about Balaam’s wizardy ways, he summons him for a special task: to put a curse on neighbouring Israel in exchange for cash. Balaam saddles up his trusty donkey and is about to set off on his mission but God puts an angel in his way. Freaked out by this, the donkey refuses to budge and is given a sound beating for his stubbornness. After this has happened three times, the ass has had enough and actually verbalizes his displeasure. Only now does Balaam see the angel and consult the Almighty for tips on what to do next. God’s advice is clear – he loves Israel and has no intention of cursing it. Balak tries several times to persuade Balaam to ruin Israel’s vibe but each time Balaam refuses. He even blesses the place. Ultimately the vibe turns sour for Balaam, the lure of lucre is too great and he tells the Moabites that, to beat Israel, all they have to do is send in the dancing girls. When faced with an abundance of pretty and up-for-it ladies, Israel’s men weaken, God sends a plague to punish them and Balaam’s name is added to the lengthy list of Bible baddies.
General vibe of Balaam and his donkey: God moves in mysterious ways
Factvibe: A fragment of Balaam’s story painted on a wall in Deir Alla, Jordan, is the oldest surviving example of literature written in Aramaic.