Balaam and the angel (image)

Hand colored stencil print on momigami by Sadao Watanabe (1972).

Image taken with permission from the SadaoHanga Catalogue where you can find many more images and information about Sadao Watanabe.

For other images of Sadao Watanabe art works in TIPs, see here.

Translation commentary on Numbers 22:29

Good News Translation begins a new paragraph here since it marks each change of speaker with a separate paragraph. The decision on how to handle such dialogues in narrative texts has probably already been made. The agreed formatting procedure should also be observed here.

And Balaam said to the ass: The generic verb said may be rendered “answered” (Good News Translation, Contemporary English Version) since Balaam responds to the donkey’s question.

Because you have made sport of me may be translated “Because you have made a fool of me!” (New Revised Standard Version, Good News Translation; similarly New International Version), “You have made a mockery of me!” (New Jewish Publication Society’s Tanakh), or “You have made me look like a fool!” (New Living Translation).

I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you: Ironically, Balaam did not realize that the donkey was actually avoiding the angel’s threatening sword (verse 23; so Sherwood, page 177). There is probably a particular way in which such strong wishes are expressed in the target language. Contemporary English Version says “If I had a sword, I’d kill you here and now!” and New International Readers Version has “I wish I had a sword in my hand. If I did, I’d kill you right now.”

Quoted with permission from de Regt, Lénart J. and Wendland, Ernst R. A Handbook on Numbers. (UBS Helps for Translators). Miami: UBS, 2016. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .