22:18 Balaam replied 1 to the servants of Balak, “Even if Balak would give me his palace full of silver and gold, I could not transgress the commandment 2 of the Lord my God 3 to do less or more.
1 tn Heb “answered and said.”
2 tn Heb “mouth.”
3 sn In the light of subsequent events one should not take too seriously that Balaam referred to Yahweh as his God. He is referring properly to the deity for which he is acting as the agent.
4 tn The verb is אוּכַל (’ukhal) in a question – “am I able?” But emphasizing this is the infinitive absolute before it. So Balaam is saying something like, “Can I really say anything?”
5 tn The Piel infinitive construct (without the preposition) serves as the object of the verb “to be able.” The whole question is rhetorical – he is saying that he will not be able to say anything God does not allow him to say.
6 tn The imperfect tense is here taken as an obligatory imperfect.