A-Z: Common sayings from the Bible: Balaam's ass


A byword for someone or something that is stubborn in its refusal to pursue a course of action (sometimes for a valid but undisclosed reason).


Balaam is a prophet or 'seer'. The irony here is that the ass sees the angel who opposes Balaam, and declares God's message to him, thus usurping the seer's role and making an ass of Balaam.

Bible References

Numbers 22:27-28
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