And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.…
The first motive is fear, yet in Deuteronomy
2. God forbade them to meddle with Moab, and thereupon they, were driven to compass about to their great trouble. But this is the just judgment of God upon them that have not their peace made with Him, to be vexed in their minds with unnecessary fears (Leviticus 26:36; Deuteronomy 28:65, &c.). You see how small a noise will startle thieves and other malefactors. Whereupon it is said, Oh, wickedness, ever fearful. These are they that tremble at every crack of thunder. Their conscience is a continual scourge to them. The fear of the Lord is strength to the upright man, but fear shall be for the workers of iniquity, saith Solomon.
2. The second motive is envy. They were their kindred, and they should have rejoiced, turned to them, and by common prayer sought the appeasing of God. But bitter envy seeing God's favour to them, and mighty power among them, desireth rather their overthrow and confusion. They are motes in their eyes, rather than comforts to their hearts.
3. A third motive was suspicion. Balak, king of the Moabites, suspecteth this and that, according to his own fancy, and these imaginations and suspicions are as grand truths to him, making him cast this way and that to meet, with imagined danger, and among other ways to resolve of sending for the soothsayer, or sorcerer, Balaam. Oh, suspicion, what a mischief is it amongst men! Every man thinks his suspicion to be knowledge or little less. How many can you name that have given place to suspicion, and have not given place to error? Yet it hurteth no man more than him that hath it, whose inwards it tormenteth, whose sleep it driveth away, whose body it alters, and consumeth the heart to very powder in the end.
4. A fourth motive to this sending for Balaam was Satan's subtlety working in Balak to take that course: for it may be observed often, that when Satan seeth open fury will not serve, then he directeth to wiles and guiles, piecing out the lion's skin that is too short with the fox's tail.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.