The Ass

From The Scripture Alphabet Of Animals
Harriet Newell Cook (1814-1843)
Published In 1842 – Public Domain

The ass is very gentle and patient, and does not seem angry even when he has a very heavy load to carry. I should be very sorry to have him treated unkindly. Though he seems so dull, he loves his master, and will sometimes find him out and run to him even when he is in a crowd of men. God says, in the Bible, “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.” Is it not a sad thing that the dull ass should be more grateful than we are?

Ass In The Bible

Who has sent out the wild donkey, giving him his freedom?

Would it not seem to you very wonderful to hear a dog or a horse speak, so that you could understand what he said? It would be a strange thing indeed—a miracle; but you will find in Numbers 22; that an ass once spoke to his master. The master’s name was Balaam. He was a wicked man, and he was riding on an ass to a place where he knew God did not wish him to go. As they were journeying an angel with a drawn sword in his hand stood in the way, but Balaam did not see him. The ass saw him, and was so afraid that she turned aside out of the road, and went into a field; then Balaam was angry and tried to drive her back into the way. They had now come to a path of the vineyards, having a wall on each side, and there the ass saw the bright angel again. In trying to avoid the angel, the ass crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; and he was more angry and struck her again. Then the angel went forward a little distance, and stood where the path was so narrow that it was impossible to pass him. The ass was now so much frightened that she would go no farther, and fell down in the road; and Balaam beat her in a great passion. Then the ass spoke to Balaam and said, “What have I done to thee that thou hast smitten me these three times?” And when Balaam exclaimed, “I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now would I kill thee,” she only replied, “Am I not thine ass upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? Was I ever wont to do so unto thee?” Can we not learn, even from the ass, a lesson of meekness and patience?

The wild ass is often mentioned in the Bible, as in Psalm 104:11. “They (the springs) give drink to every beast of the field; the wild asses quench their thirst.” They live in desert places, and go about in great companies with one for their leader. You will find these words about them in the 39th chapter of Job: “Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass? Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings. He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver. The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing.” Travellers who have seen great herds of wild asses say that the beautiful animal agrees exactly with this fine description, written so many years ago.

 

Then 3,000 men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock Etam and said to Samson, Have you not known that the Philistines are rulers over us? What is this that you have done to us? He said to them, As they did to me, so have I done to them. And they said to him, We have come down to bind you, that we may deliver you into the hands of the Philistines. And Samson said to them, Swear to me that you will not fall upon me yourselves. And they said to him, No, we will bind you fast and give you into their hand; but surely we will not kill you. So they bound him with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock.

And when he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon [Samson], and the ropes on his arms became as flax that had caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands. And he found a still moist jawbone of a donkey and reached out and took it and slew 1,000 men with it. And Samson said, With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey I have slain 1,000 men! And when he stopped speaking, he cast the jawbone from his hand; and that place was called Ramath-lehi [the hill of the jawbone].

(Judges 15:11-17 <AMP>)

 

Selected Ass/Donkey References In The Bible

Genesis 16:7-14 – Ishmael compared to a wild donkey

Genesis 22:1-18 – Abraham’s journey to offer Isaac

Genesis 42:21-28 – Joseph’s brothers are sent home to retrieve Benjamin

Genesis 44:1-17 – Joseph’s cup found in Benjamin’s sack

Genesis 49:14-15 – Jacob’s prophesy for Issachar

Exodus 13:11-16, 34:19-20 – Firstborn beast redeemed

Exodus 23:1-12 – Assistance and care for stray animals

Numbers 22:22-35, 2 Peter 2:12-16 – Balaam’s talking donkey saves him

1 Samuel 9:1-27 – Saul’s search for his father’s missing donkeys

1 Samuel 25:2-44 – David and Abigail

Zechariah 9:9, Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19 – Jesus rides a donkey on Palm Sunday

 

Some Other Suggestions For The Ass/Donkey:
Donkeys in The Bible – See the category on this site

Hanna’s Parade – Children’s Story About The Donkey Who Carried Jesus On Palm Sunday

For additional Palm Sunday resources

 

May God Richly Bless You!
Thanks for visiting!

 

Image: africa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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