Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume I/IRENAEUS/Fragments from the Lost Writings of Irenaeus/XXII.
“Thou shall not go with them, neither shalt thou curse the people.” He does not hint at anything with regard to the people, for they all lay before his view, but [he refers] to the mystery of Christ pointed out beforehand. For as He was to be born of the fathers according to the flesh, the Spirit gives instructions to the man (Balaam) beforehand, lest, going forth in ignorance, he might pronounce a curse upon the people. Not, indeed, that [his curse] could take any effect contrary to the will of God; but [this was done] as an exhibition of the providence of God which He exercised towards them on account of their forefathers.
- Num. xxii. 12.
- The conjectural emendation of Harvey has been adopted here, but the text is very corrupt and uncertain.