By God preventing Bilaam from cursing the Jews, was that not an impingement of Bilaams free will?

  • Bil'am chooses to "say whatever God says".
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 16:33
  • 1
    -1, no context indicating where God did so.
    – msh210
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 16:37
  • guys, if you don't know the answer, just say so
    – user1668
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 17:02
  • @BoelShamusToova Suppose it was. What's the problem?
    – Dov F
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 17:54
  • Possible dup? judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/12200/… (There are additional considerations there beyond just the free-will question.) Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 14:50

1 Answer 1


Bilaam had free will - but he also had a heightened awareness of Gcd's presence.

As a prophet he was acutely aware of Gcd's ability to punish; and he even got a "refresher course" on his journey, in the episode with his talking donkey.

Compare it to this: You find a perfect spot to park - but it's there's a no-parking sign and a policeman standing nearby. Would you consider that an impingement of your free will?

Of course not! You are simply in a situation with a heightened awareness of the law's ability to punish you.

Both you and Bilaam have the physical ability to do whatever they please - park or curse - so you have free will. But you both realize the consequences of making the wrong choice.

See this Q&A for a similar idea with Paro's free will.


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