Come now therefore, I pray you, curse for me this people; for they are too mighty for me: perhaps I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.
All Commentaries on Numbers 22:6 Go To Numbers 22
George Leo Haydock
Curse. The ancients placed great confidence in those whom they believed to be under the guidance of a superior spirit, whether good or bad. They thought their blessing or cursing would surely have its effect. By means of charms, they also strove to evoke or draw off the tutelary god of a place, before they could expect to take possession of it. Hence, as it was requisite to mention the true name of the place, fictitious names were given to most cities of importance, while the real appellation was kept a profound secret; and Valerius Soranus was severely punished for discovering the name of Rome, Valentia. See Pliny, prob. vi. (Calmet)
Rome, in Greek, has the same import as Valentia in Latin, and signifies strength. (Haydock)
Macrobius has preserved the form of a solemn curse, pronounced by the Roman general against the Carthaginians, Saturn iii. 9.: "Dis Pater, or Jupiter, or if you prefer any other title, I beg that you will send fright and terror, and put this city of Carthage, and this army which I intend to specify, to flight If you will perform these things, according to my intention, I promise to offer in sacrifice to you, O earth, mother of all things, and to you, great god Jupiter, three black sheep. "Thus, probably, Balac wished the Hebrews to be devoted or cursed. (Calmet)