Balaam, ass, and angel
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Origen claimed the magi as descendants of Balaam, but Jerome captured the spirit of their role when he wrote: "To confound the Jews a star arose in the East, they [the Jews] were to learn of the birth of Christ from the gentiles, who knew it from the prophecy of Balaam, from whom they were descended" (Mateo, I, cap. 2.2.). Balaam on his ass confronted by the angel. Fresco in the Via Latina Catacomb, 4th century.