The journalism sense is an allusion to the miracle of Balaam's ass speaking; see talk out one's ass.
The ass had been introduced into the ritual of the church in the 9th century, representing either Balaam's ass, that which stood with the ox beside the manger at Bethlehem, that which carried the Holy Family into Egypt, or that on which Christ rode in triumph into Jerusalem.
The service opened with a procession of Old Testament characters, prophets, patriarchs and kings, together with heathen prophets, including Virgil, the chief figure being Balaam on his ass.
A similar spirit appears among the prophecies ascribed to Balaam: "Amalek, first (or chief) of nations, his latter end [will be] destruction" (Num.
" If the law simply consists of ordinary expressions and narratives, such as the words of Esau, Hagar, Laban, the ass of Balaam or Balaam himself, why should it be called the law of truth, the perfect law, the true witness of God ?
There is an obscure allusion to their destruction in an appendage to the oracles of Balaam (Num.