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Numbers 23:8

Context

23:8 How 1  can I curse 2  one whom God has not cursed,

or how can I denounce one whom the Lord has not denounced?

Numbers 23:23

Context

23:23 For there is no spell against 3  Jacob,

nor is there any divination against Israel.

At this time 4  it must be said 5  of Jacob

and of Israel, ‘Look at 6  what God has done!’

1 tn The figure is erotesis, a rhetorical question. He is actually saying he cannot curse them because God has not cursed them.

2 tn The imperfect tense should here be classified as a potential imperfect.

3 tn Or “in Jacob.” But given the context the meaning “against” is preferable. The words describe two techniques of consulting God; the first has to do with observing omens in general (“enchantments”), and the second with casting lots or arrows of the like (“divinations” [Ezek 21:26]). See N. H. Snaith, Leviticus and Numbers (NCB), 295-96.

4 tn The form is the preposition “like, as” and the word for “time” – according to the time, about this time, now.

5 tn The Niphal imperfect here carries the nuance of obligation – one has to say in amazement that God has done something marvelous or “it must be said.”

6 tn The words “look at” are not in the Hebrew text but have been added in the translation for clarity.



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