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?
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.