|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:11-30 Balak was angry with Balaam. Thus a confession of God's overruling power is extorted from a wicked prophet, to the confusion of a wicked prince. A second time the curse is turned into a blessing; and this blessing is both larger and stronger than the former. Men change their minds, and break their words; but God never changes his mind, and therefore never recalls his promise. And when in Scripture he is said to repent, it does not mean any change of his mind; but only a change of his way. There was sin in Jacob, and God saw it; but there was not such as might provoke him to give them up to ruin. If the Lord sees that we trust in his mercy, and accept of his salvation; that we indulge no secret lust, and continue not in rebellion, but endeavour to serve and glorify him; we may be sure that he looks upon us as accepted in Christ, that our sins are all pardoned. Oh the wonders of providence and grace, the wonders of redeeming love, of pardoning mercy, of the new-creating Spirit! Balak had no hope of ruining Israel, and Balaam showed that he had more reason to fear being ruined by them. Since Balaam cannot say what he would have him, Balak wished him to say nothing. But though there are many devices in man's heart, God's counsels shall stand. Yet they resolve to make another attempt, though they had no promise on which to build their hopes. Let us, who have a promise that the vision at the end shall speak and not lie, continue earnest in prayer, Lu 18:1.
Verse 20. - I have received commandment to bless. The word "commandment "is not wanted here. Balaam had received, not instructions, but an inward revelation of the Divine will which he could not contravene.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, I have received commandment to bless,.... The people of Israel, to pronounce a blessing upon them, to declare them a happy people:
and he hath blessed, and I cannot reverse it; God has blessed them, has determined to bless them, has promised to bless them, has blessed them in the victories he has given them, and will complete the blessing of them, by bringing them into the land he has given them: so the blessings which God has designed for his spiritual Israel, and bestows upon them, are irreversible; they are blessings indeed, spiritual ones, and are for ever; he blesses them with himself, as their covenant; God, their portion here and hereafter, with Christ his Son, and all things with him, with righteousness, peace, and pardon, with his Spirit and the grace thereof, with sonship, heirship, and eternal life.
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