Deuteronomy 23:5
Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Because the Lord thy God loved thee.—The contrast between what He says to Israel in this book and what He said by Balaam is very striking. (See on Deuteronomy 31:16.)

23:1-8 We ought to value the privileges of God's people, both for ourselves and for our children, above all other advantages. No personal blemishes, no crimes of our forefathers, no difference of nation, shuts us out under the Christian dispensation. But an unsound heart will deprive us of blessings; and a bad example, or an unsuitable marriage, may shut our children from them.Compare the marginal reference. The Moabites and the Ammonites are to be regarded as clans of the same stock rather than as two independent nations, and as acting together. Compare 2 Chronicles 20:1. 3. even to the their tenth generation shall they not enter—Many eminent writers think that this law of exclusion was applicable only to males; at all events that a definite is used for an indefinite number (Ne 13:1; Ru 4:10; 2Ki 10:2). Many of the Israelites being established on the east side of Jordan in the immediate neighborhood of those people, God raised this partition wall between them to prevent the consequences of evil communications. More favor was to be shown to Edomites and Egyptians—to the former from their near relationship to Israel; and to the latter, from their early hospitalities to the family of Jacob, as well as the many acts of kindness rendered them by private Egyptians at the Exodus (Ex 12:36). The grandchildren of Edomite or Egyptian proselytes were declared admissible to the full rights of citizenship as native Israelites; and by this remarkable provision, God taught His people a practical lesson of generosity and gratitude for special deeds of kindness, to the forgetfulness of all the persecution and ill services sustained from those two nations. i.e. Forced Balaam to bless thee, who was hired and inclined to curse thee, if possibly he could.

Nevertheless, the Lord thy God would not hearken unto Balaam,.... To his solicitations, and the methods he took to prevail on the Lord to suffer him to curse Israel, which he gladly would have done for the sake of Balak's reward:

but the Lord thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee; in the very mouth of Balaam, as the Targum of Jonathan; for when he opened his mouth and Balak expected he would have cursed Israel, and he intended it, could he have been permitted, the Lord overruled his tongue, and put such words into his mouth, that instead of cursing Israel, he blessed him; see Numbers 23:11,

because the Lord thy God loved thee; and therefore would not suffer them to be cursed; for whom the Lord loves they are blessed, and shall be so in time and to eternity.

Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Deuteronomy 23:5Also no Ammonite or Moabite was to be received, not even in the tenth generation; not, however, because their forefathers were begotten in incest (Genesis 19:30.), as Knobel supposes, but on account of the hostility they had manifested to the establishment of the kingdom of God. Not only had they failed to give Israel a hospitable reception on its journey (see at Deuteronomy 2:29), but they (viz., the king of the Moabites) had even hired Balaam to curse Israel. In this way they had brought upon themselves the curse which falls upon all those who curse Israel, according to the infallible word of God (Genesis 12:3), the truth of which even Balaam was obliged to attest in the presence of Balak (Numbers 24:9); although out of love to Israel the Lord turned the curse of Balaam into a blessing (cf. Numbers 22-24). For this reason Israel was never to seek their welfare and prosperity, i.e., to make this an object of its care ("to seek," as in Jeremiah 29:7); not indeed from personal hatred, for the purpose of repaying evil with evil, since this neither induced Moses to publish the prohibition, nor instigated Ezra when he put the law in force, by compelling the separation of all Ammonitish, Moabitish, and Canaanitish wives from the newly established congregation in Jerusalem (Ezra 9:12). How far Moses was from being influenced by such motives of personal or national revenge is evident, apart from the prohibition in Deuteronomy 2:9 and Deuteronomy 2:19 against making war upon the Moabites and Ammonites, from the command which follows in Deuteronomy 23:8 and Deuteronomy 23:9 with reference to the Edomites and Egyptians. These nations had also manifested hostility to the Israelites. Edom had come against them when they desired to march peaceably through his land (Numbers 20:18.), and the Pharaohs of Egypt had heavily oppressed them. Nevertheless, Israel as to keep the bond of kindred sacred ("he is thy brother"), and not to forget in the case of the Egyptians the benefits derived from their sojourn in their land. Their children might come into the congregation of the Lord in the third generation, i.e., the great-grandchildren of Edomites of Egyptians, who had lived as strangers in Israel (see at Exodus 20:5). Such persons might be incorporated into the covenant nation by circumcision.
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