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Deuteronomy 23:5 NASB

5 But the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam; instead the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loved you. 6 You shall not seek their peace or their prosperity all your days forever.

The above text seems to allude that Balaam had actually cursed the Israelites and God had turned the curse into a blessing.In all of Balaam's pronouncements he actually acknowledges that he will only speak what God told him.

Numbers 22:12 NASB

12 God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed 18 Balaam replied to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the [g]command of the Lord my God

Numbers 23:12 NASB

11 Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, but behold, you have actually blessed them!” 12 He replied, “Must I not be careful to speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?”

Numbers 24:10 NASB

10 Then Balak’s anger burned against Balaam, and he struck his [k]hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, but behold, you have persisted in blessing them these three times! 11 Therefore, [l]flee to your place now. I said I would honor you greatly, but behold, the Lord has held you back from honor.” 12 Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you had sent to me, saying, 13 ‘Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything contrary to the [m]command of the Lord, either good or bad, of my own [n]accord. What the Lord speaks, that I will speak’?

Throughout his discourse Balaam did have the intention to curse but not once did he curse Israel but continued to bless him at every hill they visited.

So how does the author of the Deuteronomy say God turned the curse which was never uttered into blessing

How can one understand the above text?

  • It was Balak who cursed. Balaam could only say what he was told, Divinely, to say. And he blessed. Balak's curse (by Divine intervention) became Balaam's blessing. I don't see the need for a question, really. – Nigel J Aug 20 '19 at 7:45
  • @NigelJ,but texts says God did not listen to Balaam as if there was a pronouncement – collen ndhlovu Aug 20 '19 at 7:53
  • Balaam never did curse Israel, but he was not closed to the idea of doing it, because he desired a bit of wealth that would come his way if he pleased Balak. – Constantthin Aug 20 '19 at 9:39

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