Numbers 23:5
And the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak.
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(5) The Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth.—“God, who had opened the mouth of the ass,” says Bishop Wordsworth, in loc., “in a manner contrary to her nature, now opens Balaam’s mouth in a manner contrary to his own will.”

23:1-10 With the camps of Israel full in view, Balaam ordered seven altars to be built, and a bullock and a ram to be offered on each. Oh the sottishness of superstition, to imagine that God will be at man's beck! The curse is turned into a blessing, by the overruling power of God, in love to Israel. God designed to serve his own glory by Balaam, and therefore met him. If God put a word into the mouth of Balaam, who would have defied God and Israel, surely he will not be wanting to those who desire to glorify God, and to edify his people; it shall be given what they should speak. He who opened the mouth of the ass, caused the mouth of this wicked man to speak words as contrary to the desire of his heart, as those of the ass were to the powers of the brute. The miracle was as great in the one case as in the other. Balaam pronounces Israel safe. He owns he could do no more than God suffered him to do. He pronounces them happy in their distinction from the rest of the nations. Happy in their numbers, which made them both honourable and formidable. Happy in their last end. Death is the end of all men; even the righteous must die, and it is good for us to think of this with regard to ourselves, as Balaam does here, speaking of his own death. He pronounces the righteous truly blessed, not only while they live, but when they die; which makes their death even more desirable than life itself. But there are many who desire to die the death of the righteous, but do not endeavour to live the life of the righteous; gladly would they have an end like theirs, but not a way like theirs. They would be saints in heaven, but not saints on earth. This saying of Balaam's is only a wish, not a prayer; it is a vain wish, being only a wish for the end, without any care for the means. Many seek to quiet their consciences with the promise of future amendment, or take up with some false hope, while they neglect the only way of salvation, by which a sinner can be righteous before God.God met Balaam - God served His own purposes through the arts of Balaam, and manifested His will through the agencies employed to seek it, dealing thus with Balaam in an exceptional manner. To God's own people auguries were forbidden Leviticus 19:26.

I have prepared seven altars - And therefore Balaam expected that God on His part would do what was desired by the donor; compare Numbers 22:15 note.

4-6. God met Balaam—not in compliance with his incantations, but to frustrate his wicked designs and compel him, contrary to his desires and interests, to pronounce the following benediction [Nu 23:8-10]. He suggested what he should say, even those words, Numbers 23:8-10.

And the Lord put a word in Balaam's mouth.... Not grace into his heart, nor the fear of God within him, but suggested to him what to say; impressed it strongly on him, that he could not forget it, and with such power and weight, that he was obliged to deliver it:

and said, return unto Balak, and thus shalt thou speak; that is, unto him, and what is expressed in Numbers 22:7.

And the LORD {c} put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak.

(c) Taught him what to say.

Numbers 23:5"And God came to meet Balaam," who thought it necessary, as a true hariolus, to call the attention of God to the altars which had been built for Him, and the sacrifices that had been offered upon them. And God made known His will to him, though not in a natural sign of doubtful signification. He put a very distinct and unmistakeable word into his mouth, and commanded him to make it known to the king.
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