Numbers 23:19

Hebrew Bible

17 When Balaam came to him, he was still standing by his burnt offering, along with the princes of Moab. And Balak said to him, “What has the Lord spoken?” 18 Balaam uttered his oracle, and said,“Rise up, Balak, and hear;Listen to me, son of Zippor: 19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a human being, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it happen? 20 Indeed, I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot reverse it. 21 He has not looked on iniquity in Jacob, nor has he seen trouble in Israel. The Lord their God is with them; his acclamation as king is among them.

Amos 7:3

Hebrew Bible

1 The Sovereign Lord showed me this: I saw him making locusts just as the crops planted late were beginning to sprout. (The crops planted late sprout after the royal harvest.) 2 When they had completely consumed the earth’s vegetation, I said, “Sovereign Lord, forgive Israel! How can Jacob survive? He is too weak!” 3 The Lord changed his mind about this.7 “It will not happen,” the Lord said. 4 The Sovereign Lord showed me this: I saw the Sovereign Lord summoning a shower of fire. It consumed the great deep and devoured the fields. 5 I said, “Sovereign Lord, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is too weak!”

 Notes and References

"... Exodus 32:7-14 is not the only encounter Moses had with divine relenting (Numbers 11:1-2, 14:12-20 and 16:20-35). By the end of his life, Moses’ intercessory prayers appeared to have changed God’s mind on at least four occasions ... Amos 7 consists of two accounts of ם ַחָנ (nacham) as it relates to divine relenting ... In this passage, God threatened to destroy Israel’s crops at the hands of locusts and the great deep, and land by fire (Amos 7:1, 4) (Smith and Page, 1995:128) Amos interceded on behalf of the nation (Amos 7:2, 5). In response to Amos’ prayer, Yahweh changed his mind about the disasters he had planned on the Israelites (Amos 7:3, 6). At this point, scholars may be tempted to deny the literalness of God relenting since the genre of this passage is prophetic vision, which can take on the characteristics of symbolic and figurative language (see Duvall and Hayes, 2005:368-385). While it is true that these are prophetic visions, the genre of a passage in reality does not change the meaning of anthropomorphic statements ..."

Marsh, Allen Bythel How ובּש ׁAND םַחָנ Contribute to Understanding the Meaning of Jeremiah 4:28, 15:6-7, 18:7-10 and 26:3, 13 and 19 (pp. 181-185) South African Theological Seminary, 2018

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.