Repent in Numbers 23:19

5162 nacham

nacham: to be sorry, console oneself

Original Word: נָחַם
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: nacham
Phonetic Spelling: (naw-kham’)
Definition: to be sorry, console oneself

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent (5162): hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? – Numbers 23:19

Let’s look at the scriptures in context.

13 And Balak said unto him, Come, I pray thee, with me unto another place, from whence thou mayest see them: thou shalt see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence. 14 And he brought him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar. 15 And he said unto Balak, Stand here by thy burnt offering, while I meet the LORD yonder. 16 And the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus. 17 And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the LORD spoken?

18 And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:

19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it – Numbers 23:13-20

These scriptures say that the LORD put a word into Balaam’s mouth, who was to tell Balak and the princes of Moab that God does not lie, neither should he be sorry for what he has done for Israel. When God says he will do something, He does it, and when he speaks things they are made good.  When God wants to speak through someone, whether that person is a believer or unbeliever like Balaam, God can do as He wishes. God blessed Israel and delivered them on more than one occasion, because they are His chosen people. What God blesses He does not take back. Men and women beings lie because we have a sin nature, but God cannot lie. This reference to God as not a man, or a son of man, is highlighting God as Supreme Being, His Majesty, His Creation, the King of Kings, God of gods etc.

I realise that some modern bible versions interpret repent as a change of mind, but the word is the hebrew 5162, which is nacham and means to be sorry, console oneself. Repent as a change of mind is relevant in the new testament greek.

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