Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Numbers 23:19

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

God is not a man, that he should lie - This seems to be spoken to correct the foregoing supposition of Balak that God could change his mind. Even the heathen would not allow that their supreme god could be caught in a falsity. Hence Aeschylus, in Prometh. vinct. 1068: -

Ψευδηγορειν γαρ ουκ επισταται στομαπ

Το Διον, αλλα παν επος τελει .

"The mouth of Jove knows not to frame a lie;

But every word finds full accomplishment."

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Balak was angry with Balaam. Thus a confession of God's overruling power is extorted from a wicked prophet, to the confusion of a wicked prince. A second time the curse is turned into a blessing; and this blessing is both larger and stronger than the former. Men change their minds, and break their words; but God never changes his mind, and therefore never recalls his promise. And when in Scripture he is said to repent, it does not mean any change of his mind; but only a change of his way. There was sin in Jacob, and God saw it; but there was not such as might provoke him to give them up to ruin. If the Lord sees that we trust in his mercy, and accept of his salvation; that we indulge no secret lust, and continue not in rebellion, but endeavour to serve and glorify him; we may be sure that he looks upon us as accepted in Christ, that our sins are all pardoned. Oh the wonders of providence and grace, the wonders of redeeming love, of pardoning mercy, of the new-creating Spirit! Balak had no hope of ruining Israel, and Balaam showed that he had more reason to fear being ruined by them. Since Balaam cannot say what he would have him, Balak wished him to say nothing. But though there are many devices in man's heart, God's counsels shall stand. Yet they resolve to make another attempt, though they had no promise on which to build their hopes. Let us, who have a promise that the vision at the end shall speak and not lie, continue earnest in prayer, Lu 18:1.
Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 318.3

When will men learn that God is God, not man, and that He does not change. Every calamity, every death, is a witness to the power of evil and to the truth of the living God. The Word of God is life, and it will abide forever. Through all eternity it will stand fast. How can man, knowing what God is and what He has done, choose Satan's way instead of God's way? There is only one path to Paradise restored—the path of obedience. UL 318.3

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 332.3

If the Lord should treat us as some who claim to be Christians treat one another, we should have a sore, hard time. If He should look upon the selfish, or crooked ones as they look upon one another and deal with one another, what would become of us? But I am glad the Lord is not man. He bears with our crooked ways, our selfishness, our separation from Him, our defects of character, and seeks to inform us, sending message after message of mercy, encouragement, warning, reproof, and correction, to bring us into a right position before Him, that we may have His love, His care, His blessing, abiding upon us.... TMK 332.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 175.4

The faithful Nathan had pronounced the judgment of God. The sword was never to leave his [David's] house; that which he had sown he was also to reap. He had often had a gloomy presentiment of the present hour. He had long wondered why the merited judgment was so long delayed. The God he had offended by bringing so great sin upon Israel as their leader, was now showing him that He is not a God that will lie, and that by terrible things in righteousness would He show His hatred of sin. He did indeed realize, “Be sure your sin will find you out.” TSB 175.4

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 106.1

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? Numbers 23:19. HP 106.1

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Ellen G. White
Education, 160-1

For beauty of expression read also the description of springtime, from the Song of Songs: Ed 160.3

And not inferior in beauty is Balaam's unwilling prophecy of blessing to Israel: Ed 160.5

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