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Numbers 23:21

    Numbers 23:21 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither has he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob; Neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: Jehovah his God is with him, And the shout of a king is among them.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    He has seen no evil in Jacob or wrongdoing in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the glad cry of a king is among them.

    Webster's Revision

    He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob; Neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: Jehovah his God is with him, And the shout of a king is among them.

    World English Bible

    He has not seen iniquity in Jacob. Neither has he seen perverseness in Israel. Yahweh his God is with him. The shout of a king is among them.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, Neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: The LORD his God is with him, And the shout of a king is among them.

    Definitions for Numbers 23:21

    Iniquity - Sin; wickedness; evil.

    Clarke's Commentary on Numbers 23:21

    He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel - This is a difficult passage; for if we take the words as spoken of the people Israel, as their iniquity and their perverseness were almost unparalleled, such words cannot be spoken of them with strict truth. If we consider them as spoken of the patriarch Jacob and Israel, or of Jacob after he became Israel, they are most strictly true, as after that time a more unblemished and noble character (Abraham excepted) is not to be found in the page of history, whether sacred or profane; and for his sake, and for the sake of his father Isaac, and his grandfather Abraham, God is ever represented as favoring, blessing, and sparing a rebellious and undeserving people; see the note on Genesis 49:33. In this way, I think, this difficult text may be safely understood.

    There is another way in which the words may be interpreted, which will give a good sense. און aven not only signifies iniquity, but most frequently trouble, labor, distress, and affliction; and these indeed are its ideal meanings, and iniquity is only an accommodated or metaphorical one, because of the pain, distress, etc., produced by sin. עמל amal, translated here perverseness, occurs often in Scripture, but is never translated perverseness except in this place. It signifies simply labor, especially that which is of an afflictive or oppressive kind. The words may therefore be considered as implying that God will not suffer the people either to be exterminated by the sword, or to be brought under a yoke of slavery. Either of these methods of interpretation gives a good sense, but our common version gives none.

    Dr. Kennicott contends for the reading of the Samaritan, which, instead of לא הביט lo hibbit, he hath not seen, has לא אבט lo abbit, I do not see, I do not discover any thing among them on which I could ground my curse. But the sense above given is to be preferred.

    Numbers 23:21, 22"Make a highway for him that rideth through the deserts:

    O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people.

    When thou marchedst through the wilderness,

    continued...

    Barnes' Notes on Numbers 23:21

    "Iniquity" and "perverseness" are found together again in the Hebrew of Psalm 10:7; Psalm 90:10, and elsewhere; and import wickedness together with that tribulation which is its proper result.

    The shout - The word is used (Leviticus 23:24 note) to describe the sound of the silver trumpets. The "shout of a king" will therefore refer to the jubilant sounds by which the presence of the Lord as their King among them was celebrated by Israel.