[Chofetz Chaim’s note: In my opinion this is the meaning of the [following] verse (Bamidbar: 23; 21) [in Parshas “Balak”]: “He did not focus on the sins of Ya’akov… HaShem his G-d is with him…” The explanation is: When does He not focus [on the sins of the Jewish People]? At the time when HaShem his G-d is with him. However, if, Heaven Forbid, the sin of slander [is present] among the Jewish People, this thereby causes the departure of HaShem’s Presence, and then, Heaven Forbid, HaShem focuses on their matters.]
Behold, from all of this we are able to understand the great hatred that The Holy One, Blessed is He, possesses toward this speaker [of slander]. For, just as the father, though he hits his son upon understanding that the matter conveyed [about his son] is true, it being of necessity to fulfill the will of the conveyor of information, however, great hatred is aroused in the heart [of the father] toward the person who related the information when he understands that the objective [of the speaker] was not intended for the benefit of his son, but rather, [the speaker intended] to complain about him. All the more so, the above is true in this matter, for it is known that The Holy One, Blessed is He, loves the individual more than the individual loves himself, wanting only that which is good for the Jewish People. [Therefore, HaShem does not want anyone to speak any] slander against [the Jewish People]. The [above] relates to that which our Sages of Blessed Memory have said on the verse [in sefer “Yeshayahu” (6; 6), as follows]: “and in his hand is a coal”; The Holy One, Blessed is He, said to the angel: “Shatter the mouth that spoke slander against My children”. The speaker of [Lashon HaRa] causes the opposite of all of this [good which HaShem wishes upon the Jewish People, negating from that good that is provided to the Jewish People, leading rather to their punishment]. Therefore, [based on the above teaching, we can better understand why one who speaks slander against the Jewish People] is [viewed as] very abominable in the Eyes of HaShem Yisbarach.
 This teaching is found in Bamidbar Rabbah (11; 7) and in Bereishis Rabbah (38; 6).
 This teaching is found in the Talmud Yerushalmi in maseches “Peah” chapter 1, halacha 1.
 This teaching concerning Achav's victories in battle, is discussed later in this book, in chapter 4.
 This teaching can be found in Midrash Rabbah Parshas Shoftim (Devarim Rabbah Parsha 5, 10 – and at the end of Parsha 6).
 This teaching is quoted from Yalkut Shimoni on sefer “Yeshayahu”, remez 406.
 This verse from sefer “Yeshayahu” (6; 6), describes the punishment borne to Yeshayahu for the slander he spoke against the Jewish People. In the previous verse Yeshayahu said “And I said: ‘Woe to me for I have been silenced, for I am a man of impure lips and in the midst of a nation of impure lips do I reside, for my eyes have seen The King, HaShem, Master of Legions.’” (Yeshayahu: 6; 5) This verse then reads, “One of the angels flew to me, in his hand was a coal, with tongs he had taken it from atop the altar.” According to RaSh”I, once the angel touches the coal to Yeshayahu’s mouth he is forgiven for his sin of shaming the Jewish People by describing them as a “nation of impure lips”. The verse of Yeshayahu’s punishment reads, “And he touched it to my mouth and He said, “Behold, this has been touched to your lips and your willful sin has been removed and your inadvertent sin has been atoned.” (Yeshayahu: 6; 7)