The Aaronic Blessing
The Aaronic Blessing
Numbers 6:24-26: “The LORD bless you and keep you…”
Over the next few Global Updates, I will attempt to expand our understanding of this very prolific and beloved portion of Scripture. In fact, scholars tell us that this prayer may be only one of two prayers that have been written by God Himself. The second being, of course, the “Our Father.”
In Hebrew, every word is either concrete or abstract in its interpretation. Concrete words can be understood through the five senses. You can touch, taste, see, smell, or hear them. Abstract words are just the contrary; for example, how do you define “bless” or “keep”? However, every abstract word does find its origin in the “concrete”. You just have to dig a bit to find it.
In order to understand fully what God is saying to us we must look to the Scriptures themselves to find the true depth and meaning of these important words in this fertile message.
The origin of the word “bless” can be found in Genesis 24:11: “…and he made the camels kneel down outside the city.” The words kneel down are translated from the Hebrew word Barakh. The word Barakh means to drop to the knee and present a gift. When a man proposes to his fiancée he performs a Barakh. We also see in the New Testament that Jesus girded Himself with a towel and performed a Barakh, as he knelt before his disciples and washed their feet.
The fullness of this phrase is this: as one honors the LORD, He (the LORD) comes and honors them and bestows a gift upon them. Wow!
The second abstract word in this first phrase is “Keep.” The word “keep” finds its origin in the Hebrew word Shamar. Since the Hebrews were a nomadic people during this time in their history, they would need to “keep” their flocks safe in the evenings from predators. They would build a structure from either stone or wood in a circle to corral the animals in safety. Around the top of the Shamar, they would place a Shamere which were large 2-3 inch thorns to further discourage any predators from harming the sheep.
Now let’s look at this first of these three phrases in the Aaronic Blessing from a Hebraic perspective: When you and I honor HIM, He, The LORD, (He who exists), will come and bless (kneel before you in a position of honor and present you with a gift), and will keep you (while guarding you with a hedge of protection built around you)…
What a wonderful God we serve!
Blessings and Shalom!
Pastor Joe Green
Sr. Vice President of Development
Eagles’ Wings/ Israel Christian Nexus