By Dr. Noreen Jacks
The Aaronic Blessing, also known as the Priestly Blessing, was named for Aaron, the brother of Moses, who became the head of the priestly line of Israel. The blessing was inspired by God and offered to the congregation of Israel by the priests in Bible times. The blessing is still invoked in Jewish wedding ceremonies and festal events today. Let me define a few key terms from the Hebrew text in order to release the dynamic essence of the ancient passage into your life today.
May the Lord bless and keep you.
Bless: barak = to kneel, praise, adore, congratulate
Almighty God is paying you the highest tribute when He blesses you!
Keep: shamar = to guard, protect, observe, preserve, treasure
This is a picture of a watchman, or a fully-armed soldier guarding his post who is defending it with his life. Shamar is related to the term shamiyr, meaning “thorn.” While out in the wilderness, the shepherds of Israel constructed a sheepfold of thorn bushes to protect their flocks from marauders and wild animals. One of Yeshua’s many titles is “The Good Shepherd.” Imagine the King of the Universe bowing before you, offering you the gift of Himself, the greatest of all blessings, while promising to protect you from all harm in the manner of a good shepherd.
May the Lord make His face shine upon you.
Face: panim = presence (masculine plural ending, but translated in the singular)
Shine: owr = to shine brightly, to illuminate
The brilliant countenance of Almighty God is shining on you today. Stop for a moment with sheer delight at this powerful image.
And be gracious to you.
Gracious: chanan = favor, mercy
Everyone needs the unmerited favor, grace, and mercy of Almighty God. Keep in mind that this is unmerited favor that God bestows on you simply because He loves you.
May the Lord lift up His countenance on you…
Countenance: panim = face, presence(masc. pl. ending: hmmm…the face of the Father and Son)
The term panim is used twice in this brief passage. Repetition is a typical, Hebraic literary device used to show emphasis. God wants you to fully comprehend the essence of His promises, which are conditional upon obedience to His Word.
And give you peace.
Shalom: = heavenly peace, the peace of Christ that passes all understanding that the apostle Paul discusses in Philippines 4:7. Shalom is much more than the absence of war. Heavenly shalom invokes well-being of body, mind, soul, and spirit, as well as good health and welfare. Shalom speaks of security, rest, tranquility, contentedness, and the complete absence of stress or agitation. One of Yeshua’s many Hebrew titles is Sar Shalom, meaning “Prince of Peace.” So, practice claiming the peace that God gives you.
Now I will sum up these glorious promises from the Word of God. Picture the Lord God Almighty kneeling before you, congratulating you for serving Him while offering you His many blessings. What are these blessings? His brilliant presence, the light of His Word, the pleasure of His fellowship, His continual protection as your personal guardian, and His heavenly peace!
Child of God, you are blessed, indeed!
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Dr. Noreen Jacks conveys her passion for the Word of God and her visions of hope for those in need of spiritual restoration. She enjoys biblical archaeology, cultural anthropology, linguistics, and history of the Bible lands and its people.