Ray’s note: The following is excerpted from an article by Jeff Benner (www.ancient-hebrew.org) in which he portrayed God in a very good light and I thought I would share highlights of it. Jeff goes through each of the significant words in Numbers 6:24-26 digging into the meaning of the original Hebrew. Those detailed explanations are available at the full article which can be read here.
“The LORD bless you and keep you: The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26 RSV)
The Aaronic Blessing from a Hebrew Perspective
By Jeff A. Benner
With the Hebraic understanding of each of these Hebrew words, we can better understand the true meaning of the Aaronic blessing as it was understood by the Ancient Hebrews.
“YHWH will kneel before you1 presenting gifts and will guard you with a hedge of protection.”
“YHWH will illuminate the wholeness of his being toward you bringing order and he will give you comfort and sustenance.”
“YHWH will lift up his wholeness of being and look upon you and he will set in place all you need to be whole and complete.”
1 Many people have contacted me concerned about the phrase “kneel before you” as they cannot perceive of God kneeling before us. We too often see God as the judge and ruler who sits high above us. But I see more of a familial type relationship with God, rather than a government type relationship. God is the father of us all, agreed? Well if my young son came to me with a request, would I tower over him looking down upon him? Or would I get down on his level by “kneeling” down and getting eye to eye with him and say, “What is it my son, what can I do for you?” Let me add that this is not a literal kneeling down, but a figurative one; the common Hebrew way of expressing an abstract thought through concrete means.
Ray’s note: I especially liked the image of God getting down to my “level” and saying “What is it my son, what can I do for you?” That sounds like the character of God that I believe the Bible teaches and that I hope comes across on this website.
Jeff Benner has the goal of “teaching proper Biblical interpretation through the study of the Ancient Hebrew alphabet, language, culture and philosophy.”