Saturday, January 8, 2011


“The LORD bless you
and keep you;
The LORD make His face
shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26 NKJV

This passage is probably the most famous blessing in the entire Bible. Aaron, the high priest, and his sons were instructed to pronounced it over the people of God. We recognize it as a blessing that is often spoken over a congregation by the pastor at the close of a worship service. Even though it is known as a benediction, I believe it can be very meaningful at the beginning of a new year. We are so familiar with it, it is easy to miss the depth of the meaning of the words. Allow me to bless your 2011 by paraphrasing these verses with the help of some Hebrew scholars.*

“May The LORD God who exists from all eternity bless you with gifts that meet your deepest needs, and may He like a Sheppard guard and protect you as He builds a hedge around you to keep you safe from the devourer.

“May the loving face of our eternal LORD; shine on you, warming your soul and spirit and driving away any darkness that may still linger in the corners of your life.

“May The LORD God who exists from all eternity be gracious to you making your life beautiful with warmth, love, friendships, community, and the material things you need.

“May The LORD God who exists from all eternity set His loving face on you, and give you peace (shalom);a peace which expresses itself in completeness, wholeness, and perfection; a peace which includes health, and soundness of body and soul; a peace that is rest, tranquility, and harmony; surrounded by prosperity and is a stranger to agitation and discord.”

May this blessing surround and fill your life throughout 2011 and all your years and days to come!

Click on link below to hear the Tyler Junior College
A Cappella Choir sing:


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*For those interested – here are the Hebrew scholars’ notes which I used to roughly paraphrase Numbers 6:24-26.:

When we see the word LORD in capital letters it stands for (Yahweh) God’s name which literally means “He who exists.” Bless in this passage is (barak) which means to “kneel down” and conveys the idea of respectfully kneeling down to present a gift. Keep is (shamar) which here refers to the guarding and protection a Sheppard provides for his sheep at night by building a hedge of thorny brush. Face (paniym) reflects the Hebraic sense of motion as the face reflects many different moods, emotions and thoughts. Shine (or) means to "give light" – “enlighten.” Gracious (hhanan) “A place of beauty”. Nomad camps consisted of many family tents, arranged in a circle, and were viewed as a place of beauty. Not just the appearance of beauty but the action, a place of warmth, love, friendship, community and sustenance. Coutenance (paniym) means "face." Give (siym) literally means to "set down in place." Peace (shalom) means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.


Bren said...

Perfect way to start the year, Dad!! This goes right along with things God is showing me. I printed off your blessing and will read it over and over and expect to see it's results in my life this year. It's a awesome blessing but even more special because my dad spoke it over me!! Love you!!

Anonymous said...

We love to hear from you! Donna and Iver are a blessed inspiration.

-Diane and Joseph