This blessing is often referred to as the "priestly blessing" or the "Aaronic blessing," and it is a powerful affirmation of God's presence and protection in the lives of those who receive it. The blessing is made up of three parts, each of which contains a specific invocation of God's grace and favor.
The first part of the blessing asks God to bless and keep his people. This is a request for God's favor and protection, and it acknowledges the idea that God is able to provide for his people and keep them safe from harm. The word "keep" here means to guard or protect, and it implies that God is watching over his people and keeping them safe from harm.
The second part of the blessing asks God to shine his face upon his people and be gracious to them. This is a request for God's favor and mercy, and it acknowledges the idea that God is able to show kindness and compassion to his people. The image of God's face shining upon his people is a powerful one, suggesting that God is looking upon his people with kindness and compassion.
The third part of the blessing asks God to lift up his countenance upon his people and give them peace. This is a request for God's presence and peace, and it acknowledges the idea that God is able to bring calm and serenity to his people even in the midst of turmoil and difficulty. The word "countenance" here means face, and the phrase "lift up his countenance" suggests that God is looking directly at his people and offering them his peace and presence.
The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament, and it tells the story of the Israelites' journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. In Numbers 6, God instructs Moses to tell Aaron and his sons, the priests of Israel, to bless the people of Israel with a specific blessing. This blessing is the one found in Numbers 6:24-26.
The blessing is known as the "Aaronic blessing" because it was given to Aaron and his sons specifically, as a way of invoking God's favor and protection on the priests of Israel. The blessing was later adopted by the Jewish people as a whole and is still used in Jewish liturgy today.
The blessing is often used in worship services and other settings as a way of invoking God's blessing and protection on individuals and communities. The blessing is sometimes referred to as the "trinitarian blessing" because it contains three distinct parts, each of which invokes the name of the Lord.
Overall, Numbers 6:24-26 is a beautiful expression of God's grace, favor, and protection. It is a reminder of God's presence in our lives and a call to trust in his goodness and mercy. The blessing is often used in Jewish and Christian traditions as a way of invoking God's blessing and protection on individuals and communities, and it remains a powerful affirmation of God's love and care for his people.
Numbers 6:24-26. Yahweh bless you, and keep you. Yahweh make his face to shine on you, and be gracious to you. Yahweh lift up his face toward you, and give you peace.