Numbers 6:22-27

Numbers 6:22-27
Holy Name of Jesus ABC


22 The LordA spokeB to Moses,C saying: 

Notes on verse 22

A “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
B “spoke” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
C “Moses” = Mouses. From Hebrew Mosheh (Moses); from mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.

23 Speak to AaronD and his sons,E saying, Thus you shall blessF the Israelites:G You shall say to them,

Notes on verse 23

D “Aaron” = Aharon. Derivation uncertain. May mean “bearer of martyrs” OR be related to Ancient Egyptian ꜥḥꜣ rw (warrior lion) OR elevated, exalted, high mountain. This is Aaron. See
E “sons” = ben. This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
F “bless” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
G “Israelites” = ben + yisrael. Ben is the same as “sons” in v23. See note E above. Yisrael is from sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

24 The Lord bless you and keepH you;
25 the Lord make his faceI to shineJ upon you, and be graciousK to you;

Notes on verses 24-25

H “keep” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
I “face” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
J “shine” = or. This is to light, shine, set on fire – to be luminous in a literal or figurative sense.
K “be gracious” = chanan. This is to beseech, show favor, be gracious. Properly, it is to bend in kindness to someone with less status.

26 the Lord lift upL his countenanceM upon you, and giveN you peace.O
27 So they shall putP my nameQ on the Israelites, and I will bless them.

Notes on verses 26-27

L “lift up” = nasa. This to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.
M “countenance” = paneh. Same as “face” in v25. See note I above.
N “give” = sim. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
O “peace” = shalom. From shalam (to be complete or sound; to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate; so, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated). This is completeness, soundness, welfare, favor, friend, good health. It is to be safe and figuratively well, happy, at peace, friendly. Abstractly, it includes the ideas of welfare and prosperity (not in excessive wealth, but in having enough).
P “put” = sim. Same as “give” in v26. See note N above.
Q “name” = shem. Perhaps related to “give” in v26. May be from sim (see note N above). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.

Image credit: Moses and the Hebrews entering the Promised Land. A still from “Seder-Masochism” by Nina Paley, 2018.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply