Rainbow at Canada's Banff National Park

Bit by Bit Biblical Poems

January 7, 2024
"Never delete the rainbow. Never delete the rainbow." - 10 year old boy atop Sulphur Mountain in Canada's Banff National Park.

Continuity of a Blessing

The Priestly Benediction

Prose Introduction (Numbers 6:22-23)

Verses 22-23 are a prose introduction

22 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying: Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them:

Embedded poem of blessing (Numbers 6:24-26)

24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

This blessing in Numbers is a polished, liturgical blessing that transcends the original situation.  It was written during Israel’s time in the wilderness. It can be used today as a benediction. Then and now, the person offering the benediction asks for God’s blessing. At the time it was thought to have almost magical powers. It is powerful in its brevity that zooms to the essence of yearnings for blessings and peace.

Important features of this blessing are a long shelf life and brevity. The verses are short declarative sentences that propel the blessing. Verbs keep the action going:  These verbs are “bless, make, and lift.” The hint is, I think, to consider how we bless and lift one another in communities. An important noun is peace. In addition to absence of war, peace can mean personal peace of well being.

Thank you, dear friends, for your interest.

With this final blog post about embedded biblical poems, I wish you the peace of well being.



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