~ Primary Meanings of The Word Bless In Scripture ~
There are three primary meanings in the Scriptures of the concept bless (or blessing).
Giving Undeserved Good ~ “And God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.’ So the evening and the morning were the fifth day” (Genesis 1:22-23).
Setting Apart or Consecrating ~ This is a much less frequent use of the term in Scripture. “Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:3).
The Desire, Hope or Wish for Good ~ “So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her: ‘Our sister, may you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands; and may your descendants possess the gates of those who hate them.’ Then Rebekah and her maids arose, and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed” (Genesis 24:59-61).
“Then Isaac said, ‘Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die’ … Isaac said, ‘Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s game, so that my soul may bless you.’ So Jacob brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, ‘Come near now and kiss me, my son.’ And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him and said: ‘Surely, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed” (Genesis 27:2-4, 25-27).
additional note ~ The word bless is used primarily in the Old Testament however there are some uses of the word in the New Testament. “Jesus said, ‘Bring them here to Me.’ Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes” (Matthew 14:18-19). In this New Testament example the word bless has the connotation of being grateful, giving thanks, or receiving something with a grateful spirit.
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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