Hebrew Nuggets: Addressing a Mistranslation in Genesis 12:3

I will bless those that bless you and I will curse those who curse you. – Genesis 12:3

In light of the fact that I am called to be a blessing to the nations, the above verse is the obvious choice for the first edition of Hebrew Nuggets. In the original Hebrew text, the first part of the translation is correct. In the verse God does say, “I will bless those who bless you.” The best way for you to fulfill that condition, so that you receive blessings from the LORD, is to bless Israel by standing with us as the world comes against us, and even more importantly, praying and interceding for Israel’s protection, the return of all Jewish people to the land (Ezekiel 36:8-10), and salvation for all Jews (Romans 11:27).

The mistranslation that I want to point out is in the 2nd part of the verse. Most translations say “and I will curse those who curse you”. The original Hebrew text uses to different words that have been translated as ‘curse’. The first word is ARAR, which does mean “to curse or destroy”, but the second word is KALAL, which means “to make light of”. Therefore, the correct translation of the verse carries an even more serious warning. The God of Israel is warning that He will curse or destroy those who take Israel lightly or who treat Israel as unimportant.