The Importance of the Aaronic Blessing

Torah reading of this Shabbat is going to be Naso. This Parasha ends with what is called the Aaronic blessing (Numbers 6:22-27):

“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, “This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: ‘The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.’”’ So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” – Numbers 6:22-27

This is a kind of universal blessing that even Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches use to bless their parishioners. It is a little strange for me that these Christians that actually reject the Old Testament and the Torah of God use this Aaronic Blessing and the tithing for the priest of Israel and the Temple as the holy grail. These Christians adopt what they want from God’s word and reject the authority of what is called the Old Testament, but the blessings and the money they want to keep.

What does this blessing that is given to Aaron and his sons actually say?

  1. “The Lord bless you:” God is going to bless you. Therefore don’t seek a blessing from the idols of your day, or from the people of your city and country. Depend on God for your blessing in life. If God blesses you, you will be truly blessed. If men bless you, you will forever be indebted to them. If men bless you, they cannot really keep/protect/guard you. Only God can bless you and protect you, and guard you and your life.
  2. “The Lord make his face to shine upon you:” One of the worst predicaments in the word of God is when God hides His face from you. In other words, God does not want to hear you or have a relationship with you. You can read Ezekiel 39:22-27 and see the consequences of the sin of Israel when God hides His face from you. This blessing of Aaron states that God is going to shine His face on you – you will have personal and clear communication and access to a personal relationship with the Almighty God of Israel and God will smile (shine) His face toward you.
  3. God will be gracious to you. He will measure your life, successes and falls, with his grace and not with His measure of justice and judgment. This is a very important blessing because it declares the attitude of God toward His children and not toward His enemies.
  4. “The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” This is the ending statement and summary of the Aaronic blessing: God will look with favor upon you. This is a request of God to pay attention to you and show favoritism toward you. This might sound strange to Western ears. The priest of Israel, Aaron’s children, asks God to show special favor to Israel and to His children. Literally, “to lift up the face toward” means to treat favorably, even to show favoritism!
  5. God will grant you well-being, shalom, wholeness, and bring you within His borders (space of calmness and security).

It is such a great privilege for the men of our congregation every Shabbat to bless the children and their mothers with this blessing. Fathers need to bless their children and their family with this blessing at least once every week. I often say that this blessing and blessing of your children and wife every week is such a great privilege and encouragement.

My father was a good father, but he never blessed me. On the other hand, he cursed me thousands of times. I became what God has made me by the grace of God and the blood of Yeshua. It would have been nice if my father would have blessed me!

But, God the Father of us all has blessed me and you and He and He alone is the source of real blessings. I thank my Father in Heaven, the Lord of glory, for His blessing, and I thank Him who is above all and in all for blessing me personally and all of humanity who seek His blessing and redemption daily.

This article originally appeared on Netivyah and is reposted with permission.