bmWhat Does “Bless,” “Blessed,” and “Blessing” Mean?

These terms translate into English different forms of the same Hebrew word BARAK. The BARAK root is translated “bless” 214 times, “blessed” 61 times, and “blessing” 67 times in the Hebrew statement. John W. Oswalt says the major function of BARAK “seems to have been  to confer abundant and effective life upon something (Genesis 2:3; 1 Samuel 9:13; Isaiah 66:3) or someone” (Genesis 27:27 ff; Genesis 49) (TWOT,I, p.132). He further states “To bless in the Old Testament means “to endue with power for success, prosperity, fecundity, longevity, etc.'” (TWOT,I, p. 132). “Fecundity” means fruitful in childbearing. Consequently, Oswalt says, “In the patriarchal narratives, blessing is linked specifically to reproductive powers. The lesson is clear. God gives life” (TWOT,I, p.132)

In the Old Testament, BARAK is used in those contexts which present God alone as the source of blessing. “Whatever may have been the ancient, near eastern conception of the source  of blessing the OT sees God as the only source” (TWOT,I, p.132). Therefore, “It is clear that for the OT the abundant life rests directly upon the loving and faithful nature of God” (TWOT,I, p.132).

1.    God is the source of blessing in the Old Testament.

2.    As the source of blessing, God himself endues with power in the following seven areas of blessings:


1.    God endues with power for an abundant life.

2.    He endues with power for an effective life.

3.    Since life can be neither effective not abundant apart from the right relationship with God, we may say that God also endues with power for the salvation of the soul. (See Promise 16.)

4.    He endues with power for success.

5.    He endues with power for prosperity.

6.    He endues with power for fecundity.

7.    He endues with power for longevity.


Thank you Lord for Rain to refresh this drought dry land!!! It’s a good old fashioned thunderstorm! /

“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, As raindrops on the tender herb, And as showers on the grass. For I proclaim the Name of the LORD: Ascribe Greatness to our God.

He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of Truth and without injustice; Righteous and Upright is He.

~Deuteronomy 32:1-4

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Gordon Williams



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