|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:22-27 The priests were solemnly to bless the people in the name of the Lord. To be under the almighty protection of God our Saviour; to enjoy his favour as the smile of a loving Father, or as the cheering beams of the sun; while he mercifully forgives our sins, supplies our wants, consoles the heart, and prepares us by his grace for eternal glory; these things form the substance of this blessing, and the sum total of all blessings. In so rich a list of mercies worldly joys are not worthy to be mentioned. Here is a form of prayer. The name Jehovah is three times repeated. The Jews think there is some mystery; and we know what it is, the New Testament having explained it. There we are directed to expect the blessing from the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, 2Co 13:14; each of which Persons is Jehovah, and yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.
Verse 23. - On this wise ye shall bless. In Leviticus 9:22 it is recorded that Aaron blessed the people, first by himself from the brazen altar of sacrifice, and afterwards in conjunction with Moses, when they came out of the tabernacle; and that he might so bless the people is mentioned as one object of his consecration (Deuteronomy 21:5; and cf. 1 Chronicles 23:13). Blessing in or with the name of the Supreme Being was an important part of all primitive religion, as appears from the case of Melchizedec and Abraham, of Isaac and his sons, of Jacob and Pharaoh. And this act of blessing was far from being a mere expression of good will, or from being a simple prayer; for" without all contradiction the less is blessed of the greater" (Hebrews 7:7), i.e., the blessing must be given by one who stands nearer to God to one who stands less near. The name of God could not be used in blessing save by one who had some right to such use of it, whether as prophet, as priest, or as patriarch. For that name in which the blessing was given was not inoperative, but was mighty with untold spiritual efficacy where rightly used as the name of blessing. To Aaron and to his sons was now confided this use of the Divine name, that all Israel might know and might hear in their appointed words the voice of God himself. Saying unto them. The benediction here appointed consists of three clauses, each complete in itself, and each consisting of two members, the second of which seems to present the application and result in experience of the grace besought in the first. Both, therefore, in its form and its contents this benediction is one of the most profound and most fruitful of the Divine oracles; and this indeed we might have expected, because (if we may venture to say so) God is never so entirely and absolutely himself as in blessing.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons,.... Aaron and his sons that succeeded him in all after generations, being the persons that were in a public manner to bless the people of Israel, they are particularly addressed, see Deuteronomy 10:8,
saying, on this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel; in such manner and with such words as after expressed; standing upon an eminence, lifting up their hands on high, spreading out their fingers, and raising their voices, and pronouncing the blessing in the Hebrew language, in the name of Jehovah, with their face towards the people; all which, according to the Jewish writers (d), were to be strictly observed:
saying unto them; as follows.
(d) Maimon. Hilchot Neshiut Cappim. c. 14. sect. 11. Gersom in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Nu 6:23-27. The Form of Blessing the People.
23-27. Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the congregation of Israel, &c.—This passage records the solemn benediction which God appointed for dismissing the people at the close of the daily service. The repetition of the name "Lord" or "Jehovah" three times, expresses the great mystery of the Godhead—three persons, and yet one God. The expressions in the separate clauses correspond to the respective offices of the Father, to "bless and keep us"; of the Son, to be "gracious to us"; and of the Holy Ghost, to "give us peace." And because the benediction, though pronounced by the lips of a fellow man, derived its virtue, not from the priest but from God, the encouraging assurance was added, "I the Lord will bless them."
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