|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 27. - They shall put my name upon the children of Israel. The "name of God is uniformly treated in Scripture as something very different from a mere arrangement of letters or an arbitrary vocal sound. All nations have bad names for the Supreme Being, but there was nothing sacred about them, except from association. The name of God was not of man, nor from man, but of his own direct revelation (Exodus 6:3), and was therefore of an unspeakable sanctity (Exodus 20:7; Exodus 33:19). Like the "word" of God, it cannot be dissociated from God himself. It is in some sense an extension outwards, into the sphere of the created and sensible, of the ineffable virtues of the Godhead itself. It stands in a real, though un-assignable, relation to infinite goodness and power, and therefore it comes fraught with untold blessing (or perchance cursing) to those on whom it lights. Hence, to put the name of God - the covenant name - upon the people had a real meaning. No one could do it except by his express direction; and when it was so done there was an invisible reality answering to the audible form; with the name pronounced in blessing came the blessing itself, came the special providence and presence of God, to abide upon such at least as were worthy of it. It is a fact, the significance of which cannot be denied, that the name which was commanded to be put upon the people was lost, and irrecoverably lost, by the later Jews. Out of an exaggerated dread of possible profanation, they first disobeyed the command by substituting Adonai for that name outside the sanctuary; and finally, after the death of Simeon the Just, the priests ceased to pronounce that name at all, and therefore lost the tradition by which the pronunciation was fixed. Our method of spelling and pronouncing the name as Jehovah is merely conventional, and almost certainly incorrect. It would seem to be the more devout opinion that the name itself, as revealed by God and uttered by many generations of priests, was forfeited (like Paradise), was withdrawn, and ought not to be inquired after. And I will bless them. Here is the precise truth of all effectual benediction: they shall put my name;... I will bless. The outward form was ministered by the priests, the inward reality was of God and from God alone. It is observable that the form of blessing is expressed in the singular; either
(1) because all Israel was regarded as one, even as the first-born son of God (Exodus 4:22, 23; Hosea 11:1), or
(2) because all real blessing must in truth be individual - a nation can only be blessed in its several members.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel,.... Call them by his name, the people of the Lord; call upon the name of the Lord to bless them, and pronounce the blessing on them in the name of the Lord, in or by the name Jehovah, as Jarchi, three times used in this form of blessing:
and I will bless them; really and truly bless them bless them with blessings indeed; with all sorts of blessings temporal and spiritual; with solid and substantial ones; and such are blessed, and will remain so, their blessings are irrevocable and irreversible; and unless the Lord blesses, in vain do the priests bless, or any of his ministers pronounce a blessing; theirs lies in words and wishes, his in real facts; they can only pray and wish for the blessing, it is he only that can give it, and can ratify and confirm what they declare and pronounce, according to his revealed word. Some refer the relative "them" to the priests, as if the sense was, I will bless the priests that bless Israel, for God will bless them that bless his people; but Aben Ezra thinks it belongs both to Israel, and to the priests, that God would confirm and establish the blessing of the priests pronounced on Israel, and bless the priests also, who needed the divine blessing as well as the people, and being found in the way of their duty, might expect it: the Targum of Jonathan is,"I will bless them in my Word;''his essential Word, Christ, in whom his chosen ones are blessed with all spiritual blessings, and who is the promised seed, in whom all nations of the earth shall be blessed.
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