The Blessings Of Favor And Peace: Parashat Nasso Reflections

 

Hebrew Vision News Exclusive

by Miykael Qorbanyahu aka The End Time Scribe

Torah: Numbers 4.21-7.89     Haftarah: Judges 13.2-5     Witness: John 11.1-54

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Invoking the Name of Elohim means first and foremost to consider and accept what the Name reveals. The four letter Name of Elohim, יהוה, is shrouded in mystery and many have attempted to understand its precise meaning. Notwithstanding all the various attempts to arrive at the correct pronunciation of the Name, most scholars agree that the Name finds its basis in the Hebrew verb, הָיָה, “to be”. Thus, far from having some kind of magical power, the Name reveals the One true Elohim as the One Who Is, and as the Source of all that is-the One from Whom all things have their existence. What is more, this One from whom are all things, is also the One who orders and patterns the events of life and is therefore able to bring about all of His Holy will. His covenant and the promises which attach to it are sure, for He orders all things in the heavens and on the earth according to His will (Daniel 4.35). Thus, to invoke the name of Elohim on the people is to remind them of who He is (His character), what He has done (His works), and what He promises to do (His covenant). Such an invocation reminds and teaches that all blessings, in every realm of life, come from Him and Him alone. To accept this truth requires faith, the conduit for Elohim’s blessings. 

The Priestly Blessing by Tim Hegg

Thus they shall put My Name on the children of Yisraĕl, and I Myself shall bless them.

Numbers 6.27

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Image result for life and death are in the power of the tongueAccording to Sholomo ha melek (King Solomon), life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it shall eat the fruit thereof. The power that is of the tongue is one that the writer of the Messianic codicil writing of Ya’aqob (James) also calls a small member but able to do great things…because it is a fire! Even more, it was Mashiyach Himself who informs his taught ones that the words which He spoke were Spirit and Life. In fact, so powerful is the expression of the tongue, that both the ability to bless and curse are contained in its force, a reality of which each of us can undeniably testify to the reality of being on both sides of the fence in regards to experiencing the effects of speaking or being on the receiving end of blessings and curses.

Image result for lashon hakodesh lashon haraIn Hebrew, the binary realities of life and death, blessing and curse, are contained in what are respectively called the lashon haqodesh  (לשון הקודש/holy tongue) and the lashon hara (לשון הרע/evil tongue). The evil tongue is typified by derogatory or damaging statements made [about or] against an individual, while the holy tongue, conversely, is the language of the Creator, creation, Torah and prophecy. In light of these varying utterances, this article seeks to compare and contrast the stark differences in the pronouncements of blessings and curses, with an intensive focus on the meaning and significance of the Priestly Blessing (ברכת כהנים/birkat kohanim) found in this week’s parashat Nasso, for the purpose of demonstrating the Messianic maxim that if someone does not stumble in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.

In another place, Sholomo ha melek says that reckless speech is like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. We find this truth to be exemplified with the Levitical priesthood in the matter of the priestly blessing that they conferred upon the entire people of Israel. For it was their wise words, as the messengers of Elohim, that edified the entire nation of Israel in the aims of elevating their consciousness and intensifying their devotion in service of the Most High. This duty and task was embodied in the pronouncement of the priestly blessing. In regards to the Priestly Blessing we are told of the prescribed manner by which it was to be intoned by the Jewish Encyclopedia in the descriptions of its restrictions and regulations,

The blessing was given with uplifted hands. In the Temple service the priests raised their hands above their heads, while in other places they lifted them only to their shoulders. Any Aaronite who had attained manhood’s estate was enjoined to perform the function; there were, however, certain disqualifications due to physical, moral, or ritualistic defects (Meg. 24b; Ber. 32b; “Yad,” Tefillah, xv. 1-6; Shulḥan ‘Aruk, Oraḥ Ḥayyim, 128, 30-41; see Blemish); viz., if a priest had ever killed a human being (even though unintentionally), committed idolatry, violated any of the Levitical purity or marriage laws pertaining to the priests, committed any crime without having repented, or had indulged unduly in drinking wine (this is based upon the juxtaposition of the chapter on the Nazarite, Num. vi. 1-21, and the priestly blessing, Ta’anit 26b, 22-27); if he were crippled, a hunchback, or blind even in one eye, or had any defect on his hands, or if his speech were not distinct; and, finally, without ablution of the hands, he was disqualified. (Compare Blemish.) Should any priests who were thus incapacitated, or who considered themselves unworthy, be present at the service, they were compelled to leave before the reader in his prayer gave the signal to the priests; for otherwise they would violate the command, “Thus shall ye bless the children of Israel.”

Image result for hebrew word for blessingThe strict requirements for the conveyance of this particular blessing was due to the nature of the the Hebrew word barak (בָּרַךְ) which means to bless, or kneel, and was idiomatically comprehended as the inculcation of the interior expansion of knowledge unto productivity. Thus, it was for the priesthood, as those in closest proximity to the Most High amongst Israel, were to be the bearers of and portals to the incarnate reality of the Shekinah presence of יהוה‎. Hence, the levels of purity that the Levites maintained were exceedingly high as they were consecrated from birth to remain holy unto יהוה‎ for their service in the tabernacle and temple. It was when they had attained the state of holiness that they were then able to confer the blessing of placing the Name of יהוה‎ upon the people. From there the unification of Heaven and Earth was then to be established and experienced by the nation. In light of this, we are further told from the Jewish Encyclopedia regarding the regulations and restrictions of the priestly blessing that

The blessing was to be spoken standing, as were the blessings in Deut. xxvii. (Soṭah 38a; Sifre, l.c.; Num. R. l.c.). The priests faced the congregation out of respect for the people; but the latter were not allowed to look at the priests while the blessing was spoken, lest their attention should be distracted and their devotions disturbed (“Yad,” l.c. xiv. 7). In all motions connected with the blessing, such as advancing to the platform, or turning toward the Ark or the congregation, the priest was always to go to the right (“Yad,” l.c. xiv. 13 after Soṭah 15b).

The blessing was to be spoken in Hebrew because of the command “thus”; that is, only in the prescribed words and language. It was to be pronounced in a loud voice so that all the congregation could hear. The priests were required to discard their leather foot-wear (sandals) when they ascended the platform to pronounce the blessing (Soṭah 40a). They were required to wash their hands before proceeding to the performance of the function (Soṭah 39a).

Interestingly, the first instance in Scripture where we see a priest conferring a blessing upon an individual is that of Malkitsedeq doing so with the patriarch Abraham after he returned from battle to redeem his nephew Lot who was captured by king Kedarla’omer from Chaldea. Upon his successful mission of reconnaissance, Abraham encounters the king of Salem where Genesis records these words,

And Malkitseḏeq sovereign of Shalĕm brought out bread and wine. Now he was the priest of the Most High Ěl. And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Aḇram of the Most High Ěl, Possessor of the heavens and earth. And blessed be the Most High Ěl who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tenth of all.

Genesis 14.18-20

While it is commonly understood that Abraham was a most righteous man, we find in this passage that in this encounter, Abraham is, in fact, lesser esteemed than this Malkitsedeq who revealed to Abraham both the Messianic mysteries of the bread and wine and blessed him with the favor of the Most High in his entrance into the Holy Land. Of this dynamic, a drash is provided in the letter to the Nazarene community of Hebrews, which reads

Now see how great this one was, to whom even the ancestor Aḇraham gave a tenth of the choicest booty. And truly, those who are of the sons of Lĕwi, who receive the priesthood, have a command to receive tithes from the people according to the Torah, that is, from their brothers, though they have come from the loins of Aḇraham, however, the one whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Aḇraham, and blessed the one who held the promises. And it is beyond all dispute that the lesser is blessed by the better.

Hebrews 7.4-7

Image result for hebrew word for blessingIn this context, a blessing is the favor of bestowing information and instruction from one who is in possession of greater knowledge and experience to another who is not as endowed which is suggested in its idiom of kneeling; an act of which one can visualizes a parent or adult kneeling to address a child, or an instruction accommodating their student, in order to provide them with the necessary and proper information for assurance of their guidance in the process of their receiving love and instruction for their development. The same principle applies to the relationship that יהוה shares with his people Israel. With birkat kohanim, it is intended to be as if יהוה kneels down to provide us with that parental blessing of instruction, however, is through the Levitical priesthood to whom was given the monumental responsibility of representing the presence of יהוה before Israel. Once the blessings were conferred upon Israel, however, it was then the entire nation’s responsibility to in turn represent the Most High to the rest of the nations and bless them in accordance to the blessing that Abraham received from יהוה. This is the what is referred to in Genesis as being fruitful and multiplying, or recreating the image and likeness of יהוה through the impregnation of set-apart Spirit through the instruction of Torah.  As the will of Heaven would have it, to be fruitful and multiply, as a commandments, is one of the blessings that is bestowed upon Israel when they are found in alignment with the will of יהוה.

Image result for hebrew word for favorAnother blessing that is extended unto Israel with the pronouncement of birkat kohanim by the Levites is that of favor. The Hebrew word, chanan (חָנַן) carries with it the idea of celebrating and honoring the displays of life in the lifting up of the potentialities of the Son of Man. Within the arrangement of birkat kohanim, there is phrase that speaks of the Most High shining His face upon the nation. This blessing is similar to the experience of Moshe when he descended  from Mt. Sinai with the two tablets containing the ten words and his face was illuminated from being in the presence of our Father and King. This experience results in the unification and elevation of consciousness, which becomes physically apparent as the Spirit of life activates the Light within us. This is the meaning of this part of the blessing and it contains the principle of intimacy and the reflecting of the image and likeness that is being conveyed in this second blessing shared with Israel.

Image result for hebrew word for blessingThe last component of birkat kohanim is the blessing of peace. As we are all familiar with the Hebrew word shalom (שָׁלוֹם) as a greeting or departing extension of peace to another, the words also alludes to the idea of being made perfect, complete and whole. What is more, this word also suggests the notion of being able to finish, to arrive at the end of a matter, or to meet a goal. Therefore, with this aspect of the blessing and its accompanying principle of יהוה uplifting His countenance upon Israel, what we are being shown is that it is nothing less than the Shekinah presence of יהוה upon us, both as individuals and a collective, as the manifestation of the favor of the Most High that we as a kingdom of priests and set-apart nation are able to achieve our threefold mission of spiritually, mentally and physically reproducing, reflecting יהוה’s image and reigning on Earth as the chosen people of Elohim in alignment with the covenant. And while it is true that our actions are crucial in the achievement of these three most awesome responsibilities, it is just as importance that we speak truth and life with the lashon hakodesh in the Spirit of יהוה.

To make this reality come to pass, we are told time and again throughout Scripture that the Word of יהוה is sure, true, firm and eternal and our adherence to it will bring forth our fullest potential as humans, which is Mashiyach consciousness. This is able to become our reality because it is His Word, the Torah. that always comes to pass, as the prophet Isaiah informed us

For as the rain and snow come down from heavenand do not return there without having watered the earth, making it bring forth and sproutgiving seed to sow and bread to eatso My word will be that goes out from My mouthIt will not return to Me in vain, but will accomplish what I intendand will succeed in what I sent it for.

Isaiah 55.10-11

Image result for 603550 Israelites in the census and letters in TorahProphetically, what is so powerful about this week’s parashat is that in taking the census, the number of men who were able to serve יהוה, from twenty years of age up to fifty among the children of Israel, was a total number of 603,550. What makes this number so prophetic in nature is that this head count among Israel is also said to be the exact same number as the amount of letters that make up the Torah. This staggering revelation demonstrates that it is the intent of the Most High to have each and every Israelite who is called and elected to play a crucial role in making manifest the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth through their very thoughts, words and deeds. This is because it is understood that it was the letters of the Hebrew Alefbet that served as the building blocks, or DNA if you will, of the entire known and unknown Universe. For it is their fulfillment of the Torah which causes the birkat kohanim to manifest the blessings that are uttered in its pronouncement. This reality is alluded to in the Revelation where Yohanan is shown a marvelous vision;

Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready,  she was given fine linen to wear, bright and clean! For the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the kedoshim. Then the angel tells me, “Write: How fortunate are those who have been invited to the wedding banquet of the Lamb!” He also tells me, “These are the true words of Elohim.”

Revelation 19.7-9

Image result for birkat kohanim handsAs such, it is because we as Israelites are descendants of Abraham and priestly plenipotentiaries of the Kingdom of Heaven who represent the affairs and business of our Father and King, our goal is to become the individual living expressions of the Torah where it is our duty to use our speech, with the clear witness of our actions, to reconfigure creation for the purpose of effecting Tikkun Olam, or the repair of the age. For our ancestors, it was through the means of birkat kohanim and the priesthood lifting their hands before the people, that the harnessing and transference of the spiritual energy of יהוה was conducted through the priests. And because they were the conduits through which the energy was to flow through, they could not be defiled in any way whatsoever, nor could they utter unclean language from their lips. This principle we see articulated by the prophet Mikah in his admonishment of priesthood, reminding them that

My covenant was with him for life and shalom, and I gave them to him for reverence. So he revered Me, and he was awestruck by My Name. Instruction of truth was in his mouth. Injustice was not found on his lips. In shalom and uprightness he walked with Me, and he turned many from iniquity. For a kohen’s lips should guard knowledge, and instruction must be sought from his mouth. For he is a messenger of יהוה Tzva’ot.

Malaki 2.4-7

Therefore, it is not for us as a set apart people to speak words with lashon hara, or the evil tongue. It is our duty to raise the vibration of the entire world by speaking words with the lashon hakodesh. As a result of this, it is all the more important that we learn to speak in the Hebrew language, whose letters are the very building blocks of creation, so that we are able to infuse the consciousness of the Creator within the very soul of each human on earth. For it is our purpose, and the promises of birkat hakohanim, to provide us with the divine imperative and charge us with the the intention and the will of יהוה to bring the vibration and the consciousness of the Garden of Eden back to creation. Then that the Earth will prophetically be able to recognize the presence of יהוה in, on and through our united and completed reality as Israel, the channels of the set-apart Spirit, which will then make accessible to the rest of the nations. And it shall be when Israel is restored that the entire Earth, too, will undergo a revolutionary transformation back to the divine order that it was created to be when the Most High looked at His creation and said, it is good, as it is written

For then I will restore to the people pure speechso that all of them may call upon the Name of יהוה and serve Him shoulder to shoulderAt that time I will bring you in. At that time I will gather you. For I will give you renown and glory among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your captives before your eyes,” declares יהוה.

Zephaniah 3.9

1bini-birkatcohanim-499x499

Selah…

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Additional information:

http://nazarenespace.com/profiles/blogs/naso-the-mystery-of-the-priestly-blessing

https://www.berithbpc.com/index.php/pastoral-exhortation/general/430-the-aaronic-blessing-ii

http://rabbisacks.org/covenant-conversation-5768-naso-the-priestly-blessings/

http://www.torahresource.com/EnglishArticles/Aaronic%20Ben.pdf

http://www.maqom.com/journal/paper30.pdf

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Blessings/Synagogue_Blessings/Priestly_Blessing/priestly_blessing.html

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/gossip-rumors-and-lashon-hara-evil-speech/

https://torah.org/learning/halashon-review1/

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/speech-and-lashon-harah

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