Bible study 123 – Numbers 6

This chapter describes how to become a kind of a temporary Jewish monk, a nazirite. You need to abstain from wine, grape juice, raisins, haircuts and corpses for the duration of your nazirite existence. Then, when you want to stop being a nazirite, you sacrifice some animals at the tabernacle and finally cut your hair.

At the end of the chapter is suddenly inserted a completely unrelated poem: the Priestly Blessing. I’m not exactly sure where I’ve heard this, but it’s definitely incredibly famous; I think they read it at the end of church services. This is a little strange, because in the Bible it is explicitly, unequivocally directed at the Israelis, and no one else.

Numbers 6:23-27
Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them,

The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make his face to 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 Israelites, and I will bless them.

Full text.

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