Friday, November 28, 2014

Season of Praise: Barak

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Nov. 28 -  Barak - Strong's 1288 

This is another primitive root word with a handful of tenses.  The lexicon linked above and Strong's Hebrew and Chaldee dictionary agree that Barak primarily means to kneel, but Strong adds that implications include to bless God (as an act of adoration)  and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit);  apparently one of those tenses means the opposite, as the word can also be translated to curse (God or the king, as treason).  

The word appears a whopping 330 times in the Old Testament; 302 of those are translated in the King James as Bless, but it also appears five times as Salute, four times as Curse, twice each as  Blaspheme, Blessing, Praised, and Kneel down;  once time each as Congratulate, Kneel, and Make to kneel, and finally, with a notation I haven't encountered before, the Blue Letter Bible lexicon just says that it is translated  eight times as what appears to be miscellaneous unspecified words.

If I counted right, the word is used 65 times in the book of Genesis alone, 34 of those instances are God giving His blessing.  Here's a  glimpse (and I'm using the Amplified again):

Genesis 1:22 - And God blessed [Barak] them, saying, Be fruitful, multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth.

Genesis 1:28 - And God blessed [Barak] them, and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it (with all its vast resources); and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.

Genesis 2:3 - And God blessed [Barak] (spoke good of) the seventh day, set it apart as His own, and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all His work which He had created and done.

Genesis 12: 2-3 - And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless [Barak] you (with abundance and increase of favors)  and make your name famous and distinguished, and you shall be a blessing - dispensing good to others.  And I will bless [Barak]  those who bless [Barak] you (who confer prosperity or happiness upon you) and curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you shall all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed [Barak]  - by you they shall bless themselves. 

Genesis 26:12 - Then Isaac sowed seed in that land, and received in the same year 100 times as much as he had planted, and the Lord favored him with blessings [Barak].

Genesis 32:29 - Then Jacob asked Him, Tell me, I pray You,  what (in contrast)  is Your name?  But He said, Why is it that you ask My name?  and (the Angel of God declared) a blessing [Barak] on (Jacob) there.

Genesis 39:5 - From the time that he made him supervisor in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed [Barak] the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the Lord's blessing was on all that he had in the house and in the field.

Genesis 48:3 -  And Jacob said to Joseph, God Almighty appeared to me at Luz (Bethel) in the land of Canaan and blessed [Barak] me.
I knew from previous sermon series that Barak  means to kneel, to bless God but I had not seen that it also means God blesses as well.  I think it's really interesting that the word used for God blessing man has in its root the connotation of kneeling.

I know I've wandered a bit from my stated purpose in studying praise, but I'm not so sure it isn't related.  The position of kneeling is synonymous with submission; one kneels to a person in higher authority.  It shows recognition of overlordship; a subject presenting himself to his liege lord.

The position of an individual blessing God results in God blessing the individual.

Or nation, for that matter.  When we acknowledge the power and authority of God, from a position of kneeling and blessing Him, that puts us in the position for Him to put His blessing on us.

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