Thursday, July 9, 2009

בּרכה Word Study (Are the Gentiles Blessed Too?)


The Hebrew word for blessing is בּרכה, pronounced berâkâh. בּרכה, along with its root בּרך (Barak, "blessed"), is used some 415 times in the Tanakh. Only 3 of those times it's translated literalistically, "to kneel," which was closely associated with receiving a blessing (Gen 244.11; 2 Chron 6.13; Ps 95.6).

Follow this path of its occurrences...

Gen 12.3: "I will bless (בּרך) those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

Gen 28.3-4: "God Almighty bless (בּרך) you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. May he give the blessing of Abraham to you and to your offspring with you, that you may take possession of the land of your sojournings that God gave to Abraham!"

Deut 11.26-28: "See, I am setting before you today a blessing (בּרכה) and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known."

Stay with me...

Deut 28.2: "And all these blessings (בּרכה) shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God."

And here comes the climactic main point...

Deut 30.1: "And when all these things come upon you, the blessing (בּרכה) and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind AMONG ALL THE NATIONS where the LORD your God has driven you..." (emphasis added)

Purpose from the Gen 12.3 beginning of the covenant: All nations = blessed. Big Deut 30.1 picture of all the blessings mentioned throughout the Torah: All nations = see the blessings.

Did you catch that? The culmination of every blessing given by God to His people was toward ALL nations. i.e. the Gentiles... Jump forward to Galatians. (Possibly the main argument for Nondispensationalists?) I know this has been done before, so I'll be brief.

3.5-6: Gentiles experiencing miracles by hearing with faith, same as Abraham
3.7-8: Eschatological continuity with cov to Abe
3.14: Gentiles receive same Spirit the Jews received (cross-ref: Acts 10)
3.15-16: Gentiles blessed based on cov to Abe, NOT law to Iz
3.28: Neither Jew nor Greek
3.29, 4.28: Gentiles called Abe's offspring

So... this means the בּרכהם of the Tanakh are now extended to the Gentiles! All adding up to a NONdispensationalist view. Hmm.

I'm gonna go ahead and post this note, cuz Starbucks is kicking me out, lol, but I'd like to also ponder what Paul means in Gal 6.16 by "Israel of God." I'd be inclined to argue that this may be the weightiest argument against dispensationalism. But there's more to be said for that...

Thx for reading!

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