Verse 24. "The Lord bless thee" - There are three forms of blessing here, any or all of which the priests might use on any occasion. The following is a verbal translation:-
1. May Jehovah bless thee and preserve thee! 2. May Jehovah cause his faces to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee! 3.
May Jehovah lift up his faces upon thee, and may be put prosperity unto thee! This is a very comprehensive and excellent prayer, and may be paraphrased thus:-
1. May God speak good unto thee, by giving thee his excellent promises! (See the note on "Gen. ii. 3".) May he preserve thee in the possession of all the good thou hast, and from all the evil with which thou art threatened! 2. May the Holy Trinity illuminate thy heart, giving thee the true knowledge of thyself and of thy Maker; and may he show thee his graciousness in pardoning thy sins, and supporting thy soul! 3.
May God give thee communion with the Father, Son, and Spirit, with a constant sense of his approbation; and grant thee prosperity in thy soul, and in all thy secular affairs! This I suppose to be the spirit and design of this form of benediction. Others will doubtless interpret it after their manner. Several wise and learned men believe that the mystery of the Holy Trinity is not obscurely hinted at in it. God the FATHER blesses and keeps his followers. God the SON is gracious unto sinners in remitting their offenses, which he died to blot out. God the HOLY SPIRIT takes of the things which are Christ's, and shows them unto genuine Christians, and diffuses the peace of God in their hearts. In a word, Christ, the gift of the Father by the energy of the Holy Spirit, came to bless every one of us by turning us away from our iniquities.
1. EVERY genuine Christian is a true Nazarite. He is separated from the world, and dedicated solely to the service of God. 2. His life is a life of self-denial; he mortifies and keeps the flesh in obedience to the Spirit. 3.
All this enters into the spirit of his baptismal vow; for in that he promises to renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh-to keep God's holy word and commandments, and to walk in the same all the days of his life. 4. The person who is faithful has the blessing of God entailed upon him. Thus shall ye bless the children of Israel, &c., &c. See the notes on ver. 5 and 7.