To bless or curse: that is the question

Matthew 5:43–48, Loving one’s enemies vs. the imprecatory psalms of David. In the Davidic psalms, David writes numerous imprecations against his enemies where he implored Elohim to destroy his enemies (e.g. Ps 5:10; 6:10; 7:9; 35:26; 40:14; 55:15; 58:6–8…). How could a man after YHVH’s own heart wish so much ill upon those people intending his harm? How does this comport with Yeshua’s instructions hear to love your enemies and to treat them well? On second look, David’s imprecatory psalms may not be as incongruous with Yeshua’s teachings in his Sermon on the Mount as it may seem. Here are several points to consider in this regard.

All of David’s desires upon his enemies are directed to Elohim in the form of a prayer. As such, he is submitting his wishes to the ultimate will of the just and righteous Judge of the universe to have his way with David’s enemies.

David isn’t expressing his desires upon his enemies to his enemies. Rather, the issue is a matter of prayer, not direct confrontation.

The Bible clearly teaches in countless places that Elohim will bring judgment upon his wicked enemies. That judgment comes in many ways and many time frames. Some judgment is temporal, some is eternal.

The Bible also teaches that Elohim will repay his enemies for the evil they have done. They will reap the consequences of their sinful actions. In fact, Elohim even hates some of his enemies—the workers of iniquity (e.g. Pss 5:5; 11:5).

A case can be made from the Scriptures that the righteous are to hate the things that Elohim hates and love the things that he loves. In one place, David even talks about hating the enemies of Elohim with a perfect hatred (Ps 139:22).

So, in a general sense, the saint is to hate the workers of iniquity, the haters of Elohim and his ways. But it is not the prerogative of the saint to take matters into his own hands to execute judgment against his enemies. Scripture declares that vengeance alone belongs to Elohim, and he will repay (Ps 94:1; Rom 12:9).

Until then, we are to love our enemies when dealing with them face to face as Yeshua instructs here, and we are to even bless them and pray for them. Why is this? Praying for our enemies may or may not change their demeanor toward us or their persecuting us, but it will keep us from walking in unforgiveness, from becoming embittered, vengeful and hateful ourselves. By releasing them to YHVH to do what he will with them in his own time and way, we are freeing ourselves from negativity or the evil darkness that our enemies may unwittingly by trying to impose on us, which will blotch or taint our own soul with spiritual darkness.

There may, however, come a time when our enemies are so cruel, hateful and wicked that it is appropriate to pray an imprecatory prayer against them in the manner of David, who was often fighting for his life at the hand of his enemies. As we read in Ecclesiastes chapter three

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…And a time to heal; A time to break down…A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace. (Eccl 3:1, 3, 8).

May YHVH grant us the wisdom through the guidance of his Spirit to know what to do and when at all times.


Blessings from Heaven Through the Priestly Blessing

Numbers 6:22–27, The Aaronic or Priestly Blessing. The Aaronic Blessing is about the power of blessing and the power of our words. The Scriptures teach us that our words can heal, build up and encourage, or kill, tear down and curse, that the power of life and death is in the tongue. What kind of words come from your mouth—especially to your spouse and children? Charity begins at home. How often do you speak blessings over your children and spouse? Do you bless those who curse you as Yeshua instructed his disciples to do?

The Levitical priesthood was one of YHVH’s blessings or marriage gifts to his bride, Israel. It was given to her at the time of their marriage to him at Mount Sinai. The Aaronic or Priestly Blessings of Numbers 6:22–27 indicate that the priests were to be a conduit of YHVH’s blessings to his people. The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash correctly states it this way: “[The priests did not] have any independent power to confer or withhold blessings—only God can assure people of success, abundance, and happiness—but that part of their Temple service is to be the conduit through which God’s blessing would be pronounced on His people” (p. 762). Hirsch in his commentary on the priestly blessing states that it is Jewish tradition for the human instrument conveying the blessing to raise his hands (vertically and not horizontally) to heaven while reciting this blessing so as not to give the people the impression that the priest is conveying the blessing, but that it is coming from heaven (The Pentateuch Numbers, p. 99, Judaica Press). The Jewish sages further note that in Numbers 6:22–23, the Torah uses the word saying three times to emphasize the fact that the blessings flow from YHVH to the Israelites and are to be passed on to subsequent generations. The saints are YHVH’s priesthood now (“a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a kadosh nation, a peculiar people,” 1 Pet 2:9). Are you an instrument of blessing everywhere you go? Do you ask YHVH to use you every day to spread the light of his truth and his love to others?

The Aaronic Blessing can be subdivided into three sections:

(a) The First Blessing: May YHVH bless you and safeguard you. The Jewish sages take this to refer to the material and physical blessings that Torah obedience brings as enumerated in Deuteronomy 28:1–14. This includes good health, wealth, divine protection and victory over enemies. YHVH’s blessing and his safeguarding of those blessings from those who would kill, steal and destroy them go hand-in-hand. The sages teach that “the best way for someone to preserve his wealth is to use it for charity and good deeds. That assures him of God’s continued blessing” (ibid. p. 763).

(b) The Second Blessing: May YHVH illuminate his countenance for you and be gracious to you. The sages teach that this illumination refers to the light of the Torah and they cite Proverbs 6:23, “For the commandment is a lamp and the Torah is a light.” Compare this with what John said about Yeshua in John 1:1–14; 8:12; 9:5 about Yeshua being the Light of the world. YHVH’s grace also involves him granting his people Torah knowledge, wisdom and understanding to utilize Torah properly and fully; to use the insights gained therefrom to comprehend his purposes (ibid. p. 763).

(c) The Third Blessing: May YHVH lift his countenance and establish peace/shalom for you. In Hebraic poetic symbolism, the idea of YHVH’s face or countenance shining toward his people is a metaphor of divine grace and favor. Contrariwise, when his face is turned against his people, this represents divine disapproval and shame upon his people (For examples of this in the Scriptures see Pss 4:6; 31:16; 67:1 cp. Lev 17:10; 20:5, 6, 17; Deut 31:17; 2 Chron 30:9; Ps 34:16 ; Jer 44:11; Ezek 7:22.). The sages note that peace is an essential component of the other blessings, for what good is physical blessings and spiritual insight if one’s life is devoid of peace? What is the Jewish concept of peace? It is balance, which is the absence of strife between the opposing forces in one’s life. Sin disrupts this balance and causes strife and warfare as well as creating a barrier between YHVH and his people (Read what Yeshua, the greatest and only true Rabbi of all, taught about this in Matthew 5:23–24.). When such strife and barriers exist causing the negation of peace, what are some things one must do to restore the peace? After all, Yeshua said, “Blessed [Happy] are the peacemakers …” Does peace just happen or is it necessary to exert effort to create it? Can there be peace where there is sin (i.e. Torahlessness)? Does it logically follow that the more our ways line up with the Torah of YHVH, the more our ways are pleasing to him, the more peace we will experience in all our relationships? (Read Proverbs 16:7.)


Which Mountain Will You Choose: Gerizim or Ebal?

Deuteronomy 11:26–28, This passage begins with the words, “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if you will obey the commandments of YHVH your Elohim, which I command you this day; and a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of YHVH your Elohim, to go after other gods, which you have not known” (Deut 11:26–28).


After this, in verse 29, YHVH instructs the Israelites that upon entering the Promised Land, they are to stop between the mountains of Gerizim and Ebal, which are located at the entry point of the land. The former mountain represents a blessing, while the later represents a curse. The town of Shechem is located between the two mountains. The Hebrew word Shechem means “shoulder” or “back” (Strong’s H7927). The shoulder supports the head, which through the disposition of the mind and the direction in which the head is pointed, determines the path a person will walk whether good or evil.

It was at Shechem, between the two mountains representing good and evil, that Israel renewed its covenant with YHVH before entering the Promised Land (Josh 8:30–35). The power of the covenant that the people made with YHVH on that day thousands of years ago is still visible in the modern land of Israel: Mount Ebal is bare and devoid of vegetation, Continue reading