MembersBlessing and Knee

The word ‘blessing’ is a keyword in the Bible.

By Aviel Schneider |
Ultra Orthodox Jews attend a priestly blessing at the Western Wall as the sun rises on on May 25, 2016, in Jerusalem's Old City. Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash90 Photo: Yossi Zamir/Flash90

The noun ‘blessing’ in the text of the Hebrew Bible is bracha (ברכה), and the one being blessed is baruch (ברוך). Baruch and bracha are derived from the root bet-resh-kaf (ך ר ב), which means knee. Kneeling down and bowing down are signs of respect. Thus the word knee is found within the Hebrew word blessing. “That to Me every knee (ברך) will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” (Isaiah 45:23)

Kneeling down is a sign of humbling oneself before a superior, whether it be a king or the Creator of the universe. Kneeling down is an expression of religious and godly reverence. The practice of kneeling down to pray is found in many religions. “Come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” (Psalm 95:6) Thus kneeling down and blessing are linked together spiritually in the Hebrew language.

“See, I am setting before you today a blessing (ברכה) and a curse.” (Deuteronomy 11:26) “He shall receive a blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” (Psalm 24:5)

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