"A Blessing"

What does the word “bless” mean?

 Part 1 In the beginning…

Before you read this, take a minute and ask yourself, “What does the word “BLESS” mean?”

Perhaps you are imagining some magical conjuring of God’s spirit to a person’s life, or some amazing event, or…. Well, you probably can’t put your finger on it.  Neither could I.

In our modern vernacular, we often throw the word “bless” around a lot; from our grandparents giving us their “blessings” for completing a remedial task for them, or, throwing out “God bless you” every time somebody sneezes!  But, none of the examples really helps us define what God intended for the word bless to mean as it was used in the actual word of God.  

Solving this back in 2011, after I had picked up my bible for the first time in years following a series of personal events which I will write about elsewhere, was perhaps the key in my rejuvenated love for God’s Word.  Where God showed me that I clearly had insufficient understanding of His Word even with such a matter that most people would label as remedial, it, in fact, lit a fire in my heart to pursue understanding of the scriptures.  Imagine being a “faithful Christian” for 20+ years, asking God for his blessings day after day, and not actually knowing what I was truly asking for!  When I prayed for His blessings I imagined in my heart that the most supernatural of events would manifest against my enemies so that we could all witness who truly was doing God’s work, but today, I realize that this was just folly of youth and a desire to stroke my own ego.  “I was right, you are all wrong, therefore, listen to me”. 

The truth is, I had a pretty decent grasp on the bible regarding the “Christianese” understanding of scripture, but the real revelation was that most of my understanding at the time came from what either I had heard, or what I was told, or what I was taught… My understanding did not come directly from the Bible especially since that was always my aim.

So, I decided that it would be best to start reading the Bible from the actual beginning in order to see what I’d missed, in order to let God speak to me personally (so to speak).

Genesis 1:1 “In the Beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.”  If you believe this than carry on, but, if you don’t, realize at least that you are choosing to believe what you’ve been told rather than the actual word of God.  But I digress…

After over 9 years of keeping my bible shelved where I was still trying to seek the ultimate truth, a series of events and understandings all pointed directly back to the bible from multiple sources.  Picking up my bible again with the enthusiasm of a giddy child, I delved into the word of God with a vigor that dwarfed the excitement of owning my first car it as a teenager!  That first chapter, our creation story jumped from the page into my imagination creating the most amazing visuals in my mind’s eye as I imagined witnessing the glory of God creating our reality.  I would eventually spend over a year studying the book of genesis and at least a quarter of that time was spent just in Genesis chapters 1 and 2.

But in reading, my paranoid mindset alarm was tripped when I got to the 5th day of creation.

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.


God blessed them?

Now I was coming into the Bible with the mentality of not taking anything I read for granted.  If you read my post (HERE) about Nikola Tesla and perspective, the momentum I was carrying while undertaking to reread my bible with a clear mindset already set in. I read this and I asked myself, “What does it mean that God “blessed” them”?  Most people would just read over that and carry on.  And, I now believe that this, the inability of Christians to really comprehend God’s word and its precision is a genius strategic move in the great deception of the enemy.   But let’s continue onto the sixth day;

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

There it is again…

I will be doing a very in depth analysis about the creation story in the future, but, something to notice here is that after He blessed “the blessees”, he gave them specific instructions on what they must do. 

In fact, the word bless appears just one more time in the creation story:

Genesis 2: 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

These are the three distinct blessings in the creation story.  And since the creation of the world is probably important to God, I believe it’s safe to assume that the prudent student should really try to “milk” all the understanding out of it. 


Part 2 So what DOES the word bless mean? – Study Guidelines

To answer our original question, we must first lay a proper foundation for actually studying the bible. 

There are a few ways to gain understanding in the Bible.  One way is in the context that a word, or phrase, is being used. And, while this method is generally used in all forms of literature, the bible differs in regards to the principal of first mention. To define it, gotquestions.org gives us a great definition:

The law (or principle or rule) of first mention is a guideline that some people use for studying Scripture. The law of first mention says that, to understand a particular word or doctrine, we must find the first place in Scripture that word or doctrine is revealed and study that passage. The reasoning is that the Bible’s first mention of a concept is the simplest and clearest presentation; doctrines are then more fully developed on that foundation. So, to fully understand an important and complex theological concept, Bible students are advised to start with its “first mention….

Genesis, the book of beginnings, naturally contains many “first mentions,” including the foundations of these doctrines and concepts: divine omnipotence, creation, paradise, marriage, family, sin, sacrifice, atonement, angels, prayer, judgment, covenant, government, death, burial, etc. When asked about marriage, Jesus pointed to two “first mention” passages: “Haven’t you read . . . that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?” (Matthew 19:4–5; cf. Genesis 1:27; 2:24).” (https://www.gotquestions.org/law-of-first-mention.html )

In our case however, while the word bless does appear first in Genesis 1, it still doesn’t help us clearly define what it means.  So the prudent student of scripture then goes to the next tool in the toolbox, which is referring to the original text.

For those that don’t know, the original Old Testament was mostly written in Hebrew and the New Testament mostly in Greek (there is debate amongst scholars that the original Gospel of Matthew was written in Hebrew).  But God, in his infinite wisdom “locked in” the texts through translation.  So the original Old Testament, or at least the first 5 books of the Old Testament known as the Torah, the Pentateuch, or the books of Moses, were converted by Jewish scholars into Greek in the third century BC.  Scholars will debate when the entirety of the Old Testament was converted to Greek but for our case, since we are just working out of Genesis this will suffice.  Once the texts were “locked in” so to speak, then it is nearly impossible to fiddle with the texts.  On a side note, the New Testament, and the Bible in its entirety is then locked in less than 1000 years later with the invention of the printing press.

So while I was doing my own study on the word bless, I naturally first went to the original Hebrew word which is “barak”. Using the blue letter bible ( a true Godsend for the serious Bible student) we learn that (https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/h1288/kjv/wlc/0-1/ ) :

בָּרַךְ bârak, baw-rak'; a primitive root; to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit); also (by euphemism) to curse (God or the king, as treason):—× abundantly, × altogether, × at all, blaspheme, bless, congratulate, curse, × greatly, × indeed, kneel (down), praise, salute, × still, thank.

And amazingly enough, to someone like me who isn’t Hebrew, the Jewish understanding doesn’t really help me define what the word means.  But a mind that seeks wisdom and God’s understanding should praise God in such an instance because we know from His Word that he DOES in fact want to be understood and close to His creation (John 17:3, Jer. 9:24, Phil 3:10 etc.)!  It’s just going to take some more work to do it. 

So, I am of Greek ethnicity, the Greek language being my second language personally.  And as a police officer that has prepared many case files for court where the every detail of the written content is of paramount importance, the precision of language and its use was ingrained into me.  And here I believe lies an interesting contrast regarding the Greek and Hebrew languages.  The Hebrew is really up for deep, almost philosophical understanding because the actual letters have such a deep meaning and combining them together can present many different understandings.  I mean just look at how many things the word barak can mean.  I mean, if I was Jewish myself I might be able to understand a more precise meaning for the context we are studying but even after asking a few people who are Jewish or speak Hebrew, I really couldn’t get a clear picture.

But the Greek language is a much more rigid and precise language with really little to no room for interpretation especially when it comes to context.  What’s more is that all Greek is used in the everyday vernacular so the meanings are never lost to a fluent Greek speaker.  Greek, as a language that is used, brings a much simpler yet deeper understanding of the meaning of words to the regular Joe rather than the scholar who will try to trace words back to the earliest known uses in written documents and  I’m sure the same can be said about the Hebrew language as well.  So, in reality, the Greek language is much older than Homer and Socrates. Just look how the BLB tries to interpret a 2 letter word:

Excerpt from https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g2095/kjv/tr/0-1/εὖ, adverb, (properly, εΰ, the unused neuter of the adjective ἐΰς in Homer), wellεὖ πράσσω, not as many interpreters take it, contrary to ordinary Greek usage; yet cf. Schmidt, vol. iv. p. 398, to do well i. e. act rightly (which in Greek is expressed by ὀρθῶς or καλῶς πράσσω), but to be well off, fare well, prosper, Acts 15:29 [R. V. it shall be well with you] (Xenophon, mem. 1, 6, 8; 2, 4, 6; 4, 2, 26; oec. 11, 8; Josephus, Antiquities 12, 4,” .  Lol, even the “interpreters” can’t agree. 

And as a side note, the prudent student of scriptures should always take biblical teachings from others with a large grain of salt, particularly Western scholars.  If a particular language is not your first language, and you aren’t using that language in your society, you will always have shortcomings in comprehension.  This is reality. 

So, in this instance, the Greek word for bless is the compound word ev-logisen – ευλόγησεν, the verb format for the word ev-logia.  And feel free to look at the complicated interpretation of the BLB https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g2127/kjv/tr/0-1/. But even if you don’t know Greek at all, you might recognize the root word, LOGOS.

Ev: really means to bestow upon… to give.

Logisen: from the root logos. This should be familiar to us all; The Word. But it’s essence is logic, reason, and understanding. The plural form of the word logos is LOGIA which actually means spoken words. Ev-logia is the noun format of the word bless.

In fact, check blue letter bible’s interpretation of the word evlogia in regards to it being “of God”

  1. of God
    1. to cause to prosper, to make happy, to bestow blessings on
    2. favoured of God, blessed



Part 3 Putting it altogether


So, let’s try to put this all together to see if we can make some sense of this:

Starting again from Genesis 1,

22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.


Can we not say then that God, “blessed them”, i.e.,  giving them understanding (of His Word, His plan), and gave His creation specific instructions in order to make His creation prosper? Think about it another way.  Of all the living things that God created on the earth, the animals, the creepy crawlies, the fish, the birds etc., till THIS day continue to carry out Gods directions given to them at the creation of the earth!  I wonder why we humans think that doing it our way is better than following God’s instructions…


So, I DO think that this is the BEST definition of the word bless, specifically when it comes to a person being BLESSED BY GOD!  So when we ask for God’s blessings in our prayers, what we are really asking, perhaps guided by the Holy Spirit, is the ability to understand the REASON why all the events happening around us on a macro or micro scale and HOW it pertains to God’s plan, which is all foretold in His Word, The Logos! Amen!

Now this doesn’t mean that a blessing can’t be some sort of “supernatural” event, whether it be a miraculous healing or some other amazing event, but keep in mind that even Jesus’ miracles were never about anything more than to move forward God’s plan. We, as society, have come to allow the suppression of the understanding of God’s word to such an extent that Christians and even other people seeking spiritual enlightenment are so quick to identify ANYTHING supernatural with either God, or positivity in general.  But, this is very unfortunate, even dangerous, because if we don’t test the spirit in which a miracle comes from, we run a ridiculously high probability of being deceived.

1 John 4: 1  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.


And in regards to the third instance of bless in the creation story;

Genesis 2: 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Thus it’s simple to say that God FAVORED the seventh day and thus sanctified it to be a memorial to all His creation forever so that we, the human population with our amnesic memories, don’t forget that we are all here, not by some cosmic accident, but by the will of God.  I’ll be covering the Sabbath in another blog series and the OT law in general as not to diverse from our study.

So how does all this now refer to our study of the book of Revelation?

Firstly, the Revelation is the only book of the bible that promises special blessings to the person that reads it.  So, with that being said, lets read it…


The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.


I don’t know about you, but I personally find it fascinating that God promises me, the reader a favor and specific understanding just by simply reading the most controversial book not just in the bible, but perhaps EVER written.

But let’s break down the third verse to see what information we can extract:

The blessing is to

  1. He that reads -
  2. The ones who hear -
  3. And KEEP? The things that are written

to attend to carefully, take care of

to guard

metaph. to keep, one in the state in which he is

to observe

to reserve: to undergo something


τηρέω tēréō, tay-reh'-o; from τερός terós (a watch; perhaps akin to G2334); to guard (from loss or injury, properly, by keeping the eye upon; and thus differing from G5442, which is properly to prevent escaping; and from G2892, which implies a fortress or full military lines of apparatus), i.e. to note (a prophecy; figuratively, to fulfil a command); by implication, to detain (in custody; figuratively, to maintain); by extension, to withhold (for personal ends; figuratively, to keep unmarried); by extension, to withhold (for personal ends; figuratively, to keep unmarried):—hold fast, keep(- er), (pre-, re-)serve, watch.


The plural is of course to many different people, but also to the HEARER, It’s an individual message. To YOU!



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