|ג וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה.||3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.|
The true Message underlying the often quoted Divine Reprimand in Gen. 12:3 is hidden behind erroneous translations.
Searching some 30 translation versions, the following more correct rendering of Gen. 12:3 came up:
Color code: This Scripture uses two different words in the original Hebrew – but both are generally translated ‘curse’. To emphasize the difference we will use blue and red markings throughout to distinguish between the two Hebrew words and their translated meanings.
Amplified Classic version “And I will bless (do good for, benefit) those who bless you, And I will curse [that is, subject to My wrath and judgment] the one who curses (despises, dishonours, has contempt for) you. And in you all the families (nations) of the earth will be blessed.”
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
3 And I will bless those who bless you [who confer prosperity or happiness upon you] and curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed [and by you they will bless themselves].
Jerusalem Bible (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd)
“I will bless those who bless you and curse those who slight you …”
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
“ I will bless those who bless you,
I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse.”
Expanded Bible (EXB)
3”I will bless those who bless you,
and I will place a curse on those who ·harm [or curse] you.”
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
“ I will bless those who bless you,
I will curse those who treat you with contempt”
English Translation (NET Bible)
3 \”I will bless those who bless you,
but the one who treats you lightly I must curse,”
Living Translation (NLT)
3”I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt.”
Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)
“And I bless those blessing thee, and him who is disesteeming thee I curse.”
Let us now analyze the Hebrew version:
וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה.
The Hebrew verb Mekalel מְקַלֶּלְ refers to “count for nothing, despise, revile, scorn – the opposite of ‘Praise’.
According to the authoritative modern dictionary used in Israel “The complete English – Hebrew Dictionary” we find under ‘kalel’ the following:
“To curse, revile, abuse, execrate (which means ‘abhor, utterly detest, abominal).
Here is further confirmation right from Scripture, when it records Hagar’s attitude towards Sarah – which defines the correct reaction of despise, jealousy and hate which Hagar felt towards Sarah who could not have a Child. Ishmael was born from this hatred.
|ד וַיָּבֹא אֶל-הָגָר, וַתַּהַר; וַתֵּרֶא כִּי הָרָתָה, וַתֵּקַל גְּבִרְתָּהּ בְּעֵינֶיהָ.||4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.|
Note the following interesting parallels regarding this topic:
Words derived from ‘mekalel’ – מקלל revile (as a verb).
‘Klal’ with a Khuf קלל (ק)klal – revile (as a noun).
The Root of ‘Baseless Hatred’
Applying this Divine Reprimand of Blessing and Curse to our Tisha B’Av Message from this week’s Torah Reading, we learn the following:
We have seen the effect of ‘baseless hatred’ and the Destruction of the Temple. This hatred has been the cause of anti-Semitism and hatred of Judaism throughout the ages. Millions of Jews were slaughtered for this cause. Hence the Divine Reprimand not just against cursing of His People, but even bad-mouthing them. Few anti-Semites in the World will be guilty of cursing Jews – but, bad-mouthing them, deriding, scorn and disdain reigns viral.
Now re-awakening Ephraim (re-identifying Lost 10-Israel, non-Jewish Torah Restorers) should learn from this Divine Reprimand which is hidden to them through erroneous translations. Having been born and raised in the Exile amongst the nations, Ephraim has been exposed to and accepted the ‘Ishmael culture” of jealousy, hate and scorn for the Elect of the God of Israel – as also through anti-Semitism, which amounts to a hatred of God. Scorn and rejection of Jews, Rabbis or Torah Judaism is the order of the day amongst many re-awakening Ephraimites. This is due to the culture which they became imprisoned in during their exile from the Land; living amongst the nations.
Their Return to re-unite with the ancient Family (who maintained ‘their Father’s Household – as in the NT Parable of the Prodigal Son) will serve as a Testimony to the nations, of the God of Israel and His sublime Will as expressed by His Torah. If only they would listen to His Call “Come out of Babylon and Return.” He has prepared the Way. He has opened all the Gates. All Ephraim need to do is turn around (repent – teshuvah) and walk through – Home! But – like the 1st Exodus Wilderness Trail, this is NOT a 40 year picnic in the wilds. HaShem brings those through who search and persist.
Who is this Divine Reprimand addressed to?
Final Cautionary and Call to BOTH Houaea for Awakening.
While the general interpretation of this Reprimand applies it to bad-mouthing, despisimg, cursing Judah, (the Jews), it may in truth extend far beyond that. It is important to note that the Gen. 12:3 Blessing and Curse at the time of pronouncing and writing it, was divinely applied to the entire 12-Tribed Israel, BOTH Houses. It was addressed to Avraham, about his decsendants – and the Tribe of Judah (Jews) did not exist at that time and until much later in history.There was no division yet at the time of a Northern 10-Tribed ‘House of Israel’ and a ‘House of Judah’. It does NOT only warn against scorning and reviling Judah (Jews), but it also applies to scorning the House of Israel, i.e. re-awakening Ephraim, that is, 10-Israel in dispersion amongst the nations with no concept of their Israel heritage and obligation to the Covenant. Thus, they are not to be scorned and reviled either – Judah take note! It applies also to those NT ‘believers’ who despise the 2-House Truth and who scorn and despise their fellow NT Messianics in their process of return to Torah.
Like always, the Finger points right Back at ourselves, each individual!
Let us all take note! – These insults (in its various formats), are flying on BOTH SIDES of this Family Feud. It is time to take stock. This disruptive division in the Family Nation started when, in the Kingdom of Solomon, Judah’s Divine Mandate to teach Torah and lead the nation was rejected by 10-Israel. There were wars between the 2 Houses of HaShem! Brothers slaying brothers! Then, for 2000 years Judah became annihilated for preaching the Word of the God of Israel to the nations. Judah’s great active proselytizing amongst the Romans, leading to 10% of the Roman Empire having converted to the Jewish faith, the Emperor declared the death penalty on Jews for such activities. For 2000 years Judah had to withdraw within themselves, protecting themselves against the nations. Times have CHANGED! Judah is taking the lead again amongst the nations in many fields after just 70 years!
Redemption is in sight!
There can be NO reconciliation without addressing these vile violations – and there can be NO Geulah without Reconciliation. God is waiting on US – BOTH Houses to set this right in humility towards each other, recognizing the striving of each side, each soul, to conform. To recognize the ravages of history which have caused this Division.
Independent research scholar. He works tirelessly as an activist promoting Israel and settlement of the Land of Israel, and as Webmaster and co-ordinator of Kol HaTor. Read More.