God said to Abram: Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you.”
The common interpretation of this Scripture is that it pronounces a fearful condemnation by God Almighty on “those who curse Jews and Judaism.”
The original Hebrew text of this Scripture, however, holds far greater implications for those who commit themselves to such Jewish condemnations. Our proper analysis here of the original Hebrew version will reveal that the common English translations conceal a far broader application of this Divine Curse. The fact that it concerns and points a finger at the critical and condemning accusers of Judaism speaks loud and clear why this text has been blatantly mistranslated by most English Bible translation versions. This will be clearly evident when the broader implication of this Scripture is revealed in this investigation.
While most translations render it “… I will curse those who curse you”, the original Hebrew version of this text as well as several Bible translation versions correctly quote this text as follows:
|ג וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה.||3 “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse.|
Searching through some 50 translation versions, the following more correct rendering of Gen. 12:3 came up:
Color coding confirms two completely different words used in the original Hebrew Scriptures – but both are generally translated ‘curse’. To emphasize the difference we will use blue and red markings throughout the different translations versions below in order to distinguish between the two Hebrew words and their translated meanings.
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.”
The Amplified Classic version presents both sides:
“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.”
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).
You don’t have to curse Jews to earn God’s Judgment – simply bad-mouth them!
This confirmation holds a serious warning to those multitudes who do not go to the extent of cursing Jews and the Jewish Torah Faith but so strongly reject and bad-mouth them
Notice now how translators render the correct meaning of ‘mekalel’, in fact even adding a wide range of additional renderings, all of which define the popular practice amongst non-Jewish Bible believers in their rejection of Jews, Torah, and Judaism while not really ‘cursing’ them! This comes in Gen. 16 which records Hagar’s attitude towards Sarah after she bore a son from Avraham. This defines the correct reaction of despise, jealousy, and hate which Hagar (a non-Israelite) felt towards Sarah who could not have a Child. Ishmael was born from this hatred. And strangely, this time the various translation various render it correctly!
|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: a verb tense conjunction form of the word ‘mekalel’ is used here – takal תֵּקַל … as also the verb 2 words earlier in the sentence – to see – tar’a תֵּרֶא.
Refer to 50 Translation versions of Gen. 16:4 to see all these various usages – none as ‘curse’! We provide a summary extract of these various usages in the following paragraph:
Serious Warning to Jew and Torah despisers!
You may have excused yourself from the Divine Warning of condemnation in Gen. 12:3 by assuring yourself that you do not CURSE Jews, but take note of the confirmation in the following summary extract from these 50 translations of the word ‘mekalel’ in Gen. 16:4. This, surely, applies to Gen. 12:3, our main Topic of this thread. As such, that Divine Reprimand in Gen. 12:3 reads as follows:
“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse anyone who …
- despise, look with contempt, no longer respect, become proud and hateful t0, lightly esteem, proud and feel to be better than, look down on, to treat badly, be disrespectful to, see someone as small in your eyes, become proud and arrogant towards, to see someone as losing stature in your eyes, se someone as insignificant, hate, to belittle someone, become haughty towards, … you, Avraham, through whom all the families of the earth will be blessed!” … obviously, IF they accept the Faith of which Avraham was elected from amongst the Gentiles as the Patriarch! The Source of these various forms of the word ‘mekalel’ is to be found in 50 Translation versions of Gen. 16:4
More Confirmation from Hebrew Grammar
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 the 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.
Not only Jew-haters are at risk –
This Divine Warning equally applies to Re-awakening Torah restoring Ephraim!
Re-awakening Ephraim (i.e. re-identifying Lost 10-Israel, non-Jewish Torah Restorers to be found across the World today), 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 ‘pagan culture” of jealousy, hate, and scorn for the Elect of the God of Israel – as also through anti-Semitism, which in essence amounts to a hatred of God. Scorn and rejection of Jews, Rabbis, and 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.
The NT, in the Parable of The Prodigal Son (See video), provides Messianic believers with great guidelines in this respect. It reflects Ephraim’s return to and reuniting with the End Time remnant of the ancient Family Nation who retained ‘their Father’s Household’ – that is, Judah – Judaism, the Jews who maintained the Torah-based Faith and following of the God of Israel.
Torah restoring NT Messianic believers 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 to “Come out of Babylon and Return Home to the Original Faith.” God has prepared the Way. He has opened all the Gates. All Ephraim needs 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.
Here is a stirring testimony to the never-ending overcoming persistence that the House of Judah had to practice and present – even after the diabolical Shoah (Holocaust), on their endeavors to return Home to the Promised Land: Read the moving report “The Price that Judah is paying to Return and rebuild the Promised Land for its Ultimate Divine Designation.”
The fearful implications broaden even further
The question that should have been asked right at the outset of this review is:
WHO does this Reprimand apply to?
The answer becomes clear from the 3 consecutive texts leading up to our Theme Scripture Gen. 12:3. We read:
Gern. 12, 1″Now HaShem said unto Abram (a Gentile selected by God to build His Covenant Nation on), ‘Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show you:
2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curseth you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
The answer is clear and elementary: Abraham AND his descendants – and that means not just Jews only. It applies to all 12 Tribes of Israel. In this Time it thus refers to both the Jews and the re-awakening as yet unidentified 10-Tribed House of Israel (still in exile). The Tribe of Judah (Jews) did not exist at that time and until much later in history.
Now with that in mind, let us read our Theme Scripture again:
Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse anyone who curses you.”
Judah take note! The Divine Curse is not reserved for the cursing and condemning of Jews (Judah) only, but applies to the entire 12-Tribed Israel, BOTH Houses. Therefore, 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. These exiles are from the original Sinai covenanted 12-Tribed Israel. They have no concept of their Israel heritage and obligation to the Covenant. Thus, they are not to be scorned and reviled either, which Jews make themselves so guilty of constantly.
Christians take note!
It applies also to tyou, the NT ‘believers’ who despise the 2-House Truth and Hebraic Roots Restorers, 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 their 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.
In the end, both sides revere the Creator God, when we allow for varying interpretations on BOTH sides, of the God Who Hides Himself.
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.