And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel;…
Jewish priests were required to give the blessing — or, as we say, "pronounce the benediction" — at the close of their religious meetings, as the ministers of the gospel do now. And this was especially done at the close of the solemn service here among the Jews every year on what was called "the great Day of Atonement." We know what the words were which the priests used on these occasions. We find them in Numbers 6:24-26. They are these: "The Lord bless thee and keep thee: the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." These words are very beautiful. But then the Jewish priests could only use them as a kind of prayer. But they had no power to give the people these blessings. And here we see the great difference between all other priests and Jesus, our heavenly Priest. He not only speaks the words of blessing, but He really gives the blessings those words represent. This was what He meant when He said to His disciples, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you" (John 14:27). The world, or the people in the world, can only wish or pray that we may have peace. But Jesus can give peace. Yes, and not only peace, but pardon, and hope, and joy, and grace, and every blessing that we need, Jesus is able to give. He came to bless the world. He did bless it while He was in it. He "went about doing good." He was scattering blessings wherever He went. And He is doing the same still. He loves to bless; and the store of blessings He has to draw upon is so large and full that it never can fail. Look at yonder sun. For thousands of years it has been shining away all the time; and yet the sun has as much light to give to-day as it had in the day when God first made it. Or look at yonder ocean. It has been giving up its water to supply the springs and fountains of the earth ever since it was made; and yet there is as much water in the ocean to-day as there was thousands of years ago. And so it is with Jesus. For thousands of years He has been giving away blessings continually; and yet He has as many to give to-day as though He had never given one before. He came to bless the world. He has blessed it, and He is blessing it still. He is blessing nations and families and individuals in such a way as nothing else can bless them.
(Richard Newton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel;