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Parallel Streams Flowing
by Terry Barlow
08/12/14
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The use of parallelism in the Priestly Blessing in the 6th chapter of the Old Testament Book of Numbers reveals more about the nature of God than what literary forms are preferred for what purposes. As parallelism would imply, three alternative ways of expressing the same thoughts are offered, that is, three streams of equal thought flowing in parallel. If one doesn't grasp the first, here comes another just like it but not identical, and if one still doesn't comprehend it, there is still a third form and opportunity expressed a slightly different way, which may be exactly the way that resonates for you.
Of course I think analogically of our American sport of baseball, having played and watched, where one is allowed three strikes in the attempt to make contact or "connect" with the ball. God is being patient with us as usual and showing consideration for diverse frames of reference and learning styles.
Perfect pitch one: The L-RD bless and keep you
Perfect pitch two: The L_RD cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. (causing the face to shine includes smiling, surely, an indication of extended favor)
Perfect pitch three: The L_RD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.
Three is one of the complete numbers in Biblical Numerology. How much more complete could complete be than the Holy Trinity!? So part of what is intended in this blessing is that YAH will do and allow what is required for each unique child of His to connect with and receive this special blessing offered through His High Priest whom we ultimately recognize as Jesus Christ Himself.
The passage goes on to say in Numbers 6 that The L_RD will pronounce or place this blessing where He sees the covenant name YHWH. To use another analogy equally imperfect: imagine a light fixture into which a bulb is screwed to be able to produce light. So the name serves as the reserved fixture into which the bulb (of the light of the flowering Priestly Blessing) fits perfectly!

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