Tamarajo is an avid Bible scholar who loves nothing more than seeking out the treasures in God's Word and sharing them with others.
The late Brad Scott, founder of "Wild Branch Ministry," in a series on YouTube, explains how, many times, Hebrew words used in the Bible are described in terms of biology, agriculture, and language. This method can give us a more illustrative concept than a mere definition.
"Man (biology) shall not live by bread (agriculture) alone but by every Word (language) that proceeds from the mouth of God."
Throughout history, God has used ordinary things that all humankind will understand and comprehend to communicate His truth. Biology and agriculture are primarily unchanged throughout history, making their illustrations great stabilizers of language and concept defining.
The Camel Roll
This study method also works in concert with the Hebrew pictographs that accompany each letter of a Hebrew word and will be used in this study. The pictographs work the same way, giving us illustrations of concepts included with a word's meaning.
A word used for camel activity serves as an example. Later in this study, the camel and its knees will also be used as an illustrative tool.
A camel will roll in soft sand or soil to cool off during hot weather. The Hebrew word for "roll" is "galal" and is spelled "gimel," "lamed," and "lamed." The first letter of the term "galal" is "gimel" and contains the same letters as the Hebrew word for a camel which is also the pictograph image for this particular letter. The "lamed" is a shepherd's staff and symbolizes authority and instruction. The doubling of the "lamed" speaks of something repetitious. Repetition is elemental to learning.
So when God used the word "galal," meaning "roll," the ancient reader had a visual of a camel making rolling repetitious movements in the sand that could connect with a plethora of metaphoric applications.
How Agri-Bio-Linguistics Works
In the agri-bio-linguistic method, it is observed that one Hebrew word will often offer an illustrative definition to a second term that is spelled the same. These figurative terms are expressed in either agricultural or biological expressions.
The words glory and liver can demonstrate this for us. Both of them share identical Hebrew letters. One means "heavy. " The other means "liver" What is the comparison? The liver is the heaviest organ in the body and descriptive of glory, meaning weighty and full of substance. Glory, therefore, should be understood to be something that has significant bearing and value.
On this occasion, using this same method, I would like to look at the word "bless" (בָּרַךְ) and "knee" (בָּרַךְ), which also share identical Hebrew letters. The qualities and functions of a knee will give us a fuller and more meaningful understanding of blessing.
Some facts about the knee that give us an overall general look at the intentions of a blessing are the following.
- The knee supports the whole weight of the body. Blessings are things that support us and encourage us.
- The knee is a pivotal hinge joint that provides the body with flexibility and stability. Blessings give us greater mobility, flexibility, and stability in life.
- The knee is the largest joint in the body. Blessing and being blessed are a large part of Christian living. God's first words to Adam and Eve were a blessing to be fruitful and multiply.
The Hebrew word pictograph for blessing (barak) shows us more specifically what blessings entail. Each letter we will look at bears an image that can give us a fuller and deeper meaning of the word's concept.
The first letter of "barak/bless" is "bet" and pictures a tent or dwelling. It symbolizes abiding, dwelling, and resting. Blessing has to do with resting and abiding inside.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
— John 15:7
One purpose of the knee is to Kneel. Kneeling is resting our weight on our knees. When the weight of our life is resting upon our submission to God, we are in a position to be blessed, as the above verse indicates.
Some physical benefits of kneeling that testify to this resting position:
- upper and lower back muscles relax,
- heart rate slows down,
- blood pressure regulates.
"Resh" is the second letter of the Hebrew word for "bless." It is imaged by a person's head and can indicate what is the highest, first, and top priority. It comes after abiding. If we read the letters consecutively, it would read, "abide first." We must make abiding a priority or rest in Him through our submission before receiving the blessing.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
— John 15:4,5
"Resh" can also indicate abundance or many and is the first letter in the Hebrew word for "many." We can associate blessing with abundance.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us . . .
— Exodus 3:20
Bet and Resh Together
The Hebrew word for "Only-begotten Son" is "bar," spelled with "bet" and "resh," the first two letters of the word for "bless" tell us that blessings all flow through God's only Son.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
— Ephesians 1:3
Caph—The Open Hand
"Caph" is the final letter of the word bless and knee and is pictured by an open hand or a wing and indicates to give, receive, reach out, protect, and can symbolize man's humility and God's glory. "Caph" is also the first letter for the word "glory." Man's humility brings to bear and exhibits the weightiness of God's glory.
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.
— Psalm 61:4
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
— Psalm 91:1
When we kneel and submit ourselves to Him, He hides us under the shadow of His wings. To be blessed is to be hidden and protected in Him. To be cursed is to be outside of Him and subject to evil.
With the letter "caph," we also see a hand that gives and receives, which is descriptive of blessing.
You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
— Psalm 145:16
What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good.
— Psalm 104:28
Blessing, Kneeling, and Humility
Kneeling is symbolic of humility and submission. Jesus became a kneeling servant when He humbled Himself and submitted to this world and its limitations to bestow upon us the blessings from above.
. . . being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
— Philippians 2:5-11
On the other side of this, it is required that we kneel and humble ourselves before him to receive His blessings. Submission to God is a requirement.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time . . .
— I Peter 5:6
"The way up to blessing is down."
. . . all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed down and did obeisance to the Lord and to the king.
— I Chronicles 29:20
As was noted earlier, Camels are known for their knees and descriptive of blessing.
And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water.
— Genesis 24:11
Everyone in the ancient desert lands would have been familiar with a camel and its behaviors and the purposes for which it kneels.
Interestingly enough, there are still nomads today using camels as the ancients did. Bedouins have always referred to camels as "God's gift."
In the ancient world, the camel was considered the ship of the desert carrying goods from one destination to another. A good strong camel can carry between 500 and 1000 pounds of goods. A camel kneels so that it may receive these goods or unload them.
If we view the word bless in the life of a camel, we can see those blessings are things and provisions that are being transported from one place to another and bestowed upon their recipients by a kneeling servant.
A Pool of Blessing
A Camel also kneels to rest, which brings us to our next connection with kneeling and blessing that concerns the camel.
Camels rest and refresh by kneeling near pools of water. The Hebrew word for "pool" is "brakah" (בְּרָכָה) which, according to Gesenius' Lexicon, literally means "where camels kneel."
Brakah" (בְּרָכָה) consists of the same three root letters ("bet," "resh," and "caph") as the word "bless" and "knee." Only brakah" (בְּרָכָה) has one extra letter on the end of it, which is a "hey." When "hey" is added to the end of a word as a suffix, it most generally adds the thought "what comes from." What comes from a pool of water in an arid climate? Refreshment! Pools of water are considered a blessed source of nourishment in a dry, hot wilderness. As it concerns the word "pool" and its spiritual application, what comes from a blessing is a pool of refreshment and provision from our eternal source.
He turns a wilderness into pools of water,
And dry land into watersprings.
— Psalm 107:35
Water is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. And the camel "gamal," a symbol for the third letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet representing the Holy Spirit. Both the qualities of the camel and the pool can be attributed to the Holy Spirit. He is the deliverer of blessings and goodness, bringing us to be refreshed, fulfilled, and satiated.
And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
— Psalm 36:8
The following is another interesting note from Peter M Lopez, who also writes on this topic. He discusses the first occurrence of the word "bless" concerning our blessing and its connection to Chris, the Son of God.
"The first time God blesses anyone or anything in the Bible is in Gen. 1:28: "And He blessed them, God, and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.'"
To form v'ibarak (and He blessed), two letters are added to the word "barak" (blessed) above, the letter "vav", pictured as a tent peg or nail, and meaning a nail or hook, and "yod", pictured as the arm from the fist to the elbow, meaning my hand or my works.
Therefore, v'ibarak, or God's first blessing to humanity is prophetic of God's ultimate blessing to humanity: the NAIL in the HAND of the SON is God's BLESSING."
What better blessing could there be?
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
— John 3:16
How do we bless Him? By kneeling before Him and living lives in submission to Him and partaking of His benefits.
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
— Psalm 103:1-5
We can also bless people when we transport what was given to us and bestow them on others with our words or actions.
. . . Freely you have received, freely give.
— Matthew 10:8
Prayer, Blessing, and Camel Knees
I conclude with this final revelation relating to knees, blessings, and camels as it concerns prayer.
Jerome, a 4th-century priest and Bible historian, wrote that James, the brother of the Lord, prayed so much that his knees became hardened and calloused much like a camel's knees do from kneeling, and has since been labeled "Old Camel Knees."
What better way for us to both bestow and obtain the blessings of God than to kneel before Him in prayer and intercession.
And as Paul prayed in concert with this in Ephesians three for us.
I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
— Ephesians 3:14-21
God has built so many valuable tools into His Word that help us grasp every dimension. The well is infinite and deep.
Credits and Sources
© 2010 Tamarajo