12:3bless those . . . him . . . I will curse. The extent of God’s merciful and gracious intention is indicated in the Hebrew by a switch from the plural object of blessing to the singular object of cursing. Many are to receive God’s blessing through the Seed of Abraham (18:18; Gal. 3:8; Rev. 7:9, 10).
those who bless. Those who acknowledge Abraham and his offspring as God’s agent of blessing.
him who dishonors you I will curse. The Hebrew words here translated “dishonors” and “curse” differ: the second means “to disdain”; the first often has the sense of “to weaken” (3:14). God will be an effective adversary of those who curse Abraham and his seed.
shall be blessed. Some have argued that the Hebrew verb should be translated reflexively: “shall bless themselves” (i.e., will desire the blessing of Abraham). While grammatically possible, this proposed reading hardly does justice to the context of this divine promise, and the passive translation here (“be blessed”) presents no real linguistic difficulties. In addition, the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) rendered it as passive. We are fully justified in viewing this promise as a reference to God’s plan for the salvation of the world.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Now that you've created a Bible Gateway account, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus, the ultimate online Bible reading & study experience! For just a few dollars each month, Bible Gateway Plus gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.