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The Parental Blessing (Blessing Your Child)

I’ve been intrigued by instances in the Bible, where the parent formally blesses the child(ren) before the parent dies.  So I did a study to collect some references of early blessings, to understand it better.

The ideas I’m looking into, are:

  1. whether the blessing is more significant than we assume in modern culture
    1. what are our children missing out on?
  2. how the blessing is conveyed
    1. a word, a touch, spiritual imparting, a request to God, etc
  3. by what authority is the blesser empowered to bless?
    1. has God imbued all mankind with blessing capacity, or is it tied only to His followers?
      1. are we ‘handing something down’ that was given to us?
    2. should we bless our children only when specifically instructed, or intentionally?

Here are several early examples of blessing in the Bible…

Genesis 1:28

And God blessed them, and God said to them…

Genesis 2:3

So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it [it is not documented that God said anything]

Isaac Blesses Jacob – Gen 27

“that I may bless you before I die”
“Come near”…and he smelled the smell of his garments, and blessed him, and said,

“See, the smell of my son
is as the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed!
May God give you of the dew of heaven,
and of the fatness of the earth,
and plenty of grain and wine.
Let peoples serve you,
and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be every one who curses you,
and blessed be every one who blesses you!”

‘Blessing’ is not what is said – the blessing is separate. In other words, blessing isn’t the act of speaking, contrary to what many assume.

Abram Blessed by Melchizedek

And he blessed him and said,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
maker of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”

Genesis 32:26

Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.”
And there he blessed him.

The two were already in conversation, but Jacob wanted more than what was spoken – something else.

Genesis 48

And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it upon the head of E′phraim, who was the younger, and his left hand upon the head of Manas′seh, crossing his hands, for Manas′seh was the first-born.  And he blessed Joseph, and said,

The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has led me all my life long to this day,
the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads;
and in them let my name be perpetuated, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

Leviticus 9:22

Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them
(The use of hands/touching in blessing is repeating over time…but may not be a required element.)


  1. The Parental Blessing of Isaac and Israel appears to be intentional
  2. The parents were so close to the children, touching was likely in Isaac’s case, and certain for Israel
  3. The blessed children were documented to have had remarkable lives, vibrant with God’s plan
  4. The parents were appealing to God, for His blessing on the children.  Parents pass away, but God remains forever to carry out His will and blessing