In Gen. 12:3 we read a very famous verse: “And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse.” Things seem to be clear, but a very important nuance is lost in translation.

God promises Abraham that, “everyone who curses him” מְקַלֶּלְךָ  (mekalelcha) will in turn “be cursed” אָאֹר (aor). The strength of this promise, however, is lost in translation. The first word for “curses” – מְקַלֶּלְךָ  (mekalelcha) comes from a root that literally means “to make light of something heavy.” The second word for “curse,” אָאֹר (aor), actually comes from a completely different root that means something like “to utterly destroy.” 

Taking these insights from Hebrew into consideration, the translation could be presented as follows:

“I will bless those who bless you, but the one who disrespects you, I will utterly destroy.”



  1. This is actually very scary - from the point of view of so many unbelievers. We must pray for a word packed to the brim with lost souls.

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    • So we cannot say for sure how severe the curse is Of course if utterly destroy people we know many got off scot free in this lifw after destroying the temple and Jerusalem and attacking Gods chosen people. So could ne that like everying the curse is no different from Gods justice with anyone. - may be maye not in this life. Is there a correlation between actual persons being cursed in this life and offending Abrahams family? Perhaps the passage is about nations or tribes rather than people. Israel is a miracle of survival and all other nations ........

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    • Yes, I do share your insight! It also seems to cut both ways doesn't it for the Children of Abraham .... ie. If they DO NOT obey God... they will get a big knock on the head... as seen in History! Today just saw the Israeli Gay Pride Day event Jun.2018 ... it's going to have serious spiritual ramifications!

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    • Abraham has been pre-ordained by God to be at the head of a great posterity. The curse will fall upon anyone who tries to attack the children of Israel. We form part of the great gathering of Israel as we are all sons and daughters of God as we have promised to follow God's commandments and to stay worthy. The curse will fall onto many generations who try to attempt to the lives of God's children.

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    • Abraham saw Our Lord in advance and rejoiced. May all descendants of Abraham today also rejoice in Yahshuah!

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  2. This has been my motto for all of my Christian walk. "I will bless those who bless you and i will curse thise who curse you" i bought the bracelet in Israel recently. People still do not understand. I dont find it difficult but many do. Praying for those who condemn Israel. They know not what they do,
    • Its late in Israel so I am afraid to make a mistake :-), but the best I can see the bless you is also in singular.

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    • You are right. The plural is used for those who bless Abram, and the singular for the "one who curses you." Perhaps this is indicative of God's grace that in the end, more will bless Abram compared to the relatively few who will "curse" him. But your take on it is, I think, reversed. Here the point is not Abram/Israel blessing many (that is the point at the end of vv. 2 and 3) but the many blessing Abram.

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  3. If the people of Israel show disrespect or dismiss God’s promises do they bring judgement or a curse upon themselves? If my people will humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways.... How do these promises interconnect. Can God curse his own? Or is God limiting or restrianong himself to judgement or consequences of disobedience.
    • According to the Torah he surely can. This is why Jewish Christ came to suffer the curse that Israel deserved. Perfect Israel suffered for the imperfect one.

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    • In Numbers Balaam Balak Torah portion. Israel could not be cursed because they where blessed. But what was said was only they could curse themselves by turning away from G-d and His instructions, its all about heart additude. Once your in the only way to get out is to turn your back on G-d and His instructions for how you are to live. In a way you are cursing yourself. I have seen G-d's curse of someone who has done evil against His chosen. It is scary. I pray for those who curse the chosen now.

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    • John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

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  4. Seriously guys.... think about this for a moment, please. Are you really holding to the belief that God will 'utterly destroy' anyone who disrespects Abraham? That's a pretty severe consequence don't you think? I mean to disrespect someone ain't that much of a big deal is it? But being utterly destroyed is. The punishment here and seems grossly out of proportion to the crime. And this from a loving and merciful God? Such manifestly over the top retribution meted out by a 'just' God smiting whomever for such slights? Wow, talk about excessive. Something is wrong here, very wrong.
    • Phil, this is what the text says, if God in his great mercy and providence acts otherwise (as He normally does) it should no diminish that fact that this how He feels.

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    • Phil, I think we need to take it in context. Abraham, being a great Prophet of God, is being told that if people don't listen to what he is telling them that the Lord is saying through him, then they are heading down the road to "utter destruction", but if, on the other hand, they do follow the Prophet who is telling them what the Lord wants them to know, then they will be blessed. To the Lord, "utter destruction" may not be meaning lightning bolts from heaven, we can be confident that the results will be just.

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    • Phil, please consider that the fact that God is loving and merciful does not discount that He is also the Mighty and Awesome One who keeps both covenant (faithful to His word, both in love and judgment) and mercy. (Nehemiah 9:32). Also, what "disrespect" means to us today could be a weightier issue in God's sight. Our human minds and morality are woefully inadequate to understand or determine what is right or wrong (or over-the-top) in God's eternal view. I read God's answer to Job in chapters 38-41 and I'm awed. God IS exceedingly more than we can define.

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    • Parents and authorities are a microcosm of Adonai's justice and mercy. They don't reflect Him perfectly but the blueprint is accurate when it abides by Torah. Our Western mindset equates Yeshua with a new kind of "law" that only deals in mercy, and Adonai in the "Old" Covenant with a vindictive one. But if Yeshua is the Word made flesh ( fullness) and the same One Who created the entire universe...then it stands to reason that He does not change. The inhabitants of Soddom and Gomorrah died of gas asphyxiation before all was consumed. Perfect example of mercy justice.
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  5. That passage is not speaking about blessing or cursing Israel, but Abraham and his seed who is Christ Jesus, and all who are in Christ are the seed of Abraham.
  6. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down us from God our Farther, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never casts a shifting shadow, (James 1:17). Israel through the seed of Abraham is a gift and God's light to the world; when we connect with Israel we also become a part of that light. Rahab became a part of the genealogy of our Messiah; despite Jericho being utterly destroyed. This is a warning to us as individuals and in the end times that we live, a warning to the nations of the world. "Take heed."
  7. This is why Jesus says: Bless and do not curse. He's talking about the power of G-d protecting His children -Think in terms of Moses and Pharaoh. Of course, when He addresses Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, He's talking about to the Spirit of Abraham -Isaac-, the "clean" child of G-d. This child represents the Spirit of Christ. Hence, "I will bless them that bless you, and I utterly destroy them who disrespect you -G-d's Spirit on Earth-"
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