I received the following question:

Why are blessings called blessings when they don’t always seem to be a good thing (for example in Genesis 49)?

Actually, Jacob’s words in Genesis 49 are never called a “blessing” in the passage. They are called “commanding” in verse 33. What he said was not so much a blessing as it was a prophecy over his sons. Some call it his blessing, but that is just a name people have made up describing the passage. I do not believe it was a blessing.

Strictly speaking, “to bless” is to speak well of something. (At least, sometimes. The word is not very well translated, and can be from multiple Hebrew or Greek words.) So it would not apply to words that were not good. That is probably why Jacob’s words are not actually called a blessing.

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