Whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.

And Leah said, “A troop comes!”so she called his name Gad(fortune). And Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. Then Leah said, “I am happy for the daughters will call me blessed.” So she called his name Asher(happy). Genesis 30:11-13.


Blessed, ‘ashar; Strong’s #833. Happy, blessed, prosperous, successful, straight, right, contented. This word brings much to us as Christians in many ways that can have a lifelong effect on our lives. The specific etymology is found in Genesis 30:13; Leah gave birth to a son and said, “I am happy, for the daughters will call me blessed.” She named this son “Asher” (from ‘ashar) meaning “Happy One.

 There are two verbs in Hebrew meaning “to bless.” One is barak and the other ‘ashar. Can any differences between the two show us anything of value? One thing of importance is barak is used by God when He “blesses somebody. But there is no instance where ‘ashar is ever on God’s lips. One “blesses” God the verb is barak, never ‘ashar.

One suggestion to explain this sharp distinction , i.e. that ‘ashar is reserved for man, is that ‘ashar is a word of envious desire, “to be envied with desire is the man who trusts in the Lord.” It should also be pointed out that when barak is used the initiative comes from God.

God can bestow his blessing even when man does not deserve it  (Grace). On the other hand, to be blessed (‘ashre), man has to do something. A “blessed” man, for example, is one who trusts in God without equivocation: Psalm 2:12; Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Chris
    Jan 22, 2013 @ 01:29:00

    A very helpful word study, Manny. When I think of the word blessed, I think of the Sermon on the Mount. I think it is the greatest sermon ever preached. Can you do a word study on the Greek word that is used there?


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