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English Standard Version Hebrews 7:7

It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior.

So the higher blesses the lower.

English Standard Version Psalm 135:20

O house of Levi, bless the LORD! You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!

Now we have the lower blesses the higher. What is the meaning of this?

Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) 19And he blessed him and said,

Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessorb of heaven and earth; 20and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”

Melchizedek blessed Abram. God blessed Abram. Then, God was blessed.

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Such an idea of men "blessing the LORD" is extremely common on the OT and Psalms particularly. Here is a sample (NASB):

  • Ps 135:19 - O house of Israel, bless the LORD; O house of Aaron, bless the LORD;
  • Ps 103:1 - Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
  • Ps 103:20 - Bless the LORD, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word!
  • Ps 104:1 - Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
  • Ps 104:35 - Let sinners be consumed from the earth And let the wicked be no more. Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD!
  • 1 Chron 29:20 - Then David said to all the assembly, "Now bless the LORD your God." And all the assembly blessed the LORD, the God of their fathers, and bowed low and did homage to the LORD and to the king.
  • Neh 9:5 - Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah, said, “Arise, bless the LORD your God forever and ever! O may Your glorious name be blessed And exalted above all blessing and praise!

... and so forth. In almost all cases the Hebrew word used is בָרַךְ (barak) which is literally to kneel or bless in the sense of give honor to. For this reason, many versions use "praise" in these places.

NOTE: The more common verb for "praise" is הָלַל (literally to "shine") such as in Ps 150:6. However, בָרַךְ is often used almost as a near synonym for הָלַל in many places especially in places like the synthetic parallels such as Ps 104:35 (see above).

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When the LORD blesses, he blesses the small and the weak with honor and greatness but when a man blesses the LORD, he celebrates the honor and greatness of the LORD. The former is in the form of lifting up the weak in ways that he could not do for himself while in the latter it is about the intrinsic worth of the LORD and the benefits that he bestows on the weak:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm+103&version=NIV

https://youtu.be/jJjcFXq2BiM

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