Page:Annotated Edition of the Authorised Daily Prayer Book.djvu/31

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The Morning Benedictions.

message to the world. "For I have singled him [Abraham] out that he may command his children and his house after him, that they may keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment" (Genesis xviii. 19). Israel's position as the chosen people is based upon acceptance of this mission. "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me from among all peoples: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation" (Exod. xix. 5, 6). And in proportion to the glory and reward of the choice is the disgrace and punishment if Israel prove unworthy. "You only have I singled out of all the families of the earth, therefore I will visit upon you all your iniquities" (Amos iii. 2). The choice carried with it the obligation to be God's servant in the work of establishing the divine kingdom throughout all the earth. "It is too light a thing that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the nations that my salvation may be unto the end of the earth" (Isaiah xlix. 6). Dr Kohler (Jewish Encyclopedia, iv. 46) quotes the following passage from Güdemann (Das Judenthum, page 44): " The character of Israel as the chosen people does not involve an inferiority of other nations. The universality of Israel's idea of God is sufficient proof against such an assumption. Every nation requires a certain self-consciousness for the carrying out of its mission. Israel's self-consciousness was tempered by the memory of its servitude in Egypt and the recognition of its being the servant of the Lord. It was the noblesse oblige of the God-appointed worker for the entire human race." (Cf. notes on P.B. page 40.)

The Lord bless thee and keep thee (יְבָרֶכְךָ). Numbers vi. 24-26. See Notes on P.B. p. 53.

Page 5. These are the things which have no fixed measure (אֵלוּ דְבָרִים). This passage is composite, being, with the exception of the words from timely attendance to devotion in prayer (lines 8-11) [וְהַשְׁבָּמַת to תְּפִלָּה]