680. Benedictions on Children

Matthew 19:13; Genesis 48:14; Mark 10:13; Mark 10:16; Luke 18:15
It was common among the Jews to bring their children to men noted for piety, to have their blessing and their prayers. On the first anniversary of the birth of a child, it was usual to take it to the synagogue to be blessed by the rabbi.
The laying-on of hands when in prayer was also a customary form when invoking the Divine blessing. Thus Israel, when his eyes were dim with age, laid his hands on the heads of Ephraim and Manasseh, and blessed them and prayed for them (Gen. 48:1414And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn. (Genesis 48:14)), and thus Jesus took these children “up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:1616And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. (Mark 10:16)).