Shining a light on the weekly Bible Lessons published in the Christian Science Quarterly® 

God the Preserver of Man

The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.

Near the end of his life, Moses blesses each of the tribes of Israel. Verse 12, the benediction on the tribe of Benjamin, is an affirmation of safety that may have geographical as well as symbolic meaning. 

Kātēf, the Hebrew term rendered shoulders in this verse, can refer to the slope of a hill or mountainside. Because Zion, where Jehovah was believed to dwell, was in the land of Benjamin, some scholars see shoulders as an allusion to that habitation. One writes, “Jehovah is here said to dwell between Benjamin’s shoulders, i.e., mountain slopes.” 

The Bible Lessons serve as weekly study guides as well as the sermon in every Christian Science Sunday church service. Learn more at

Resources quoted in this issue

GT: Dummelow, John Roberts, ed. A Commentary on the Holy Bible by Various Writers. New York: MacMillan, 1936.

RR: Benson, Joseph. Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. New York: T. Carlton & J. Porter, 1857. Also available at

Cit. 9: Barclay, William. The Daily Study Bible: The Acts of the Apostles. Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1955. Revised and updated by Saint Andrew, 2001. Reprinted as The New Daily Study Bible: The Acts of the Apostles. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2001–04.

Cits. 9 and 11: Keck, Leander E., et al., eds. The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary. Vol. 9, Acts. Introduction to Epistolary Literature, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians. Nashville: Abingdon, 2015.

Cit. 17: Contexticon of New Testament Language: Copyright © 2009 by Contexticon Learning and Research, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. All rights reserved.

Letters & Conversations
June 7, 2021

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