And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” Gen 1:22
The Primitive Root
Strong’s H1288 ברך barak, a primitive root meaning “to bless.” The ancient pictographs are bet + resh + kaph (final form):
bet ב = the house, thus house, household, family, in, within
resh ר = the head of man, thus head, first, top, beginning, man
kaph ך , כ = the open palm, thus bend, open, allow, tame
The story the ancient pictographs are telling is of the family (bet) of heads (resh), an idiom for ripened grain; we still call the top of a ripened stalk of wheat a seed head. By extension the meaning is to fill, to make fat, and also to slaughter (as cattle were fattened for slaughter by taking them off grass and feeding them on grain). To bless, then, is to fill (bet + resh) the palm (kaph) – the blessing fills the palm, the upturned hands, of the one being blessed, with good things; and also, the father filled his palm with his sons’ heads when conferring the blessing.