Q: I heard from someone that Spock’s “Live Long and Prosper” (Star Trek) came from the Bible?

A: Yes, Actually

In an interview, Leonard Nimoy once talked about Spock’s famous greeting as having its origin in a Jewish blessing over a congregation. The famous ‘hand sign’ also was taken from the same Jewish ritual.

During the ritual, the hands of the elders (usually from the Cohen priestly family) that are held out to bless the congregation form the letter “Shin” as a symbol of “Shaddai” meaning “Almighty” (God). In fact the ‘blessing hands’ gesture has come to represent the Cohen family for hundreds of years and can be found on thousands of family tombstones. 


The Biblical Origins of  ‘Live Long and Proper’

It really not so strange that this saying would have its origin in a Jewish blessing since this adage is found throughout the Bible in numerous locations in the Hebrew scriptures and in the later Christian New Testament. Here are just a few:

Walk in obedience to all that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. –Deuteronomy 5:33

“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” –Ephesians 6:3

“Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” –3John 1:2

Also the most often used Cohen priestly blessing comes from Numbers 6:23-27:

“Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”


Throughout the Bible there are promises of good health and prosperity for those who love God and keep his commandments.  Some have turned this into the major theological emphasis of their faith. Fact is, not all believers will receive good health, long life and prosperity in this short life on earth but in the Kingdom of God there is no sickness, hunger, or death for all eternity.

“But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” –Matthew 6:33

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