Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Secret Code of the Hebrew Alphabet
The Awesome Mystery of the Hebrew "HAY"[h] and "VAV"[w]
Hidden in the original Hebrew text of the Tanakh are profound
There is a great mystery hidden in the usage of the first six Hebrew letters of the Hebrew alphabet -- and an even greater mystery in the meanings of the fifth and sixth Hebrew letters, the "Vav" and "Hay," as they are used in the Old Testament. This mystery directly involves the Godhead, the creation of all things, the redemption and salvation of mankind, and the coming of the Messiah and YEHOVAH God to restore the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God to this earth!
Unlike English and other languages, the Hebrew language, and the writing of the Hebrew Scriptures, contains special "codes" involved in the very usages of certain letters, and a careful study of these usages leads to new insights concerning YEHOVAH God's Plan of redemption.
In the Hebrew language, certain letters of the alphabet, by themselves, have meaning -- as well as numerical values attached to them.
The Letter Aleph -- a
For example, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is aleph [a]. As the first letter of the alphabet, aleph represents YEHOVAH God Himself, the Creator and King of the Universe. It stands for YEHOVAH's eternal and omnipotent nature -- His Godhood. And as the first letter of the alphabet, it has a numerical value of one . In other words, this truth points out that the true God is "One God" -- not a multitude of deities and gods, such as the pagans believed.
There is but One God, according to the revelation of the Scriptures. We read in the Scriptures, the famous "Shema" -- the prayer recited by devout Jewish people every day: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD" (Deut.6:4). In Hebrew, this is, Shema Israel, YHVH [the LORD] elohenu [our God], YHVH echad [is One]. There is but ONE God -- a revelation rejected by the entire world, but revealed to and preserved by the children of Israel.
The prophet Isaiah quotes this One True God, "Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no[other] God, I know not any" (Isa. 44:8). This God states, "I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me" (Isa. 45:5), and also declares: "...there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me" (Isa. 45:21).
This awesome truth is verified by the New Testament as well. Yeshua the Messiah, in praying before his crucifixion, prayed to the Father thus: "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee...And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:1-3).
The apostle Paul also made this quite clear, when he wrote, "But to us there is but ONE GOD, THE FATHER, of whom are all things, and we in him; and ONE Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him" (I Cor. 8:6).
Thus the Hebrew letter aleph [a] is the letter designating the ONENESS of YEHOVAH God, His unity of being, design, and purpose. It implies that He and He alone is the CREATOR of all things, as well as the Sustainer.
E. W. Bullinger says of the number "one," in his fascinating book Number in Scripture:
"There can be no doubt as to the significance of this primary number....As a cardinal number it denotes unity; as an ordinal it denotes primacy. Unity being indivisible and not made up of other numbers, is therefore independent of all others, and is the source of all others. So with the Deity. The great First Cause is independent of all. All stand in need of Him, and He needs no assistance from any" (page 50).
Bullinger adds to this clear description:
"The first is the only one. There cannot be two firsts. Man ignorantly speaks of the 'two first,' or the 'three first,' when he really means the first two, or the first three, etc. The Word of God does not thus ignorantly speak. He is the only one. He is first in priority of time. He is first in superiority of rank; and He is first in absolute supremacy" (page 51).
Thus the letter aleph which has a numerical value of ONE represents YEHOVAH God, the Father, the Creator. And, as a "unity," it represents the "Godhead" -- the UNITY of YEHOVAH God. YEHOVAH is "ONE." He is not a multitude of pagan deities and demi-gods. Polytheism is rank error. There is only ONE true God, the Creator of the Universe. Abraham came face to face with this truth, and came to see the rank foolishness of worshipping idols, images, and every human representation of their "gods." For this he was hated by the Babylonians, and forced to leave their land.
The Second Hebrew Letter Beit -- b
The second letter of the Hebrew alphabet is beit [b]. It literally means, "house," "tent," "dwelling place," or even "palace" or "temple." It has a numerical value of "2." To the Jews, it is the letter of blessing and of creation itself, that which was created, being separate from YEHOVAH God. That is, it pictures the original creation being separate from the Father, but coming from Him. In a very real sense, therefore, it pictures the Logos, the Word of God -- the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God the Father that will return to this earth and take up residence in the Temple in Jerusalem!
Notice! YEHOVAH God's Shekinah Glory, or the "Logos," was and is the "Number Two" in the Universe, as the form of YEHOVAH God that can be observed by mankind! The apostle John tells us of the Logos, the Word of God -- the Shekinah Glory: "In the beginning was the Word [Greek, Logos], and the Word was with God, and the Word was [also] God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men....And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" (John 1:1-3, 14).
In the Aramaic version of the New Testament we find these verses rendered in the following fashion --
Verse 1: In the beginning [of creation] there was the MANIFESTATION; and that MANIFESTATION was with God [YEHOVAH]; and God [YEHOVAH] was [the embodiment of] that MANIFESTATION.
Verse 2: This [the MANIFESTATION] was in the beginning with God [YEHOVAH].
Verse 3: Everything was within his [more correctly, IT'S] power, [otherwise] nothing would ever exist.
Verse 4: Through him [it, the MANIFESTATION] was life and life became the spark of humanity.
Verse 5: And that [ensuing] fire [the MANIFESTATION] lights the darkness and darkness does not overshadow it [the MANIFESTATION].
If we replace the word "Manifestation" with the words "Shekinah Glory" in these verses of John, then we clearly see that "The Word" is none other than YEHOVAH'S Shekinah Glory!
Verse 1: In the beginning [of creation] there was the SHEKINAH GLORY; and that SHEKINAH GLORY was with God [YEHOVAH]; and God [YEHOVAH] was [the embodiment of] that SHEKINAH GLORY.
Verse 2: This [the SHEKINAH GLORY] was in the beginning with God [YEHOVAH].
Verse 3: Everything was within his [IT'S -- the SHEKINAH GLORY'S] power, [otherwise] nothing would ever exist.
Verse 4: Through him [it, the SHEKINAH GLORY] was life and life became the spark of humanity.
Verse 5: And that [ensuing] fire [the SHEKINAH GLORY] lights the darkness and darkness does not overshadow it [the SHEKINAH GLORY].
Since the publication of the King James Version of the Bible in 1611 this, and almost all versions that have stemmed from it, have attached the masculine gender to the Greek concept of the "Logos" to explain the presence of the Shekinah Glory at the Creation. Unfortunately, due to this gender change, and the modern Christian's lack of understanding of the Logos concept in the environment of 1st. century Greek philosophy, most have blindly taken the "Word" to mean a pre-existence of Yeshua the Messiah! Nothing could be further from the truth!
Any one of the eight English translations of the Bible prior to 1611 (the Tyndale Bible (1535), the Matthew Bible (1535), the Taverner Bible (1539), the Great (Cranmer's) Bible (1539), the Whittingham Bible (1557), the Geneva Bible (1560) and Bishop's Bible (1568)) assign no gender to the "Word" and simply call it "it," such as in John 1:3: "By IT all things were made. Without IT nothing was made." The Coverdale Bible (1550) has "THE SAME" rather than "it." This seems like a strange way of referring to Yeshua the Messiah!
John nowhere indicates that this "Word" or "Logos" is anything else but the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH god!
Finally, in Revelation 1:2, "the Word of God" is clearly separated from the Messiah -- notice!
This is the revelation which God gave to Yeshua the Messiah, so that he could show his servants what must happen very soon. He communicated it by sending his angel to his servant Yochanan [John], who bore witness to THE WORD OF GOD AND to the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah....
Most of the Bible expositors think that "In the beginning was the Word...and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:1, 14) shows conclusively that the Word of verse 1 must be Yeshua the Messiah. They think that "In the beginning was Yeshua...and Yeshua was made flesh," that is, the pre-existent Messiah emptied himself of his divinity and became a human being!
This is the surface conclusion reached by most of the Bible expositors -- until the CONTEXT is properly evaluated.
In the first verse it says: THE WORD WAS GOD. Who was this God? Was it the Father (YEHOVAH) or the Son (Yeshua)? John plainly tells us who "the Word" was. He says the Word was God. Now we must find out who God is, and we will then know who or what "the Word" is.
In verse 18 of this same chapter John tells us that "God" is the Father (YEHOVAH) -- NOT Yeshua the only begotten Son. If we believe what John is saying (that "God" is the Father), then let us examine the scriptures back to verse 1. In verse 13 "God" must refer to the Father (YEHOVAH) -- likewise in verse 12. In verse 2 we find "God" again. Staying in context with John 1:18, John tells us that "God" is the Father (YEHOVAH) -- NOT the Son. Verse 1 has the word "God" two times. Again, staying in context with verse 18, we find John telling us that "God" is the FATHER, not the Son!
According to John there is only ONE entity -- although appearing in different forms -- mentioned in John 1:1. And that One is YEHOVAH God the Father, the Almighty Creator!
In John 1:14 this same "Word" that was an integral part of YEHOVAH God the Father (since the "Word" was with or in the Father) anointed His human Son Yeshua. The "Word" in John 1:14 was not a pre-existing Yeshua. The "Word" -- or "Shekinah Glory" of YEHOVAH God the Father anointed Yeshua, the second Adam. A similar event occurred previously when the "Shekinah Glory" of YEHOVAH God the Father produced a fleshly tabernacle for the first Adam.
Looking at the Aramaic version of John 1:1 and 14 we read:
Verse 1: "In the beginning [of creation] there was the MANIFESTATION [SHEKINAH GLORY]; and that MANIFESTATION [SHEKINAH GLORY] was with God [YEHOVAH]; and God [YEHOVAH] was [the embodiment of] that MANIFESTATION [SHEKINAH GLORY]."
Verse 14: "And the MANIFESTATION [SHEKINAH GLORY] became flesh and made his [correctly, "its"] dwelling amongst us and we saw His [YEHOVAH's Shekinah] glory, glory as [that] uniquely [of the nature] of the Creator, full of grace and blessing."
YEHOVAH God the Father dwelt -- or "tabernacled" -- with His earthly creation on a number of occasions -- both in His Shekinah Glory form AND in a human form! Notice Genesis 18, which shows YEHOVAH God the Father appearing to Abraham in a "human" form.
Did the Logos always exist, together with the Father, as a separate Being and member of the Godhead? Not at all! The Logos or Word was clearly a component or form of YEHOVAH God that could be viewed by human-beings without dire consequences. Notice what the Encyclopedia Judaica says about the Word or Shekinah Glory:
According to Saadiah Gaon [882-942 C.E.], the Shekhinah is identical with kevod ha-Shem (the glory of God"), which served as an INTERMEDIARY BETWEEN GOD AND MAN during the prophetic experience. He suggests that the "glory of God" is the Biblical term, and Shekhinah the Talmudic term for the created splendor of light which ACTS AS AN INTERMEDIARY BETWEEN GOD AND MAN, and which sometimes TAKES ON HUMAN FORM. Thus when Moses asked to see the glory of God, HE WAS SHOWN THE SHEKHINAH, and when the prophets in their visions saw God in HUMAN LIKENESS, what they actually saw WAS NOT GOD HIMSELF BUT THE SHEKHINAH (see Saadiah's interpretation of Ezekiel 1:26, I Kings 22:19, and Daniel 7:9 in Book of Beliefs and Opinions 2:10).
E. W. Bullinger says of the number "two":
"We now come to the spiritual significance of the number Two. We have seen that One excludes all difference, and denotes that which is sovereign. But Two affirms that there is a difference -- there is another; while One affirms that there is not another!
"This difference may be for good or for evil. A thing may differ from evil, and be good; or it may differ from good, and be evil. Hence, the number Two takes a two- fold colouring, according to the context.
"It is the first number by which we can divide another, and therefore in all its uses we may trace this fundamental idea of division or difference" (Number in Scripture, page 92).
YEHOVAH GOD the Father is "Number One." The "Word" or Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God is "Number Two." It is the form or IMAGE of the Father that can be observed by man -- the very stamp impress, the very express likeness! Thus, although "two" could have been different from the "One," the Logos or Shekinah Glory is in reality exactly like the "One" in every way -- a true presentation of the Father! It is the form of YEHOVAH God that acts as as intermediary between YEHOVAH God and man, and which can sometimes take on a human form as we observed in Genesis 18.
The Third Letter of the Hebrew Alphabet -- Gimel [g]
The third letter of the Hebrew alphabet is gimel [g], and its numerical value is "3." The number "3" has profound significance. It is the number of finality, judgment, decision, determination. Paul besought YEHOVAH God three times to remove his thorn in the flesh (II Cor.12:7-9); Peter denied the Messiah three times (Matt.26:34); three times Yeshua asked Peter if he loved him (John 21:15-17), and three times Yeshua told him, "Feed my sheep" (same verses).
The number three is fascinating. E. W. Bullinger writes about this number:
"In this number we have quite a new set of phenomena. We come to the first geometrical figure. Two straight lines cannot possibly enclose any space, or form a plane figure; neither can two plane surfaces form a solid. Three lines are necessary to form a plane figure; and three dimensions of length, breadth, and height, are necessary to form a solid. As two is the symbol of the square, or plane contents (x2), so three is the symbol of the cube, or solid contents (x3).
"Three therefore stands for that which is solid, real, substantial, complete, and entire" (p.107).
"Three" therefore is the number of "completion," "finality," entirety." We speak of time as being in three phases -- past, present, and future. YEHOVAH's three great attributes are omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence -- He is all knowing, all powerful, and ever present. In grammar, three "persons" express all human relationships -- first person (I), second person (you), and third person (they). Human capabilities are divided into three -- thoughts, words, and deeds. There are three degrees of comparison -- smaller than, same as, and greater than. There are three "kingdoms" in nature -- animal, vegetable, and mineral.
As Bullinger points out, "three" is the first of four perfect numbers in Scripture. "Three" denotes divine perfection. "Seven" (as in seven days in the week) denotes spiritual perfection. "Ten" denotes ordinal perfection (Ten Commandments, the tithe is a "tenth", Noah was the "tenth" generation from Adam). And "twelve" (as in twelve sons of Jacob, twelve apostles) denotes governmental perfection.
Hence, the number three points to that which is real, substantial, perfect, complete, essential, and Divine. There were three Patriarchs -- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Abraham is a type of YEHOVAH God the Father. Isaac, who was willingly offered to be sacrificed, was a type of Yeshua, the Messiah. And Jacob, whose name was changed to "Israel," is a type of the Church of YEHOVAH God, for as the apostle Paul wrote, the Church is "the Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16). Thus is a very real sense, the number "3" represents Jacob or "Israel," the Church of YEHOVAH God, the BRIDE that will marry the Messiah at his return (Ephesians 5:22-27; Rev. 19:7-9). Thus YEHOVAH's Plan involves three "stages" -- the Father, the Son, and the Bride (being formed now!).
The third letter of the Hebrew alphabet, gimel, also represents the nurture and loving-kindness of YEHOVAH God, the qualities of kindness and "culmination." It represents, therefore, the Spirit of YEHOVAH God -- the Holy Spirit and its attributes. The Father, through the Shekinah Glory, created all things -- by means of the power of YEHOVAH's Holy Spirit. This Spirit is the Spirit of love and expresses all the divine attributes of YEHOVAH God. We read: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self control" (Gal. 5:22-23). When we are baptized in the Messiah, we are literally baptized into the "name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19) -- into the name of the God Family (Eph. 3:14-15).
We read in Genesis, "In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form and void...And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Gen. 1:1-2). God, in this verse, refers to both the Father, and the Shekinah Glory, as we have seen.
How did YEHOVAH God do this "creating"? By the Spirit of YEHOVAH God (and through the agency of the Shekinah Glory) moving and working His divine will. The action of the Spirit of YEHOVAH God accomplished these things. As David wrote in the Psalms, "Thou sendeth forth thy Spirit,they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth" (Psalm 104:32). YEHOVAH's Spirit is His spirit essence and power. It fills the Universe. As David also exclaimed, "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whether shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me" (Psa. 139:7-10).
YEHOVAH God's Spirit is His divine "POWER." As Luke wrote about the birth of the Messiah, the Angel Gabriel told Mary, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the POWER of the Most High shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). The Holy Spirit is the extension of YEHOVAH's power throughout the Universe. It is most definitely not a separate "Person" in the Godhead, but it is the Power and Character of YEHOVAH God manifested everywhere. As YEHOVAH said to Jeremiah the prophet, "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD, Do not I FILL heaven and earth?" (Jer. 23:24).
The Fourth Letter -- Dalet [d]
What does the number "Four" represent? In the Scriptures, we read of the "four winds" of the earth (Matt. 24:31), and the "four corners of the earth" (Rev. 7:1). The number "four" relates to the earth, the world.
Bullinger says of this number:
"Now the number four is made up of three and one (3 + 1 = 4), and it denotes, therefore, and marks that which follows the revelation of God in the Trinity [i.e., the true "Trinity," which is God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Bride!], namely His creative works. He is known by the things that are seen. Hence the written revelation commences with the words, 'In the beginning God CREATED.' Creation is therefore the next thing -- the fourth thing, and the number four always has reference to all that is created. It is emphatically the number of Creation; of man in his relation to the world as created...It is the number of material completeness. Hence it is the world number" (page 123).
The physical creation of the heavens and the earth was completed on the "fourth day" (Gen. 1:1-19). Living plants, animals, and man were added on the fifth and sixth days. The number "four" specially relates to the earth. There are four great elements -- earth, air, fire, and water. There are four directions -- north, east, south and west. There are four seasons -- spring, summer, fall and winter. There are four divisions of the "day" -- morning, noon, evening, and midnight (compare Mark 13:35). The Scriptures divide mankind into four divisions -- families, tongues, lands, and nations (Gen. 10:31). There are four cherubim mentioned in Scriptures, with four faces, typical of the four divisions of animal and human life on earth -- the ox, the eagle, the lion, and man (Ezek. 1:5-10; 10:14-22).
Thus "four" is a reference to Creation, especially the earth and man. The Hebrew letter Dalet is the number "4." Interestingly, a related Hebrew word is delet and literally means "door." A "door" opens and closes. The "open door" is a symbol of the opportunity of salvation -- the going forth of YEHOVAH's message of the offer of salvation. We must enter in at the true Door to receive salvation -- Yeshua the Messiah is that "door" (John 10:1-2). Acts 14:27 speaks of the "door of faith" opening to the Gentiles. Paul later spoke of a "great door" opened to him for preaching the gospel (I Cor. 16:9; II Cor. 2;12), and says we should pray "that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ" (Col. 4:3).
We also read in Revelation that YEHOVAH God says He has set "an OPEN DOOR" before the true Philadelphia church of YEHOVAH God, a door "no man can shut" (Rev. 3:8), for the preaching of the gospel! But, to the end-time Laodicean church, the Messiah declares, "I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev. 3:20-21).
The Mystery of the Hebrew Letter Hay -- h
And now we come to one of the most interesting mysteries of all -- the FIFTH letter of the Hebrew alphabet -- the letter Hay.
Since this is the fifth letter, its numerical value in Hebrew is "5." This letter represents the "grace" and "goodness" of YEHOVAH God poured out in His works. It represents His graciousness and love -- two of the preeminent characteristics of YEHOVAH God. Thus, since all YEHOVAH's works are "good" and "very good" (Gen. 1:31), all His works are characterized by His grace. When YEHOVAH God passed before Moses -- that is, the Logos or Shekinah Glory -- He declared of Himself, and proclaimed, "The LORD [YHVH -- YEHOVAH], The LORD God, merciful and GRACIOUS, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth" (Exodus 34:6).
Bullinger writes of the meaning of the number "5" in Hebrew:
"Five is four plus one (4 + 1)...Now we have a further revelation of a People called out from mankind, redeemed and saved, to walk with God...Hence, Redemption follows creation. Inasmuch as in consequence of the fall [sin] of man creation came under the curse and was 'made subject to vanity,' therefore man and creation must be redeemed....
"If four is the number of the world, then it represents man's weakness, and helplessness, and vanity, as we have seen.
"But four plus one (4 + 1 = 5) is significant of Divine strength added to and made perfect in that weakness; of omnipotence combined with the impotence of earth; of Divine favour uninfluenced and invincible" (Number in Scripture, page 135).
E. W. Bullinger points out in his book Number in Scripture that "five is four plus one." Since four is the number of the world, then it also represents man's weakness, helplessness, and vanity. Adding to "4" the number "1" -- YEHOVAH God the Father -- then gives us "5," the number of redemption of the world -- the redeeming grace of YEHOVAH God the Father. This grace is also symbolical and summarized in the Redeemer -- "5" is the number of redemption, and redemption comes only through the Messiah -- thus "5" is also a number that refers to Yeshua, our Redeemer and Messiah. Thus the letter "Hay" can also be a direct reference to the Messiah.
Bullinger adds, "Grace means favour. But what kind of favour? for favour is of many kinds. Favour shown to the miserable we call mercy; favour shown to the poor we call pity; favour shown to the suffering we call compassion; favour shown to the obstinate we call patience; but favour shown to the unworthy we call GRACE! This is favour indeed; favour which is truly Divine in its source and in its character" (p. 135-136).
As human beings, we are all in dire need of YEHOVAH's mercy and grace. As Paul wrote to the Romans, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). He declared, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are ALL gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10-12).
The apostle Paul wrote, despairing of his own human nature, at one point, "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Rom. 7:24). The answer? He answered his own question, "Thank God [it shall be] through Jesus Christ our Lord" (verse 25). We all desperately need the mercy, grace and forgiveness that comes from YEHOVAH God through His Messiah. As Isaiah the prophet wrote, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on HIM [not "them," not the nation of "Israel" as such, but on the Messiah Himself!] the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).
When Paul was beset by a thorn in the flesh, and prayed to YEHOVAH God to have it removed, YEHOVAH replied: "My GRACE is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made PERFECT in weakness" (II Cor. 12:9). Paul then was inspired to exclaim, "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the POWER of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong" (verses 9-10).
Bullinger points out how YEHOVAH God changed Abram's name to Abraham, in the book of Genesis. This was Abraham's fifth divine encounter with YEHOVAH God. And what YEHOVAH literally did was add the letter HAY to his name, right before the final letter MEM! YEHOVAH said to Abram, "As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram [Hebrew, mrba], but thy name shall be ABRAHAM [that is, mhrba]: for a father of many nations have I made thee. For I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee" (Gen. 17:4-7).
Thus adding the "Hay" to the name "Abram" is symbolical of adding "YEHOVAH" to Abram -- and with the work of YEHOVAH's Shekinah Glory, Abram becomes "Abraham" -- a man whose destiny is wrapped up in and made manifest through the work of YEHOVAH's spirit (the "Hay") working within and through him!
Bullinger writes of this change of name:
"It is remarkable, also, that afterwards, when God changed Abram's name to Abraham (Gen. 17:5), the change was made very simply, but very significantly (for there is no chance with God), by inserting in the middle of it the fifth letter of the alphabet, h (Hey), the symbol of the number five, and mrba, Abram, became mhrba, AbraHam (Gen. 17:5). All this was of grace, and it is stamped with this significance" (p. 136).
Abraham became the "father of the faithful," and the one through whom the promised Messiah would come. Paul wrote, "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:29). Abraham was called "the Friend of God" (James 2:23), because he obeyed YEHOVAH God, and believed in His promises despite circumstances (Rom. 4:1-3, 13, 17-22).
But there is more to this letter Hay. It also is a "word" in the Hebrew language, and is often translated in the Bible as "Lo," or "Behold." Modern translations often translate it as "See," or, "Look!" Notice how it is used. In Genesis 47:23 we read that Joseph, while in Egypt, when famine was throughout the land, said to the people, "Behold [that is, "Hay," -- ], I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo ["Hay"], here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land."
In Ezekiel 34:43, YEHOVAH God says to His people Israel, "Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast fretted me in all these things; behold ["Hay"], therefore I also will recompense thy ways upon thine head, saith the Lord GOD..." In Daniel we read the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were thrust into a fiery furnace bound up in ropes, but king Nebuchadnezzar looks into the roaring furnace, and exclaims, "Lo ["Hay"], I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt: and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God" (see Dan. 3:23-25).
YEHOVAH God Both Feminine and Masculine?
Interestingly, the Hebrew letter "Hay" is also used to denote femininity, or the feminine side of YEHOVAH's character. YEHOVAH God Himself has both male and female attributes, for we read in Genesis, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27). Feminine forms of Hebrew words end with a "Hey." For example, yeled [dly] means "boy" in Hebrew. But the feminine form of the word, meaning "girl," is yaldah [hdly].
What few have realized, is that YEHOVAH God is both Male and Female -- He is, to use a big word in the English language, "Androgynous" -- that is, has both male and female characteristics. However, when YEHOVAH God the Father (a "male" characterization), first created the "Logos," the Logos -- Word, or Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God -- is described as having female or feminine characteristics. This aspect of the Shekinah Glory is pointed out in Creation of Adam and Eve themselves, for, as we just read, "God created man in his own image...male and female he created them" (Gen. 1:27). There is far more to this simple verse than most people realize. YEHOVAH the Father -- through the Logos or Shekinah Glory -- created mankind in His image -- one male and one female -- the female to always be submission, in subjection, and a "help" fitting for the leader, the male (see Gen. 2:20). Even as the Father had created the "Word" or Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God to be a "help" fit for Him, as the forerunner of all Creation, so He created man and woman in His "image" -- to reflect this awesome truth about the Godhead. Eve was to be to Adam as the Logos or Shekinah Glory was (and is) to YEHOVAH God the Father -- an intermediary fit and suited to him to be his "Helper" always.
Notice again how the "Logos" ("Wisdom" or Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God) is expressed as a feminine or female form, depicting a nurturing, sensitive, caring "woman." In Proverbs 1:8 we read: "My son, hear the instruction of thy father [YEHOVAH God the Father], and forsake not the law of thy mother [the Shekinah Glory]." Here the Father depicts YEHOVAH God the Father, and the Mother depicts the Word of God, or the Shekinah Glory. This theme is carried throughout the book of Proverbs. In chapter 3 we read, "Get wisdom, get understanding....Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee; love her, and she shall keep thee" (v. 5-6). "Wisdom is the principal thing.....Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her" (v. 7-8).
In Proverbs 8, the identity of "Wisdom" is laid out for us: "Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places....Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of men" (Prov. 8:1-4). "Wisdom" -- the Word or Shekinah Glory -- informs us of her divine origin:
"The LORD possessed me in the BEGINNING of his way, before his works of old. I was SET UP from everlasting, FROM THE BEGINNING, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was BROUGHT FORTH; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I BROUGHT FORTH: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens I WAS THERE; when he set a compass upon the face of the depth....Then was I by him, as ONE BROUGHT UP with him: And I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him" (Prov. 8:22-30).
Thus the Shekinah Glory or "Wisdom" of YEHOVAH God is depicted as being comparable to a "Mother" and "Feminine," in the sense of manifesting feminine attributes -- being subject to the Father as a "wife" is to be to her husband. Like Eve being brought into existence from the rib of Adam (Genesis 2:21-22), even so the Shekinah Glory was brought forth from the Father in the ages before time began. The male-female relationship of Adam and Eve was a type of the heavenly relationship of the Father and the Shekinah Glory (Wisdom) of YEHOVAH God.
This "type" also continued in the story of Abraham and Sarah.
When YEHOVAH God changed Abram's name to Abraham, He also changed his wife's name. The name of Abraham's wife, Sarai [yrv] became "Sarah" [hrv]. The name "Sarai" literally means "my princess." The "yod" [y] as a suffix denotes possession. Thus Sarai was by name Abraham's princess. But her new name was an elevation or promotion for Sarai, for the name Sarah means simply "princess" -- that is, she is now a princess in her own right. YEHOVAH God said of her new position in His plan, "Sarah [hrv] shall her name be. And I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her" (Gen. 17:15-16).
Please take note: Again we have the "duality" of YEHOVAH God represented. Abraham, with the "Hay," is representative of YEHOVAH God the Father, and Sarah, his wife, with the "Hay," is representative of the second (lower) part of the Godhead -- that is, of the Shekinah Glory, or Wisdom, or Word, of YEHOVAH God! This truth is emphasized by the fact that the divine letter "Hay" [H] -- representing the very spirit and nature of YEHOVAH GOD -- was added to their names. They became a "type" of the Father and the Shekinah Glory.
Ancient Jews Had Understanding of this Truth
Interestingly, the Jews of Yeshua's time actually understood something of this truth. They recognized "Wisdom" as the chief and first of all YEHOVAH's works! Wrote the Jewish philosopher Philo, a contemporary and friend of the apostle Peter,
"Wisdom is older than creation...of the whole universe" (Philo, On the Virtues 62).
"And who is to be considered the daughter of God but Wisdom, who is the firstborn mother of all things" (Philo, Questions in Genesis 4:97).
Other ancient Jewish sources tell us:
"Two thousand years before the world was created, [YEHOVAH God] created the Torah [that is, divine wisdom]" (Targum Neophyti Gen. 3:24).
"With you [O God] is wisdom, who knows your works and was present when you made the world, and who understands what is pleasing in your sight, and what is right according to your commandments" (Wisdom of Solomon 9:9).
Please note that the Jewish sages understood that Wisdom and Torah, were understood to be the same personage/individual -- an Entity or Personage having these attributes. Torah [Law of YEHOVAH God] = Wisdom. They are two facets of the same perfect Character. The Jews had a deep understanding of the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God -- witness the coments of Saadiah Gaon above.
The "Upper Hay" and the "Lower Hay"
An amazing truth is depicted by the "Hay" as it is used in the very first verse of the Bible -- Genesis 1:1. We read: "In the beginning YEHOVAH God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth." In English, that seems pretty straight-forward. However, in Hebrew, the original language, there is much food for thought in the original Hebrew words and letters comprising this verse!
In the Hebrew we read (right to left):
.zyrah taz mymvt ta myhla arb tyvarb
.earth the and heavens the God created beginning In
The expression translated "the earth" is ha eretz. The Hebrew for "the heavens" is ha shamayim. Notice that grammatically, the word "the" is depicted by the Hebrew "Hay" [h]. This is a normal usage. However, in this case, rabinnical teaching looks upon these two usages of the "Hay" as an "Upper Hay [h]" and a "Lower Hay [h]." The "Hay" in "the heavens" is the "Upper Hay," and the "Hay" in "the earth" is the "Lower Hay."
Now in Hebrew, the letter "Hay" itself stands for the Godhead -- YEHOVAH God Almighty Himself. The upper "Hay" or "heavenly Hay" would point to YEHOVAH God the Father; the lower "Hay" would point to the Word, Logos, or the Shekinah Glory, the part or form of YEHOVAH God that is associated more directly with the earth and mankind -- the part or aspect that became a man (Genesis 18; John 1:14; Phil. 2:5-9). Thus we have in this verse a direct hint, at least, of the two aspects of the Godhead -- One superior to the other -- one the "Upper Hay," and the other the "Lower Hay."
But notice something else peculiar in this verse in the Hebrew. We have reiterated twice an expression which is not translated at all into English -- the Hebrew expression ta and taz. (The "vau" [w] in the second word-form represents the English conjunction "and." However, the "Aleph-Tau" is untranslated in both the Hebrew and the English! It is SILENT. Why is this? Why would YEHOVAH God put an untranslated "word" in the very first verse of Genesis, and do it TWICE?
This word ta [et] itself often is used as a particle pointing out a determinate object, as in Genesis 1:1. However, it is also a demonstrative pronoun meaning "this, this same, this very, itself." Thus this verse can literally be translated "In the beginning God created this very heavens and this very earth," or "this same heavens and this same earth." In other words, it could be a reference to this present existing creation, as opposed to any creations that occurred before.
"Aleph" is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Also note that "Tau" is the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet! Thus we have "Aleph-Tau" twice stated -- or the equivalent of the Greek letters Alpha and Omega. Does this expression have Biblical significance? Yes, it does!
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, which is, and which was, and which is to come, THE ALMIGHTY" (Rev. 1:8). "I am the first and the last" (v. 17).
"And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely" (Rev. 21:6).
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last" (Rev. 22:13).
Here, in the very first verse of Genesis, the ALPHA-OMEGA, THE ALEPH-TAU -- THE SHEKINAH GLORY ITSELF -- is prominently mentioned, although "hidden" from view, untranslated, and yet visibly present!!! It is mentioned TWICE -- both as first and last of the physical (earthly) creation, and first and last of the spiritual (heavenly) creation! In the Shekinah Glory YEHOVAH God the Father created ALL things (Heb. 1:1-3; Col. 1;15-18; John 1:1-3; etc.).
The Beginning and the End
One more fascinating fact about the usage of the letter "Hay" in the Hebrew Scriptures is that in two places in the Scriptures it is printed with a very unusual feature -- that is, in one place it is a tiny, diminutive "Hay," and in the second place it is written as a very large, enlarged, powerful "Hay." In the first instance, it represents the "tiny beginning" of YEHOVAH's plan and Creation, whereas in the second place it stands for the final completion and fullness of YEHOVAH's Plan of redemption and salvation!
Notice! In Genesis 2:4 in the Hebrew Massoretic text we find a peculiar expression. YEHOVAH God says: "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth WHEN THEY WERE CREATED, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens." The expression "when they were created" in Hebrew is one word -- the word behibaram [marbhb]. Notice that the "Hay" [h] is very small, compared to the other characters.
Now, the other anomaly occurs in the "Song of Moses," in Deuteronomy 32. This "song" of Moses reflects the dealings of YEHOVAH God with His people Israel over the centuries, and in particular applies to the End-Time, the LAST DAYS, and the time of "Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7). Here we read:
" Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
" My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:
" Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.
" He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
" They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.
" DO YE THUS REQUITE THE LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hast bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?
" Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations..." (Deut. 32:1-7).
In this passage of Scripture, at the very beginning of verse 6, we find an amazing thing. This expression, "Do ye thus requite the LORD," in Hebrew, begins with an ENLARGED "HAY"! In the Hebrew language, this phrase reads as follows (reading from right to left):
taz-wlmgt hwhyl h zoht tigmelu LeYahveh Ha
This phrase is read as, Ha leYahveh tigmelu zoht -- "Do you thus requite the LORD?"
The extra-large "Hay" is like a red flag, calling special attention to this passage. It calls attention to this final and absolutely unanswerable question that YEHOVAH God poses to His people Israel -- and to all mankind, in a broader sense? For we must ALL appear before the judgment seat of the Messiah and YEHOVAH God. We must ALL appear before YEHOVAH's throne for final judgment for our deeds.
The apostle Paul wrote: "Buy why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the LORD, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Rom. 14:10-12).
Paul also exclaimed to the Athenians, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to REPENT: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will JUDGE THE WORLD in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:30-31).
Thus this passage in Deuteronomy 32:6 is a final call to judgment -- a final WARNING to all that YEHOVAH's judgment is coming, and is near, and we must all give answer for our words and deeds! But it is ALSO a remember that YEHOVAH God is love, and gracious, and He extends His grace to us -- His forgiveness, mercy, and divine pardon -- through His Redeemer, the Saviour, the Messiah -- Yeshua ben Yusef, Yeshua ben David, Yeshua Ha-Moshiach -- Yeshua the son of Joseph, Yeshua the Son of David, Yeshua the Messiah -- the firstborn Son of YEHOVAH GOD!
Thus this passage is both a stern warning to repent, before it is too late -- and also an assurance of YEHOVAH's mercy and grace, His loving-kindness and forgiveness.
As we read in the prophecy of Habakkuk:
"O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; IN WRATH REMEMBER MERCY" (Hab. 1:2).
The time of YEHOVAH God's wrath and judgment are rapidly approaching. It is time for all men to return to YEHOVAH God. As YEHOVAH said to Ezekiel, "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked should turn from his wicked way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" (Ezek. 33:11).
YEHOVAH God repeats the same message in another place, saying: "Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart, and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" (Ezek. 18:31).
Thus in Genesis 2:4 we discover a small, diminutive "hay," showing the plan of YEHOVAH God was really just getting started with the creation described in Genesis, chapter 1. But the enlarged, huge, towering "HAY" of Deuteronomy 32 shows that the creation and Plan of YEHOVAH God will be accomplished -- IN GRACE and MERCY -- at the end of the age, when the judgment is set, and the Messiah sits on his throne and YEHOVAH God the Father occupies the Holy of holies in the Jerusalem Temple!
And this "Messiah" himself is revealed in the next Hebrew letter -- the letter "Vav"!
The Revealing of the Messiah
The Hebrew letter "Vav" has a numerical value of "6." As such, it represents "man," who was created on the sixth day of the week. "Six" also equals 4 + 2, which is the world (creation, mankind) plus the Logos, the Word or Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God -- and indeed, the Messiah was a MAN chosen and anointed and guided by the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God!
Paul writes of this amazing truth in the book of Philippians:
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of MEN: And being found in fashion like a MAN, he HUMBLED himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:5-11).
Many people believe the above passage indicates that Yeshua the Messiah was a "second god" in the Godhead and had pre-existed as such prior to his human birth. It is assumed that this passage says,
1/. Yeshua was equal with YEHOVAH God and thus had been God.
2/. Yeshua had emptied himself of his Old Testament Godhood to become human.
Now what does it mean to be "equal with God"? Let's examine the first of two scriptures that seem to say that Yeshua was equal to YEHOVAH God:
Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was his Father, making himself EQUAL WITH GOD (John 5:18).
Why is Yeshua the Messiah said to be "equal with God" in this verse? The answer can be found in the context of this verse.
The Jewish religious leaders of the day thought that Yeshua was claiming to be equal with YEHOVAH God because he said YEHOVAH was his Father. This was the Jews' perception -- NOT a statement of fact! We say YEHOVAH God is our Father -- does this mean we are claiming equality with YEHOVAH God? Absolutely not! The context of John 5:18 clearly shows that Yeshua himself did NOT claim equality with the Father, but claimed just the opposite. Notice!
Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner (John 5:19).
For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son (John 5:22).
For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in himself, and has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man (John 5:26-27).
I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is righteous, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent [commissioned] me (John 5:30).
There can be no doubt from these (and other) scriptures that Yeshua was NEVER equal to, nor claimed to be equal to, the Father. He never was, is, or will be equal to the Father.
But what about Philippians 2:6? What does the scripture mean when it says that Yeshua "thought it not robbery to be equal with God"? Since Yeshua was never equal with YEHOVAH God the Father -- as he repeatedly said -- the King James Version of this scripture seems to be a biblical contradiction:
Who being in the form of God THOUGHT IT NOT ROBBERY TO BE EQUAL WITH GOD.
Is there another way to determine what this verse -- specifically the word "robbery" -- means in the King James Version? Let's take a look at some other translations --
Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force (Jewish New Testament).
...who, although he was existing in God's form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God (The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures).
...who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped...(Revised Standard Version).
He always had the very nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to become equal with God (Good News for Modern Man).
Only the King James Version and the Jerusalem Bible say that Yeshua was equal with YEHOVAH God. The word for "robbery" is harpagmos (Strong's #725) which occurs only once in the New Testament. It derives from the Greek word harpazo (Strong's #726) which means "to take by force" or "to seize." Since Yeshua himself said that he was NOT equal with YEHOVAH God the Father, Philippians 2:6 clearly means that although he was born in the form of YEHOVAH God (as we all were -- see Genesis 1:26), he thought it not right to be considered equal with YEHOVAH God, that equality with YEHOVAH was NOT a thing to be seized or claimed.
So we see with this example that the King James Version, read by itself, (or the Jerusalem Bible) can lead the reader into error and say the exact opposite of the true meaning. Reader beware! It pays to check a number of versions and compare the translations.
Did Yeshua, as God of the Old Testament, "empty himself" of his divinity and become a human being? Or should we also look at the context of this scripture to determine what "emptied" really means? Philippians 2:3-8 shows that the subject matter of the "emptied" scripture refers to the incredible HUMILITY of Yeshua the Messiah -- notice!
Let nothing be done through strife or self glory, but in LOWLINESS OF MIND [HUMILITY] let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the THINGS OF OTHERS (verses 3-4).
Explaining what a true follower of YEHOVAH God the Father should do to be humble, Paul here gives us the ultimate example of humility --
Let this mind [of total humility] be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not a thing to be seized to be equal with God, but EMPTIED himself, and took on the form of a servant [humble position], and was made in the likeness of men [he was a MAN just like other men], and being found in fashion as a MAN, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross [tree] (verses 5-8).
The subject here is Yeshua's humbling of himself to the point of death on the tree -- the lowliest of deaths. As he hung on the tree he could have summoned the help of legions of angels; but with great difficulty avoided yielding to this temptation.
The word "emptied" is kenoo (Strong's #2758) which is found five times in the New Testament. In other verses it conveys the meaning of "void" or "nullified." Both of these words would fit the context of verse 7 as well as "emptied."
* Yeshua "voided" [humbled] himself.
* Yeshua "nullified" [humbled] himself.
* Yeshua "emptied" [humbled] himself.
There is absolutely no reason to believe that Yeshua the Messiah was revealing a pre-human Godly existence, and the "emptying" himself of his divinity! That is reading something into scripture that simply isn't there! Rather, he was born of Mary as a human being with a human father (Joseph) -- and he had the strength of character (through the power of YEHOVAH's spirit) to humble himself to allow his life to be forfeit, thereby becoming the ultimate Lamb of YEHOVAH God, the Savior of all mankind and our Elder Brother.
The end-result of Yeshua's humility is that "God HIGHLY EXALTED HIM, and gave him a name above every other name" (verse 9). And we are instructed to follow his example of humility and take our place alongside him in the resurrection.
Here is something to think about: If Yeshua the Messiah was the Creator God of the Old Testament and the second One of the Godhead, then this exaltation after his death and resurrection would amount to a severe demotion in comparison to his previous position in the Godhead -- from being the God of the Old Testament and Creator to being the human Messiah and Lamb of YEHOVAH God whose reward is to gain back SOME of the powers he had in his pre-human days. Now, does this sound at all logical to you?
But for Yeshua as the Messiah and firstborn Son of the Creator God YEHOVAH, the heir of all things, this would be a great exaltation.
Writes Gary Sjordal:
The context of Philippians 2:6-7 is the humility of Yahshua who did not think it a thing to be seized to be considered equal with God, even though he was the Son of God.
This scripture does not prove Yahshua had once pre-existed as a God-being. Rather, it provides us another example of the depth of character of our Saviour, the Son of God, who set for us the utmost example of humility (One God, p. 48).
The Letter "Vav" -- w
The incredible significance of the Hebrew letter "vav" goes beyond the letter itself -- it is fundamentally involved with the numerical value of the letter as well. The "vav" is the SIXTH letter of the Hebrew alphabet. So let us review:
The number "1" represents the One God, YEHOVAH God the Father.
The number "2" represents the Logos, or the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God.
The number "3" represents the Spirit of YEHOVAH God, as well as decision, finality, and the Church -- the "Israel of God."
The number "4" represents the material, physical creation, the earth, the world.
The number "5" represents YEHOVAH God's redemption, Divine grace.
The number "6" represents the Shekinah Glory (4 + 2 -- the world plus the Word of YEHOVAH god) as well as man, short of perfection; but it also represents the Messiah, who was born a MAN with all the human frailties this implies!
Now let's take a careful look at the "Vav." It is an extremely interesting letter. The letter "vav" then represents "Grace" plus "1" -- that is, YEHOVAH God the Father, plus His grace = Messianic Redemption and Transformation! "Vav" pictures the salvation of stumbling, erring, sinful mankind through the Grace of YEHOVAH God which comes through both the Shekinah Glory and the Messiah.
However, the letter "vav" is also a "word" in Hebrew. It is the prefix of conjunction. In English, it can be translated "and," "but," "or," "even," etc. It is a UNITING word, which unites myriads of concepts, including names, phrases, ideas, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and even books. It also unites opposites. It unites manifold concepts, and links opposite concepts. It is the CONNECTING LINK between heaven and earth. Thus it represents the MISSING LINK between man and YEHOVAH God, that unites man with YEHOVAH God.
Therefore, this simple "letter" represents the MEDIATOR between YEHOVAH God and mankind. Who is that Mediator?
As Saadiah Gaon expressed it,
...the Shekhinah is identical with kevod ha-Shem ("the glory of God"), which served as an INTERMEDIARY BETWEEN GOD AND MAN during the prophetic experience [Old Testament] (Encyclopedia Judaica).
Gaon also stated that,
the "glory of God" is the Biblical term, and Shekhinah the Talmudic term for the created splendor of light which ACTS AS AN INTERMEDIARY BETWEEN GOD AND MAN, and which sometimes takes on human form (ibid.)
In the Old Testament the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God was the MEDIATOR beween YEHOVAH God and mankind. Then, in New Testament times -- with the birth of the Messiah -- Yeshua became the great Mediator between YEHOVAH God and man. Moses was a type of the Messiah, in that he was a mediator between YEHOVAH God's Shekinah Glory (also a Mediator!) and Israel, at Mount Sinai (Gal. 3:19-20). While YEHOVAH's Shekinah Glory was the Mediator of the Old Covenant, the Messiah became the Mediator of the NEW, everlasting covenant! Paul writes in the book of Hebrews, "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the MEDIATOR OF A BETTER COVENANT, which was established upon better promises" (Heb. 8:6). As followers of the True Messiah, Yeshua, we are "come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus THE MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT..." (Heb. 12:22-24).
During Old Testament times the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God was the great "connecting link" between mankind and YEHOVAH God the Father. People at that time could only have access to the Father through the Shekinah Glory. Then, during New Testament times, John declared, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name [than Yeshua's] under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Both the Shekinah Glory and Yeshua the Messiah are represented by the Hebrew "vav" in symbolic understanding.
The letter "vav" itself is in the form of a "hook." In fact, its name, "vav," literally means "hook."
The "Vav" and the Divine Name
The letter "vav" appears in the name of YEHOVAH God, the Tetragrammaton -- YHVH. That is, in Hebrew, hwhy. It appears between the two "Hays" -- h. The Hebrew character "Hay" [ h] is symbolic of the Divine Name. In Hebrew writing, it is sometimes used as an abbreviation for YEHOVAH God. "Hay" literally means "breath" in Hebrew, thus it also refers to the Holy Spirit, the "breath" of life (Gen. 2:7). The letter "vav," being the sixth letter, in this case represents the Shekinah Glory which connects man with YEHOVAH God the Father.
Indeed, the Logos -- YEHOVAH's Shekinah Glory -- could assume the form of a man. We read in the New Testament, "In the beginning [of creation] there was the MANIFESTATION [SHEKINAH GLORY]; and that Manifestation [Shekinah Glory] was with God [YEHOVAH]; and God [YEHOVAH] was [the embodiment of] that Manifestation [Shekinah Glory]. This [the Shekinah Glory] was in the behinning with God [YEHOVAH]." (John 1:1-2). John continues, "And the MANIFESTATION [SHEKINAH GLORY] became flesh and made his [correctly, "its"] dwelling amongst us and we saw His [YEHOVAH's Shekinah] glory, glory as [that] uniquely [of the nature] of the Creator, full of grace and blessing" (John 1:14).
We previously saw proof of this in Genesis 18 where YEHOVAH God's Shekinah Glory appeared in human form to Abraham -- acting as an intermediary between YEHOVAH and Abraham.
In the Divine Name, therefore, the "Vav" refers to the Logos -- the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God which acted as an intermediary between YEHOVAH and man during Old Testament times. The "yod" -- the first letter in the Divine Name -- represents the "hand of God." The "yod" is a symbol for the "hand." However, the fact that the divine Name also has two "Hays" [h], is very significant. It points to the two components of the Godhead, YEHOVAH God the Father (the "Upper Hay") and the Logos or Shekinah Glory (the "Lower Hay"). Both are part of the One God. But One -- the Father -- is always the driving force.
The "Vav" in "Generations"
Realizing that the "Vav" represents the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God, we discover an interesting fact in the Tanakh. In Genesis 2:4, Moses wrote, "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens." Obviously, the expression "in the day" in this verse means "in the time" or "in the time period" -- an indefinite period of time, not a literal twenty-four hour day as such. The first chapter of Genesis itself refers to at least six "days" of creation.
But notice the word "generations." The Hebrew word here is toledot. It is spelled as follows: twdlwt. Notice that the word contains two "vavs." However, when the word is used next in the Scriptures, it appears after the sin of Adam and Eve, when they were cast out of the Garden of Eden, and no longer had the same communion with YEHOVAH God through the Shekinah Glory that appeared in the Garden of Eden. This time we read: "This is the book of the generations of Adam" (Gen. 5:1). But in this instance, the spelling of the same Hebrew word toledot has changed! The word is spelled: tdlwt. Notice that the second vav is deleted. Throughout the remaining writings of Moses, and the book of Joshua, and the book of Judges, this spelling -- a defective spelling -- is used, with a missing "vav."
The next time we find the word toledot spelled as it was in Genesis 2:4, with both "vavs " -- twdlwt -- is in the book of Ruth, where we read: "Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, and Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, and Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, and Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David" (Ruth 4:18-22).
David, of course, was the great ancestor of Yeshua the Messiah, who was born of his direct lineage! The "missing Vav" is restored by the generations of the family of David, leading to the Messiah, who was the descendant of David (Luke 3:23-38)!
Here then is a mystery solved! The "Vav" (until the anointing of the Messiah) represents the Shekinah Glory. Mankind, in general, was cut off from YEHOVAH God, from the time of Adam. But the restoration of the missing "Vav" in the "generations" of the ancestry of David, who himself was a "type" of the coming Messiah, shows that the New Testament "Vav" or Messiah would come through the generations of the descendants of David! From the anointing of the Messiah to the present day the restoration of contact with YEHOVAH God comes through Yeshua, the Messiah, the "Branch" from the offspring of David! Yeshua is now the "intermediary" -- not the Shekinah Glory!
A Lesson for the END of the Age
These lessons from the Hebrew alphabet teach us some of the secret, finer things of YEHOVAH God and YEHOVAH's Plan. Hidden from view of generations, they are being revealed in these "last days." As YEHOVAH God told Daniel through the archangel Michael, these truths were sealed up "even to the time of the END; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge [including knowledge of YEHOVAH] shall be INCREASED" (Daniel 12:4).
In this light, it is interesting to note that in Deuteronomy 32:6, YEHOVAH uses the enlarged "Hay" to illustrate the END of His Works, Time-table, Plan, and the time of Judgment. Even as the diminutive "Hay" in Genesis 2:4 points to the beginning of Creation, which began on the first day of the Creation week, so the final large "Hay" in Deuteronomy 32:6 points to the Preparation Day, sundown, the end of the Sixth Day, when Creation is finished, and the beginning of the Seventh-Day Sabbath Rest. The very next verse points directly to creation, and is a prophecy of the 6,000 year plan of YEHOVAH God. We read: "Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations" (Deut. 32:7).
A thirteenth century Jewish commentary declares, "The 'days of old' are the Six Days in which God made the world; and these days know and are acquainted with all the years of the world, and all generations up to this generation to which we ourselves belong" (R. Abba, quoted in "The Upper and Lower Hay h," by J. R. Church, Prophecy in the News, March 1998, p.21).
Thus the creation week pictures the 6,000 year plan of YEHOVAH God, where each literal "day" represents a thousand years in being fulfilled. As we read in Psalm 90, "For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday, when it is past, and as a watch in the night" (verse 4). Peter tells us further: "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (see II Pet. 3:8).
If one day pictures a thousand years, then Creation week pictures 7,000 years. However, the final day -- the Sabbath -- depicts the millennial "Sabbath" when the Messiah returns and YEHOVAH God Himself sets up His kingdom and rules the earth from Jerusalem for "one thousand years" (see Rev. 20:4). Since the Sabbath day of the "week" equals one thousand years in fulfillment, then the previous "six days" equals 6,000 years.
What is significant about this verse in Deuteronomy 32:7, pointing to the "days of old," that is, Creation, is that it follows verse 6 which points to YEHOVAH's final Judgment at the end of this age.
This verse in Deuteronomy 32:6 draws our attention to the END of the age and when YEHOVAH God will send the Messiah to JUDGE the world and then return Himself to rule the world. This will occur at the END of 6,000 years of man's misrule and misery upon the planet earth.
The "LARGE HAY [h]" of Deuteronomy 32:6 tells us that the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God, the "Lower Hay" of Genesis 1:1, the Logos-Wisdom-Word of YEHOVAH God, will come "suddenly" to the Temple (Malachi 3:1). YEHOVAH God Himself -- in the form of the Shekinah Glory -- will suddenly come to rescue His people from cosmocide, destruction, and universal death, with Yeshua the Messiah as His High Priest.
Praise YEHOVAH God that He and the Messiah Yeshua are coming soon! Praise YEHOVAH God He will deliver and rescue and save His people from "utter destruction" (Mal. 4:4-6; Matt. 24:22).
-- Edited By John D. Keyser.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
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