Hebrew Numbers 11-30

This is another reference post to help with Bible study, symbolism, dream interpretation, etc. Related articles can be found on the Misparim page. 

22 Hebrew Letters

Eleven achat esre [f.] echad asar [m.] Outsider, disorder, disorganization, incomplete, lack (12-1) or excess (10+1) [both signify imperfection], transition (moving back to 10 or ahead to 12), betrayal, idolatry, bribery, and rebellion to heavenly authority (pictured best by Esau). I’ve heard Christians declare that eleven has to do with the prophetic realm. But, I believe that eleven is much more akin to divination. (Sadly, many confuse the two.) It is usually about doing what is “right in your own eyes”. It’s action based on “what I feel”, not “what is written”. However, there is some indication that if a person is walking uprightly and humble, eleven can have some prophetic implications.

  • Eleventh Hebrew Letter: Khaf Numerical value of twenty. Pictograph meaning of an open hand or container. Also implies similarity. As a suffix, it shows possession.
  • Jacob had to face Esau while his family was incomplete with 11 sons (Benjamin wasn’t yet born). He had to fight an “Angel of the LORD” all night long.
  • Esau’s chieftains were eleven (Gen. 36:40-43) compared to Jacob’s twelve. Just reviewing the history of Esau’s lineage (Edom) makes it abundantly clear that he is associated with rebellion and living by the nephesh (beast/flesh).
  • The wilderness journey was only eleven days, but rebellion cost Israel forty more years in the desert. Moses recounted this punishment to them on the first day of the eleventh month (Dt. 1).
  • Eleven disciples were incomplete until a twelfth was chosen. (Acts 1:21-26)
  • Delilah betrayed the judge Samson by taking the bribe of 5 lords of the Philistines. Each offered her 1100 pieces of silver. (Jud. 16:6, 3:3)
  • Right after Samson’s story in Judges, the remaining chapters (17-21) depict the moral and political decay of Israel. All of it is contrary to God’s order. And amazingly, it all begins with a story about another 1100 pieces of silver. Here are the highlights and I believe they are indicative of the number 11:

The word to describe the state of affairs in these chapters is “confusion“: Stolen money is used for idols, the Lord is invoked to bless the thief, individual shrines replace worship at the tabernacle, Levites and common people are consecrated as priests, idols are used in the worship of Jehovah. And Micah supposed the Lord would bless him in all of this! Moreover, as the story continues, A Levite’s concubine is raped to death, a civil war ensues, and the tribe of Benjamin is almost wiped out. This verse begins and ends the entire series of chapters: In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Jdg. 17:6 & 21:25)

  • 5 + 6 = 11. Look back at the meaning of numbers five and six. If we add power and strength with man and beast, we will have a twisted counterfeit unless that man (or woman) is ruled by YHWH. In the case of the latter, eleven can symbolize a place of godly transition. Sadly, many believe that Adonai rules them, but it is their nephesh/flesh that really has the upper hand. Where this is true, their life will be characterized by confusion, disorder, an extreme of lack or excess, duplicity, corruption, divination, and the like.
  • Messiah was “cut off” (crucified) because of our rebellion (sins) when He was about 33 years old (3 x 11). (Dan. 9:26) In His case, this was obviously a “transition” as He overcame the grave!

Twelve shtayim esre [f.] shnayim asar [m.] perfect government, order, organization, united, perfect subdivisions of time (12 hours in day, 12 months in a year, 12 primary constellations) and of people (12 tribes of Israel, 12 Disciples/Apostles). This demonstrates a holy people serving a holy God based on the Creator’s clock and calendar.

  • Twelfth Hebrew Letter: Lamed Numerical value of thirty. Pictographic meaning shepherd’s hook/staff, teaching, learning, goading, protection, yoke, bind. Infinitive prefix for verbs, meaning to or for or belonging to.
  • 12 foundations in the heavenly Jerusalem
  • 12 Gates
  • 12 Pearls
  • At age 12, Yeshua first appears in public and engages with the teachers in Jerusalem. (Luke 2:42, He was at Bar Mitzvah age.)
  • In Luke 8, a woman that had an issue of blood for 12 years touches Yeshua’s tzit-tzyiot (tassels/fringes) and she is healed. This occurred while He was on His way to heal a 12 year girl.
  • 2×10= 12. If we look at the ideal for numbers two and ten, then we can see that 12 is about a united (2) and perfect congregation (10).
  • 3×4=12. Again, looking at the ideal for numbers three and four, we can see that when the seed is ripened (3) with the Holy Spirit (4), it produces resurrection life (3) that is powered by divine government (4).
  • 2×6=12. If we review numbers two and six, twelve will ideally picture a unified relationship (2) that is serving in the image of Elohim (6). The beast is being ruled by the two in one flesh of restored Adam (mankind).
  • Multiples of twelve, such as 24 or 144,000 will carry these same ideas.

Thirteen shlosh esre [f.] shlosha asar [m.] Thirteen is associated with covenant, love, unity, and eternity. It is the 6th prime number, so it will have some of the same meanings as the number six. Thirteen has the stigma of being an “unlucky” number. I don’t believe in luck, nor do I believe that thirteen ONLY has negative connotations. The idea that the number 13 is bad luck comes from pagan influences. The Hebrew word for love (ahavah) and oneness (echad) share the numerical value of 13. Thus, we would expect to see 13 linked with love and unity. However, on the negative side, we will see connections to the opposite of love, which is not hate, but apathy or indifference.

  • Thirteenth Hebrew Letter: Mem Numerical value of forty. Pictographic meaning of water, chaos, immersion, womb, blood. Mem is the “center” of the Hebrew alefbet. Shows the masculine plural. As a prefix, is the preposition from, out of, or the means by which.
  • God expresses His glory with 13 attributes. (Ex. 34:6-7, Micah 7:18-20)[1]
  • In Hebrew, the combined letters in the names of the 3 patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) reduce to 13.
  • In Hebrew, the combined letters in the names of the 4 matriarchs (Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah) reduce to 13.
  • 13 is considered the age of a youth for becoming a Bar and Bat Mitzvah (son and daughter of the commandments).
  • Jewish people have 13 rules of Torah interpretation.
  • There are 12 tribes of Israel, yet there are 13 if we count Ephraim and Manasseh instead of Joseph.
  • There are 613 Torah commandments. (600 + 13). Six is the number of a man made in the image of Elohim and 13 is the number of love. Truly, all the commandments hang on one: LOVE (First God, and then your neighbor as yourself).
  • The thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians teaches us all about LOVE.
  • 6+7=13. If we look at the ideal for the number 6 (man expressing the image of God and sacrificial love) and the number 7 (divine rest, completeness, and reverence), we see both love and unity intertwined.
  • However, if we look at the negative side of 6 (man following the image of the beast) and 7 (one who separates or cause strife between brothers), we see rebellion, destruction, and apathy. This is best pictured in the seventh church of Revelation: Laodicea (The people lack love; they are apathetic, indifferent, or “lukewarm”.)

Fourteen arbah esre (f) arba’ah asar (m) Multiple of SEVEN, a double measure. The number of the Messiah. To reproduce, recreate, disciple, servant, bond-servant.

  • Fourteenth Hebrew Letter: Nun Numerical value of 50. Pictographic meaning life, fish, seed, heir, productiveness, continuity, permanence, prophetic, multiplication.
  • Jacob served Laban for fourteen years to marry Leah and Rachel. (Gen. 31:41)
  • After the rebellion of Korah, the people accused Moses of killing the LORD’s people. A plague then consumed 14,700 of them. (Notice the 7s). (Num. 16:49)
  • Every day of Sukkot (Tabernacles), a 7-day feast, 14 lambs were offered. (Num. 29)
  • Solomon celebrated Sukkot for fourteen days when he dedicated the first Temple of YHWH. (1 Kings 8)
  • The genealogy of the Messiah is divided up and given in two sets of fourteen (Mt. 1)
  • Paul tells us that he waited fourteen years to go up to Jerusalem a second time to meet with the Jerusalem council in Acts 15. (Gal. 2:1) This speaks to us being patient and gaining wisdom and experience before we push ahead with an agenda — even if it is from Elohim!

Fifteen chamesh esre (f) chamish’a asar (m) A multiple of FIVE. The short or poetic form of God’s most holy Name (Yahyohd, hey) has a numerical value of fifteen. Fifteen implies to save, heal, redeem, prolong, step up, ascend, and fullness (like the LIGHT of the full moon).

  • Fifteenth Hebrew Letter: Samech Numerical value of 60. Pictographic meaning thorn, to surround, support, protect, wheel, snake.
  • There are fifteen Psalms of Ascent. (Ps. 120-134) These were Psalms that were sung as travellers made their way to the three pilgrimage festivals in Jerusalem. In the Holy Temple courtyard, there was an ultra wide stairway that consisted of fifteen large, semi-circular steps that “ascended” into the inner section of the courtyard. The Levites would play music on these steps and sing these fifteen Psalms.
  • YHWH prolonged the life of King Hezekiah by healing him and adding fifteen years to his life. (2 Kings 20, Is. 38:5)
  • Hosea redeemed his wife with fifteen shekels of silver. (Hos. 3)
  • The fifteenth day of (biblical lunar) months always falls on the full moon. The most LIGHT in the night sky occurs when the moon is full. The first day of Unleavened Bread, and the first day of Sukkot, both begin when the moon is full. (See more on this in Moonbeams and the Moedim.)
  • The Aaronic Benediction (Priestly Blessing) consists of fifteen Hebrew words. (Num. 6:24-26)

Sixteen shesh esre (f) shisha asar (m) Multiple of eight. Without boundaries or limits. New beginning. Olam Olam. Outside of time as we know it. Lingering with the Father. Can also picture the completeness of seven (16= 1+6=7) that leads to new beginnings. Covenant. (See eight for more information.)

  • Sixteenth Hebrew Letter: Ayin Numerical value 70. (70 is the number of the nations.) Pictographic meaning eye, well (of water), vision (literal and prophetic), perception, seven Spirits of God (as eyes roaming to and fro).

Seventeen shva esre (f) shiv’a asar (m) Seventeen is the 7th prime number, thus will see some meanings that mirror seven. 7+10=17 indicates the meaning of the number ten will also inform seventeen. While completeness, divine order, and a congregation are related to this number, the scripture also reveals that even those that are called to walk in these attributes can act presumptuously in their immaturity. Joseph was seventeen when he brought the evil report about his brothers to his father Jacob. (Gen. 37:2) Seventeen is close to adulthood (age 20), but not quite. Thus, immaturity, childishness, underdevelopment, and naivety can be indicative of seventeen.

  • Seventeenth Hebrew Letter: Peh Numerical value of 80. Pictographic meaning of mouth, opening, speech, blow, scatter.

Eighteen shmoneh esre (f) shmonah asar (m) In Hebrew, the word for LIFE, chai (chet, yohd) is also the number eighteen. Both prayer and Temple worship are related to the number eighteen. Meanings are related to life, prayer, worship, devotion, offerings, charity, being loosed or freed, and sacrifice. Conversely, when we are rebellious to YHWH, it can relate to the opposite of life: judgment, destruction, captivity, and bondage.

  • Eighteenth Hebrew Letter: Tzaddi Numerical value of 90. Pictographic meaning trail, journey, hunt, righteous (upright) one, justice.
  • In Jewish law, Matzah (Unleavened Bread) is baked for no more than eighteen minutes to be considered Kosher for Pesach (Passover).
  • The Amidah or the Shemoneh Esrei is a standing prayer with eighteen benedictionsThese prayers were formulated to correspond to the daily (continual) offerings at the Temple. These are the “calves of our lips”. (Hosea 14:2)
  • The future New Jerusalem (from Ezekiel’s vision) will be 18,000 cubits: “The city shall be 18,000 cubits round about; and the name of the city from that day shall be, ‘The LORD is there.'” (Ezek. 48:35)
  • In Luke 13:4, the Tower of Siloam fell on eighteen people in judgement. 
  • Yeshua healed a woman bound with an infirmity that caused her to be bent over for eighteen years (Luke 13:10-17). Someone “bent over” with an infirmity is figuratively the opposite of someone “upright” or righteous. Yeshua released (loosed) this woman from the bondage of the enemy. Whatever was preventing her from walking uprightly for 18 long years was removed.
  • The Israelites were punished for periods of eighteen years for idolatry and rebellion in the time of the Judges. (Judges 3:14; 10:8; 20:44)

Nineteen tsha esre (f) tish’a asar (m) 10+9=19, thus we can expect to see meanings associated with the number 10 and 9 to factor into the number nineteen. Divine order, judgment, truth revealed or concealed. Nineteen is the 8th prime number, which also indicates links to the number eight.

  • Nineteenth Hebrew Letter: Koof Numerical value of one hundred. Pictographic meaning sun on the horizon, time, imitation (of God or enemy), circle.
  • Chavah or Eve has a Gematria value of 19. (See how the woman is associated with the number nine here.)

Twenty esrim (n) Manhood. The age of accountability for those counted among the people for service, war, and worship. (Ex. 30:14; 38:26, Lev. 27:3, Num. 1, 1 Chron. 23:24; 27:23) Doubling of the number ten. Maturity, accountability, being counted, expectation.

  • Twentieth Hebrew Letter: Reish Numerical value of two hundred. Pictographic meaning a man’s head, authority, beginning, first, top.
  • 1 shekel is equal to 20 gerahs. (Ex. 30:13)

Twenty-One esrim v’achat (f) esrim v’echad (m) Can denote a tripling of seven (3×7=21). This can be good as in a multiplication of rest, holiness, or the seven Spirits of God, but can also depict judgment and the spirit of anti-messiah as we see in the triplets of sevens from the Book of Revelation. Can also represent delay or to stand against as seen in Daniel below.

  • Twenty First Hebrew Letter: Shin Numerical value of three hundred. Pictographic meaning of teeth, to devour, chew on, destroy, think about, ponder, fire, tongues of fire, sharpen, press, eat, consume.
  • The Prince of Persia (a wicked spirit or demon) delayed the message Daniel had prayed about for twenty-one days. Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. (Daniel 10:12-13) The message was about the latter or end days (vs. 14).

Twenty-Two esrim v’shtayim (f) esrim v’shnayim (m) There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet; hence this encompasses the whole of the Word of God, the beginning and the end, the aleph and the tav, and the alpha and the omega. It also pictures the LaShon HaKodesh (Holy Tongue). On the negative side, it can picture something wholly wicked as the doubling of eleven (disorganization, doing what is right in your own eyes). It can picture something highly prophetic or something divined by sorcery. Either way, positive or negative, sacred or profane, it involves WORDS. Other positive meanings: totality, creation, and order. Other negative meanings: disorder, destruction or break down, missing components, distress, banishment.

  • Twenty Second Hebrew Letter: Tav Numerical value of four hundred. Pictographic meaning the seal (of God) or the mark of the enemy, completion, signal, symbol, monument.
  • YHWH spoke the Universe into existence. He used Words and words are made from letters. Thus, the Hebrew letters are the building blocks to all life.
  • The 22 letters are like our DNA.
  • David used an acrostic featuring all 22 Hebrew letters when he penned Psalm 119. Eight verses are devoted to each of the Hebrew letters to praise YHWH for His Torah, commandments, and precepts. It’s as if he was “counting the ways” for his love of YHWH and His WORD.


Twenty-Three esrim v’shalosh (f) esrim v’shlosha (m) Based on the few Biblical passages that refer to this number, it appears that twenty-three has much to do with immorality, stubbornness, grumbling, complaining, wickedness, idolatry, etc. 

  • Jeremiah preached repentance to an obstinate people for 23 years as the Word of YHWH came to him. (Jer. 25:3, Read this passage for context)
  • Paul reminded us about the fall of 23,000 in wilderness: Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. (1 Cor. 10:6-10)

Twenty-Four esrim v’arba (f) esrim v’arba’a (m) Multiple of twelve. Heavenly government and worship, dividing of time (24hrs in a day), priesthood, watchmen, all parts working together in service to YHWH. On the negative end, we see those that oppose the government, authority, and worship of the true God. The giant with 24 fingers and toes described below best depicts this.

  • The priests were divided into 24 courses to perform their service in the Tabernacle/Temple. (1 Chron. 24)
  • There are 24 elders in John’s vision in Revelation.
  • Time is daily divided into 24 hour periods.
  • Watchmen (Levites, but not priests) were divided into 24 orders to guard the sanctity of the Holy Mount.
  • The Holy Land was divided into 24 districts.
  • The word shalom (peace) is found 24 times in the Torah.
  • There are 24 books in the Tanakh (Old Testament).  [Christians divide the same books differently to form 39, but the exact words are in both Jewish and Christian (O.T.) Bibles. For example, Jews lump all twelve of the Minor Prophets together into one “book”.]
  • David’s nephew, Jonathan, killed a giant with 24 fingers and toes. This meant that the giant had 6 fingers on each hand and 6 toes on each foot. Since this giant opposed YHWH and His anointed, it’s safe to assume that he followed the image of the beast (6) both inside and out. Again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature who had twenty-four fingers and toes, six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot; and he also was descended from the giants. When he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him. (1 Chron. 20:6-7)

Twenty-Five esrim v’chamesh (f) esrim v’chamisha (m) Related to five, as in 5 squared or 5×5. Has to do with strength and power to go the distance to spread the Seed or the Good News. We see this when the age of the priesthood apprenticeship begins at age 25. Negatively, it is multiplied feet set to do evil and give wicked counsel. We can see this in the vision of Ezekiel below.

  • Levites began to apprentice or learn their service to YHWH at the age of twenty-five. (Num. 8:24) [Their ministry doesn’t officially begin until age thirty.]
  • Ezekiel saw 25 men in a vision with their backs toward the Temple and faces toward the sun (false worship). Later, Ezekiel discovers who these men are and what their judgment will be. (Ezek. 8:16; 11:1-13)

Twenty-Six esrim v’shesh (f) esrim v’shisha (m) The numerical value of the Divine and Most Holy Name: YHWH (Yahweh: yohd, hey, vav, hey) is twenty-six. The Torah was given on Mt. Sinai in the 26th generation of mankind. (There were 10 generations from Adam to Noach, 10 generations from Noach to Abraham, and another 6 generations from Abraham to Moses.) Means oneness (YHWH is One [Dt. 6:4]), but also carries the ideas associated with the number four (The most holy Name has four letters): dominion, authority, fullness, giving of Torah and Holy Spirit.

  • 2×13=26, denoting that 26 is related to thirteen. Thirteen means covenant, love, and unity.
  • Mankind is created in the image of YHWH (26). Not coincidently, the Bible begins to describe the creation of mankind in the 26th verse on the Torah scroll in Hebrew. This is true even in English Bibles: Gen. 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Twenty-Seven esrim v’sheva (f) esrim v’shiv’a (m) Three cubed equals twenty-seven. Thus, review the number three for more details as to how 27 is an exponential picture of this. To gather, resurrect, seeds, trees, fruit, counsel, dry land, chaos adverted, firstfruits, harmony, and balance. Based on the Scripture references below, it appears that 27 is linked also to things hidden being revealed and the Seed of the Woman.

  • Sarah lived 127 years (Gen. 23:1).
  • King Ahasuerus ruled 127 provinces (Esther 1:1).

Twenty-Eight esrim v’shmoneh (f) esrim v’shmonah (m) 4×7=28, indicating that twenty-eight is linked to both four and seven. As you learned in Hebrew Numbers 1-10, four and seven are indeed connected and picture many of the same things. 14+14 also equals 28, so we can see Messiah figured in this number as well. A full lunar month can occur in only 28 days. Jewish thought associates 28 with seasons as seen below.

  • King Solomon enumerated 28 times, seasons, or purposes for everything under Heaven (Ecc. 3:1-8).

Twenty-Nine esrim ve tesha (f) esrim ve tish’a (m)
 The number of accountability and expectation (20) plus the number of judgment, fruitfulness, and multiplication (9).

Thirty shloshim (n) Represents the life cycle in miniature. Perfect order (3 x10), maturity for official ministry or service, price of bondservant, time of mourning a life.

  • Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh (Gen. 41:46).
  • King David began to reign when he was thirty years old (2 Sam. 5:4).
  • Messiah was thirty years old when His ministry began (Luke 3:23).
  • Aaron was mourned for thirty days (Num. 20:29).
  • Moses was mourned for thirty days (Dt. 34:8).
  • Priests that handled the most holy things began their official service at age thirty. (Num. 4)
  • The redemption price for a bondservant gored by an ox is 30 shekels of silver (Ex. 21:32).
  • Zechariah prophetically asks Judah to estimate his value. He is valued at 30 shekels of silver (Zech 11:12-13).
  • Judas betrays Messiah for 30 shekels of silver. (Mt. 26:15)
  • Samson had thirty Philistine companions when he went to marry his wife. He put a riddle to them, offering them thirty changes of clothes if they could figure it out. But his new bride tricked Samson into revealing the riddle, so Samson slew thirty men to fulfill his wager. (Judges 14)

[1] Ex. 34:6-7 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

For more references, see the footnotes under the page Misparim.

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Garments of Light Part II

In Part I, we looked at the Hebrew word arom (naked). I’d like to revisit this briefly as it is the context of this post. Adam and Chavah (Eve) were naked and not ashamed before they sinned. They were innocent without anything to hide. The enemy was also arum (cunning), and he was certainly hiding something. Now, let’s look at some of the words he chose to tempt Chavah.

The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4-5)

Before we examine the verses above, let’s look at one more.

Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— (Gen. 3:22)

Did you notice the “cunning” of the serpent? He didn’t exactly lie to Chavah, did he? In fact, he used the truth. Perhaps the truth had a little twist or perhaps he caused her to doubt. Regardless, we all know the outcome. Their eyes were opened and they were like Elohim knowing good and evil. Sin stripped them (made them bare) of their heavenly garments (innocence), so Elohim covered them with ohr, mortal flesh of skin.[1]

One strategy of the enemy that we tend to overlook is that he often uses truth to strip us of our garments and cover us with shame. I wonder how many of us have followed his example unwittingly? Do we sometimes use truth to strip our neighbors? Do we sometimes leave people naked and in shame without covering them?

Dirty Laundry

Dirty-LaundrySin is likened to dirty garments in the Bible.

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.” Then I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments, while the angel of the LORD was standing by. (Zec. 3:3-5)

For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Is. 64:6)

Conversely, clean garments can represent our righteous acts, salvation, wedding garments, or even the priesthood. (We will look at some examples in a later post.) Thus, we can figuratively “wear” anything from shame to salvation. This is a common biblical metaphor. But it is also an English metaphor. Not long ago, I heard the old Don Henley song “Dirty Laundry”. And it got me thinking about the sad state of social media, the news, and the like. People LOVE to put other people’s dirty laundry on display for the whole world to see. But even worse, those that claim to be followers of the Messiah are often the worst perpetrators.

After meditating on this, I printed out the lyrics to “Dirty Laundry”. You can see the full list here, but here is a sample:

Dirty little secrets

Dirty little lies

We got our dirty little fingers

In everybody’s pie

We love to cut you down to size

We love dirty laundry

 We can do the Innuendo

We can dance and sing

When it’s said and done

We haven’t told you a thing

We all know that Crap is King

Give us dirty laundry

Why do we feel the need to air another person’s dirty laundry? Why do we always seem to focus on the crap? What would possess us to post the downfall of another human created in the image of Elohim on Facebook? How does this serve the King of the Universe? Are we without sin? No, yet we are often the first to throw stones at our brothers and sisters. Something in us secretly relishes in another person’s demise. How sick and sad is this?

May I suggest that when we do things such as this we are following the image of the serpent beast and not YHWH? The nachash (serpent) was the first to use this tactic. He is the first liar, but he also used TRUTH to get Adam and Chavah to stumble. He made them doubt the motives and goodness of Elohim. His final blow was to tell them something that was true. They would indeed become like Elohim knowing good and evil.

You see, we think that just because we know something that it is always the will of the Father for us to reveal it. We fail to take into account the sovereign timing of YHWH. Only the Sower knows when the seed should be planted and when it will sprout to life. We are meant to be the holy vessels He uses to accomplish His will. We don’t decide these things, He does.

 Now don’t misunderstand, I’m not suggesting that we withhold the truth from people. Nor am I suggesting that we hide our light. But what I am proposing is that we need to be careful in our method of delivery and in our follow-up (discipleship). Even with good intentions, we can strip the robe off of our neighbor and leave them uncovered and naked. For example, you might tell someone the truth about the origins of Christmas. This reality is painful. The person most likely has strong emotions, memories, and traditions tied to this unbiblical festival. If all you do is strip them of this dirty garment, you have left them naked.

“Lately My people have risen up as an enemy— You pull off the robe with the garment From those who trust you, as they pass by, Like men returned from war. (Mic. 2:8 NKJV)

 And this is the problem. Many love to proclaim the truth ONLY to shake the foundation or faith of others. But this isn’t LOVE unless we are also there to cover and protect their exposed and tender flesh. We must be merciful and allow others to grieve their loss (false covering). We also must be there to bandage their wounds with oil and wine and cover them with the true festivals and white linen garments of heaven.

What is Shame?

Recall that in the beginning, Adam and Chavah were naked (arom), but not ashamed. But once sin entered the equation, their nakedness became something else entirely. They were now naked (arum) like the serpent, with something to hide: sin. Sin shames us.

The Hebrew word for shame in Genesis 2:25 is boosh (beht, vav, shin). It carries the idea of great disappointment (in self). Pictographically, it means to be linked with the destroyer of the house/tent. Isn’t this exactly what happened to Adam and Chavah? Were they not found to be in collusion with the enemy of Adonai?

Angry group pointing finger.Shame is the realization, sorrow, and guilt one feels when this truth is exposed. It is greatly humiliating whether the action was done in ignorance, through deception, or with our full intention. Our light or covering is ripped off to expose our weak and sensitive flesh. Shame can be quite devastating and is the cause of many suicides. Shame leaves a person in a state of worthlessness, despair, and hopelessness. And this is the goal of our enemy. He wants to kill, steal, and destroy any and all hope for a future.

How did YHWH respond to the “nakedness” in Adam and Chavah? We need to pay close attention to Adonai’s remedy, because it is THE pattern we are to use with one another when dealing with sin. Reread Genesis chapter 3. Notice that first, YHWH deals with their sin. He questions them about their participation while they are still exposed and trying to cover/hide themselves with fig leaves. Adonai hears both of their excuses, and then outlines the results of their actions. (He makes a righteous judgment.) The blame game didn’t absolve them from guilt or consequence.

But after making a righteous judgment, Adonai gracefully clothes the tender and exposed flesh of Adam and Chavah. He binds up their emotional wounds. He covers them with skins of flesh and takes them away from the temptation. This is mercy, grace, and love at its finest.

This is our model. If we are walking in the image of Elohim, we can remove the shame of our brothers and sisters the same way. Leaving them to wallow in their despair and hopelessness is the same thing as leaving them naked.

Clothing the Naked

 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ (Mt. 25:35-36)

Messiah says that when we feed, give drink, clothe the naked, visit the sick and prisoners, we are His hands and feet in the earth. How we treat our neighbors is of great import. Does He just mean this in the literal sense or is He also speaking figuratively? The metaphoric language of Scripture demands that His statement is both literal and figurative (spiritual). After all, humans are both flesh and spirit. Elohim always deals with the whole person.

This analogy is the same when we think we need to announce to world another person’s sins, familial issues, finance issues, or the like. When we participate in tearing down the reputation and character of another human being created in the image of Elohim with great revelry, we are an enemy. We are a destroyer of the brethren. We are the man or woman that strips another down to naked shame. The only reason I can think of that would cause us to take pleasure in such treachery is on account of our own fig leaves of insecurity, rejection, and guilt. If we must tear down another person to make ourselves feel better about our own issues, then we are no better than a beast. We are a destroyer, a snake, and an accuser of the brethren.

As I write, we are in the Ten Days of Awe, the season of repentance. Yom Hakippurim is just around the corner. May we be reminded of the true reason for the fast:

“Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke? “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? “Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. “Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday. (Is. 58:6-10)

light and darkWe should mourn and fast when a brother or sister falls or when they are living in the bondage of ignorance and false traditions. We should not be pointing our scaly fingers in accusation. Our fast is meant to break the bonds of wickedness and cause a well of repentance to spring in our neighbor’s heart. This is the will of YHWH. Sin oppresses us with a transparent garment of shame. But Adonai says, if someone is naked and exposed to the world on account of his or her shame, we should cover him or her with mercy and forgiveness. All the while, never forgetting (not hiding from the fact) that we too have flesh just as tender and needy. (This requires humility!) In other words, we are no better than they.

This is how the original light that we bestowed in the beginning shines through the darkness of a fallen world. Which takes us to the subject of my next post in this series. Why did Moses’ face shine? And why does the risen Messiah radiate so much light? Coming up soon in Part III.

[1] For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. (2 Cor. 5:1-4)

Categories: Biblical Symbols, Messianic Issues | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Voice of the Shofar

Shofar of Flesh

Shofar… So Good.

The feast of Yom Teruah (Rosh HaShanah/Feast of Trumpets) is nearly upon us. And with it, there is much speculation as to what the upcoming holy month holds for Israel and the world at large. Some folks are excited, but even more fear what may come to pass. There are so many voices speaking and prophesying at this season. Who is right? Who do we need to listen to?

According to the Torah, there is only one voice that we are commanded to hear at this season. (Lev. 23:23-25) It is the shrill voice of the humble shofar. Do you find it odd that out of all the feast days, Yom Teruah has the least requirements mentioned in the Torah? There is so much mystery associated with this day. Since it occurs on the New Moon, there is literally and figuratively less light. No wonder there is so much confusion surrounding this moed.

May I make a suggestion? Let’s have another look at what has been clearly revealed. What exactly is a shofar and why is it so important as to have an entire moed (feast) associated with it? At first glance, a shofar seems to be no more than a primitive trumpet made from the horns of a ram. But YHWH isn’t random or arbitrary. This Elul, all the mayhem, trials, testing, and just plain pressing has caused me to really cry out to YHWH.

And then something dawned on me. This simple instrument is made from a nephesh, a living creature. In order for us to enjoy its beautiful and unique sound, a ram must first die. If you’ve ever heard the voice of a shofar, it sounds very much like a loud, piercing cry.

A cry. Isn’t that what we are doing in this season? Are we not crying out to our Elohim and King? We desire heartfelt repentance, forgiveness, restoration, healing, and reconciliation. We throw ourselves at the feet of our Redeemer and rest in His unfathomable mercy, grace, compassion, and sovereignty. There is no instrument on the planet that can encompass our inward groans and wordless pleas better than the shofar.

The flesh/nephesh has to die in order for these cries to become a reality. This places us in a very intimate and childlike state. Little babies and young children cannot use words to describe what is in their innermost being. They often can’t express their discomfort with words. So, what do they do? They wail and cry out to their mother or father. Their shrieks are a loud alarm. It’s a siren call for mom or dad to come to the rescue. A loud cry will wake a parent from their slumber.

And so it is with the shofar. Its voice is the cry of a child to its parent. It is a tongue of wordless words. It reminds YHWH that He is our Father. It is a desperate plea for Abba to act on our behalf. It is a voice crying out from a vessel of flesh submitted to its Maker.


All of the inside soft flesh or cartilage of the ram’s horn must be removed before it can be used as an instrument of prayer, worship, and war. Once it is thoroughly cleaned out, one can then begin to fill it with something else: breath (life). The first cries from the shofar are born from pressed lips and a strong exhale of the blower’s breath. It is very much like a deep wail. The lips do not form words, but wordless music powered by the ruach.

Can you see the picture? This vessel must have all of its fleshly tissues removed in order for the breath/wind or Ruach to flow freely through it from tip to tip. When the shofar is filled with ruach, it cries out in repentance, praise, worship, and gathering. It speaks a message that is beyond words. 

What was once a nephesh has been transformed into a vessel for the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh). The voice of the shofar is very much akin to the niggunim and the tongues of fire acquired at the previous feast of Shavuot (Pentecost). We learn to move and speak not from the flesh, but with the infilling of the Spirit. And like sweet music, our (redeemed) voices learn to whisper the everlasting good news which is carried to the far reaches of the earth by the wind (ruach).

YHWH gave us the shofar for a reason. We are called to hear its voice because we are to be like the shofar. We are to be willing vessels, submitted to Adonai. We shout and cry out in jubilation for our King is Coming!

I pray your High Holy Days are blessed!

Below is a Blessing and Psalm for the Season. Shalom!

Blessing for the Shofar

Baruch ata Adonai Eh-lo-hei-nu meh-lekh ha-o-lam ah-share kid-e-sha-nu b-mits-vo-tav ve-tzi-va-nu leash-moe-ah kol shofar.

 Blessed are you, Adonai our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with commandments and who has commanded us to hear the voice of the shofar.

Psalm to Praise our King at this Season

Psalm 47

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

 For the leader. A psalm of the descendants of Korach:

2 (1) Clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with cries of joy!

3 (2) For Adonai ‘Elyon is awesome, a great king over all the earth.

4 (3) He makes peoples subject to us, puts nations under our feet.

5 (4) He chooses our heritage for us, the pride of Ya‘akov, whom he loves. (Selah)

6 (5) God goes up to shouts of acclaim, Adonai to a blast on the shofar.

7 (6) Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our king, sing praises!

8 (7) For God is king of all the earth; sing praises in a maskil.

9 (8) God rules the nations; God sits on his holy throne.

10 (9) The leaders of the people gather together, the people of the God of Avraham; for the rulers of the earth belong to God, who is exalted on high.

Categories: Biblical Symbols, Moedim | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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