If you haven’t read Part I and Part II of Moonbeams and the Moedim, please start there for the best context. In this post, I had planned to cover the Feast Days within the framework of a human gestation cycle, but I felt it was more important to first lay the foundation of why NINE months are necessary for new life. Due to length, gestation and the moedim will be covered in Part IV. Sorry!
In Part IV of this series, I will enumerate all seven Feasts of YHWH and the two feasts of the people, Chanukah and Purim. All nine of these days will then be compared to the human gestation cycle. Regardless of how you view the latter two festivals, I encourage you to consider my conclusions. If we add the feasts of the people with YHWH’s seven moedim listed in Leviticus 23, we get a total of 9. These nine feasts span an approximate nine month period. Not coincidentally, so does the gestation cycle of a human being.
As it turns out, the number nine, represented with the Hebrew letter tet, harnesses not only the duality of women, but also their associations with concealment, birth, and fruitfulness. I plan on using some space to explore this letter, its meaning, and usage because I believe it is intricately linked to our subject matter. In modern block print, tet looks like this:
In ancient pictographic form, this letter looked like a vessel, basket, or a container. Frank Seekins’ Hebrew Word Pictures suggests that the imagery of tet could also be a coiled snake, implying something that surrounds (like a woman’s womb). Tet actually looks very similar to an inverted letter mem, the other Hebrew letter associated with the womb. We will explore the womb more fully in a latter post. For now, you can view this footnote for a brief explanation. In Modern Hebrew print, this letter still looks like a receptacle with an inverted spout or rim.
While tet is actually the least common letter in the Hebrew Bible, the first time it appears is in the word tov or good, which is used numerous times throughout the Creation story. I hope you just made the connection that like the Holy Spirit, the moon, and women, tet is the least “seen” letter in the Bible. In other words, each has a “hidden” aspect to it. But that is what a womb (and a woman) does. It surrounds and protects new life in order to build the family. Though hidden, this stage is good and necessary.
The goodness of fruit is hidden or concealed within a woman until the fullness of time –nine months. This natural picture of gestation is manifested in the spiritual when we produce the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit, both of which are NINE. (Gal. 5:22-23, 1 Cor. 12:8-10) When nine reveals what it conceals inside, we see fruitfulness, multiplication, and the building of the House.
The multiplication aspect of the number nine is extended into the natural through mathematics. If any number is multiplied by nine the resulting digits always add to nine. For example: 2 x 9 = 18 (1+ 8=9); 3 x 9 = 27 (2+7=9); 4 x 9 = 36 (3+6=9) and so on. Also, every multiple of nine will reduce back to nine. This makes a mirroring effect when the multiplication tables are written out. Can you see the reflecting nature of nine in this graphic?
Nine is quite a fascinating number! You can view more mathematical tricks of nine here. For now, consider that every multiple of nine remains nine. For example, consider these biblical numbers: 144, 153, and, 666. All reduce to 9 in Gematria. (1+4+4=9, 1+5+3=9, 6+6+6=36=3+6=9)
Moreover, there are some pretty important Hebrew words that also reduce to nine. Adam, a-men, covenant, light, Shabbat, and chesed (loving-kindness) all equal nine when reduced. These seeming anomalies weren’t lost on the rabbis. True to its pictograph, there is obviously something good about this number, though it appears shrouded in mystery. Perhaps, the most notable word associated with nine, TRUTH (אמת), will help us to understand this.
Not only does truth reduce to nine, but its Hebrew spelling contains the first, middle, and last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The rabbis’ say the lesson we are to learn is that something that is true cannot be altered and must be true at the beginning, middle, and end. (I hope this reminds you of Messiah! ) In other words, truth is immutable and eternal. Like God, it changes not. Believe it or not, the number nine implies this reality in the natural through mathematics. Remember, every multiple of nine remains to be nine. It will not change!
Maybe this is one reason that the Creator chose to give us life in a nine month gestation cycle. And why the festivals that testify to eternal life also span a nine month period. Fruit, whether of the womb or of the Spirit, is concealed in order to grow, mature, and eventually sprout to new life. The tet pictures all of this and more.
One way in which we connect to the Creator to effect a changed life is through prayer. The Amidah prayer has 18 (1+8=9) benedictions. The ninth hour is not only called the hour of prayer (Acts 3:1; 10:30), but is also the hour that Messiah gave up His Spirit on the Tree (Cross). (Mt. 27:46) By this, He made the ultimate connection between us and the Creator. What was concealed, at last was revealed. And the mysterious number nine had a role to play in that glorious act.
The Flip Side of Nine
But like most all things Biblical and Hebraic, there is another side to this coin. All words have both a positive and a negative connotation and many words are also a contranym. Tet is no exception. Do you recall all of those wonderful positive words associated with nine and tet like truth, covenant, light, and Shabbat? Well, on the flip side, the Hebrew words satan, and seduce also contain the letter tet. Although tet is a symbol for GOOD, it can also be a symbol for EVIL. In other words, within the letter tet is the potential for duality.
For example, the Hebrew words for pure and impure (clean and unclean) both begin with the letter tet. While neither of these bodily states imply evil, they do suggest dualism. Obviously, women move in and out of purity and impurity in their monthly cycle and after birth. Family purity laws pretty much center on these states of being and their required sacrifices and washings. The Sages make an inference from this that only God, symbolizing Divine Goodness, has the power to make the unclean clean again. In this way, tet unites both the pure and impure in duality to create one renewed entity.
While tet is the symbol for the number nine, the Hebrew word that spells the same number is tayshah. It comes from the root sha’ah, meaning to look to, regard or gaze upon. It is first used when God regarded Abel’s sacrifice and not Cain’s. Thus, the number nine also implies righteous judgment and discernment.
The dualism continues with the Hebrew tet if we consider our numeral 9. It appears to be an inverted 6 — the number for both man and the beast. This question from the very beginning is one that we all must answer. Will you be a man created in the image of Elohim or will you, in the end, be found marked with the image of the beast? When the Creator turns us upside down in judgment (9), either a man or a beast (6) will be revealed.
God had Moses make and mount a brass serpent on a pole to heal those that had been bitten by his judgment of fiery snakes in the wilderness. Later, Yeshua tells Nicodemus that He would be lifted up just as that serpent on the pole had been and that by this He would bring salvation to His people. In these accounts, we can see Yeshua associating Himself with the serpent. He is not the serpent, but He is the Seed of the Woman that crushes the serpent’s head. How does one receive healing or salvation in these examples? By looking upon or regarding the one lifted up — this is the goodness hidden/concealed within the letter tet. What appeared tragic or evil was concealed for God’s tov (good) purposes! Thus, tet demonstrates the two postures of man as referenced by this graphic:
We are a builder or a destroyer, a man or a beast, good or evil. But if we are honest in our self-examinations, we learn that each and every one of us is a contranym. Within even the most holy soul on earth, duality is present with the potential for wickedness. We are like the letter tet because we are a vessel with the potential for both good and evil.
Sometimes our goodness is concealed though the possiblilty for actualization is real. Other times we erect our head like a serpent and gnash our teeth at the very One that was lifted on the stake for our salvation. The serpent beast within must learn to shed its skin of pride and take on the weighty humility of truth. The 6 (man/beast) will be inverted through righteous judgment (9). The question is: Will YHWH find a humble man or a striking beast snake when your vessel is turned over to reveal its contents?
Now that we’ve laid the foundation of the importance of nine and hinted at its role in the gestation of new life, my next post (Part IV) will cover the festival cycle and human gestation.
(For even more on tet, please see this video by Rabbi Trugman.)
 For example, this year (2015), Purim begins on March 4th and Chanukah begins on December 6th. There are approximately nine months that this year is pregnant with the feasts of Israel.
 There are two Hebrew words for womb: rechem and beten. The former has a mem, and the latter a tet. However, beten is used in a much broader sense and can refer to the bowels of either a man or a woman. Rechem is used exclusively for the feminine womb that carries a child. It is also the Hebrew word for mercy. These things will be elaborated on in a future post on the Biblical Role of Women.
 Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Heb. 13:8 CJB)
 “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. (Mal. 3:6 NASB)
 A word that can mean the opposite of itself is a contranym. Examples in English: bound (bound for Chicago, moving) and bound (tied up, unable to move), cleave (to cut apart) and cleave (to seal together), buckle (buckle your pants — to hold together) and buckle (knees buckled — to collapse, fall apart), citation (award for good behavior) and citation (penalty for bad behavior), clip (attach to) and clip (cut off from), dust (remove dust) and dust (apply dust — fingerprints), fast (moving rapidly) and fast (fixed in position), left (remaining) and left (having gone), literally (literally) and literally (figuratively), moot (arguable) and moot (not worthy of argument).
 H8159 שׁעה shâ‛âh BDB Definition:
1) to look at or to, regard, gaze at or about
1a) (Qal) to gaze at, regard, behold, look about
1b) (Hiphil) to look away, cause gaze to turn away
1c) (Hithpael) to look in dismay, gaze about (in anxiety)
Part of Speech: verb
 Num. 21:4-8 Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey. (5) The people spoke against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.” (6) The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. (7) So the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses interceded for the people. (8) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.”
 John 3:13-15 “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. (14) “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; (15) so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.
 Gen. 3:14-15 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; (15) And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”