Posts Tagged With: Hebrew

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. For numbers 1-10, click here.

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”. Thus, it is highly associated with the spirit of anti-messiah. However, there is some indication that if a person is walking uprightly and humble, eleven can have some prophetic implications.

In Daniel 7, a “little horn” arises from the ten horns of the terrible fourth beast, making it the 11th horn. This horn was epitomized in evil Antiochus Epiphanes, which is a type of the beast and anti-christ. According to Daniel, this man and the spirit of the anti-christ seeks to CHANGE the times and law, that is the Torah and the Feast Days.

‘He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. (Dan 7:25) 

These are the “changes” that Antiochus decreed for Israel:

You shall profane the Sabbath.
You shall profane the festivals and holy days.
You shall set up idols.
You shall eat unclean animals.
You shall not circumcise your sons.
You shall forget the Torah.

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 causes strife between brothers), we see rebellion, destruction, and apathy. This is best depicted by 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. The moon is nearly full on the fourteenth day of each Hebrew month, symbolizing fullness, revelation, and increased (spiritual) light.

  • 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). David’s name has a numeric value of 14 (dalet, vav, dalet). This is one way that Matthew connected Messiah with David in his gospel.
  • 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.
  • Humans have 10 fingers and ten toes, which together are 20 and symbolize a person’s deeds and walk (lifestyle/where they go).
  • 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 represents 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, anti-christ). Likewise, 22 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, life, 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. As a multiple of four, government and authority (whether holy or wicked) are also insinuated.
  • 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 human DNA. Each cell has Twenty-two pairs of chromosomes, called autosomes, with an additional pair of sex chromosomes.  The sex chromosomes are the only difference between males and females. Females have XX, while males have XY.
  • 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 were “counting the ways” of his love for YHWH and His WORD.

RandomNumbers

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 the 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 around the heavenly throne in John’s vision in the Book of 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. 3 x 9 = 27, thus the significance of the number nine reveals traits of twenty-seven. 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 and Esther 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. Thus, 28 has to do with holy time and the calendar.

  • 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 — multiples of 3 reign in Samson’s story.)

[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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Moonbeams and the Moedim Part III

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!

Nine

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.[1] 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:

tetIn 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.[2] 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?

magic9-4Nine 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.[3] (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! [4]) In other words, truth is immutable and eternal. Like God, it changes not.[5] 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.[6] 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[7] 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,[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] 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[11] 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:

tet-dualWe 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.[12] 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.)

 


 

[1] 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.

[2] 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.

[3] This article from Hebrew for Christians explains Hebrew Gematria.

[4] Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Heb. 13:8 CJB)

[5] “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. (Mal. 3:6 NASB)

[6] 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).

[7] Here is an article about Family Purity from the Jewish Virtual Library.

[8] 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

[9] 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.”

[10] 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.

[11] 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.”

[12] See footnote 6. Also see The Creation Gospel Series by Dr. Hollisa Alewine.

Categories: Biblical Symbols, Moedim, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

A Parable

Proverbs 1:1-7  The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;  (2)  To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;  (3)  To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;  (4)  To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.  (5)  A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:  (6)  To understand a proverb (mashal), and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.  (7)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (NASB)

Back to the Beginning

In The Biblical Role of Women posts, we explored and compared Bereshit (Genesis) 3:16 and 4:7. These two verses are about Chavah’s (Eve’s) curse after the serpent deceived her and YHWH’s remarks to Cain before he killed Abel. If you will recall, YHWH’s statements in these verses contain some striking similarities —- especially in Hebrew.

To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” (Gen. 3:16 NASB)

“If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Gen. 4:7 NASB)

In this post, instead looking at the word for desire, teshukah, as we did in the Biblical Role of Women, I want to explore the Hebrew word translated as rule and master. In each of the verses above, the same Hebrew word is used: moshal (משׁל). This is the verb form of the word mashal, which means proverb or parable. This Hebrew word is very interesting.

Strong’s defines the verb moshal as to rule: (have, make to have) dominion, governor, and reign. And defines the noun mashal as a sense of superiority in mental action; properly a pithy maxim, usually of a metaphorical nature; hence a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse): – byword, like, parable, proverb.

The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible defines both words together since they are cognates. Rule, dominion: The dominion one rules over. Also the comparison of things as a rule of measurement. Compare: To compare one thing to another in the sense of a rule of measurement, often a proverb or parable.

So, the Hebrew word for rule and dominion is also the word for a proverb or parable. Think about that for moment. How are these words related in the Hebraic mindset? Rabbi David Fohrman, in his book The Beast that Crouches at the Door[1], suggests that the reason people tell parables is to interpret reality. In our day-to-day experiences of life, things can happen that are hard to make sense of or understand. We need something to “compare it to”. This is how a story, parable, or proverb “rules” over our experience. They point out what is important in our circumstance so that we can understand and grow. Is this not what a (good) ruler does for us? He sorts out our circumstances and directs our paths.

Proverbs 1:1-7 is quoted at the beginning of this post. Look at the words that Solomon used to describe the function of a proverb or parable (mashal) in these verses: to know, to understand, to perceive, to receive, to attain, and to increase in knowledge, wisdom, understanding, judgment, and equity. A parable opens the door for us to perceive or understand something that is hidden to us. By relating a message in story form, the moral or lesson is left up to the hearer to discern or interpret. Is this not why Yeshua concludes many parables[2] with: “He that has ears to hear, let him hear“?

Whether a particular connection or comparison is understood also depends on what or who controls the heart of a person. At least this is the conclusion of King Solomon in verse 7. What Solomon essentially points out is that a person that fears YHWH can “hear” what the proverb/parable is teaching. Conversely, those without YHWH as their Master and Elohim (God), have no real wisdom or knowledge. A life devoid of the governing Word of the Creator is nothing more than the unbridled desire, passion, and appetites of a fool. In other words, what rules or controls the person is their own nephesh or soul. Are you starting to see the pattern of mashal’s integrated uses of to rule and a parable?

Solomon wants to teach his children with the authority of a proverb. This is the purpose of a parable. They contain the power (rule; dominion) to change a person’s perception of life, circumstances, and even their worldview. That’s pretty powerful! They are the lighthouses that reveal the shoreline on a dark and foggy night. Do you ever find that your “vision” is blurred by your situation? Have you ever felt that you are at a crossroads? I know I have on numerous occasions. We all need a mashal that will shift our lenses so that YHWH’s purpose comes into our focus.

If we listen (shema) carefully, YHWH gives us these mashalim (proverbs/parables) all the time. They definitely are found in Scripture, but they also occur in our day-to-day lives. For example, the other day I was correcting my son for the umpteenth time for something we’ve covered again and again. I was frustrated by his lack of compliance and apathetic attitude. I vocalized my disappointment by saying that all he had to do was simply obey what I said. “Why can’t you do that?” I asked.

Immediately, I felt YHWH say to me, “That’s how I feel. You do the same thing to me all the time. Why can’t you also simply obey me?” Wow, talk about feeling like a hypocrite! My loving Father used my son as a living parable to teach me or direct my focus to a problem I couldn’t “hear” without this powerful comparison. If I change my actions because of this mashal, then I have increased or attained wisdom as the Proverbs verses quoted attest.

In the account with Eve and Cain, is there more to the proverbial story than we’ve previously conceived? Isn’t there always? We find the exact same Hebrew structure in Genesis 3:16 and 4:7. Teshukah and Mashal. Passion, desire, and appetites compared with dominion, rule, and mastering. Is YHWH highlighting something for us here in the beginning…is there a parable that will direct us further? I hope to explore this in my next post called Masters.


[1] I have a digital version, so page numbers do not correlate properly. You can find his musings of moshal/mashal in chapter 12. The hard copy can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/The-Beast-That-Crouches-Door/dp/0983269041/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386891475&sr=8-1&keywords=the+beast+that+crouches+at+the+door

[2] Mt. 11:15, 13:9, 13:43; Mk. 4:9; Lk. 8:8; 14:35, and other places phrased slightly different.

Categories: Musings, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ownership, God’s Way

As of late, I’ve been pondering the issue of modern day slavery and what I can do to help the helpless[1]. But as I’ve been prayerfully looking into organizations that I can support and other ways I can make a difference, YHWH (the LORD) has been reminding me of the other side of the coin and what true servitude is according to His purposes and will.

You see, we are all a slave to something. The wretched truth is that the majority of people in bondage aren’t even aware that they are enslaved. While I’ve been researching real physical slavery in the natural, there is an even more sinister taskmaster that enslaves billions, not millions. That taskmaster is sin. And of all the tyrants who ever lived, sin has brutally subjugated more people in every generation than any mere man ever could. There is not a single soul (save Yeshua) that has escaped sin’s relentless grasp.

The Creator of the Universe made mankind for the purpose of service[2]. This is our natural function. We will serve something. The question is WHOM shall we serve[3]? Before the fall, our purpose and function were clear: mankind would serve YHWH and the creation. Since the fall, man has been duped again and again by the enemy’s many crafty disguises for sin. Even human tyrants have a master; they serve their own evil inclinations and sin. They are bound in way that will only be truly revealed on Judgment Day. On that day, they will wish for the atrocities they inflicted upon their earthly victims.

Therefore, the loving, compassionate, and merciful God of our souls asks us to serve Him. He is the only good Master and the only good King. If we are designed to serve, then each of us throughout our entire life are constantly seeking to serve something. So, who will your master be?

All of this culminates in the idea of ownership. To own something is to have it in your possession. Whether your “property” comes to you in the form of a gift, through hard work, or even by evil means, you will go to your grave and leave it behind. Hence, can we really own anything? The Hebraic worldview and language says, “NO”. Only the Master of the Universe can rightly “own” something or someone.

The Hebrew language really drives this point home. In it, ownership and possession are expressed with the idea of “to me”. Instead of saying “I have a book”, a Hebrew literally says, “A book to me”. Hebraically, I can never really own anything. I am only a guardian of the things that come into my care —- they are “to me” for the time being. YHWH is the only rightful owner.

This is true when it comes to people as well. A person that serves us (in any form) should be in our CARE. They are not a piece of property that we do with as we wish. They are not to be abused or mistreated. People in our care are to be treasured. This includes any person that serves us in any way. Like the store cashier, the mechanic that changes your oil and the hands that prepares your food. In reality we are all servants. And we are our “brother’s keeper”.

This also means that all of our worldly possessions, all of our spiritual gifts, all of our talents, and even our children are on loan from YHWH. We are mere stewards. Even our very breath of life belongs to the Creator.

But there is one thing that is ours and ours alone.

The only thing that truly belongs to us is our SIN.

Pause and consider this.

Sin is the only thing that we create on our own. It’s the only thing that we author. Everything else is YHWH’s. Amazingly, He will take our wretchedness upon Himself. He will save us from ourselves. But not forcefully; He is no tyrant. He lets us choose to wallow in our own creation or choose to follow Him. The choice is ours. Serve my sin or serve the King of the Universe.


[1] See my post: Women in Slavery.

[2] This is explored in my posts on The Biblical Role of Women.

[3] And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Jos. 24:15 KJV)

Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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