Archive for category Hebrew

Blogging From Bethel-Part 3

During one of our sessions, we practiced hearing God. We were to ask God to tell us our heavenly name, or what God calls us. It was pretty cool.

My wife has two, they are “Glorious” and “Lovely,” and she is definitely both of those. I’m glad God notices, too, and it’s not just me.

I asked on behalf of Libby (our nine-month old), and she is a lamp, a “Guiding Light” which is also fitting. I prophecied over her shortly after she was born that she would wear a soul-winner’s crown, and that leading people to the Lord would come easily to her, so that she is a lamp unto the feet of others is nicely comforting.

My heavenly name is “Absalom,” which was rather disturbing at first. If you’re familiar with Absalom, you know what I mean. But as I contemplated the meaning of “Absalom” (peaceful father or father of peace), I realized this was a good thing. I’m a pretty peaceful guy, and I’ve always thought of myself as a peacemaker, therefore blessed.

It’s also just like God to give me my name in Hebrew and have me go search it out. He’s really awesome that way!

The following day, when I was not around, a woman approached my wife out of the blue with a word for Libby: she would be a peaceful child, which, if you know Libby, is hard to fathom (she’s quite the spitfire). So, I guess that makes me a father of peace afterall.

Updated Blogging From Bethel Series:

Bethel Related Sites:

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Texans in the Holy Land

This funny little exchange between Peter Kirk, ElShaddai Edwards and me reminded me of something humorous I noticed when I was in Israel.

In August of 2007, my wife and I went to Israel with a group from our church.  One predictable question frequently asked of tourists is, “Where are you from?”  The standard response was to say, “Spain,” “Canada,” “the United States,” or some other such country of origin.

However, everyone in our group always answered by saying, “Texas.”

It didn’t seem to come as any surprise to anyone asking.  And almost to a person, they would respond, “So you ride horses?”

“Yes, I tied mine to the parking meter at the Western Wall,” I would say.  I’m kidding, I wouldn’t really say that.  But they really did ask?  One cab driver in particular seemed especially dismayed that we didn’t own a single horse.

Do any other Americans identify so principally with their state.  New Yorkers, Illini, Rhode Islanders?  Or is it just Texans.

By the way, I spent several weeks leading up to our trip learning conversational Hebrew, and I only got to speak Hebrew once.  In fact, I spoke Spanish more than Hebrew because we met a group from Spain at one of the hotels.  Apparently, my Tex-Mex is very close to their Castilian.

And to think, I spent all that time learning Hebrew so I could get it right when I asked, “Where can I park my horse?”

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Stumbled by the Right Stumbler

In the shameless self-promotion category…

One of my very first posts ever (The Lord Is My Shepherd) got stumbled upon by (apparently) the right stumbler recently with pleasant results. Within a matter of a few hours, it received over 300 hits and, after a few days, it is about to cross the 1500 hit mark. I have had posts stumbled before with considerably less dramatic results, but I suppose the stars aligned for one of my favorite posts even if it was 15 months late.

I realize that to real bloggers, 1500 hits for a single post in a short period of time probably doesn’t register as anything abnormal, but from my little area of the blogosphere, it’s something to write home about (rather, to write you about).

I am particularly partial to that post because it was my first “discovery” (for lack of a better word) of the extra-textual content contained in the ancient Hebrew alphabetic pictographs. In it, I showed Elohim, Hebrew for “God,” as depicting Psalm 23.

To summarize, the word Elohim is comprised of the Hebrew letters ALEPH (similar to our letter “A,” and pictured in the ancient Hebrew as an ox head, signifying strength or God – as in the Lord is my strength); LAMED (“L,” pictured as a shepherd’s staff, meaning to shepherd or lead); HEY (“H,” pictured as a man with outstretched arms, meaning God’s grace or to behold); YOD (“Y,” pictured as the arm from the fist to the elbow, meaning my or my hand or works); and MEM (“M,” pictured as waves of water, meaning water or peoples/nations).

Thus, the LORD is my SHEPHERD by GRACE MY needs are provided for (I SHALL NOT WANT), he takes me by MY HAND and LEADS me by still WATERS. Here is the visual:

Elohim

Elohim

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Hebrew – The Divine Language

I have spent a lot of time lately contemplating the Hebrew language (even more than usual). I simply cannot escape the conclusion that the language is supernaturally composed. It almost makes me wish I was a statistician so that I could calculate the odds of a human or group of humans developing a pictographic language such as that of the Hebrews.

I hope I never become one to recycle posts (because one of my very first posts was on The Language of God), but I do want to share this again now that all (for now) of the posts on Genesis 1:1 are finished. I will compile them in a single post soon for easy reference. But, more fundamental that that…

The word “Hebrew,” or Ibrit (pronounced ee’vreet, please forgive my phonetic spelling), is derived from the word Ibri (pronounced ee’vree, which is also “Hebrew” in English). Ibri means to pass over or sojourn. Abraham was first called the Hebrew (Ibri) in Genesis 14:13 because he was a sojourner in the land, or he was one who “passed over” the land. It’s certainly no coincidence that one of the chief Jewish holidays is Passover, perhaps just a great foreshadowing.

In many ways, all believers are called to be “Hebrews,” sojourners in this world. So, what of this word, “Hebrew,” that would ultimately become the name of the language spoken by the descendants of Abraham? Ibrit is spelled using the Hebrew letters AYIN, depicted in the ancient Hebrew pictographs as an eye and meaning to see, as by revelation; BET, pictured as a house or tent and meaning a house or lineage; RESH, pictured as a man’s head, meaning the first or highest person; YOD, pictured as a hand or arm from the elbow to the fist, meaning my or my hand/works; and TAV, pictured as two crossed sticks and meaning a mark or covenant.

Before I get to the breakdown of the individual letters that make up Ibrit, I want to point out that brit is the Hebrew word for covenant. Thus, Ibrit can be fairly seen as TO SEE or a REVELATION of the COVENANT. The conclusion that I have reached is that we will SEE, or the REVELATION of, God’s COVENANT will be in and within HEBREW. Both within the word “Hebrew” itself and generally though the Hebrew language.

Now, “Hebrew.” Recall from earlier posts that the Hebrew letters BET and RESH form the Hebrew/Aramaic word bar, or son, so in Ibrit we SEE the SON with his HANDS/ARMS on a CROSS. Here’s the visual (remember, Hebrew is read right to left):

Hebrew

Hebrew

Related Posts:

God Speaks: The Origin of the Alphabet

My Covenant

The Language of God

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More Cool Bible Stuff

More Cool Bible Stuff

More Cool Bible Stuff

Here is some more really cool Bible stuff. If you spend very much time at all searching Bible stuff online, you probably already know about these, but, if not, enjoy.

Codex Sinaiticus – A fourth century Greek Christian Bible with a complete New Testament. The Codex Sinaiticus Project is an effort to digitize the entire Codex and make it viewable online. The website which was recently launched has several complete books of the Bible already available for viewing and is scheduled to have the entire Bible online by July 2009.

Ancient Hebrew Research Center – This is one of my favorite sites, and, along with Hebrew for Christians, where I really developed a love for Hebrew and its symbolism.

Hebrew for Christians – Just about everything you needed to know about the Hebrew language.

AmazingBible.org – An interesting site which treats virtually every major issue in Christianity. It is essentially one large index of Christian doctrine and theology. The site is the product of a Baptist person or organization, although I haven’t figured out who or what specifically, so file that info away for what it’s worth. Candidly, my wife and I were members of a spirit-filled Baptist Church for a while, although we attend a non-denominational church now, and I have no idea whether or not I endorse everything in the site because there’s simply so much information I haven’t even come close to seeing it all.

Biblioblogs.com – A fairly thorough list of biblioblogs, so if you are a regular reader of this or other Bible blogs and you just can’t get enough, check out Biblioblogs.com and discover other great Bible blogs.

Previous Cool Bible Stuff Posts:

Cool Bible Stuff

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A Little Time at the Tower of Babel

Tower of Babel

Tower of Babel

I have spent the last few weeks in Genesis 11 reading about what might have been one of the greatest construction projects in world history. Out of the blue one day I was overwhelmed with the need to go back (or forward – since most of my time is spent in Genesis 1) to the account of Babel.

I wasn’t really sure what I would find or even whether there was anything new to be found in this familiar account. As always, there is some pretty great stuff there, there is some pretty challenging stuff, and then there is just some stuff that needs to be worked out theologically. So, who knows where this is going.

Also, this will have to be a series because I have absolutely no idea when or how it will all play out, and it probably won’t be continuous – for those that know me, you know that Part XII may appear some time next year. For now, this first post is just a quick look at the ancient Hebrew pictographs that make up the word “Babel.”

In Hebrew, Babel is spelled BET, BET, LAMED. The Hebrew letter BET is the equivalent of our letter B, and it is pictured in the ancient Hebrew pictographs as a house or a tent. The letter BET also symbolically represents a house or lineage, as in “the house of David.” The letter LAMED is the equivalent of our letter L, and is pictured as a shepherd’s staff or ox goad. LAMED symbolically means to shepherd, lead, teach and/or prod.

What does that give us? Something quite remarkable really. The story of the Tower of Babel is of a unified, homogeneous group, perhaps an extremely large family, the descendants of Noah, sharing one language and coming together for one purpose: to make a name for themselves by building a great city with a tower that reached to the heavens. God puts a halt to this by confusing their language and scattering the people, presumably into different tribes or people groups with different languages (one “house” being transformed into multiple “houses”). So, the picture painted by Babel is of God, the great shepherd, taking His staff and scattering His flock into different families or houses over the earth.

Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth. Gen. 11:9.

Babel in the Ancient Hebrew

Babel in the Ancient Hebrew

More of the theological stuff later, but, for now, yet one more example of the divine nature of the language of God.

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When Evil is Beautiful

Adam, Eve and the Serpent Adam, Eve and the Serpent

I chose the title “Beauty of the Bible” for this blog because I believe there is beauty in God’s Word beyond the mere words on the page (as beautiful as those are). I realize that even non-believers recognize the Bible’s poetry, prose, symbolism and literary value as being among the most beautiful in all of literature. I would suggest that we have barely scratched the surface.

I have written before that I believe every word, letter, or jot in scripture is divinely inspired and divinely placed. To evidence this, I have shown examples of individual Hebrew words and names that, when broken down into the individual ancient Hebrew pictographs, themselves are related scriptural references (see Isaac & Ishmael, Noah, Moses, and God/Elohim). If this phenomenon occured only occasionally, it would be remarkable, but for this to occur as frequently as it does in the Bible’s first book is nothing short of divine.

I’m convinced this complexity and elegance extends throughout the Torah and probably the entire Old Testament. In other words, I think the examples of storylines being retold and/or elaborated upon in the tales told by the Hebrew pictographs are endless. It took me several months to work through Genesis 1:1, so my ambition to work through the book of Genesis was perhaps a bit naive.

Nevertheless, while I realize that systematically working through every verse of Genesis would take me several lifetimes, I love doing this enough that I can’t imagine it ever getting tiresome. That said, any plans to continue with Genesis 1:2 are on hold because I want to apply this same method to other topics that interest me or that others might request.

I have answered requests before from friends and family, but I have only published one of those even though it was one of my own personal favorites (see God’s Blessing). I think the challenge of researching and answering these and the excitement generated by the results is too much to pass up. This is not to say that I will be doing this exclusively, by any means, but I will write about them more.

Several months ago I was asked to look at Genesis 3:15, the results were pretty cool. I actually arrived at this backward. Because of how individual words frequently open up and reveal the broader context in which they are contained, I chose to begin reviewing Genesis 3:15 by studying the context. So, I began by studying the word “serpent” (plus I thought it would be pretty interesting). Well, I was either really lucky, or God was very gracious in not having me spend several months in Genesis 3:15. Either way, “serpent” was the scriptural reference for Genesis 3:15.

Okay, here goes. In Hebrew, “serpent” is the Hebrew word nachash, and is spelled with the Hebrew letters NUN (the equivalent of our letter N) which is pictured as the “seed of life” or a fish and means seed of life or life. CHET (J or Ch) which is pictured as a wall or fence and which means to cut off or to exclude, separating those inside from those outside. And SHIN (Sh) which is pictured as two teeth, meaning to destroy or consume.

Genesis 3:15: I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel. (NASB/HCSB combo).

The letter NUN is the seed, CHET is the wall or fence separating the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent (the enmity between), and SHIN (two teeth) is the serpent biting at the heel with his two fangs. It is really a pretty cool picture of “you will strike his heel,” but the result is the ultimate destruction of the serpent. Here’s the visual:

Serpent in the Ancient Hebrew

Serpent in the Ancient Hebrew

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