Facets of God Displayed in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet: Mem, Nun, and Samech
This is the fifth part of a series viewing the ancient Hebrew letter pictographs in context of how they reveal facets of God's character. It is spectacular in that there is nothing in God's Word that is without significance even the letters of Words confirm and reiterate the truths shown to us in the scriptures.
In part one of this series, it was explained in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet the revelation of the strong Father (Aleph-ox), the builder Son (Bet-home), and humble resurrecting Holy Spirit (Gimel-camel)
In Part two Jesus is shown as the way (Dalet-door), the light of our World (Hey-window) and our eternal security (Vav-nail) that secured our salvation through His death on the cross. These three show us the home
Part three revealed God as one who remembers (zayin-inscribing tool) His covenant and embraces and surrounds us within the fence (Chet-fence) of His mercy and grace and who is our righteous judge (tet-snake)
Part Four studied the powerful (yod-hand forearm) and capable (caph-cupped palm) hands of God that shepherd and lead (lamed) us.
Part five begins with the letter mem.
"Mem" is Mighty Immeasurable Waters
God is Mighty
'Mem" (מ) is a picture of water in various forms and predominantly is pictured as the waves of the ocean indicating something mighty in motion or a force. If you have ever stood in the ocean while the waves were rolling in you might be able to catch a glimpse of this idea.
According to geographyabout.com...
"ocean waves are one of the most powerful natural phenomena on Earth"
In this letter we see that the Lord is indeed mighty.
The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, Than the mighty waves of the sea.
— Psalm 93:4
This mightiness not only speaks force but of mass and immensity and attempts to give us the view of God as unquantifiable as A.W. Tozer well notes
"God is Himself, without qualifying thought or Word. He is simply God."
Isaiah the prophet confirms this also in terms of God's understanding.
His understanding is unsearchable
— Isaiah 40:28
God is Unquantifiable
According to Seethesea.org, The oceans mass is 1400000000000000000 metric tons. This can indicate to us that God truly has immeasurable substance and weight.
In a previous article "Glory and Liver" it is explained that Gods glory is described in terms of heaviness in the Bible. Weight in the ancient world was connected with value. Monetary measures were expressed in terms of their heaviness.
The heavens declare (account and quantify) the glory (weightiness) of God;...
— Psalm 19:1
The oceans expanse covers approximately 71 percent of the earth's surface.
...for our God is greater than all gods. But who is able to build Him a temple, since heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him?
— II Chronicles 2:5-6
An ocean is noted for its depth. the deepest point of 36,198 feet. If Mount Everest were to be placed into this trench it would be covered with sea water more than a mile deep.
They see the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep.
— Psalm 107:24
The Book of Job asks some great questions about trying to quantify God. This is fitting with the letter "mem" as it is a letter known for similar associations as it is the first letter of words like "who", "how", and "what" in Hebrew.
“Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty?
— Job 11:7
Paul tells us in I Corinthians that God is ready and willing to reveal to us the deep things of God.
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God
— I Corinthians 2
"Mem" can also represent kings and kingdoms which are considered mighty forces in heaven and earth and is the first letter of kings, kingdoms, and angels.
The New Testament begins with presenting Jesus as our King with the book of Matthew as well as "The Kingdom of God" and "Kingdom of heaven" appearing 94 times in the entire New Testament.
...He who is the blessed and only Potentate(one possessing great power and dominion), the King of kings and Lord of lords...
— I Timothy 6:15
Might we see Him and His Kingdom as a huge, superior, powerful force in the earth
"Nun" is Seed or Fish
God is Eternal
"Nun" (נ) is a picture of a seed or a fish imaging perpetuation and propagation as in from one generation to another, symbolizing things that are prolific, eternal and everlasting.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
— Psalm 90:2
God the Giver of Life
Rivers are included in this connection with life, fish, and propagation in a portion of Scripture from the book of Ezekiel titled "The Healing Waters and Trees" in the NKJV.
And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.
— Ezekiel 47:9
There was a river in the Garden in Eden that symbolized the eternal life flowing through it. Moving water in the Bible, such as rivers do, were called "living waters".
And a river (נָהָר) went out of Eden to water the garden
— Genesis 2:10
The Hebrew word for river is "nahar" (נָהָר) and begins with a "nun" (נָ). This river as at the beginning of all things. We see this river again at the end of all things in the book of Revelation.
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb
— Revelation 22:1
God Gives Fruitfulness and Multiplies
He is the God who makes fruitful and multiplies. The very first mention of God's mandate to be fruitful and multiply occurs in the context of things that live in the water.
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
— Genesis 1:21-22
Nun is also the first letter of the word faithful.
Your (God's) faithfulness endures to all generations
— Psalm 119:9
"Samech" is a Stick of Support
God is our Support
"Samech" (ס) is an image of a walking stick or crutch meant to communicate the idea of support, being upheld, and helped. In fact the Hebrew word sometimes translated "uphold" is "samech"
Uphold (סָמַךְ-samech) me according to Your word, that I may live; And do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
— Psalm 119:16
The world criticizes and claims that our religion is nothing but a crutch to which we may reply, "why, yes it is!"
Those of us who have placed our faith in Christ recognize our insufficiency and incompetence in and of ourselves and are entirely dependent upon God for all that we are, have, and do.
...without Me you can do nothing.
— John 15:5
In the following familiar portion of Scripture, the Hebrew word translated "stay" is "samech" and gives us a better idea of what staying on the Lord means with these things in mind.
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed (supported, sustained, upheld and dependent) on You
— Isaiah 26
We lean on God for our strength, not ourselves or the world around us, for support, and strength as Hezekiah well presents when Sennacherib, king of Assyria, comes to take the people captive and destroy their reform efforts. Hezekiah encourages them with the following statement.
“With him (Sennacherib) is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people were strengthened (סָמַךְ-samech) by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
— II Chronicles 32:8
In Conclusion our God is, mighty (mem), eternal (nun), and upholding (samech) all things by His power as the writer of Hebrews records and pulls all of these themes together in the might of the eternal Son of God who secured and eternal inheritance (in Hebrew begins with the letter "nun")for us and upholds all of thest things.
God, who in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
— Hebrews 1:1-4
Stay tuned for part six. We will be viewing the following Hebrew letteres ayin-eye, pey-mouth, and tsadiq-a kneeling man
© 2012 Tamarajo