Facets of God Displayed in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet: Qoof, Resh, Sheen, and Tav
This is the seventh and final 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 showed us our God as infinitely massive, mighty (mem-water), and eternal (nun-fish), upholding (Samech-crutch) all things by His power
Part six we looked at the God who sees (ayin-eye) us, and how He is so wonderful (pey-open mouth), and Righteous (Tsadiq-worshipping man)
We begin the final chapter in this series with the Hebrew letter "qoof".
Qoof is a Rising Sun
God Arises to Judge, Defend, and Defeat
One of the pictures thought to represented by the letter "Qoof" (ק") is thought to be a picture of the sun coming up on the horizon giving us the idea of something arising. It is also the first letter of the Hebrew word for arising.
Arise (קוּם) for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies' sake
— Psalm 44:26
My Bible Study teacher had a lesson one time on the story of Stephen's stoning in Acts chapter seven and made an interesting observation. She had always noted that throughout Scripture Jesus is said to be seated at the right hand of the Father, denoting a position of authority. In verse 56 of this chapter Stephen sees the heavens opened and "The Son of Man" standing at the right hand of God while his persecutors are furiously gnashing their teeth at him. She sought the Lord and asked Him, "why was Jesus standing"?. A couple of days later she came across this verse.
The Lord arises to contend, And stands to judge the people
— Isaiah 3:13
We can see somewhat of a court room setting where Jesus was arising to judge and plead Stephens cause
Let God arise, Let His enemies be scattered
— Psalm 68:1
What is most spectacular is that at the end of this encounter while he is being stoned to death Stephen asks the Lord not to lay this to their charge.
We also see this concept of arising in the resurrection of Christ and defeating our enemies.
...Christ is risen from the dead...He has put all enemies under His feet...
— I Corinthians 15
"Qoof" is About Proximity
"Qoof" also speaks of proximity. Hebrew words speaking of near and far contain the letter "qoof" (קָ).
The Lord is near (קָרוֹב) to all who call upon Him,To all who call upon Him in truth.
— Psalm 145
Why do You stand afar off (רָחוֹק), O LORD?
Why do You hide in times of trouble?
— Psalm 10:1
The invitational part of this letter is for us to draw near to Him
He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them
— Hebrews 7:25
"Qoof" is About Holiness
Qoof is also the first letter of the word "holy"
Let them praise Your great and awesome name— He is holy...Exalt (lift up) the Lord our God, And worship at His footstool— He is holy...Exalt (lift up) the Lord our God, And worship at His holy hill; For the Lord our God is holy
— Psalm 99:3,5,9
The concept of holiness is in agreement with the idea of proximity in that holiness is about drawing near to God and away from the world and has been described as a separation from the world and to the Lord.
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you
— II Corinthians 6:17
"Resh" is the Top of the Head
God is the Head of His People
"Resh"(ר) is a picture of a man's head signifying the top and most important.
Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body
— Ephesians 5:23
"Resh"(ר) is the first letter in the Hebrew word for prince
His name will be called...Prince of Peace
— Isaiah 9:6
This also can represent the conscious mind.
“For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?”
— Romans 11:34
Sheen is Teeth
God is a Consuming Fire
"Sheen" (ש) is an image of teeth in the sense of chewing, consuming, devouring, and digesting.
The Hebrew word for fire is "esh" spelled with an "aleph" and "sheen" (אש"). The "aleph", remember, indicates strength and the "sheen" represents to devour so we can see that fire is a strong devourer.
For the LORD your God is a consuming fire
— Deuteronomy 4:24
This verse is in reference to God being a jealous God who wants every single part of us and does not wish to share us with anything in terms of worship. It gives us a view of God's intense passion for us.
"Sheen" is also the first letter of the word "shalom" In combination with the letter above Jesus is our Prince (שַׂר-sheen and resh) of Peace (שָׁלֹֽום).
Shalom itself comes with an interesting pictograph revelation that is relative to what our Prince of Peace has done for us.
Shalom is spelled "Sheen", "lamed", "vav", and "mem".
"Sheen" means to consume as was just noted.
"Lamed" is a illustrated with shepherd staff and symbolizes teaching as well as authority
the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority
— Matthew 7:28-29
The third letter of shalom is a "vav" showing us a nail and communicating the idea of connecting
And the final letter "mem" is a picture of water and can include the idea of chaos and turbulence like a raging sea.
You rule the raging of the sea;
When its waves rise, You still them.
— Psalm 89:9
If we put the concepts together we can see that our Prince of Peace destroyed and consumed the authority that connected us to chaos.
...the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil
— I John 3:8
"Tav" is a Cross
"Tav" (ת) is the final letter in this series and is a picture of a cross that symbolizes the concept of covenant. How appropriate and significant for "tav" to be the final letter.
“It is finished!”
— John 19:30
At the cross, Christ finished and fulfilled all that was required to bring us back into fellowship with the Father. This letter brings us full circle considering we began with the letter "aleph" representing the Father.
In reference to the final letter bringing us full circle, "tav" is the 22nd letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet. Pi, the ratio of the circumference of a circle is 22 divided by 7,
What makes this symbol of a covenant so interesting is that the early Hebrew pictographs were being used long before the cross had been invented as a form of punishment which most likely began with the Persians in the 7th century B.C. The practice was later adopted by the Romans. It was not invented for these symbolic reasons. They had no idea that what was designed for a brutal torturous death would be the place our Lord and Savior became the covenant sacrifice on our behalf.
I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done
— Isaiah 46:9,10
In the symbol of the cross, we can see that Jesus is the embodiment of the meaning of covenant.
Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.
— Hebrews 7:22
When we look at the Word of God in its entirety. It is a revelation of the God of covenants that were all culminated at and pointed us to the cross.
The story of life begins with God in relationship (covenant) with man. Man is unfaithful to his terms of that relationship with God and the life that sustained him. The rest of the book entails God's attempt to draw humankind back into fellowship with Him and could only be accomplished by the sacrifice of His one and only son.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life
— John 3:16
The word covenant is used 315 times in the Bible so we could conclude that is a very important and relevant concept. In fact, a relationship with God is impossible without one.
...at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
— Ephesians 2:12
To sum up this final letter it seems appropriate to conclude with the invitation to be in fellowship (covenant) with the God of all creation. But in order to be in a relationship with Him we must be cleansed from our sin. How do we get from here to there?
...without shedding of blood there is no remission
— Hebrews 9:22
Sin requires a payment we can't afford. A covenant with God is a life and death matter.
For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
— Romans 6:23
Through the humility of admitting one's spiritual condition of sinfulness apart from God and taking by faith and receiving what Christ has done by the giving up of His own life in exchange for ours is the first step to a new eternal life of relationship with God.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
— II Corinthians 5:21
The Gospel narratives for salvation always extend the invitation as such...
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
— Matthew 3:2
In other words turn from your sins and turn to God. and...
"...“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved...
— Acts 16:31
A final wrap up to bring this revelation full circle there is one final revelation with the Hebrew Aleph-Bet
We began with Aleph a picture of our strong father with whom it all began. We end with the letter "tav" representing the established covenant through Christ.
...no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son
— Matthew 11:27
The Aleph and the "tav" are the "first and last" letters of the Hebrew aleph bet.
“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.
— Isaiah 44:6
What a way to sum it all up!
Christ is all and in all.
— Colossians 3:11
He is before all things, and in Him all things consist
— Colossians 1:17
No matter how you look at it He is the beginning and the end and all that is in between.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
— Revelation 1:8
How this comes full circle is that Jesus brought us back into right relationship with the Father (aleph) through His finished work on the cross (tav)
At the very center of the very first sentence of the Bible (Genesis chapter 1) is a word pronounced "et" and consists of an aleph and a "tav" this word is untranslated. Could this symbolize the One and only "aleph and tav" the "alpha and omega" at the very center of it all who is untranslatable and His work indescribable?.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
— II Corinthians 9:15
© 2012 Tamarajo