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Facets of God Displayed in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet (Yod-Caph-Lamed)—Part Four
This is the fourth 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-Betthe 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)
It appears that all of these revelations are invitational and reciprocal should we desire and choose to be in a relationship with Him.
"Yod" "י" is a picture of a hand and forearm indicating His power as evidenced by His Works.
"The muscles which power the fingers are strong - strong enough for some people to climb vertical surfaces supporting their entire weight at times by a few fingertips."
For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands. O Lord, how great are Your works!
— Psalm 92:4-5
Hands are not only known to do powerful work but they are also noted for works of intricacy as well.
‘Your hands have made me and fashioned me, An intricate unity...
— Job 10:8a
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
— Psalm 139:14-15
"Yod" can also denote possession. We seize and possess things with our hands
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all...In Your hand is Power and might
— I Chronicles 29:11,12
What does this mean to us personally and practically?
His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue
— II Peter 1:3
That same power that created all things, that same outstretched arm that delivered the children of Israel from bondage, that same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of God (position of power) is toward us
...and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenlyplaces
— Ephesians 1:19-22
Paul prays that we would be strengthened by His Power.
strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy
— Colossians 1:11
"The divine power is the power God used in raising Christ from the dead and that same power is available to the church"
— Nelson Study Bible Notes
Paul prays that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that is at work in us
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
— Hebrews 13: 20-21
Caph—A Cupped Hand or Palm
"Caph" "כ" is the picture of a cupped palm or hand and speaks of God being, capable and having it all The hand gives and receives
You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing
— Psalm 145
Both Hebrew words for "capable" and "all" begin with the letter "caph" and as we will see are used together frequently in the scriptures.
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, worship, magnify, and glorify the king of heaven. All (caph) his works (yod) are truth, all (caph) his paths are justice, and he is able (caph) to humble all who walk in pride.”
— Daniel 4:37
In this next verse, we can see how His ability also linked with the concept of "caph" is linked with His power (yod) which we looked at with the previous letter that had to do with the aspect of the strength of the hand.
Now to Him who is able (caph) to do exceedingly abundantly above all (caph) that we ask or think, according to the power (Yod) that works in us
— Ephesians 3:20
This letter speaks of God's ability and sufficiency. El Shaddai - the God who is enough. He is able and He is everything we need.
And God is able (caph) to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for everygood work (yod).
— II Corinthians 9:8
Caph also has been noted to come with the concept of a wing with the idea of something that covers.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
— Psalm 91:4
"Caph" shows us that we can take refuge and be covered by the One who is capable and all sufficient.
Lamed "ל" is the twelfth letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet and is represented by a shepherds staff and shows us God as our leader, teacher, and instructor. Lamed is actually the Hebrew word for teaching as well.
The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches (lamed) His way.
— Psalm 25:9
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches (lamed) you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go
— Isaiah 48:17
I will instruct you and teach (lamed) you in the way you should go;I will guide you with My eye
— Psalm 32:8
God commands His teaching to rain down.
Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, As raindrops on the tender herb, And as showers on the grass.
In the gospel accounts we see frequently Jesus being referred to as a teacher and is often translated rabbi or rabboni and we see Jesus frequently teaching through, parable, example, and hands on experience throughout and the Bible and references Him as the Good, Great, and Chief Shepherd.
A shepherd staff is also known as a symbol of authority and is connected with the concept of teaching,
the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority
— Matthew 7:28,29
It is also interesting that the letter lamed is the twelfth letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet. The number twelve in Scripture represents divine government and authority on the earth carrying the concept of kingdom. There were
- 12 patriarchs from Noah to Jacob,
- 12 tribes of Israel,
- 12 disciples and apostles,
- 12 legions of angels (Matthew 26:53) and finally the
- 12 foundations in the New Jerusalem structure shown in Revelation 22 representing the final and eternal rule and reign of God over all who are His, all representative and showing the progression of God establishing His Kingdom.
The familiar Psalm 23 gives us an excellent picture of the Lord or Shepherd. I encourage you to Recite it to yourself, read it or meditate on it.
There also is an excellent book I highly recommend that can be obtained free online titled "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23" by W. Phillip Keller that parallels the attributes of God with interesting methods used by shepherds and relates them with the scriptural examples of the Lord our Shepherd. Just type the title in your preferred browser.
Our response to the Shepherd is to respond to His call to follow and obey His voice.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
— John 10:27
In conclusion, we see in these three letters Gods power ("yod") ability ("caph") and authority (lamed) are obviously related concepts. Without power and or ability there is no authority
Jesus' reveals His authority in His prelude to the great commission.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All (caph) authority (lamed) has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
— Matthew 28:18
Putting all of these letters together we can conclude that He has all power, ability, and therefore authority.
Jesus once again invites us to participate in who He is, partake of what He has, and share it with whomever He would have us.
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
— Luke 10:19
We have been given His authority (Lamed) which is backed by His power ("yod") and ability ("caph") working in us to do His will.
Stay tuned for part five of the series. "Mem" (water) "Noon" (fish or seed) "Samech" (crutch)
© 2012 Tamarajo