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The Incredible Hebrew Language
A Pure Language
I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food
— Job 23:12
"God's sacred Word...is that inestimable treasure that excels all the riches of the earth"
— Translators of the King James Bible
The Hebrew language is a fascinating language in so many ways and is the central learning tool that I use in most of my articles. It is a symbolic language that uses letters in the form of pictographs to define its words which will be used and described in future writings. This article is an overview of this miraculous historical undying tongue.
Hebrew is one of the oldest living languages and thought by some to be the language from which all other languages stem. It is the language that Moses used in writing the Torah which records the beginning of all things and is assumed from the text to be the language God speaks.
The miraculous part of the story of this language is that 2000 years ago, the Jewish people were dispersed from their homeland of Israel and they took their native language with them wherever they went. After World War II and the Holocaust, Britain enforced the right of the Jewish people to return to their homeland.
It is amazing that for almost 2000 years the language was preserved in spite of their being assimilated into other cultures and languages. It is downright miraculous that the language was not lost and is now the national language of Israel. The Hebrew language was preserved by their religious dedication to read in Hebrew and pray in Hebrew no matter what the native language of the land in which they were dwelling was which I believe to be God inspired.
To consider how miraculous this is we can look at our own country. Someone might move here from another country (many have and still do) and they may learn our language while maintaining and using to some degree their native language. They may even teach the next generation some of their native tongues but the likelihood of the language surviving through several generations is slim to none let alone for almost 2000 years.
The nation of Israel was reborn in 1948 along with its language, thanks to a man named Eleazar Ben Yehuda who promoted its use and played a foundational role in establishing it once again as Israel's national language.
more people now than ever are seeking the Hebraic roots of their Christian Faith including the language itself and discovering that it is a pure and special language possibly born from the mouth of God Himself. "He spoke and it was"
“For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him with one accord.
— Zephaniah 3:9
The restoration of this holy language I believe is in direct fulfillment of the above verse about restoring a pure language to the people. It is yet another facet of God revealing Himself and expressing His ultimate desire for us to know Him as He really is and to understand in a deeper dimension His truths.
*There are no cuss words in Hebrew. All cuss words in Israel have been imported from other languages.
My interest in Hebrew began when I picked up a fascinating read by Rabbi Daniel Lapin called "Buried Treasure".
In his book, he introduces the idea of how the letters used in forming Hebrew words are each represented by an image that when combined could help communicate a concept or image that could help you understand the word better.
Most modern languages are simply phonetic sounds that we have learned to associate a word, and its meaning, with. The Hebrew language provides us with the visual concept through these ancient pictographs.
A simple example of this would be the Hebrew word for "father", spelled with two letters aleph and bet/vet (av) in Hebrew. The letter aleph, which is represented by the image of an ox, illustrates strength, leadership, and dependability, and a vet, is a picture of a house connecting the idea of home, and family. If you join the two concepts together you get the idea that God wants us to know that a father is a strong leader of a home and family.
This method of revelation can add another dimension that could not be seen nor understood previously and I have found it confirming and always in agreement with already revealed Scripture revelations.
Forward and Backward
He also reveals in his book how some words spelled one way can mean it's opposite when spelled backward such as the word for "hand" which is "yod", that consists of a "yod" (picture of a hand grasping) and a dalet (door, a symbol of a way). The word pictograph reveals that the hand is the way to reach or grasp for something desired or needed. If you spell hand backward, as in "dalet", "yod", (dai) it forms the word for sufficient or enough. in one direction we have the grasping of something needed, read the other way we have a need fulfilled and satisfied.
"The more you read the Bible, the more you meditate on it, the more you will be astonished by it"
— Charles Spurgeon
Another resource I found extremely useful in understanding the pictograph concepts can be found at the Jewish Jewels website. They have a wonderful video series that studies each letter and its corresponding pictograph.
The lessons are taught by Dr. Danny Ben Gigi, a former professor of Hebrew, who taught at Arizona State University. If you enjoy these deeper studies, you will sincerely glean much from them.
One thing I like about this method God designed in His language is that these pictures and their associations don't change. In modern language, a word might mean one thing at one time and a decade later it might mean something else. God's language never changes. You can't change a word picture. An ox will always be associated with what an ox has always done, does, and always will do. It will never change. This makes His word even more dependable.
"O beloved! you have only to study the Scriptures to find out wondrous things in them; you have only to search deeply, and you stand amazed a their richness. You will find God's Word to be a very precious Word; the more you live by it and study by it, the more will it be endeared to your minds.
— Charles Spurgeon
Along with these pictograph concepts, there is another revelation with certain Hebrew words called Agri-Bio-Linguistics. This is where God uses agriculture, biology, and language to communicate concepts as well. These are three things all men would be familiar with and be able to understand. A foundational verse communicating this concept:
"Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God"
— Matthew 4:4
Man is the biology, bread is the agriculture and word are linguistic.
An example of this would be. The Hebrew word Kavod is "glory" but it is also the same word for liver. In English, this would mean nothing and be considered an exception to the rule. In Hebrew, however, God uses the liver to communicate something about glory. One concept is that the liver is the heaviest organ in the body and one of the most essential. God wants us to understand that glory is heavy, that it matters, and that to glorify God is to consider Him as essential and valuable and that He would weigh heavily on the scales of our estimation of Him.
For more info. visit Brad Scott at Wild branch ministries and he also has some you tube videos describing these concepts. He can also be found at Hebrew Roots Network
"The best evidence of the Bible's being the Word of God is to be found between it's covers"
— Charles Hodge
Numerics and geometrics
Another finding with Hebrew is that thematically speaking, God has designed His word by a number system. No mystic or magic involved. It is another form of check and balance to help keep us on the right track as well as add another layer of depth to its meaning.
Ancient Hebrew did not have a separate numbering system, much like Roman numerals, their alphabet was used as their numbering system. The difference, however, between other languages and their use of numbers compared to Hebrew is that the numbers and formulas produced by the Words in Hebrew are consistent with the concepts and themes being expressed in His Word. For instance, the number four as exhaustively studied in The Monarch Butterfly Part One showed how the number four in Scripture themes the ideas of formation, transformation, and all of its processes. It speaks of things created and the physical realm.
The value of some words have even been discovered to express geometric shapes and patterns such as the Hebrew word for "wisdom" (chokmah), by which God created the world, and consists of triangular numbers that can form the shape of a snowflake, when considered both ordinally and standardly. This is demonstrated in an article titled Snowflakes Bees and His Creative Word
as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there...So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; (...and God said) It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please (...and God saw...that it was good)
— Isaiah 55:11 / Gen1
"All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more strongly the truths that come from on high, and contained in the sacred writings"
— William Herschel (German astronomer and composer)
It appears that God has designed His Word in a way that gives us several ways, and dimensions, in which we can understand Him. The greatest discovery of all is in learning His consistency. No matter which way we examine His Word His truth remains the same. This is also true concerning all that He has created. We have living life lessons all around us if we will simply take the time to dig for it.
speak to the earth, and it will teach you
— Job 12:8
I conclude with the note that the revelations of pictographs, word reversal, numerics, geometrics, as well as His creation are never things to be worshiped as in looking to any of them for private interpretation or future speculation. They are simply tools of viewing already revealed truth in multidimensional ways that can assist our understanding of His truth.
Kabbalists (letter worshipers), astrologers (star worshipers), and numerologists (number worshipers) have made a religion in and of themselves out of these things. All of them leave God Himself out of the equation, but we can't throw the baby out with the bath water we will miss so much.
I highly recommend that when one does a deep study of the Bible microscopically that they also are reading through it, as in from Genesis to Revelation, on a regular basis. It will ground your study and keep you from straying from God's larger picture.
The articles on my site will predominantly center on the themes mentioned above and I hope to encourage all to seek the Lord with their whole heart and develop a deep love for God and the intricacies His Word!
God bless and happy learning!
"Study of His Word is never a drudgery, but always a delight"
— Herbert Lockyer
© 2010 Tamarajo