The "Gospel" Contained in the First Word of the Bible
Word puzzles are a great American past time for many people. I recall one of them from elementary school where we were asked to see how many words we could make from another word's letters. Today's lesson will be very much like that, only the words discovered will not be random nor meaningless. In fact, the discoveries will reveal a confirming check and balance system built right into the Word of God.
Most recently as I was studying the concept of ancient near eastern covenants, which I hope will, eventually, result in a worthy sharing, I stumbled across a youtube video that revealed that the first word of the Bible "bereishit" בְּרֵאשִׁית (In the beginning) has an entire Gospel message contained within it. So I sat down with the Hebrew word "bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית) and began to make all the Hebrew words I could find in it. The only rule I followed was to not rearrange the letters randomly, but from right to left would see how many letter combinations made Hebrew words. What I discovered was that each word was part of the Gospel story that was foretold in the very beginning.
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
A friendly reminder that as we move along with the study I will be using the actual Hebrew fonts that should be read from right to left.
The Hebrew language is also a pictograph language that has assigned to each letter an image designed to help us more deeply understand a truth or concept God wishes to communicate. This is a great find if you are a visual learner.
An important note as Frank Seekins writes in his book "Hebrew Word Pictures"
"Hebrew word pictures do not replace, define or limit scripture. They illustrate Scripture. The word pictures are valid only when they agree with Scripture"
This brings up another important mention that reading the Scripture in its entirety is just as valuable and important as viewing it microscopically, as we many times do in these word studies. The larger view grounds us in our more specific studies as not to stray from God's big picture and come up with private or strange interpretations that don't agree with the whole of Scripture.
With this understanding, we will begin by simply looking at the very first letter of the Hebrew word "bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית) which is a "bet" בְּ and is also the second letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet. Bet is imaged by the floor plan of a home or tent and communicates the idea of home and family. In fact, "bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית) contains the Hebrew word for a house which is "bayit" (בָּ֫יִת)
What a beautiful way for God to begin the great news, that His first and foremost intention was to create a family! Not a family separate from Him but God Himself is the Father of that family.
. . . Built By The Son . . .
If we, next, look at just the first two letters of "bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית) we have the Hebrew word "bar" (בְּרֵ) which means "Son". This is not the usual word used for "son" in the Hebrew scriptures. "Ben" בן is the more commonly used word for "son".
Gesenius' Lexicon defines 'bar' as a poetic expression of a chosen and pure son. The prophet Isaiah foretold of God's Son is the sent and chosen one as recorded in Matthew . . .
Here is My Servant whom I have chosen,
My beloved in whom My soul delights;
I will put My Spirit on Him,
and He will proclaim justice to the nations
— Matthew 12:18
Paul has this to say concerning Jesus the Son of God in reference to His preciousness and pureness
rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious
— I Peter 2:4
you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ (God's Son), as of a lamb without blemish and without spot
— ! Peter 1:18-19
When a "yod" ( י ) suffixes this word it reads "my son" ('בר) and means a beloved and begotten son. "Yod" ( י ) is included in our Hebrew word "bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית) and is used in a prophetic and messianic Psalm that speaks of God's beloved begotten Son.
The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son ('בר) , Today I have begotten You . . . Kiss the Son (Show that you are loyal) , lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him
— Psalm 2
The foretelling of this event.
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 3:1`6
Jesus the Son of God was sent to build a family
Is this not the carpenter . . . ?
— Mark 6:3
Jesus said . . .
In My Father’s house are many mansions if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
— John 14:2
To which we may reply as did Paul...
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named
— Ephesians 3:14
We know from the scriptures that we are that temple.
. . . you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
— I Peter 2:5
. . . Through A Blood Covenant . . .
The house would be built via a blood covenant through God's one and only Son, because the man (Adam) God made to make a family with violated the original covenant between them and became disqualified to be in relationship with God, Christ became the necessary fulfillment and sacrifice that could repair and restore that breach.
He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance
— Hebrews 9:14
This brings us to our next word. The Hebrew word for covenant is "bri't" (בְּרִית) and is also contained in the word "bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית). "bari" (בְּרִי) "my son", studied above, with a "tav" (pictograph of a cross meaning sign or covenant) on the end reveals that the covenant would be made on a cross by His Son.
For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
— Colossians 1:19-20
He Bore Our Fiery Judgment
The word "brit" (בְּרִית) for covenant can be made from "bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית) when the aleph (אֶ) and sheen (שִׁ) are removed from the very middle of the word. Aleph and sheen spell the Hebrew word for fire "esh" (אֵשׁ) which carries the idea of consuming. It is many times associated with judgment.
Take a look at the following verse as it concerns Moses's experience with the appearance of the Lord when he is called to deliver God's people from their bondage, a picture of the Lord's delivering us from our bondage to sin.
And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed
— Exodus 3:2
Is it possible that this scene of the burning bush was none other than Jesus Christ who took upon Himself our fiery judgment at the cross as part of fulfilling the terms of the covenant we broke, but yet He was not consumed as He was raised from the dead . . .
who (Jesus) was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
— Romans 4:25
. . . to deliver us from eternal sin and death?
what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us
— Romans 8:3-4
Jesus told the Sadducees . . .
Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob
— Luke 20:37
The Passover lamb, which prophetically pointed to the Christ who would undertake our fiery judgment and deliver us from our bondage to sin, was roasted over the fire.
Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire
— Exodus 12:9
We might conclude that when the fiery judgment for sin is dealt with, symbolized by the removal of it, restoring the covenant.
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.
— Acts 3:19-21
. . . And Our Shame . . .
The Hebrew word for shame is contained in "bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית) and is the word "bosheth" (בֹּ֫שֶׁת)
Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. ~ Isaiah 53:4-6
He Was The First fruits
If we remove the bet, from "bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית), we have the word "reishit" (רֵאשִׁית) which means beginning or first and is used in reference to first fruits in several Biblical instances as such
As for the offering of the firstfruits (bereishit"-בְּרֵאשִׁית), you shall offer them to the Lord...
— Leviticus 2:12
Again we see none other than the Lord of all, Jesus.
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
— I Corinthians 15:20
The "Firstfruits", Christ, was "In the beginning"
All Things Created and Exist Through the Son
This relates to another word made from "bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית), that being "bara" (בְּרֵא) the first three letters of "bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית) which means create. Jesus was the first fruits of His creatures.
He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures
— James 1:18
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation
— II Corinthians 5:17
In an interesting definition given in Brown-Driver-Briggs for "bara"(בְּרֵא) suggests a trade involving cutting or beget with a change of liquid (from an Assyrian word compared to it). Isn't that the essence of what Christ did in the shedding of His blood in the cutting of a blood covenant?
though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich
— II Corinthians 8:9
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
This Hebrew word also comes with the idea of filling
...the fullness of Him who fills all in all
— Ephesians 1:23
those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled
— Acts 3:18
Bara" (בְּרֵא) shows us that all things were created by the son bar (בְּרֵ) of God "aleph" (אֶ) (first letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet and first letter of God's first revealed name Elohim.) it also the second Hebrew word of the Bible.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
— Colossians 1:15-17
It all begins with the Son of God!
. . . And The Head Of All . . .
"Rosh" (רֹאשׁ) is another word that can be made from "bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית), it is defined as "leader", "high in rank", and "supreme".
He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
— Colossians 1:18
Its first occurrence in the Bible is used in reference to crushing the head of the serpent an essential element to the Gospel.
I will put enmity
Between you (serpent) and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He (Christ) shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.
— Genesis 3:15
. . . Wearing A Crown Of Thorns . . .
The next word made from "bereishit"(בְּרֵאשִׁית) is "shayith" (שָׁ֫יִת) and means thorns. It is rooted in a word meaning to place upon. Combining these revelations, we can see that the crown of thorns, that was placed upon His head. We read in Matthew's Gospel . . .
they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head
— Matthew 27:29
The only thing that Jesus would have been wearing on the cross was a crown of thorns. The Bible discusses Him being stripped of all other items of clothing except the crown of thorns. The word thorn taken from this first word of the Bible gives us an identifiable adornment that we could recognize Him by, considering that Jesus was not the only man hung on a cross.
Thorns are representative of the consequences of sin and having to live in the field rather than the garden.
“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you
— Genesis 3:18-19
Toil is the key word in the verse above. The parable of the soils, in reference to the seed planted among thorns, further explains them to represent...
the worries of this life
— Matthew 13
Prior to the fall, life was not weary nor toilsome. The good news of Jesus Christ who bore the thorns of our worries and cares of both mind and body presents us with this offer of good news because of what He has done for us...
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls
— Matthew 11:29
God's Free Gift
If we just look at the sheen and yod from the word "bereishit"(בְּרֵאשִׁית) It spells the Hebrew word "shai"(שִׁי) which is defined in Gesenius' Lexicon as a gift or a present which so pointedly expresses what the Gospel truly is.
through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. ~ Romans 5:18
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
— Romans 6:23
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
— II Corinthians 9:15
Alpha and Omega
The final word we will make from "bereishit"(בְּרֵאשִׁית) is a little word pronounced "et" (אֵת) and is also the third Hebrew word of the Bible. It consists of the very first letter, "aleph", of the aleph-bet and "tav" the very last letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet.
As we can see it all begins and ends with Jesus.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
— Revelation 1:8
He told us the end from the beginning.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
— Ephesians 1:3-6
I will conclude this lesson with a pictograph lesson that sums up the Gospel message as has been studied from the word "bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית).
"Bet" , the first letter of "bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית), pictures a house and "resh" the next letter symbols the head of a person and the highest one. The highest one in God's house is His one and only Son Everything begins with His Son. Recall as well that these first two letters spell "Begotten Son"
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
— John 1:1-4
"Aleph", the first letter of the aleph-bet, and third letter of our word study, is imaged by the ox picturing a strong reliable, leading one, it represents in this case, the first person of the God-head namely God the Father. Father begins with an "aleph" as well as does Elohim.
"Sheen" the fourth letter of"bereishit" (בְּרֵאשִׁית) a picture of teeth, illustrates the idea of consuming and destroying
"Yod", our word's fifth letter, is a hand and illustrates power.
Tav, the final letter, is a sign represented by the symbol of a cross.
Putting it all together we can see the Gospel is a home/family/kingdom beginning with the Son of God, creator of all, who is destroyed on behalf of us, that is the power and message of the cross, It is the sign of the covenant restoration of those who would choose to come to Him through faith in His one and only Son.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God
— I Corinthians 1:18
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