One Million Arrows Christian Parenting Blog

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New Slant On An Old Beginning
By Julie Ferwerda
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aleph tavWhat better way to start off the new year than by "going deep" in the Bible with our kids? I'll be regularly posting little Bible lessons that will attempt to help families learn how to piece together the amazing connections between the Old Testament and New Testament. Here's our first lesson:

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Check out the Hebrew picture language of this verse, reading from right to left:

gen 1 hebrew

Word number three is "Elohim" which is the "majestic plural" form of God (meaning that He is absolute, preeminent, most high). "Majestic plural" does not mean that the word is numerically plural (Gods) because the verb tense is singular ("He created"). In Hebrew language this means that value or weight is added to the subject, in this case, God. The word "god" basically means "judge" or "ruler" according to early Hebrew teaching (i.e. Ex. 22:8-9 uses the word "elohim" for "judges" but it is in plural form with the plural verb in agreement). In fact, the Bible even refers to human rulers as gods (Ex. 7:1, Jud. 5:8, Ps. 82:6-7).

When the Hebrew translators worked on Genesis 1:1, they did not know how to translate word number four. This word consists of two Hebrew letters, the Aleph and the Tav, in order. Here are the literal and symbolic meanings in the Hebrew picture language for these two words:

Aleph:                     Literal=ox, bull                        symbolic=strength, leader

Tav:                        Literal=a sign, a cross              symbolic=covenant, seal

The Aleph and the Tav are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

In Revelation 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13 (the last book of the Bible), Jesus said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." When Jesus actually spoke these words, He spoke in His native tongue, Aramaic. Aramaic uses the same alphabet as the Hebrew alphabet, so the words He spoke were, "I am the Aleph and the Tav," which are the first and the last letters of the alphabet, the beginning and the end of the alphabet.

In John chapter 1, we find a parallel passage to Genesis 1 that finally explains the unknown Word (for four centuries) to the Jews! John is a witness to the Messiah, preparing the way for Him. John 1:1-3 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. Looking at the Hebrew above, we see the Aleph and the Tav, the first and the last, all in one word. We see God in the beginning, creating the Word, then together creating the heavens and the earth. Isn't that fascinating? We also see what was meant. When you understand that the Bible is a book about God's plan that would unfold in a period of ages (like a great story with chapters, or a play written over several acts-perhaps one called "His-Story"), Jesus shows up in the beginning (Genesis 1:1) and the end (Revelation 22:13). He opens the ages, and He closes them when "It is finished!" Just like He declared three times to be the Aleph and the Tav, He also declared three times, "It is finished."

  • 1st time (John 19:30): At the end of his first coming as a mortal and the onset of His dominion over the spiritual Kingdom.
  • 2nd time (Rev. 16:17): At the end of the Tribulation and onset of the physical Millennial Kingdom.
  • 3rd time (Rev. 21:6): At the end of the AGES, or the consummation and the onset of the everlasting Kingdom of God, when God becomes "all in all."

To watch a more in-depth explanation of Jesus being the Aleph Tav in Gen. 1:1 on YouTube.

John 1:14 says, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." Also, since Jesus is the Aleph Tav, He is also is represented in the picture language as the strong leader (ox, bull), and as the covenant and seal in the sign of a cross! In the ancient Hebrew picture language (different than the characters you see above), the Tav is in the shape of a cross. As if this wasn't enough, Messianic Jewish teachers point out that the Aleph Tav shows up, in order, on the 4th and 6th words of Genesis 1:1. As we will learn in coming teachings, this is believed to correspond to Jesus' coming to the earth on the 4th and 6th "days." In Jewish teaching, a day can also mean a year, or it can mean a thousand years (Millennium). They believe this is prophetic of Jesus' first appearance on earth 4,000 years after Adam, and hopefully His soon appearance on earth at 6,000 years after Adam.

About The Author

Julie Ferwerda with orphanJulie is recognized for making the Bible exciting and relevant to everyday life through her writing and speaking. Her articles are featured in many Christian magazines and websites for both adults and teens, and she frequently volunteers her time and talents to international orphan ministry. When not doing all these things, she lives by her mantra: Life is short, nap hard. Learn more at: »

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