Learn the Commandments with the Hebrew Aleph-Bet

In Hebrew, each letter has a numerical value as well as a word picture based on its shape.    After learning the word pictures through the book Hebrew Word Pictures by Frank T. Seekins, I replaced the ‘roman numerals’ of the 10 Commandments with the numerical word pictures.  In this way, I saw the commands in a new and unique way.    This is how I taught my children the 10 Commandments after teaching them the Hebrew alphabet.  Remembering a concept with a letter was easier than remembering the order and phrases of the commands.    This is only MY interpretation of things  – it’s not ‘set in stone.’  I also included a reNewed Covenant verse with each command as there are some people who say that one of the commands (specifically Sabbath) was not reiterated by Yeshua or in the “new testament.”

א Aleph

This is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture is an Ox.  The Ox is symbolic of strength leader, first.

Exodus 20:2-3 “I am YHVH your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, You shall have no other gods before me.”

Luke 4:8 “Yeshua answered, ‘It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

YHVH is the One and only God, the first.  He is our Strength and our Guide.  There is no other God like Him; no other God who offers freedom from sin and hope of eternal life.

ב Bet

The word picture for Bet is a Tent or House.  This symbolizes a household, in, into and a family.

Exodus 20:4-6 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for YHVH your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

1 John 5:21 “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”

Remember in Egypt, the gods were called ‘household gods’.  Rachel was guilty of sitting on hers when Laban came to Jacob.

ג Gimel

The word picture for Gimel  is a Camel (gimel means camel).  The symbolic meaning is to lift up, pride, animal.

Exodus 20:7 “You shall not misuse the name of YHVH your God, for YHVH will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

Some of the traveling Jewish men who adjure evil spirits also undertook to call the name of the Lord Yeshua over those who had evil spirits, saying, I solemnly implore and charge you by the Yeshua whom Paul preaches!  Seven sons of a certain Jewish chief priest named Sceva were doing this.  But one evil spirit retorted, Yeshua I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?  Then the man in whom the evil spirit dwelt leaped upon them, master two of them, and was so violent against them that they dashed out of that house in fear, stripped and naked and wounded” (Acts 19:13-16).

We, as believers in YHVH are not to pridefully use His name, but to respect it.  When we live lawlessly, against the commands,  and call ourselves by His name, then we are misusing His name and profaning it among the world in which we live.

ד Dalet

The word picture for Dalet is a door and Dalet is the Hebrew word for ‘door.’   The symbolic meaning is a pathway, or a place to enter.

Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it ‘set apart’.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to YHVH your God.”

“Then Yeshua said to them, ‘The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (Luke 6:5).

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work (of creation), just as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:9,10).

Yeshua stands at the ‘dalet’ and knocks and to anyone who opens the door, he enters in and feasts with them (Revelation 3:20).  Sabbath is the first feast listed in Leviticus 23.  The Sabbath is a ‘door’ we enter so we can have a more intimate relationship/fellowship with the Father.

__________

The first three commandments are about how to love YHVH and the last 6 about how to love our neighbor.  The door is the pathway that takes us from one love (our first love) to another great commandment to love our neighbor.

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).

ה Hey

The word picture for Hey is a Window and means to reveal or ‘Behold’.  It is symbolic of revelation and is ‘the’ like in  ‘Ha Shem’ (The Name).

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land YHVH your God is giving you.”

Yeshua, on the cross, looks at John and tells him, “John, BEHOLD your mother. Mother, BEHOLD your son” (John 19:26).

ו Vav

The word picture for Vav is a Nail or Peg.   It is symbolic of securing, binding, and is the word ‘and’ like ‘chesed v’ahava’ (mercy and love).  Yeshua was nailed, secured to the cross.

Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder/kill.”

“Do not murder,  and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with is brother will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:22).

ז Zayin

The word picture for Zayin is a Weapon like an Axe.  It is symbolic of cutting, or cutting off.

Exodus 20:14 “You shall not commit adultery.” 

“Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate (cut apart)” (Mark 10:9).

ח Chet

The word picture for Chet is a Fence or Inner Room.  The symbolic meaning is to keep private or to separate.

Exodus 20:15 “You shall not steal.”

He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need” (Epheisans 4:28).

Fences keep one neighbor’s things from another.   A fence protects – keeps certain things in and keeps certain things out.  In Hebrew thought, the Torah is considered a ‘fence’ because it guards those who walk in its ways.  The Torah protects those who walk in it from the deceptions that can come in from the outside world and guards the inner chamber of the believer’s heart.

ט Tet

The word picture for Tet is a Snake.  It is symbolic of surrounding.

Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness (lie) against your neighbor.

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.  He was a murderer from the beginning,  not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

We are not to surround our neighbors with lies, false testimony.  When we do, we are of our former father, the devil.

י Yod

The word picture for Yod is a  Closed Hand.  This is symbolic not only of a work or a deed, but a closed hand suggests a finished work or deed.

Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbors house; you shall not covet your neigbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.  For He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrew 13:5).

Be content with what your hands have done and don’t desire what the work of others has brought to them.

©2000 Tentstake Ministries (a chapter from the book Journey with Jeremiah found in the Book Nosh)

Hanukkah and Yerushalayim

From the days of Abraham,  Yerushalayim (Jerusalem in Hebrew) has been the center of the known world.  Malki-Tzedek, the righteous king who has no beginning or end, ruled from this city called “Shalem” meaning ‘complete, safe, and peace’ (Genesis 14:18).  Throughout Biblical history, proven through archaeological digs, Yerushalayim was the center of Israel, the capital, where the God of Israel dwells, the Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the I Am.  

“In the courtyards of Adonai’s house, there in your very heart, Yerushalayim. Halleluyah!” (Psalm 116:19).

“Blessed be Adonai out of Tziyon, he who dwells in Yerushalayim! Halleluyah!” (Psalm 135:21).

King Solomon built the first Temple in Yerushalayim.  It was destroyed by the Babylonians.  A second Temple was built in Yerushalayim at the command of the prophet Ezra. This is the one that the Syrians desecrated.  They knew and understood from history the significance of Yerushalayim and how the Temple was central to the Jewish faith.  It was for this reason that they forced the Jews to offer sacrifices elsewhere; then desecrated the Altar.  Their purpose was to destroy the Jewish faith and assimilate the Jewish people into their idolatrous worship.

Yet, a remnant of Jews remained faithful and fought for years with Judah Maccabee against assimilation into a foreign religious system and the destruction of their One-God centered faith.  The miracle of Hanukkah is that the faithful remnant had victory over the great oppression by the Syrians, who were part of the greatest empire on earth.  Because of these faithful Jewish men, women and priests, Yerushalayim remained central to Israel and the Temple was restored and rededicated.   More importantly, the Jewish people were not annihilated.  The result: Yeshua, salvation for Israel and the world,  could be born through a Jewish lineage, teach in the Temple courts in the city of Yerushalayim.

Yerushalayim is found 773 times throughout the Holy Scriptures, but only 9 times in the Koran.  This is a huge discrepancy between the two major religions, but one that the world refuses to acknowledge.  They would rather the two ideologies assimilate, or better yet, the one with the proven history in Yerushalayim disappear from the nations altogether.

“They say, “Come, let’s wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Isra’el be remembered no more!” (Psalm 83:4).

The enemy of God, Satan, knows that if he can remove Israel as a nation and Yerushalayim as its capital, then he proves to the world there  is no God of Israel.  If he can destroy the Jewish people and their millennia of faith, then he really prove to the world, there is no God at all.  He also knows that without the Jewish people, there is no one to welcome the Messiah back into the holy city and Yeshua cannot return to set up his Kingdom.  However, Satan’s plan has a flaw.

“This is what Adonai says, who gives the sun as light for the day, who ordained the laws for the moon and stars to provide light for the night, who stirs up the sea until its waves roar — Adonai-Tzva’ot is his name: “If these laws leave my presence,” says Adonai, “then the offspring of Isra’el will stop being a nation in my presence forever.

Unfortunately for Satan, who is ultimately the spiritual force behind chaos and destruction, he will not only lose this battle, he will lose the war.  Though he will continue to use the nations to fight against Yerushalayim and Israel as the ‘father of lies’ and deceptions, his destiny is already determined (Revelation 20:10). 

“Why are the nations in an uproar, the peoples grumbling in vain? The earth’s kings are taking positions, leaders conspiring together, against Adonai and his anointed” (Psalm 2:1-2).

“A prophecy, the word of Adonai concerning Isra’el — here is the message from Adonai, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundation of the earth and formed the spirit inside human beings: “I will make Yerushalayim a cup that will stagger the surrounding peoples.  Even Judah will be caught up in the siege against Yerushalayim. When that day comes, I will make Yerushalayim a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who try to lift it will hurt themselves,  and all the earth’s nations will be massed against her” (Zechariah 12:1-3).

King Cyrus of Persia was used by God to deliver the Jewish people from their Babylonian captivity.  They returned to Yerushalayim and rebuilt their city and the second Temple.   With the help of a modern-day King Cyrus, Yerushalayim is  acknowledged to be, by the largest nation in the world, the eternal capital of Israel.  This modern-day King Cyrus has also called for the rebuilding of the Temple.  When that happens, the greater exodus of Jewish people from the nations will follow (Jeremiah 16:14) along with a great apostasy and a false messiah in sitting in the Temple. 

Hanukkah is not only a memorial to the miraculous events surrounding the Maccabean revolt, but is prophetic to our day.  As the return of Messiah Yeshua comes closer with each passing day, the shaking of the nations will escalate, but also will the promises of God to His people.  As the nations of the world continue to stand against Israel and fight about Yerushalayim, more and more Jewish people are accepting Yeshua as Messiah.  They are being prepared to cry out: “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai” and welcome Messiah back to Yerushalayim (Matthew 23:37-40).

“Adonai is rebuilding Yerushalayim, gathering the dispersed of Isra’el” (Psalm 147:2).

Soon, Yerushalayim will no longer be a city of assimilation of false gods, Greek, Roman, Baha’i, Muslim, and multiple religions.  It will be restored and rededicated to the glory of the LORD.  All the nations of the world will come as one to Yerushalayim and worship the God of Israel on the appointed Feast Days in the Temple of Messiah Yeshua, and Yerushalayim will become, as it should be, the city of our Great King.

“Look at Tziyon, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Yerushalayim a secure abode, a tent that will not be removed, whose pegs will never be pulled out and whose guy-ropes will not be cut. But there in his splendor Adonai will be with us…” (Isaiah 33:20-21).

“Many peoples will go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Adonai, to the house of the God of Ya‘akov! He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of Adonai from Yerushalayim” (Isaiah 2:3).

Psalm 48

Great is Yahweh  and greatly to be praised,

in the city of our God, his holy mountain,

beautiful in its elevation, the joy of all the earth,

Mount Tziyon, in the far north, the city of the great king.

In its citadels God has been revealed as a strong defense.

For the kings met by agreement;

together they advanced.

They saw and were filled with consternation;

terrified, they took to flight.

Trembling took hold of them,

pains like those of a woman in labor,

as when the wind out of the east wrecks the “Tarshish” ships.

We heard it, and now we see for ourselves

in the city of Yahweh-Tzva’ot, in the city of our God.

May God establish it forever. (Selah)

God, within your temple we meditate on your grace.

God, your praise, like your name, extends to the ends of the earth.

Your right hand is filled with righteousness.

Let Mount Tziyon rejoice, let the daughters of Y’hudah be glad,

because of your judgment [on the enemy].

Walk through Tziyon, go all around it;

count how many towers it has.

Note its ramparts, pass through its citadels,

so that you can tell generations to come

that such is God, our God forever;

he will guide us eternally.”

©2017 Tentstake Ministries

Protected: A Hanukkah Poem for Jasper, by Bubbe

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Hannah’s Prayer

Then Hannah prayed; she said:

“My heart exults in AdonaiMy dignity has been restored by AdonaiI can gloat over my enemies, because of my joy at your saving me.

“No one is as holy as Adonaibecause there is none to compare with you, no rock like our God.

“Stop your proud boasting! Don’t let arrogance come from your mouth! For Adonai is a God of knowledge, and he appraises actions. The bows of the mighty are broken, while the feeble are armed with strength. The well-fed hire themselves for bread, while those who were hungry hunger no more. The barren woman has borne seven, while the mother of many wastes away.

Adonai kills and makes alive; he brings down to the grave, and he brings up. Adonai makes poor, and he makes rich; he humbles, and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust, lifts up the needy from the trash pile; he gives them a place with leaders and assigns them seats of honor.

“For the earth’s pillars belong to Adonaion them he has placed the world. He will guard the steps of his faithful, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. For it is not by strength that a person prevails — those who fight Adonai will be shattered; he will thunder against them in heaven — Adonai will judge the ends of the earth. He will strengthen his king and enhance the power of his anointed.”

2 Samuel 2:1-10, Complete Jewish Bible