Psalm 119:169-176 (Tav)

Psalm 119 is about loving God’s Torah, His statutes, commands and precepts.  It is broken up into sections with strange looking words or letters which are the Hebrew alphabet.  In the Hebrew Scriptures, each line of each section starts with a word beginning with this letter.  This is called an acrostic poem.    Each Hebrew letter also has a  word picture associated with it giving greater meaning and symbolism to each line of the specific letter-ed section.

Word Picture – A Sign

ת Tav – A Sign, Two Crossed Sticks

Ownership, to seal, to make a covenant

“Let my cry come before you, Adonai; in keeping with your word, give me understanding. Let my prayer come before you; in keeping with your promise, rescue me. Let my lips speak praise, because you teach me your laws. Let my tongue sing of your promise, because all your mitzvot are righteous. Let your hand be ready to help me, because I choose your precepts. I long for your deliverance, Adonai; and your Torah is my delight. Let me live, and I will praise you; let your rulings help me. I strayed like a lost sheep; seek out your servant; for I do not forget your mitzvot.”

The letter tav symbolizes ‘the sign of a covenant’ or a ‘seal.’  There are seven covenants in Scripture and each one has a sign attached to it.  The covenant God made with Noah and all mankind never to destroy the earth by water had the sign of the rainbow.   The covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis 17 had the sign of circumcision.  The covenant God made with David had the sign of an eternal kingship (Messiah).  The covenant of Torah (a wedding covenant) God made with Israel was the sign of Sabbath (Ezekiel 20:20).  When they broke that covenant, they retained the ‘sign’ because God promised a ‘new’ or ‘renewal of the covenant’.  

“See! The days are coming,’ says Adonai, ‘when I will establish over the house of Israel and over the house of Judah a new covenant” (Jeremiah 31:31, Hebrew 8:4). 

This covenant would have several differences from the original covenant because of Israel’s unfaithfulness. God  did not change His mind about the ‘original’ covenant and throw it away for something else.   Because of their disobedience, their violation to the covenant relationship in which God established Himself as their husband something had to change.  According to God through His prophets, it was their hard-like-diamond, stiff-necked hearts (Zechariah 7:12, Nehemiah 9:16, Hebrews 4:7).

“’It will not be like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by their hand and led them forth out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, did not remain faithful to my covenant; so I, for my part, stopped concerning myself with them,’ says the LORD.”

He reveals the covenant in Jeremiah 31 (Hebrews 8).  The ‘new covenant’ is not made with the nations, gentiles or Christians,  it is a ‘renewal’ of the covenant with Israel and the Torah will be written in their minds and on their hearts.  

“‘For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Isra’el after those days,’ says Adonai: ‘I will put my Torah in their minds and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Ezekiel 36:26-27  explains that the covenant will brought about through a new heart.   And, it also reveals the ‘sign’ of the ‘new covenant’:   The Spirit of God inside the individual.  The Spirit of God would change the hard heart to flesh and cause all Israel to live by God’s commandments, respect His rulings,  and obey them.  The evidence of the ‘new covenant’ in their hearts would be their obedience to Torah.  

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit inside you; I will take the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit inside you and cause you to live by my laws, respect my rulings and obey them.”

The culmination of the ‘new covenant’ will eventually be that all Israel knows the Lord from the least to the greatest.  Their wickedness will no longer be remembered and their sins against their Husband will be forgiven. 

“‘None of them will teach his fellow-citizen or his brother, saying, “Know the LORD!” For all will know me (YHVH),  from the least of them to the greatest  because I will be merciful toward their wickednesses and remember their sins no more.’”

David has written the entire Psalm 119 about his love for God’s Torah.  It is obvious that he is in ‘new covenant’ relationship with God and has a ‘new spirit’, the heart that seeks after God.  The Torah is his delight, and even though he may stray like a lost sheep, he does not forget God’s commandments.  He longs for God’s deliverance and His hand of salvation, Yeshua (Psalm 98:1).

In John 14:15, Yeshua made a promise to his disciples.   If they would love him and obey his commandments, he would ask his Father to send them the Comforter, known as the Holy Spirit.  Not only would it would convict the world of sin and unrighteousness,  it would guide them and all who enter the ‘new covenant’ into all Truth.   Through the outpouring of the Spirit of God into the hearts of men,  the new covenant would come to Israel,  Torah would be written on their hearts, and they would take the message of Yeshua to all the nations.  When those of the nations received by faith the covenant given to Israel, instituted by Yeshua, they also receive a new heart of flesh, the Spirit of God, and Torah written on their hearts.  

The ancient Hebrew letter tav looks like a cross.  The cross was only beginning of the covenant.   The cross was more than Yeshua’s victory over death through his resurrection. The covenant includes his ascension to the right hand of his Father who then pours out His Spirit on those who love His Son and obey His commandments.  This pouring of the Spirit of God began on Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) when 3000 Jews (Israelis) were born again by the Spirit, immersed in water for the repentance of sins, and took the message of Yeshua to the nations.  

King David was filled with the Spirit of God (Psalm 51).  Like him, if we are filled with the Spirit of God and have received a new heart, we should love the Torah.  This is the complete essence of the new covenant.

What is the ‘sign’ of this new covenant?  Tav also means ‘join together’.  The Torah says that a witness of two establishes any matter (Deut. 19:15).  When those of the nations join together with Israel through adoption into God’s Kingdom, His family by faith, there is a witness of two worshipping God as He promised to Abraham.   When the nations  ‘join together’ with Israel through ingrafting into the new covenant promised and given to them, we are  ‘sealed’ by the Spirit with them and the ‘sign’ of the Sabbath because our sign of covenant as well.    When we ‘join together’ with the commonwealth of Israel, we will worship God as Yeshua told the woman at the well: “in Spirit and in Truth’ (John 4:23-24).  We will live out our faith, worship and praise the God of Israel,  and love the Torah just as King David did.

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor freeman, neither male nor female; for in union with the Messiah Yeshua, you are all one.  Also, if you belong to the Messiah, you are seed of Abraham and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:28-29).

“Furthermore, you who heard the message of the truth, the Good News offering you deliverance, and put your trust in the Messiah were sealed by him with the promised Ruach HaKodesh who guarantees our inheritance until we come into possession of it and thus bring him praise commensurate with his glory. ….” (Ephesians 1:13-14).  

““And the foreigners who join themselves (tav) to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of Adonai, and to be his workers, all who keep Shabbat and do not profane it, and hold fast to my covenant, I will bring them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer … for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations”  (Isaiah 56:6-8). 

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