Archive for the ‘Hebrew for you …’ Category

Helper: Hebrew Shammes

The Hebrew words shamash שמש or the Yiddish shammes שמש (spelled identically but with a different vowels) mean ‘helper’ and is used to describe the person who looks after the synagogue.

Hebrew Word Pictures

ש  shin is a picture of a ‘tooth’ and means to ‘destroy’ or also corresponds to the Shekinah or glory of Elohim

 מ Mem is a picture of ‘water’ and means ‘chaos’

ש  shin is a picture of a ‘tooth’ and means to ‘destroy’ or also corresponds to the Shekinah or glory of Elohim

The word pictures can mean ‘destroying the chaos with the glory of Elohim’

The shamash or shammes is the ‘set apart’ candle on a Hanukkiah that is used to light the rest of the candles.

Some suggest that because the word shamash has ties to the Babylonian/Assyrian god known for truth and justice, that Hanukkah is rooted in a pagan festival and should not be celebrated. It is interesting when looking at the god Shamash: he was responsible for maintaining the order of the universe, nothing could be hidden from his bright light which banished darkness and revealed lies. It was said that his ‘eye’ could see everything.

The Jewish people had by the time of the Feast of Dedication been sent to live in foreign cultures. They had been dispersed to Babylon and Assyria and could very easily have incorporated ‘foreign’ words into their vocabulary just as we have with the days of the week. Thursday for Thor, Wednesday for Odin, even Saturday for Saturn. Perhaps even to worship the God of Israel, they used the term ‘shamash’ in order to just stay alive. I don’t know; I wasn’t there. What I do understand is the struggle to find ways to express dearly held beliefs in order to fit into an intolerant culture.

From a different perspective, perhaps the multi-god cultures of Babylon and Assyria saw the power of the God of Israel in the Jewish people around them. Perhaps they saw how He helped His chosen people, remained a light in their midst, and lived lives based on Truth. Perhaps they chose the Hebrew word shamash for their god. Remember that Sha’ul saw in Athens idols with names for all manner of gods, but there was one unnamed that they worshipped in ignorance. Of course, he revealed the name of that God, the yod hey vav hey.

In either scenario, one word that means ‘helper’ in Hebrew does not a pagan practice make. With its Hebrew word pictures possibly depicting the ‘destruction of chaos by the glory of Elohim’ presents an extraordinary view of Hanukkah that fits the description found in Maccabees. There was great chaos caused by the Syrians (Assyrians) who murdered the Jewish people for their faith and destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple and its altar had to be rededicated back to Elohim and according to the commands in Torah, that dedication must last eight days. For these reasons alone should Hanukkah be commemorated in support of the people and nation of Israel.

©2019 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Love – Hebrew: ahavah

Hebrew –  ahavah  אהבה means ‘love’

The root of ahavah is ahav which means ‘to give.’    The root meaning of love is to give.

Taking that root even further is av or a part of ‘abba’ meaning ‘father.’

In the Hebrew letter pictures,  אהבא

alef – strong, first

hey – behold or reveal

bet – house or family

hey – behold or reveal

–  first or strong revelation of the family behold

Putting it all together, love in Hebrew is the action of giving from a father and is the first revelation of a family

Ten Commandments with the Hebrew Alef-Bet

In Hebrew, each letter has 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 New Testament verse with each command as there are some who say that one of the commands (specifically Sabbath) was not reiterated by Yeshua.

א Alef

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

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

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

Yahweh is the One and only God, the first strength.  There is no other God like Him.

ב Bet

The Hebrew letter picture for Bet is a Tent or House.  It symbolizes a household, in, into and a family.

“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 the LORD 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” (Exodus 20:4-6).

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

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

ג Gimel

The Hebrew letter picture for Gimel  is a Camel and means ‘camel.’  The symbolic meaning is to lift up or pride.

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

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 Yahweh are not to pridefully use His name, but to respect it.  When we live lawlessly, against the commands,  and call ourselves by His name, we are misusing His name and profaning it among the people with whom we live.

ד Dalet

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

“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 the LORD your God” (Exodus 20:8).

“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. For 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 the LORD 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 the second greatest  commandment of loving 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 Hebrew letter 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).

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus 2:10).

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

ו Vav

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

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

“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 Hebrew letter picture for Zayin is a Weapon like an axe.  It is symbolic of dividing or cutting off.

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

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

ח Chet

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

“You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).

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 and keeps certain things in and other things out.  In Hebrew thought, the Torah is considered a ‘fence’ because it guards those who walk in its ways.  The Torah protects from the deceptions of the outside world and guards the inner chamber of the believer’s heart.

ט Tet

The Hebrew letter  picture for Tet is a Snake.  It is symbolic of twisting or surrounding.

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

“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).

The ‘father of lies’ twists the truth.  We are not to surround our neighbors with lies, twisted truths, and false testimony.

י Yod

The Hebrew letter picture for Yod is a  Closed Hand.  This is symbolic of  a finished work or deed.

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

“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 completed and don’t desire what the work of others has brought to them.

©2000 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author (Julie Almanrode) or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.  Thank you.

The Ox and the Manger

“Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests” (Proverbs 14:4). 

In the Hebrew alphabet, the first letter alef coincides with the first commandment, Exodus 20:2-3:

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  “You shall have no other gods before me.”

The Hebrew word picture for alef is an ‘ox’ symbolizing ‘first and strength.’

The ‘ox’ is ‘the first’, the LORD.   Where there is no LORD God, the manger is empty.

From the ‘strength’ of  an ‘ox’ comes an abundant harvest. 

The ‘strength’ of the LORD is His divine presence in Yeshua.  Through a manger will comes an abundant harvest.

©November 2017 Tentstake Ministries

Archives

You are currently browsing the archives for the Hebrew for you … category.