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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.

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.”

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

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.

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 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.”

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

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.

Exodus 20:7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD 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 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.

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 the LORD 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. 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.

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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).

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD 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 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.

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

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).

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.

Exodus 20:17 “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.”

“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 (a chapter from the book Journey with Jeremiah found in the Book Nosh)

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

Matthew 6:9-13 – The Disciples’ Prayer

Tefillah Talmidim – The Disciples’ Prayer

Yeshua taught his followers to pray the well-known “Lord’s Prayer” found in Matthew 6:9-13.  This prayer, though often thought to be ‘new’, actually follows the traditional Jewish outline for tefillah (prayers).  Thus, our Jewish Savior gave his Jewish (and non-Jewish) followers a completely Jewish way to pray to his Father, our Abba, the Creator of the Universe.

:אבינו שבשמים ית1דש שמך

Avinu shebashamayim, yitkadash shemekha.

Our Father in heaven!  May your Name be kept holy.  

:תבא מלכותך יעשה רצונך בארץ כאשר נעשה בשמים

Tavo malkhutekha, ye’aseh r’tzonekha ba’aretz ka’asher na’asah vashamayim.

May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.

These first phrases resemble the kaddish, an ancient Jewish prayer.  Like all Jewish prayers, it begins with acknowledging the Creator of the Universe who is our Father in heaven followed by sanctifying His ‘set apart’ Name, the יהוה .  The coming Kingdom of God is the rule of God’s Spirit in, through, and over the hearts of men.  This is the ultimate fulfillment of the ‘new covenant’ found in Jeremiah 31:31 and will bring forth God’s will on earth as it is in the heavenly realm – obedience to His commands that are part of His Kingdom rule.

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:תן לנוּ היוֹם לחם חקנוּ

Ten-lanu hayom lechem chukeinu.

Give us the bread we need today.

The word ‘give’ at the beginning of this phrase is the imperative.  It presents the idea of a child completely dependent on their father for everything they need.  This day is a reference back to the manna – the bread of life –  in the wilderness which was provided each day in order to build faith in the One who Provides.  Lechem chukeinu is also used in Proverbs 30:8: keep falsehood and futility far from me, and give me neither poverty nor wealth. Yes, provide just the food I need today ….”  

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:וסלח לנוּ את אשמתנו כאשר סלחים אנחנו לאשר אשמו לנוּ

U’selach-lanu et-ashmateinu ka’asher solechim anachnu la’asher ashmulanu.

Forgive us our sins just as we are forgiving those who sin against us.

Yeshua taught in Luke 6:38 that we will receive the same measure that we measure out.  This not only includes how we use our gifts, but also includes forgiveness.   Yeshua also made it clear that unless we forgive others, God will not forgive us.  This part of the tefillah is a mirror to our hearts and is in the present progressive as the process of forgiving continues 70 x 7.

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:ואל–תויאנוּ לידי מסה כי אמ–הצילנוּ מן הרע

Ve’al-tevieinu lidei massah, ki im-hatzileinu min-hara.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  

Massa is translated as ‘test or temptation,’ but can also mean ‘despair’ as in the ‘melting of one’s heart.’   This phrase does not suggest that we be kept from trials, but that as we go through them our hearts are changed or melted and be delivered from  falling into despair and becoming bitter or angry. Hatzileinu min-hara is more than being drawn into evil inclination, but a deliverance from the Evil One who is the root of our evil inclinations and tries to steal all glory from God.

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:כי לך הממלכה וחגבוּרה  והתפארת לעולמי עולמים

Ke lakha, hamamlakha, vehageverah, veha tiferet l’olemei ‘olamim.

For kingship, power and glory are yours forever.

The conclusion of this prayer reflects the prayer and praise of King David in 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 when he dedicated the first Temple in Jerusalem.

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אמן ו אמן

Amein

Amen

The Jewish sages taught that Amen is an acronym for el melech ne’eman or “God is a faithful King.”

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