In fact, would you be surprised to learn that Jesus Christ's death on the cross was prophesied by the very FIRST WORD in the Bible, as written in Hebrew? Well, if you attended our summer sessions, you wouldn't be surprised at all. But if not, just stay with me for a few moments while we examine this verse in the ancient pictographic form. But first, here it how it is rendered in today's Hebrew Bible, reading from right to left;
As you can see, I've added a phonetic English equivalent under each word to aid our understanding. While the Hebrew language reads from right to left, we'll flip it over to read from left to right as we do in English. The sentence would then read something like this;
"Beraysheet bara Eloheem et HaShamayeem v'et HaArets"
Now, we're going to examine just the first word from this sentence, which is "Beraysheet". In virtually any translation you read, this is rendered as "In the Beginning", and that would be a correct translation according to almost any scholar you would care to consult. Webster's Hebrew Dictionary also confirms this interpretation;
Beresheet (or bresheet) 1. adv at the outset; at the beginning; 2. nm the book of Genesis (Bibl.).
Okay, so what, right? So far we've only confirmed what we already knew from our English versions. But now we'll move to the pictographic form of these SAME letters, and they will give us an incredibly powerful second layer of mnemonic meanings which are available in every word of every sentence of every paragraph of every book of the Bible. But first we have to identify which pictographs we're looking at.
The original Hebrew language was written in 'pictographs' that you would equate to Egyptian Hieroglyphics. In fact, Egyptian Hieroglyphics were originally derived from the Hebrew language, but that's for another day. In this instance, the Word Beraysheet is comprised of the following letters, with their associated pictographs;
|Yud||Arm and Hand||Work/Throw/Worship|
While each pictograph has a meaning of it's own, Hebrew always formed words by combining pictographs to convey an idea. In this instance, the first two pictographs 'Beyt' and Resh' form the word 'Bar', which means 'son of'. For instance, Jewish males have their 'Bar Mitzvah' at age 13, announcing that they are a 'son of the covenant'.
The next letter is the 'Aleph', which is depicted as an ox's head, with the ox having the connotation of strength and power. Not surprisingly, this symbol was often associated with God. The symbology of this letter even appears to have been employed by God in the sacrifice of the Red Heifer, which was a portrayal of Jesus' eventual death at the cross. So in this instance, we can translate this letter as 'God'.
Now we come to the letter 'Shin', which is depicted as two front teeth. This symbol represents the act of biting or 'pressing' against something, or eating or destroying something. It can also represent the number two, since there are two front teeth in the pictograph. But in this instance we adopt the idea of being 'pressed' by those consuming teeth.
Then there is the 'Yud', which has the pictograph of an extended arm and hand. Since we do our work with our arms and hands, this symbol would point to the ideas of Work or effort, or throwing something, even throwing worship to God. Of course, it can also have the simple symbolic meaning of the arm and/or 'hand'.
Finally, we have the 'Tav', which is made by crossing two sticks in the shape of a cross, which was the way that the Hebrews actually used sticks to keep the rib cage of a lamb open while they roasted it. This symbol also has the meaning of a mark or sign, or a signal or monument. But in this analysis, we'll just use the idea of a 'cross'.
When combined then, the overall message that can be gleaned from this first word of the Bible is the following;
"The Son of God will be pressed by his own hand on a cross"
Isn't that fascinating? And it's been hiding right there in plain sight for thousands of years. And in case you think that's NOT what this message is claiming, consider how well the message correlates to everything we know about the destiny of Jesus in this world, according to His own words;
"The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." (John 10: 17-18)
....and also consider what John recorded in the book of Revelation;
"All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast - all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world." (Revelation 13:8)
It would appear that not only was Jesus slain from the creation of the WORLD, but His sacrifice was recorded from the creation of the WORD.....and by the very FIRST word.