Today's Hebrew study will focus on the name of Jesus, which in Hebrew was 'Yeshua'. Once again, the pictographs will be quite revealing, providing information in a nutshell that is revealed throughout the course of the entire New Testament.
The name of Yeshua is composed of four Hebrew letters, which reading right-to-left are the 'Yud', the 'Shin', the 'Vav', and the 'Ayin'. We're all familiar with the common translation of "He Saves" that is associated with this name, and certainly that corresponds to scriptures such as Matthew 1:21, which states "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” But there is a little more to the story. Hidden within His name are a few other attributes in addition to the fact that he saves.
As with each of our other studies, we'll now substitute the ancient Hebrew pictographic letters for the modern Aramaic Square Script letters, and see what kind of mnemonic meanings emerge.
The first letter is the 'Yud', which has a 'Y' sound and is represented by the arm and hand of a man. This letter carries the implied meanings of 'work' or 'throw' or 'worship', along with a few other similar connotations that are all related to working or doing something. It can also mean simply 'arm' or 'hand'.
The second letter is the 'Shin', which has a 'Sh' sound or an 'S' sound, and is represented by two front teeth. This letter has the potential meanings of 'two' or 'sharp' or 'press' or 'eat', but it can also mean 'consume' or 'destroy' or anything that relates to the function of teeth or eating.
The third letter is the 'Vav', which today has a 'V' sound, an 'O' sound, or a 'U' sound depending on how it is used, but in ancient times it was called a 'Waw', and carried a 'W' sound. It is represented by a tent peg, and has the potential meanings of 'add' or 'secure' or 'hook', but it can also mean simply 'peg' or 'nail'.
The last letter is the 'Ayin', which has a short 'A' sound, and is represented by a human eye. Potential meanings include 'watch' or 'know' or 'shade', or anything that relates to the functions of the eyes such as to 'see', 'understand', or 'reveal'. And as with the other pictographic letters, it can simply mean 'eye'.
When we combine the various meanings that are available for each letter, and consider the context provided by the person they are describing, I think the message that they convey becomes clear;
"He who creates, destroys, saves, and reveals"
Jesus was our Creator (John 1:1-3), and it is He who will destroy those who destroy the earth (Revelation 11:18). He is also the only name by which we are saved (Act 4:10-12), and He is also the revealer of mysteries (Daniel 2:28). The fact that all of these qualities are wrapped up in his name is certainly no coincidence.