Hebrew Studies

The Menorah Pictographs

Saturday, 02 April 2011 20:13
This pictographic study piggy-backs on the earlier study of 'Yeshua' in an interesting way that I didn't see coming until it presented itself by accident. It concerns the seven-candled 'Menorah' that was located in the Temple, and I trust you'll find this study equally as exciting, if not a bit bizarre. So let's begin by examining the Hebrew word for 'Menorah' as written in today's Hebrew language.

Menorah_HebrewReading from right to left, the first Hebrew letter is a 'Mem', followed by a 'Nun', a 'Resh', and finally a 'Hey'. Phonetically this would equal M-N-R-H, and when the proper vowel points are added, the sound is 'Menorah'. You'll remember the Menorah from our prior studies, and from the earlier post on the Tree of Life that illustrated the 49 events of the book of Revelation.

As with all of our Hebrew word studies, we can now refer to the original pictographic letters that were used thousands of years ago, and find an underlying meaning to this word that adds more depth to our understanding of it's role in God's overall scheme; 

MemThe first letter is the 'Mem', depicted as a series of waves on the sea, which can suggest the various potential meanings of chaos, mighty, blood, or simply water or waves.  In this instance, we'll choose 'Mighty', and the reason will be apparent in a moment.

NunThe second letter is the 'Nun', which is a picture of a seed. This letter can mean either continue, heir, or son, since all of these come from a man's seed.  Or, it can simply mean seed.  But we'll choose 'Son' in this instance.

ReshThe third letter is a 'Resh', which you can clearly see resembles a man's head. This letter can mean first, top, or beginning, since in the ancient world a man was the first or top of his household. In this case the meaning of 'First' fits our purposes best.

HeyThe last letter is the 'Hey', which is a picture of a man trying to get your attention. This letter has the alternate meanings of look, reveal, or breathe, but can also mean praise or behold, depending on how and where it is used. But here we'll choose 'Reveal'

By now you've probably already guessed what the word 'Menorah' means in the underlying Hebrew pictographs;

"The Mighty Son First Revealed"

Menorah_TempleThis is quite a statement, and it made sense on a certain level, though it was slightly puzzling at the same time. Puzzling, that is, until I came across something quite by accident.

For just a moment, let's examine the structure of the Temple Menorah in the adjacent illustration, which is a replica of the actual Temple Menorah as depicted in the Arch of Titus in Rome. We can see that it had seven candles with seven flames, and we know that these flames were to remain lit at all times. In Old Testament times this menorah was intended to represent the seven Festivals of the Lord, which included Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Weeks, Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles. From this we can find some symbolism that refers to Jesus Christ, or 'Yeshua', since the two advents of Yeshua will fulfill all of these festivals in their entirety. Literally and figuratively speaking, they were the first signs of his appearing.

However, in the New Testament we learn that these seven candles also represent the seven churches in the book of Revelation. From this we can find additional symbolism that refers to Jesus, since the letters to the seven churches described the process of sanctification that determines who will inherit eternal life, and who will inherit the Kingdom of God and become his Bride. So in the case of both the Festivals and the churches, Yeshua was indeed first revealed by the symbolism behind this Menorah.
 
But that's not all there is.

THE YESHUA MENORAH

This next part may surprise you a bit, but just look at at the name 'Yeshua' in the Hebrew letters, and see if any additional Menorah symbolism is revealed;

YeshuaYou may have noticed it already, but if not, look at how the Lord's name has seven flames on top of the letters, just as the Menorah was always to have seven flames burning on top of it. Hebrew letters are somewhat unique in this manner, in that several of them have this flourish at the top that looks like a flame. But the name Yeshua is one of the few words in Hebrew that would exhibit this effect. So, it would seem that while the Menorah has clear symbolism that is revealed in the LIFE of Jesus, it also has a physical component that is revealed in the NAME of Jesus.

What more is there to say? The pictographic studies continue to reveal the deeper things of the Bible.


HaMatzot

Friday, 25 February 2011 13:48
In our last word study on the middle 'Matzah', otherwise known as the 'hidden manna' or the 'Afikomen', we found that the original Hebrew pictograpic letters revealed the underlying meaning "The Mighty One you seek was revealed". Well, this next word study is completely related, since it is the word 'HaMatzot', the word used in the Bible for 'Unleavened Bread'. And the underlying meaning of this word is equally impressive, if not more so. I think you'll enjoy it.
 
MatzotHA-MATZOT

The Hebrew word HaMatzot is comprised of the letters Hey, Mem, Tsade, Vav, and Tav, reading from right to left in the adjacent     merely a form of the word matzah, and as we know, the matzah was the unleavened bread or wafer that was eaten during the Exodus. It is also an integral part of the second Feast of the Lord, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It's within this context that the original Hebrew pictographic letters reveal something quite interesting.  But first, let's examine the letters and see what they tell us.

THE PICTOGRAPHS

HeyThe first letter is the 'Hey', which as we've learned in past studies is a picture of a man trying to get our attention. Depending on the intended context, this word can have the potential meanings of look, reveal, or breath, and can also mean 'behold'.


MemThe second letter is a 'Mem', and this is really the first letter of this word, since the 'Hey' essentially means 'the', as in 'the' matzah in this instance. It depicts waves of water, and has the potential meanings of chaos, mighty, or blood, or just waves. We'll use 'mighty'.


TsadeThe third letter is a 'Tsade', which is a picture of a man laying in wait on his side. Since he is depicted this way, the potential meanings are understandably that of wait, chase, snare, or hunt. Additionally, it can mean 'seek', which we'll use in this instance.

 
VavThe fourth letter is a 'Vav', which is a picture of a tent peg that secured the tent in place. So naturally it's potential meanings are that of add, secure, or hook. However it can also mean simply peg or 'nail', which is precisely what is illustrated.


TavThe final letter is the 'Tav', which is depicted as two crossed sticks that form the shape of the cross. This pictograph suggests the various meanings of mark, sign, signal or momument, but can also mean 'cross'.


When you examine the suggested meanings highlighted above, can you form a sentence or meaning with them? 

THE MEANING

When examined within the context of the scriptures that describe the 'hidden manna' and 'unleavened bread', the meaning is clear;

"Behold, The Mighty One you seek was nailed to the Cross."

Cleary, we are speaking of Jesus Christ, the 'Afikomen' that Israel has sought for thousands of years.

The 'Hidden Manna'

Thursday, 24 February 2011 20:10
AfikomenIn our analysis of the 'Letter to the Church at Pergamum' that will be posted in a few more days, I mention the 'Middle Matzah' from the Passover Seder meal that Christ referred to as the "hidden manna" in that letter. But since that post was getting rather long, it seemed appropriate to shorten it by moving the analysis of the word 'Matzah' to the 'Hebrew Studies' section, where it really belongs anyway. So when you read that lesson in a few days, you can refer back to this one for context.

THE HIDDEN MANNA
Afikomen_Reward
The 'hidden manna' that Christ mentions in that letter alludes to a Jewish tradition during the Passover meal that went something like this; during the meal, the Seder leader would take a linen bag with 3 Matzah wafers in it, remove the middle matzah, and break it in half. Then, they would place one half back in the linen bag, and wrap the other half in a linen napkin and hide it in the house while the children covered their eyes. Then, after the meal was over, the children would be turned loose to find the matzah, known as the 'Afikomen'. When it was found, the child who discovered it would receive a reward.

Hmm. Does this sound familiar somehow?

THE FULFILLMENT

At this point, your Christian antennas should be in the fully upright position, because the symbolism here is taken directly from Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. And in a way, it amazes me that this tradition is still not associated with Jesus Christ within the Jewish community. It would seem to me that it could refer to nobody else, no matter how far we stretched the symbolism. Here are the associations;

1) Jesus is the 'Son of Man' that was the middle figure of the 'bread of life' Godhead (Father - Son - Spirit). He indeed was the middle matzah.

2) Jesus was broken for our transgressions, just as the middle matzah was broken.

3) Jesus was wrapped in linen after he was crucified, just as the middle matzah was wrapped in linen, becoming the 'Afikomen'.

4) Jesus was hidden away in a tomb, just as the Afikomen was hidden away.

5) The child that found the Afikomen would receive a reward, just as those with "faith like a child" find Jesus Christ and receive the reward of eternal life.

There is a bit more to this tradition that I'll probably explore in a separate lesson during Passover week this spring, but for now it sets the table for the following word study on the underlying meaning of 'matzah'. Given the above tradition, this meaning is REALLY interesting, which you'll see in a moment. Personally, this has ended up being my favorite Hebrew word study so far.

MATZAH

MatzahI accidentally stumbled across the Hebrew for 'matzah' tonight while preparing for another lesson, and the individual letters struck me as being quite significant, based on my current understanding of the tradition of the Afikomen.

In the adjacent Hebrew text, we see that this word 'matzah' begins with a 'Mem', followed by a 'Tsade', and ending with a 'Hey', reading from right to left. And in the original Hebrew pictographs that are the backbone of this study, these letters would be illustrated in the following way;

MemThe 'Mem' is a picture of water, or specifically, waves of water.  This letter carries with it the potential meanings of chaos or mighty or blood, or it can simply mean water or waves. In this instance, it appears to mean 'mighty', which will become apparent in a moment.


TsadeThe 'Tsade' is a picture of a man laying on his side, which seems rather strange at first. But the picture illustrates the potential meanings of wait, chase, snare or hunt, all of which can be related to a man resting in this position.  In this instance, we'll use the idea of hunting, or to 'seek'


HeyThe 'Hey' we've seen many times in these studies, and it's a man trying to get our attention. It has the potential meanings of look, reveal, or breathe, but can also mean behold. In this instance, we'll use the meaning of 'reveal'.


THE MEANING

When we consider the context of the hidden manna, which is the middle matzah of the Seder dinner tradition, the implied meaning is clearly apparent, suggesting the following;

"The Mighty One you seek was revealed."Cross

Notice how the mnemonic meanings of the pictographs coincide perfectly to the tradition of hiding and then finding the 'matzah', known as the 'Afikomen'. The children would seek the matzah, which would be revealed ONLY to the seeker. If you did not seek, you did not find. Does that remind you of any particular scripture?  It should.

But you might wonder why I used the words "WAS revealed" in the meaning above, instead of "IS revealed", which would be another possibility. The answer is simple. You see, Afikomen is not even a Hebrew word, but rather a Greek word, and it's the only Greek word that has found it's way into the Seder tradition. This tradition began in the first century A.D. after Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, and while this word is generally associated with 'dessert', ironically enough, Afikomen simply means"I came."

In other words, the Lord announced to the Jewish community that while they still seek their Messiah even to this day, their Afikomen "WAS revealed" back in the first century. He has already come, and He died on a cross to save them, and the rest of us, from our sins.

One day soon when the 'sign of the Son of man' appears in the sky, the Jewish community will finally find their Afikomen, Jesus Christ, and on that day, they will receive their reward of eternal life.
Page 1 of 2