Joseph Herrin (02-22-2017)
I have had about six people write and tell me that I should include something about the Aleph and the Tav in scriptures. The picture above is the Aleph Tav in the Hebrew Script. They read right to left in Hebrew, so the characters are in that order. There is a reason that people ask about the Aleph Tav. It occurs in the very first sentence in the Bible.
You will note, however, that there is no word given for it. Is this some secret cypher that is hidden in plain sight. Many people suggest that it is. They relate it to the Alpha and Omega of Revelations.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
A distinction is made in this verse. Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet. The Aleph and the Tav are the first and last letters of the Hebrew aleph-bet. Some people maintain that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew, despite the lack of evidence. The original church was Hebrew, and remained so for a few years. It really did not get a good start in Greek until Paul began to share the gospel with the Greeks during his missionary journeys. Then far more Greeks joined the church than did Hebrews. How long was this after the initial church was born?
Paul/Saul became converted on the road to Damascus following the stoning of the first martyr Stephen. He then went and spent a number of years in Tarsus. At the end of this period he went to Antioch where he spent a year until the Spirit of Yahweh called him and Barnabas to the mission field. Consequently, it was 15 or 20 years before the first Greek mission operations were started.
We must ask then, “When did the first books of the New Testament get written?” The New Testament was not written for several decades after the church had been around. Some of it was written fifty or sixty years after the church was born. There was plenty of time for Greek speaking disciples to be saved. On top of this there were many Hellenistic Jews who spoke Greek. In order to get the Bible into the most hands it would need to be written in Greek.
The vast majority of early manuscripts of the New Testament are written in Greek. There simply isn’t evidence that the original New Testament was written in Hebrew. This leads us to a further question. Did the disciples “hear” the New Testament in Greek or Hebrew? The Scriptures give us an indication of which one it was.
And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
This was Paul telling King Agrippa about his conversion experience. He is saying the Yahshua spoke to him in Hebrew. This would have been common for Messiah to use when He spoke with men who understood Hebrew. It was the language He spoke while carrying forth His ministry in Israel. There were portions of the New Testament that were fulfilled in Greek, however. The letter to Acts is one of these books. The speaker had to break from his Greek speaking to King Agrippa to say that he was spoken to in Hebrew. The book of Acts was written to Theophilus, a Greek name or word meaning “lover of God.”
It is quite possible that Revelation was understood in Hebrew before it was written in Greek. Portions of the book are Messiah speaking, and other parts are angels speaking. It is probable that when Yahshua spoke to John that He did so in Hebrew. Why would He speak Greek to him? Messiah had spoken to him in Hebrew during His years in ministry. It makes sense that He would have continued speaking the same language.
There is no doubt that Messiah knows every language, even those that were not understood 2,000 years ago. I have heard the Messiah speak to me in my own language. Just because He can speak every language doesn’t mean the Scriptures were communicated in that language. All of the New Testament writers were Hebrew speakers, even as all of the Old Testament writers were Hebrew speakers. But the Hebrew that Moses understood would have been non-understandable to the Hebrew of the New Testament. That is why copies were continually made.
Since Yahshua most likely spoke to John in Hebrew when he was given the book of Revelation, when John heard Revelation 22:13 he would have heard it in Hebrew. Following are the words modified to show the first and last letter of Hebrew.
“I am the Aleph and the Tav, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
I have shared this to reveal to you one of the reasons people give for the Aleph and the Tav being in Scripture. This symbol occurs in Scripture 7,339 times, and an additional 2,251 times as Vav Aleph Tav. The Vav Aleph Tav occurs similarly in the first sentence in the Bible.
The underlined Vav Aleph Tav is translated as “and,” but it only takes one character to spell “and.” That character is the Vav. This word included more than 2,000 times in the Old Testament is “and Aleph Tav.” Understanding that this word signifies something about Messiah, we could gain a lot of insight from this verse. However, this verse isn’t the only one in the Bible. There are literally thousands of these verses. Following are a couple examples.
Notice each place that there is a red line. The Strong’s number 853 stands for Aleph Tav. Here it is pointing to Jezebel, Baal, a grove, and the Lord God of Israel (Yahweh Elohim). That is quite a mixed bag. We can see that it doesn’t signify Yahshua the Messiah. This two letter word is actually a pointer to direct objects. In English we do not need a pointer to direct objects. English and Hebrew are very different. English is more akin to Greek than it is to Hebrew. There is no word that you can translate into English the same way as the Aleph Tav is into Hebrew.
Here is a second illustration from Leviticus. The Aleph Tav is directly pointing to Israel, the Lord (Yahweh), the priest, and sacrifices. It is not indicating anything about Yahshua. The people who have argued for some meaning have therefore looked to other meanings. In the Paleo Hebrew the Aleph and the Tav were drawn differently. They were pictograms. The Paleo Hebrew is the oldest Hebrew. The Aleph resembled the head of an ox and was noteworthy of “Strength.” The Tav was an X as seen on a contract and symbolized a covenant.
Above is a book that was written to show the Aleph Tav in its native language and writing, right next to the English. The purpose of this book is erroneous. The author has created 11 of these books with different editions of Scripture in them.
It must be said that all of the identifications for how these letters spell words are guesses only. There have been no dictionaries of Paleo Hebrew which have come down to us.
In looking at this report of significance in the Aleph Tav, I have run across different proofs of its intended meaning. Some have mentioned Esau as an example. If you remember the story of Esau, it had a low point when his father Isaac asked him to shoot and cook him some game that he might speak a blessing on him. As we know, Jacob got the blessing by tricking his nearly blind father. In the numerous times Esau is mentioned before this event he has an Aleph Tav associated with his name. In the more than seventy times he is mentioned after this event he no longer has the Aleph Tav associated.
Another example is Ruth. Her name is mentioned 12 times in the book of Ruth. The first 10 times there is no Aleph Tav associated with her name. In the last two times, which are both after Boaz has acted as a kinsman redeemer, she does have the Aleph Tav with her name. Some people take these examples and show how they reveal the strength of covenant with them. Esau lost the covenant and is no longer marked by the Aleph Tav. Ruth receives the covenant signature and has the covenant signature from that time forward. We could say these examples are credible and persuasive if they were consistent with every other example in Scripture. However, they are not. Why do Ahab and Jezebel have their names associated with this symbol? What about a grove that was planted to worship idols? Why is it associated with sacrifices to devils? It seems more likely that this is a pointer to direct objects, either good or bad, than it is significant of the Messiah or shows the strength of the covenant.
Should anyone have questions about this, I encourage you to take merely the first 100 of the more than 9,000 examples and see what they are pointing to. You will find that it points to Cain and all the men of his line as equally as it points to Seth. I can see no distinction between good and evil, between cursed and blessed, no matter how much I look. In the end I have to agree with the translators of our common Bibles. This is simply a direct object pointer and in English it has no direct counterpart.
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