I’m going full nerd-mode now.
We’re gonna learn Hebrew.
Don’t be scared.
It’ll be fun.
Did you notice that every eight verses of Psalm 119 has a heading with a funny word and an even funnier squiggly thing? Each of the twenty two stanzas of this psalm are introduced by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, in order from A to Z, or more accurately, from Aleph to Taw.
Aleph looks like this:
According to Jewish tradition,
each letter was divinely created by God
and contains revelation about the Messiah.
Do you see Jesus in the letter Aleph?
He’s in there.
See that diagonal line in the middle?
It’s a position of humility.
“Taking the very nature of a servant…he humbled himself.” Phil. 2:7-8
See that arm reaching up to the right?
It shows His deity, His connection to the divine realm.
“Who being in very nature God…” Phil. 2:6
See that arm reaching down to the left?
It shows His humanity, His connection to the earthly realm.
“…did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.” Phil. 2:6
This is a dramatic picture of Jesus with two outstretched arms,
one to His heavenly Father, one to us.
He is the link between heaven and earth.
Wait. There’s more.
Despite the fact that Aleph, a consonant, is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet, it is a silent letter. It takes on the sound of a vowel, depending on the marks attached to it. There is a story in Jewish folklore that says all the letters of the alphabet came before the Lord to give reasons why they should be the first letter of the first word in the Torah, or Bible. All except for Aleph. The Lord asked Aleph why it didn’t come and Aleph explained that it was silent and had nothing to say. So the Lord honored Aleph’s humility and placed it at the beginning of all the letters.
Wait. There’s more.
Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega”, which is the Greek way of saying, “I am the Aleph and the Taw.” Like the humble letter, Jesus came in humility as a human being and suffered in silence.
“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.”
“Then Pilate asked him,
‘Don’t you hear how many things they are accusing you of?’
But Jesus make no reply, not even to a single charge —
to the amazement of the governor.”
So God the Father honored His Son’s humility and gave Him His rightful place.
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name.”
And that’s just the first letter.
Next: My favorite words.