Wow! We’re on the sixth letter already — WAW!
Vav (also written as Waw) is the sixth letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Vav has the same sound as “v” as in “vine”. Every line in Psalm 119:41-48 starts with this letter. Vav looks like this:
The meaning of the word “vav” is “hook”.
Can you see it?
The word “vav” is found only in Exodus, in reference to the tabernacle, where the curtains were to be hung from “silver hooks“. (Ex. 27:10, 11, 17) The tabernacle was the place where God lived while the Israelites traveled in the wilderness. Rabbis teach that in the same way, God now resides in the Torah. So scribes developed a system that made the sacred documents a reflection of the tabernacle by calling each page a “curtain” and at the top of each page is the letter “vav”, hooking the words to the parchment. (Side note: Every time a scribe copied the name of God onto a new scroll, he had to say a blessing and dip his pen in fresh ink.)
Just as a hook was used to connect the curtains in the tabernacle, the “vav” was seen as a connecting letter. When placed at the beginning of a word, the letter is read as “and”, such as “heaven and earth”. So within a sentence, “and” is the hook that connects two words. In the Hebrew text, every line of Psalm 119:41-48 starts with “vav”, or “and”, making it one long run-on sentence!
Because “vav” is the sixth letter in the Aleph-Bet, it is associated with the sixth day of creation, the day man was created. But because of sin (Jews believe the Fall happened on a Friday), the “vav”, or connection, between God and people was broken.
“So God in His goodness sent Jesus as the second Adam to reverse the curse in order to restore the connection between heaven and earth. Jesus died on the sixth day, a Friday, to make atonement for the sin of the first man and woman so the blessings we lost in Eden could be restored.” (Rabbi Jason Sibol)
Rabbi Sibol also points out that Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine mentions six stone jars. (John 2:6) That’s a detail that is easy to miss and we might think it’s unimportant. But there are no wasted words in the Bible. Six stone pots were filled to the brim to show that “Jesus came to restore the Lord’s original blessing for creation” — one for each day.
There’s one more thing you need to know about this letter.
The letter “vav” is not only seen as a hook, but also as a nail.
Can you see it?
was nailed to a cross to
“For there is one mediator
between God and human beings,
the man Jesus Christ.”
(1 Tim. 2:5)
Next: My favorite word in the Bible that starts with “F”.