Mem is the thirteenth letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Mem has the same sound as “m” as in “mom”. Every line in Psalm 119:97-104 starts with this letter. Mem looks like this:


As you can see, there are two forms of this letter. The open one on the right is used at the beginning or middle of a word. The closed one on the left is only used at the end of a word.

This letter is closely connected to water.
The Hebrew word for water looks like this:


See the open “Mem” followed by a “Yod” and finally the closed “Mem”? (Hebrew reads from right to left!) Some rabbis teach that the “Yod” in the middle is a drop of water within the word “water”.

Water is the most basic and important element in life. Sixty percent of our bodies are made up of water. The earth is 71% water. Without water, we can’t live more than three days. There is a Jewish saying, “There is no water but Torah.” Rabbis teach that the Torah is the most basic and important element in one’s spiritual life. Without the Torah, the Jew is like a fish without water — he couldn’t live.

Since “Mem” is the letter of water, it symbolizes the “spring” of wisdom found in the scriptures. Like an underground spring rises up from an unseen source, so does the spring of wisdom rise up from the mysterious Source that is God.

Maybe that’s why David wrote about wisdom, understanding and insight in the “Mem” section of Psalm 119.

It’s easy to find Jesus in the 13th letter.
The Messiah is our Living Water.
He is the only one who truly satisfies our inner thirst for real life.
He is the most basic and vital of all elements in this world.
He is the Living Word and we cannot survive without Him.


As the second half of the Hebrew alphabet reveals the life of faith in response to the good news of the gospel, so the letter “Mem” reflects the believer’s baptism. First we are taught (Lamed) and then we take a step of obedience by going into the waters (Mem) of baptism.

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said,
rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
John 7:37-38


Next: My favorite word in the Bible that starts with “N”.

One thought on “Mem

  1. Pingback: Nun | a small drop of ink

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