It’s Passover season and this year I wanted to share something truly amazing about Jesus, the Savior of the World. I enjoy learning about the original languages of the Bible (Hebrew and Greek). A few years ago I learned something really cool and I want to share it with you!
Did you know that the very first word (and sentence) in the Bible tells us that Jesus would die on the cross for our sins? Many people think Jesus only appears in the New Testament, but not in the Old. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Prophecies of Jesus are scattered throughout the Old Testament and shadows (typologies) of him are found everywhere! The amazing thing, however, is that when we look at the original languages of the Bible, we see even more of Jesus within the Old Testament. With that being said, let’s get straight to it!
Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant when he said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last?” Here are some scriptures where we see this:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty,” Revelation 1:8
“Then He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost,” Revelation 21:6
“When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.’” Revelation 1:17-18
Isaiah 44:6 says, “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.’”
Now keep in mind that in the verses from Revelation it says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” but this is from the New Testament, so it was written in Greek. Alpha is the First letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last.
Hold on to that information.
Now, let’s go to the Old Testament and look at this verse.
Isaiah 44:6 says, “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
‘I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.’”
Since this is the Old Testament, this verse was written originally in Hebrew. We know Jesus is the First and the Last (the Alpha and the Omega in Greek letters). But, what would this look like in Hebrew? In the Hebrew alphabet, the first letter is Aleph and the last letter is Tav. See picture.
Jesus would have spoken Aramaic, which is very similar to Hebrew. So, if Jesus were saying, “I am the First and the Last,” it could be spoken as, “I am the Aleph and the Tav.” This is quite interesting because unlike English, the Hebrew letters all have meanings, pictographs, and specific numbers associated with them. That’s going to be very important soon so pay close attention.
Now let’s go to the very first sentence in the Bible, which is from the Old Testament.
This scripture is most frequently translated as, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
John’s gospel (in the New Testament) also begins like this: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
In Genesis 1:1 the Hebrew words are listed from right to left as SEVEN words. See picture.
Right in the middle of these seven words (word four) is an untranslatable word, which is simply two letters: the aleph and the tav. You will only find this in the Hebrew Bible. Actually, this is not a word at all and it’s not able to be pronounced, but here it is in the middle of the first sentence in the Bible!
Orthodox Jewish scholars (Jews who don’t believe Jesus is the Savior) have been stumped by the presence of these two letters in the first sentence of Genesis 1:1. But it’s no surprise to Messianic scholars (Jews who believe Jesus is the Savior). They see this aleph and tav pointing to Jesus, who clearly identifies himself in scripture as the First and the Last.
John 1 says Jesus is the Word and he was with God in the beginning. So, in Genesis 1:1 we have two letters forming a word we can’t pronounce, yet we can still see them right there in the middle of the scripture! Those two letters reveal that in the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the aleph (first) and the tav (last) was right there! Jesus was present when God created everything! No wonder Revelation 4:11 says,
“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”
Jesus is the Living Word and guess what? Every single letter of the Hebrew alphabet points to him. In fact, the Hebrew word for letter is ot (owth), which also means a sign or wonder. Additionally, the word SIGN is written with three Hebrew letters: aleph and tav are two of them! Though there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, we don’t have time to go through all of them. But we will look at just a snapshot of how this is seen in the Bible. Remember earlier when I said all the Hebrew letters have a meaning, pictograph and a specific number associated with them? Get ready to be wowed!
Hebrew letters have pictographs associated with them that give deep meaning to the letters. Keep in mind, however, that the Hebrew of today is a bit different from the Hebrew of biblical times. Therefore, the written Hebrew letters being used now have evolved from the original pictographs representing the letters.
Let’s get really detailed and look at the first word of the sentence, “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
The first Hebrew word in this sentence is BARASHEIT which is translated as “in the beginning.”
This word can be broken down into the original pictographs (letters) that represent it (see graphic below)
The first letter is BET, which looks like a house/tent (as in the house of God).
The second letter is RESH, which is pictured as man’s head– it means the first or highest person
The third letter is ALEPH, which is pictured as an ox head, symbolizing strength/God
The fourth letter is SHIN, which is shown as teeth, but representing the idea of consuming and destroying
The fifth letter is YOD, with a pictograph that is an arm or hand. This represents the works of man (of his hands)
The sixth and last letter is TAV and this is shaped like a cross made of sticks– it means a mark, sign or covenant.
Breaking the word down further:
The first two letters of Barasheit (in the beginning) are BET and RESH– together they form the Hebrew word BAR. This means SON, as in The SON.
The Aleph means GOD
Shin means DESTROYED
Yod means WORKS
Tav means COVENANT and CROSS of sticks
Putting this all together we get:
THE SON OF GOD DESTROYED THE (SINFUL) WORKS OF MAN ON THE COVENANT CROSS.
Don’t forget that Jesus hung on the cross for six hours and six is the number of man because he was created on the sixth day. All the works (sins) of mankind fell upon Jesus as he suffered sheer agony. Darkness covered the land for three of the six hours. Some biblical scholars say that the first three hours of light (from 9 am-12 pm) was necessary so that all who gazed upon Jesus would know without a shadow of a doubt that it was him on the cross. The three hours of darkness that followed at high noon (12pm to 3 pm) was a miracle, as well as a sign that Jesus was taking on the dark sins of the world. Additionally, the darkness symbolized the hearts of men who rejected Jesus as the promised Messiah and Savior of the world.
Some have said that the darkness which fell at high noon and lasted until 3 pm was an eclipse, but this is an impossibility. According to an article in Answers in Genesis, “It is not possible that there should be an eclipse of the sun at the time of the full moon. The moon at the time when it is full is not in a position in which it could possibly cast its shadow upon the earth. The Passover was at the time of the full moon, and therefore it was not possible that the sun should then undergo an eclipse. The darkening of the sun was not strictly an astronomical eclipse; the darkness was doubtless produced in some other way; yet to those who were present it did seem to be a total eclipse of the sun–an impossible thing.”
Thus, the darkness that fell on the earth at that time was a miracle produced by God himself–an astounding, remarkable sign that Jesus is the SON OF GOD.
At 3 p.m. Jesus took his last breath and it was finished. Now mankind was free to enter into a covenant with Jesus and inherit the gift of eternal life if he/she receives the SON of GOD as their Lord and Savior.
God planned all of this from the beginning, as we see in Genesis 1:1.
Revelation 13:8 says, he is “the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world.”
Going back to the entire first sentence of the Bible, let’s look again at Genesis 1:1, which has the aleph tav in the middle of the sentence.
We’ve learned that Jesus is the Aleph and the Tav–the beginning and the end. But now we need to look at the numerical values associated with these letters. All Hebrew letters have a specific number value assigned to them. See the picture below which shows these number values.
The Aleph has a value of 1, whereas the Tav has a value of 400. Let’s break down these numbers and look at the biblical meanings.
The number One and the Aleph
Let’s begin with the one since this number means first. It is only divisible by itself and is considered a prime number. Even though it’s a number that stands alone, at the same time, it’s a number that is contained in all the other numbers.
The number one points to the ONE perfect and complete sacrifice made by Jesus Christ on the cross. This ONE sacrifice gives believers in Christ access to the Father, and forgiveness of sins. “There is ONE mediator between us and God–this is Jesus Christ,” 1 Timothy 2:5.
The first commandment listed in the Ten Commandments is, “You shall have no other gods before me,” Exodus 20:3. God expects us to worship him and him alone. He is to be our ONE and only.
Jesus is associated with the number one in some remarkable ways. In Colossians 1:15 it says, “the Son is the image of the invisible God, the FIRSTBORN over all creation.” In verse 18, it goes on to say that, “he is head of the body, the church; he is the beginning of the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have supremacy.”
We can clearly see that the number one points to supreme rule over all things and Jesus is described as the first.
In 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, Christ is described as the firstfruits, who rises from the dead first, followed by those who belong to him.
“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.”
This paints a picture of the brightest hope we have as believers–the truth that like Jesus, we too shall resurrect one day.
Most importantly, the number one is associated with the ONE path to salvation, Jesus Christ.
“Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved,” Acts 4:10-12.
The number ONE is very important indeed, as it points to the ONE AND ONLY TRUE ALMIGHTY CREATOR WHO HOLDS ALL POWER AND AUTHORITY.
The Number 400 and the TAV
The Hebrew letter tav has a numerical value of 400.
100 x 4 is also equal to 400. Four symbolizes creation as seen in Genesis 1:14-19 in the Bible. 100 is made up of ten tens (10 x 10). Ten points to God’s commands (Ten Commandments). Also, Passover lambs were selected on the 10th of Nisan on the biblical calendar.
Jesus is the Passover lamb who triumphed over sin and death. He is the creator who was there at the very beginning and he is the living embodiment of the commands of God.
But there’s more to grasp with the number 400 (TAV):
After making a covenant with Abraham, God told him that his descendants would be afflicted in a foreign land for 400 years. After this time period, God would bring them back into the land of Canaan.
Genesis 15:13-16 says,
“Then the Lord said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end, they will come away with great wealth. (As for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.) After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.”
This count of 400 years is also referenced in Acts 7:6 which says,
“God also told him that his descendants would live in a foreign land, where they would be oppressed as slaves for 400 years.”
The 400 years is tied to the confirmation of the covenant to Abraham’s seed (children) through his on Isaac (Genesis 22).
By looking at these instances, we can see that 400 can be associated with FREEDOM FROM BONDAGE OR CAPTIVITY.
Another instance of 400 being used in the Bible occurs in Genesis 23, where the wife of Abraham dies. After her death, Abraham buys a cave in Machpelah (Hebron) for 400 shekels of silver. This cave is where she is buried.
More examples include:
When Solomon had the Temple of the Lord built, pomegranates were used to decorate certain areas–400 to be specific. Rows of these pomegranates “crowned the temple and the pillars, declaring God’s goodness and blessing to his covenant people.”
Pomegranates symbolize royalty because they contain a prominent crown on top. Also, the flesh inside is a crimson red and even stains one’s hands like the color of blood–a reminder of Jesus (The King’s) sacrifice on the cross for the sins of mankind. Hundreds of seeds on the inside are a reminder of the seeds of the gospel. Even the High Priest’s robe was adorned with decorative pomegranates, which points to our High Priest Jesus.
Another detail to consider is that when the first Temple was dedicated, 400 lambs were offered as sacrifices.
“And they offered sacrifices at the dedication of this house of God, one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel twelve male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.” Ezra 6:17
These instances of 400 remind us that the TAV points to Jesus because he is the High Priest who became the ultimate sacrifice (lamb) for our sins. This led to our release from captivity!
As you can see, the aleph and the tav together create a vivid picture of Jesus.
I am about to wrap up this blogpost, but I wanted to share one more thing that I find fascinating. Back in 2017, the United States of America experienced a total solar eclipse on August 21. This eclipse traveled across the entire country starting in Oregon and ending in South Carolina, bisecting the nation. Keep in mind that this eclipse touched only our land and this is why it was called THE GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE.
Well, we have another total solar eclipse coming on April 8, 2024 and this one will also bisect the United States, entering the country through Texas and exiting through Maine. The eclipse is being called the GREAT NORTH AMERICAN ECLIPSE because it starts in Mexico, then travels through the United States and then exits through Canada. The last place the shadow of the eclipse touches is Newfoundland (which is part of Canada). The infamous Titanic lies at the bottom of the ocean approximately 400 nautical miles from Newfoundland. Hey, did you catch the 400!!! And here’s something else to think about… Titanic was built in shipyard 401. In fact, before Titanic had a name, it was only known by its number–so it was simply called 401. So, we can see the numerical values of the aleph (1) and the tav (400). This reminds us that when the Titanic (the world) goes down, we can only rely on Jesus (the aleph and the tav) to save us from the icy waters.
See this link for more info on the eclipse. If you want to see a total solar eclipse after the April 8, 2024 date from the United States, you won’t get the chance again until 2045.
Here is something very interesting. If you put the paths of the 2017 total solar eclipse and the 2024 total solar eclipse on the U.S. map, they form what looks like a large X. Well, as you’ve learned earlier in this post, the pictograph associated with the Hebrew letter TAV is shaped like two crossed sticks, or a cross. But, over time this morphed into an X. See the picture below.
Eventually, the letter came to look like what it does today– as seen in the picture as well.
Here’s a picture my son drew of the two eclipses on the United States map. It looks like a big X doesn’t it?
In essence, it looks like a giant TAV is being formed from these eclipses which are almost 7 years apart (August 2017-April 2024).
What does this mean?
I can’t say for sure, but I find it interesting that TAV’s meaning is: a covenant, mark or sign. The first eclipse on August 21, 2017 marked our land as the month of Elul was beginning on the Hebrew calendar. This is known as the month of repentance and the shofar (trumpet) is blasted every day in the synagogue during this special time (for more info on Elul, check out these links).
I believe the eclipse touching only our land at this time of repentance was a sign that we need to repent as a nation! For more info, read this blogpost I wrote back in 2017. This next eclipse is hitting close to Passover in 2024, but it’s this one that will complete the TAV (the X) on the map. In a way, perhaps this is marking our nation because TAV means a mark. Additionally, it can be a sign to our nation and the world because TAV also means a sign. With TAV equaling 400 in biblical numbers, it could be pointing to a release from bondage. When I say a “release from bondage” I am referring to the fact that people need to look up to Jesus for their redemption. At some point, we will receive the ultimate release from bondage when the Rapture happens and Jesus’ bride is taken to heaven. But no one knows the day or the hour.
I cannot predict Jesus’ return at the Rapture, but I can tell you one thing–the world is preparing to institute a digital currency, as well as a One World Government. America has always been a bastion of freedom and in many ways a nation that’s held back evil. But at this point it’s going the same direction as the Titanic. The world is spiraling, but we are placing our hope in the One who has complete control over everything, from the beginning to the end- the Aleph and the Tav.
I can’t say for sure what the eclipses mean and I certainly don’t want to predict, but I do know that Genesis 1:14 says that God uses the sun, the moon and the stars for signs and seasons. Remember when I told you the Hebrew word for signs (owth) has three letters in it and two of them are the aleph and the tav! What are the chances? Do you want to know what the third letter in the word signs is? It’s the Hebrew letter vav and the pictograph for this is…….are you ready… wait for it………. a nail. This letter has a numerical value of six and this number points to man.
Jesus, the aleph and the tav, was pierced by nails (vav) for mankind’s sins! Wow!
Since the 2017 eclipse so much has happened in the world that I don’t have the space to explain! I guess you’ll have to wait for my next book on eclipses, though you probably have lots of ideas spinning in your mind already! Truly, I am working on a book about all the eclipses we’ve had since 2014 and also the ones arriving in the future. But that’s for another time.
For now, my main goal was for you to see the amazing connection of the Aleph and the Tav to Jesus, who is the First and the Last. No matter what’s happening in the world or in your life, the Aleph and the Tav (Jesus) has all things under his control. He was there at the beginning and he will be there at the end– but if you have received Jesus as your Savior there really isn’t an end! There is only the eternal.
Have a blessed Passover and just in case you haven’t heard this today…….JESUS LOVES YOU!
This year Passover arrives at sundown on April 15, 2022 and lasts until sundown on April 23. The Titanic hit the iceberg on April 14 and sank on April 15, 1912. Even if the world sinks, we are on the lifeboat with Jesus. One day, we will FLY to our eternal home.
Hebrew for Christians
Secrets of the Aleph
Video that shows Jesus would die on the cross in Genesis 1:1 (this helped me with all the visuals above, as well as breaking down the scripture.
The Great American Eclipse