Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Hebrew Letter "ב" Beit

The second letter in the Hebrew alphabet is the ב beit. Its meaning is “house”. In the ancient pictographic Hebrew it was a symbol resembling a tent on a landscape. (see figure 1) It is interesting that if you turn this ancient beit 90 degreed clockwise it becomes our modern lowercase “b”, the second letter in our modern alphabet.

In the original Hebrew manuscripts as well as Torah scrolls to this day, there are what is referred to as “jots and tittles”. Remember what Yeshua said about “jots and tittles”?

Matthew 5:18 KJV For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

In the very first word of the Bible is what is known as a “tittle”. A tittle is an anomaly in the text, a letter that is larger or smaller then the others, a missing or added letter in a word or name from the standard spelling, a gap in the text or even an upside down letter. Jots and tittles add a depth of meaning to the word of God that Bible translators over the centuries have chosen to ignore. In order to restore this deeper meaning, we have to go back and study the original text. So let’s look at the very first verse of the Bible in the original Hebrew. (see figure 2)

Notice that the very first letter of the first word is enlarged. It is the beit, or the “house”. It is as if the entire body of scripture is flowing out of the house through the open door. Whose house is it? All the clues are in the very first word. The first word of Genesis in Hebrew is בראשית breshit, pronounced brasheet and is translated in to three English words “in the beginning”. The first three letters tell us whose house all these words come from.

The second letter is the ר resh. Along with the first letter, ב beit form the word בר bar, the Hebrew word for son. The third letter is the Aleph, and we know that the Aleph represents God the father. So from the “house” comes the Son of God. This is further established by looking at the other 5 letters of the word breshit. This is another Hebrew word, ראשית “resheth”, which means “first Fruits” and we know that the Son of God is the first fruits of the resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:20 NKJV But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

In addition, the first three letters form the Hebrew  ברא bara, which means “created”. Notice that this is the same as the second complete word in the Hebrew text. So God the Father, represented by the aleph א, with the Son בר Bar, together created ברא (bara) the entire universe. So when we read the strange plural translation in Genesis 1:26

Genesis 1:26 NKJV 26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;…”

We now begin to understand the “Us” referred to here is God the Father and the Son together. This is not inconsistent with Hebrew thought. In the Shema, a cornerstone of Jewish theology, found in Deuteronomy chapter 6 beginning with verse 4, and a part of the daily prayer life of a devout Jew, we find the Hebrew word “echad”, which is translated in English as “one”. But the word, echad, is in a semi-plural form. It represents a “composite unity”, a sum that is greater than its parts but is nothing without all its parts. The Father and the Son together are a “composite unity” who created (bara) the entire universe!

This concept of the Son being a composite unity with the father is further illustrated in the Gospel of John.

John 1:1-3 MKJV In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and without Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being.

The richness of God’s word comes alive when we look a little deeper and come to understand it in its original language. When he comes to take us home, let Him find us in His house studying His words.

Figure 1

                                                                             Figure 2

שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart

1 comment:

  1. Awesome article! Thanks for posting it! I learned a great deal.
    Chris McCleve
    Provo Ut


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