Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Hebrew letter hey

  She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from afar.     Proverbs 31:14

How many of you knew that the Proverbs 31 woman is written as an acrostic? An acrostic uses a Hebrew letter to paint a picture of what is being taught. Proverbs 31:14 springs from the Hebrew letter hey (or hei). The word for hey is often translated "behold." When Y'shua says "behold" it is a flag word, he is about to give you insight from heaven, understanding that you cannot see without the Spirit of God.

This ancient image of the hey is one of my favorites. I use it in my Bible to tag the word "behold" and what comes after it. If you are someone who writes in your Bible you should try this sometime. The things you can learn are fun. YHVH the LORD uses this fifth letter to indicate revelation of spiritual things. The sound you make when you say the word hey is a very breathy sound. You probably already know that the word for spirit and the word for wind are the same word in both Hebrew and Greek. How the word is used in a sentence determines how it is translated into English. The more I learn Hebrew (and I really do not know it beyond a first grade level, if that well), the more I wonder how frustrating translation work must have been at times with words like Spirit and wind.

Hey represents the breath of God, the Spirit, the wind, that gives life to the word of God. I wonder if you are like me in thinking that at the immersion (baptism) of Y'shua-Jesus we were given a fantastic picture of the breath of God (the Spirit) giving life to the Word of God, made flesh. A rare moment when the Breath of God was manifest as a dove (dove and tears are the same Hebrew word with different vowel marks, the passage, if translated from Hebrew, could read ...I saw the Spirit descend as tears from heaven...). On the day that you submit to that new life, what Christians call, "born again" the breath of God, the Spirit, will likewise quietly fill your heart, tho it will not be a visible filling and you will not hear the "well done" until your finish your time on earth and meet YHVH face to face in Heaven.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!  This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me.' I myself did not know him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel." And John bore witness, "I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God." John 1:29-34
The letter hey was used to show God's eternal covenant with both Abraham and his wife Sarah. By adding the letter hey to their names, no one would ever again say their name without the breathy sound of the Spirit. An eternal reminder of YHVH's filling in their lives. The same thing happened to Jonathan, the dear friend of King David, but it is impossible to see in English.

I did my preschool lessons on the letter hey in another acrostic, Psalm 119: 33-40. where I first learned that the divine breath, the Spirit of YHVH is cause of all I receive from the Word of God. I've made some changes to the passage to fit the orginal Hebrew instead of the often anti-Torah translation.
Psalm 119:33-40 Hey 
33 Teach me (point the way), O YHVH, the way of thy appointments (as the feast days); and I will keep (guard and protect) it to the end. 
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep (guard and protect) thy Torah and observe (hedge with thorns) it with my whole heart (the heart is the shepherds house in Hebrew pictograph). 
35 Lead me in the path of thy commandments (mitsvah generally the 10 commandments, but all God's commands are included), for I delight in it. 
36 Incline (stretch me out, turn me to see--the picture of me as the little stick figure lifting my hands in wonder!) my heart to thy testimonies (evidence, the witness given), and not to gain (covetousness, a discontent with what I have)! 
37 Turn (cover) my eyes from looking at vanities (idolatry, evil, paganism that is folded into worship of the true God who has told us how he will be worshipped); and give me life in thy way
38 Confirm (cause me to stand or take a stand) to thy bond-servant thy promise, which is for those who fear (moral reverence) thee. 
39 Turn away (carry, to pass or cross over) the reproach (shame) which I dread; for thy ordinances (mishpat- legal judgements, Torah based decisions) are good. 
40 Behold, I long for thy precepts (from a root meaning "visits" precepts are times with God in His Torah, during the "appointed feasts" or anytime our focus is on God); in thy righteousness give me life! 
I'll end this pretty study on the Hebrew letter hey with one of my favorite Amy Carmichael poems, The Flame.
From prayer that asks that I may be sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,  
From fearing when I should aspire, from faltering when I should climb higher 
From silken self, O Captain , free thy soldier who would follow Thee.
From subtle love of softening things, from easy choices, weakenings, 
(Not thus are spirits fortified, not this way went the Crucified) 
From all that dims thy Calvary O Lamb of God, deliver me.
Give me the love that leads the way, the faith that nothing can dismay
The hope no disappointments tire, the passion that will burn like fire; 
Let me not sink to be a clod; make me thy fuel, Flame of God.

1 comment:

  1. if only to have our names changed as Sarah and Abraham did.