WORD PICTURES IN THE ANCIENT SCRIPT

A closer look at some names and words in their pictographic form

Shabbat Shalom all,

As you will all know very well, that I love to dig into the meanings of the original Hebrew words, as it gives us greater insight into seeing the Word become so much more alive for us, enabling us to further understand the true life that we find in Scripture. What I also find very interesting to look at, from time to time, is not only the meaning of the words and their roots, but also digging even deeper into their ancient pictographic form, where each letter is depicted as an individual picture that, in itself, can carry some very powerful insight, especially when seeing the groupings of these picture forms being used to spell out the words we read. While there is always the danger of possibly seeing more into some words than meets the eye, what I love about the study of the ancient Hebrew words, is that we can find their substantive meaning very clear, when the witness and evidence of the text which we are reading provides for us the clear context of our interpretation of the pictographic letters. Tonight I want to show you a few names or words in Scripture, as seen in their early pictographic form. My message tonight is called, “WORD PICTURES IN THE ANCIENT SCRIPT”!

We will begin tonight by looking at Aḇram, to whom the Covenant promise of being the father of many nations was given.

Berěshith/Genesis 17: 1-7 “And it came to be when Aḇram was ninety-nine years old, that יהוה appeared to Aḇram and said to him, “I am Ěl Shaddai – walk before Me and be perfect. 2 “And I give My covenant between Me and you, and shall greatly increase you.” 3 And Aḇram fell on his face, and Elohim spoke with him, saying, 4 “As for Me, look, My covenant is with you, and you shall become a father of many nations. 5 “And no longer is your name called Aḇram, but your name shall be Araham, because I shall make you a father of many nations. 6 “And I shall make you bear fruit exceedingly, and make nations of you, and sovereigns shall come from you. 7 “And I shall establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be Elohim to you and your seed after you.

It is here that we see Aḇram’s name being changed to Aḇraham, and so I would like us to look at his name in its pictographic form:

memreshbeitaleph

אַבְרָם Aḇram – Strong’s H87, means, exalted father which is pictured as:

aleph  - this is first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is called ‘aleph’ and in the ancient script is pictured as, ‘the head of an ox’, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!

 beit   - this is the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is called ‘bet’ which in the ancient script is pictured as a ‘tent floor plan’, and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents ‘family’ and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.

resh    - this is the letter ‘resh’- which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief.

 mem   - this is the letter ‘mem’,  which in the early script is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture.

 

The head and strength of the House, is the mighty chief

The name of Aḇraham, reveals for us, through the pictographic form of his name, just who our head and Chief of a Covenanted people is! As we read above, his name was changed from Aḇram to Aḇraham:

אַבְרָהָם Aḇraham – Strong’s H85 means, father of a multitude, chief of multitude which is pictured with an additional letter ‘הָ’ (the letter hey), and is pictured in the ancient text as:

memheyreshbeitaleph

The extra letter that was added to his name:

  hey   - this is the Hebrew letter ‘hey’, which in the ancient script is pictured as a ‘man standing with his arms raised out’. The Hebrew word “hey” means “behold”, as when looking at a great sight. This word can also mean “breath” or “sigh” as when one sighs in amazement when looking at a great sight. The meaning of the letter hey is “behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation”; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!

 

The Name of Aḇraham now reveals who our Head and Chief is!!! The Covenant of Elohim is established through the revelation of יהושע Messiah who offered Himself for all, who is the seed to which the promises were spoken to Aḇraham, and pictured through Yitsḥaq, who was offered on the slaughter place unto Elohim:

Galatiyim/Galatians 3:16 “But the promises were spoken to Aḇraham, and to his Seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11:17-19 “By belief, Aḇraham, when he was tried, offered up Yitsḥaq, and he who had received the promises offered up his only brought-forth son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Yitsḥaq your seed shall be called,” 19 reckoning that Elohim was able to raise, even from the dead, from which he received him back, as a type.

What is worth taking note of when considering to whom the Covenant Promises were given, and to whom they were not, we are able to recognise this clear division of those who walk according to the flesh and those who walk in the Spirit. As we look at another two names in Scripture – both who were born to Aḇraham – we are able to see one who would represent a people of the Covenant promises spoken to Aḇraham and his Seed, and one who would not. In these two names we are able to identify the fate of those who walk according to the flesh and shall die, as opposed to those who walk according to the Spirit and live:

Romiyim/Romans 8:1 “There is, then, now no condemnation to those who are in Messiah יהושע, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Romiyim/Romans 8:5-8 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the matters of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the matters of the Spirit. 6 For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. 7 Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards Elohim, for it does not subject itself to the Torah of Elohim, neither indeed is it able, 8 and those who are in the flesh are unable to please Elohim.

Romiyim/Romans 8:13 “For if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live.

 

Let us first look at יִשְׁמָעֵאל Yishma’ĕl – Strong’s H3458 which means, El hears, my El hears, El hears me, and in the ancient script his name is pictured as:

lamedalephayinmemshinyad

 yad  - this is letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!

 shin - this is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’, which is what the teeth do and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or meditate on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.

mem  - this is the letter ‘mem’,  which in the early script is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture.

ayin  - this is the Hebrew letter ‘ayin’, which is pictured as an ‘eye’ and carries the meaning ‘to watch, pay attention, take heed, look’ in the understanding of ‘keeping one’s eye on something’ and illustrates the importance of what one sets their eyes upon.

aleph - this is first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is called ‘aleph’ and in the ancient script is pictured as, ‘the head of an ox’, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!

 lamed   - this is the Hebrew letter ‘lamed’, which is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing ‘authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

When looking at Yishma’ĕl’s name in the pictographic form we can see how he represents those who walk in the flesh and despise the authority of Elohim, and in doing so their works of the flesh will see them being destroyed before Elohim!

Looking at this pictographic form the following verses becomes clear:

Berěshith/Genesis 16:11-13 “And the Messenger of יהוה said to her, “See, you are conceiving and bearing a son, and shall call his name Yishmaĕl, because יהוה has heard your affliction. 12 “And he is to be a wild man, his hand against everyone and every one’s hand against him, and dwell over against all his brothers.” 13 And she called the Name of יהוה who spoke to her, “You are the Ěl who sees,” for she said, “Even here have I seen after Him who sees me?

Clearly pictured in his name, is the one whose hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him – and this Elohim sees! Pictured through Yishma’ĕl, we can see the picture of strife that would come between those who walk according to the flesh and those who walk in the Spirit!

As we look at Yitsḥaq’s name, we can see the true difference of a people of the Covenant Promise:

יִצְחָק YitsḥaqStrong’s H3327 means, He laughs, and in the ancient script is pictured as:

quphchettsadeyyad

 yad  - this is letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!

tsadey   - this is the Hebrew letter ‘tsadey’, which is pictured in the ancient script as ‘a man on his side’, and it can represent the act of lying on one’s side in order to hunt or chase, when crouching I concealment, as well as laying one’s self down for another. We can also see how this can represent that which comes forth from the side! This can also picture for us a fish hook, giving us the meaning of ‘hunt or fish’.

chet   - this is the Hebrew letter ‘ḥet’, which in the early script is pictured as a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent, or can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’.

quph  - this is the Hebrew letter ‘quph’, which is pictured in the ancient script as a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity.

The meaning of his name carries a powerful picture of how יהוה, through the work our His hands, ‘laughs at His enemies’.

Tehillim/Psalm 2:4-7 “He who is sitting in the heavens laughs, יהוה mocks at them. 5 Then He speaks to them in His wrath, And troubles them in His rage, saying, 6 “But I, I have set My Sovereign on Tsiyon, My set-apart mountain.” 7 “I inscribe for a law: יהוה has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have brought You forth.

When we recognise that Yishma’ĕl was a man of the bow, a hunter, then Yitsḥaq’s name, as pictured in the ancient text can have a twofold meaning, depending on ‘which side of the wall’ you are on! His name could represent for us: The outstretched arm and hand of Elohim, who as a man, laid down His life in the flesh, in order to establish His Covenants of Promise, for all eternity. We who were once far off from the Covenants of Promise have been brought near by the Blood of Messiah, who was pierced in His side, and established His secure promises for us who are built up in Him. Yitsḥaq’s name can also picture for us a severe warning and rebuke for those who walk according to the flesh, as we can see that the works of the hunter shall be cut off for all time!

The life of Yitsḥaq is a clear shadow picture of יהושע Messiah, by the sacrifice that Aḇraham was asked to make of Yitsḥaq, in offering up His son to Elohim, who established His Covenant with Aḇraham and promised His blessing upon Him for not withholding his son.

Berěshith/Genesis 22:15-18 “And the Messenger of יהוה called to Aḇraham a second time from the heavens, 16 and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares יהוה, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 that I shall certainly bless you, and I shall certainly increase your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore, and let your seed possess the gate of their enemies. 18 “And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.

 

As a people who walk according to the Spirit, we are able to have full confidence in our Master, High priest and King, and are now able to faithfully serve our Master in the priestly order of Malkitseḏeq!  Malkitseḏeq was the ‘King of Shalĕm’, who Aḇraham was blessed by, and who Aḇraham paid tithes to – and is a clear shadow picture and reference to יהושע Messiah, our eternal Creator, Redeemer and King, who has no beginning or end!

This king of Shalĕm came out to the sovereigns valley to meet with Aḇram after his victory of Keḏorlaʽomer and the sovereigns who were with him, and brought Aḇram bread and wine and blessed him. מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶק Malkitseḏeq – Strong’s H4442 means, my king is righteouswhich comes from the two words: מֶלֶךְ Meleḵ - Strong’s H4428 meaning, king and צֶדֶק tseḏeq – Strong’s H6664 which means, righteous, just, righteousness’, and so here we have a picture of Messiah – our High Priest and King who by His own blood has provided us with the True Bread and Wine which we partake of in the Pěsaḥ meal and recognise how He has delivered us from the enemies hand and defeated death at the grave, removing the curse of the Torah, which is death, and nailing it (death) to the stake!

מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶק Malkitseḏeq – Strong’s H4442 which means, my king is righteous, in the ancient script looks like this:

quphdalettsadeyyadkaphlamedmem

mem   - this is the letter ‘mem’,  which in the early script is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture.

lamed     - this is the Hebrew letter ‘lamed’, which is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing ‘authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

kaph   - this is the Hebrew letter ‘kuph’, which is pictured as ‘an open hand’, and the meaning behind this letter is to ‘bend and curve’ (from the shape of a palm), as well as to ‘tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises ‘submission’. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape, picturing our praise to the One to whom we submit.

yad   - this is letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!

tsadey   - this is the Hebrew letter ‘tsadey’, which is pictured in the ancient script as ‘a man on his side’, and it can represent the act of lying on one’s side in order to hunt or chase, when crouching I concealment, as well as laying one’s self down for another. We can also see how this can represent that which comes forth from the side! This can also picture for us a fish hook, giving us the meaning of ‘hunt or fish’.

dalet  - this is the letter ‘dalet’- which in the ancient script is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement, as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access.

quph  - this is the Hebrew letter ‘quph’, which is pictured in the ancient script as a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity.

From these 7 letters we can see how Messiah has indeed become High Priest forever in the order of Malkitseḏeq, and the individual pictures of this High Priest and King of Shalĕm can render for us the meaning of: The nations that are led by the Hand, and submit to, the One who lay down His life for us, for He is the Door to eternal life in Him! Or

The Mighty Righteous King to whom we submit and give our praise, has revealed His Outstretched Arm and Hand, and is the One who laid down His life for us, giving us access to eternal life with Him!

We, as children of the promise, are equipped to give our lives as a daily living sacrifice unto Elohim, as we faithfully submit to and walk in His commands!

Galatiyim/Galatians 4:28-31 “And we, brothers, as Yitsḥaq was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him born according to the Spirit, so also now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the female servant and her son, for the son of the female servant shall by no means be heir with the son of the free woman.” 31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the female servant but of the free woman.

 Children of the Promise are children of the free woman – this is a clear lesson on how we walk according to the Torah of Freedom, for the it was the children of the free woman that went to Mount Sinai to receive the Covenant of Marriage from Elohim! Those who say there is no need for Torah observance, are misled in their understanding, for those without the Torah are children of the slave woman, and can never serve as a royal priesthood in the order of Malkitseḏeq.

These are just a couple of the names I wanted to show you tonight, and in closing I want to show you one more word – a word that is often dodged as a sensitive topic, yet when we understand that which Aḇraham, our father in the faith did, and look at this in its ancient pictographic form, we are able to get greater confidence and clarity on being faithful in our loving-commitment toward our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah. The word I am referring to is ‘tithes’. The Hebrew word for ‘tithes’ is מַעֲשֵׂר ma’aser – Strong’s H4643tenth part, tithe’. We read in Berěshith/Genesis 14:20 that Aḇram gave Malkitseḏeq a tenth/tithe of all. We also read in:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 7:4-6 “Now see how great this one was, to whom even the ancestor Aḇraham gave a tenth of the choicest booty. 5 And truly, those who are of the sons of Lĕwi, who receive the priesthood, have a command to receive tithes from the people according to the Torah, that is, from their brothers, though they have come from the loins of Aḇraham, 6 however, the one whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Aḇraham, and blessed the one who held the promises.

The Lĕwitical priesthood and its functions serve as a type or picture of how we now serve in the order of Malkitseḏeq, as tithes are still valid, and are given to those whom Messiah has appointed to serve and teach in equipping and building up of the body of Messiah unto maturity in Him. Let us look at this word in its ancient form:

מַעֲשֵׂר ma’aser – Strong’s H4643tenth part, tithe in the ancient script look like:

reshshinayinmem

mem   - this is the letter ‘mem’,  which in the early script is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture.

ayin   - this is the Hebrew letter ‘ayin’, which is pictured as an ‘eye’ and carries the meaning ‘to watch, pay attention, take heed, look’ in the understanding of ‘keeping one’s eye on something’ and illustrates the importance of what one sets their eyes upon.

shin   - this is the letter ‘sin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’, which is what the teeth do and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or meditate on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.

 resh   - this is the letter ‘resh’- which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief.

From this pictographic description of this word we can see the following:

The nations have seen the destruction of the Head/first born!

יהוה told Aḇraham that He would make him a great nation, and then asked Aḇraham to sacrifice his only son (Yitsḥaq was the ‘only son’ according to the Promise). The word for ‘tithe’ can in many ways picture Aḇraham (the great nation), seeing the destruction of the first son (the son of the promise). Understanding this picture, we can also see how the tithe can in many ways represent the act that was reciprocated by Elohim, in part, due to Aḇraham’s obedience, and so Elohim ‘gave of  Himself’ as seen in His ‘Outstretched Arm and Hand’ as revealed through the ‘firstborn of all creation’ - יהושע Messiah – The Right Hand of Elohim! At the death of Messiah on the stake, the nations saw the destruction of Elohim’s firstborn, who is the head of all creation! Aḇraham ‘tithed’ to Malkitseḏeq, after having been blessed by him, and Aḇraham’s grandson, Lĕwi, got credit for it, as he received ‘tithes’ from the rest of the nation! Bearing in mind that Lĕwi means ‘joined to’, we see how we have become a royal priesthood, having been grafted in and joined to the Body of Messiah by His own Blood, and can therefore faithfully give back to Him, our all! 

Let us therefore look at Lĕwi in the ancient script to get a better understanding of the authority under which we are led, having been joined to our Head and King, יהושע Messiah – who has, by His own blood secured for us His Covenant Promises in Him, having worked redemption through Him taking the punishment of death on a stake, having nailed death to the stake, giving all who call upon Him the ability to be joined to Him, as Head, High Priest and King, making us, who are in Him, a royal priesthood that are able to serve in Him Spirit and Truth and walk with confidence in the Spirit, putting to death the flesh!

Lĕwi – לֵוִי – Strong’s H3878 meaning, joined to, and in the ancient script looks like:

yadwawlamed

lamed     - this is the Hebrew letter ‘lamed’, which is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing ‘authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

waw      - this is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope form slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.

yad   - this is the Hebrew letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!

By the Blood of Messiah we have been joined to Him and submit under His Authority, by His securing for us as a priesthood in His Covenant, through the work of His Hand

What better reason can you think of, regarding being faithful with your tithes and offerings, than to simply understand the true work of Messiah, and how יהוה Himself came down and blessed us in giving us of Himself, causing us to be a people who have been joined to Him, and in response give your all, in complete obedience, with ‘tithes’ simply being the beginning of the active obedience to which the body of Messiah faithfully responds to!

In understanding just a few of the Word pictures we are able to dissect in the Scriptures, we can be encouraged to be a joyful people who have been called out of darkness into the Marvellous Light of our High Priest and King, and as children of the Promise who walk according to the Spirit, we can with great joy give our Father in the Heavens the praise that is due to His Name!

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!