Monday, 4 June 2018

Reading who God is in pictures

Can you remember those cvc children's books where you start off by reading in written text and every now and then a word is substituted by a picture in the sentence?

As children play

Well, ancient text writing started out exactly like that. Written language (or text) was a mere system of simple pictures (pictographs or symbols) organized in such a way that whoever reads it would read the same message again and again.

Ancient Hebrew, as one of the first written languages, is just like that. The written Hebrew text developed from symbols (letters) and words that were really drawings or pictures of everyday life.

The picture of life

During these ancient times a certain fixed meaning, attribute or value derived from its origin was also attached to each one of these symbols (letters).

Modern Hebrew text is drawn from those ancient word-pictures.

Here is the amazing thing

When we read these symbols or letters today in scripture they provide us with the most brilliant, picturesque images and amplifications ever imaginable.

The original meaning associated with every symbol provides us with even further details of what is actually meant.

So let's read who God is in pictures

We"ll look at some pictures reading from when God revealed Himself to Moses in the book of Exodus in the Restored Name King James Version (RKJV) Bible. This translation restores the Name of God (YHVH or יהוה) (tetragrammaton) translated in the King James (KJV) and other English versions as "LORD".

In old covenant times scribes and translators of the Hebrew scriptures at some point in history replaced the original יהוה or YHVH with Adonai or Lord for various reasons. The main reason being a fear of the possibility of transgressing the third commandment Thou shalt have no other gods before me during the translation processes Exo 20:3.

The word "LORD" was restored in the RKJV to the modern Hebrew tetragrammaton (יהוה). However, in this post we will also be looking at some ancient picture-words and their associated meanings that you can easily follow from here. You can follow the meaning of some words from a Blue Letter Bible.

Who does God say He is?

And יהוה passed by before him, and proclaimed, יהוה יהוה -El, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth Exo 34:6 [RKJV]

Or ... in the Blue Letter Bible KJV:

And the LORD H3068 passed by H5674 before him, H6440 and proclaimed, H7121 The LORD H3068 The LORD H3068 God H410 merciful H7349 and gracious, H2587 longsuffering, H750 H639 and abundant H7227 in goodness H2617 and truth, H571 Exo 34:6 [KJV]

Now let's analyse 

God uses five words to describe Himself: (1) Merciful; (2) Gracious; (3) Longsuffering; (4) abounding Goodness; and (5) abounding Truth.

We'll analyse the modern Hebrew followed by the ancient Pictograph.

In the original text God does not reveal Himself as LORD (LORD is Adonai in Hebrew which the scribes used to replace יהוה). God reveals Himself as יהוה.

So we should start with His name first ...

יהוה or Yahveh

יהוה in Hebrew means To Be or Be - The Self-existing One. Note the repetitive use (יהוה יהוה). In Hebrew word repetition denotes the superlative form of the word, thus rendering it Ultimate Being.

In ancient Hebrew text the four Hebrew letters are really four pictures. So, reading from right to left (as is done in Hebrew) we discover the following four pictures that spells out a sentence.

י - Hand
ה - Open window (Grace)
ו - Nail
ה - Open window (Grace)

Thus the Pictograph reads: The Hand of Grace Nailed by Grace! JESUS!

Word 1 Mercy - רחם or râcham

The modern Hebrew root word râcham (or רחם) means to love deeply (compassionately).

The ancient Hebrew word-picture again forms three pictures that we can read sensibly:

ר - The head of a man (The Highest Person)
ח - Fence in (reveals)
ם - blood.

The Most-High reveals His Blood - JESUS!

Word 2 Gracious - חנן or chânan

The Hebrew root word chânan (or חנן) means to bend; stoop or move one-self in kindness or favor; to show ultimate favour; so as to beseech.

The ancient word-picture depicts:

ח - Fence in (reveals)
נ - Seed (Life)
ן - (variation symbol) Seed (Life)

The word-picture reads: Revealed origin of Life - again, Jesus! Ultimate Life!

Word 3 Patient - אָרֵךְ 'ârak אָנַף 'ânaph

The Hebrew root word or 'ârak (or אָרֵךְ) means patient or slow and the root word 'ânaph (or אָנַףmeans displeased. The concept here being not easily displeased.

The ancient word-picture depicts:

'ârak  (or אָרֵךְ) -
אָ - Ox (power or strength or leader)
רֵ - Man (highest person)
ךְ - Back of the head (last, behind)

The power of the Highest lacks behind.

'ânaph (or אָנַף) -
אָ - Ox (power or strength or leader)
נ - Seed (Life)
ף - Mouth (speak, word)

The power of Life is the Word.

The two words together says: The power of the Highest stands behind the power of life in the Word.

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power Heb 1:3.


The next two words are both in conjunction with what is translated in the KJV as abundant from the Hebrew word rab that means increasing or multiplying (becoming more and more).

Word 4 Goodness - חֵסֵד chêsêd

The Hebrew root word chêsêd (or חֵסֵד) means beauty, favour, goodness, kindly-hearty, loving-kindness. It is Grace Himself.

The ancient word picture pictures:

ח - Fence in (reveals)
סֵ - Hand on a staff (to turn)
ד - Door, pathway (entrance)

The word-picture reads: What is revealed turns you to the door. Remember our post on the Door?

Word 5 Truth - אֶמֶת 'emeth

The Hebrew root word 'emeth (or אֶמֶת) means to be certain, to be stable, to be established, to be assured.

The ancient word picture pictures:

אָ - Ox (power or strength or leader)
מֶ blood
ת - Cross (covenant, seal)

In the Hebrew aleph-beth the word contains the first letter, the last letter and one in the middle. How relevant is this to the Truth?! Jesus is the First and the Last and Everything In-between!

Jesus said so (Rev 22:13, Rev 1:8, etc,). Remember our post on the Aleph Tav and Grace?

The word-picture reads: The power of the Blood is the seal.

Can we please read the whole Picture contained in this verse?

The Hand of Grace nailed by Grace reveals the Blood of the Most High, His ultimate Life confirming the Word of His power that is multiplied being revealed to turn towards the Door. The Power of the Blood is His Seal.

Isn't it just amazing how that Jesus is being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high? Heb 1:3

... the Gospel of Grace!
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