What did the early Church do with converts?
How Jesus appears right at the start of the Bible!
Hidden in plain sight? Well, it’s true if you are a Hebrew reader. Here’s the first verse of Genesis, in its original Hebrew.
Bereshit bara elohim et hashamayim ve’et ha‘aretz
And here it is in the more familiar English:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
We are going to focus on just word here, the fourth Hebrew word and one that is not translated into English. It’s the word ‘et’ and it is dead centre in the verse. In Hebrew it is just two letters, the Aleph and the tav, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This may get you thinking. First and last? Aleph and tav? Where have I heard that before?
Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last. My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together. (Isaiah 48:12-13)
God, the first and the last, the Creator Himself, including Himself dead centre in this first verse in the Bible. God, the Creator, identifying Himself in the creation of the heavens and the earth, the spiritual realms and the physical world.
We can take this further and now it gets very interesting indeed. This Hebrew word, ‘et’, elsewhere in Scripture, when it is translated, takes the meaning of “sign”.
Then the LORD said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second. (Exodus 4:8)
Also, Hebrew being a pictorial language, every letter has a practical association. The first letter of ‘et’ is the aleph, pictorially depicting an ox, or a leader, a strong leader. The last letter, tav, pictorially is depicted by a cross. So, we have food for thought, in that first verse in the Bible, a sign of the alpha and omega, depicted as a strong leader and a cross.
It doesn’t take much imagination, of course, to see Jesus here, loud and clear. Not just here but in the hundreds of other places the word ‘et’ appears throughout the Old Testament.
Here’s a familiar example:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
How marvellous is this? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign, will give you an alpha and omega, will give you a … Jesus!
Next week, we will return to those first verses in Genesis and look closer at what is meant by the Word of God.
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