Listening or seeing – which is more important?
Was Jesus in the first verse of the Bible?
We all know the very first verse in the Bible.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
What does the Hebraic mind have to say about this foundational verse? The first thing we note is that it is the original Hebrew, not the English translation that is considered.
Bereshit bara elohim et hashamayim ve'et ha'aretz
In the beginning created God the heavens the earth
The Hebraic mind would look not just at the meaning of the words, but at the words themselves, and the letters of the words. But first of all it would look at the plain simple meaning of the text and would meditate on this. But then it would go further and deeper. It would ponder over the fact that this verse has 7 words and wonder why. Then it would ask why the first letter of the verse, in fact of the whole Bible, is a "B" and not an "A". Some have suggested that the "B" is referring to a big blessing (bracha) over Creation. They would also note that the first word, in Hebrew, bereshit, actually contains the second word, bara, reinforcing the truth that creation is truly at the beginning, and nothing came before it.
But, most wonderful of all, it would look at the words and wonder why the untranslatable word "et" was included dead centre in the verse, noticing that the two Hebrew letters in it are the Aleph and the Tav, the first and last letters of the alphabet. The Hebraic mind could perhaps take this further and think, 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.
But a Christian Hebraic mind could 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 mundane 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, with the meaning of a "sign". 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 ...
And all God's people said ... Wow!
(This is an abridged extract from Steve's book 'To life')