Alphabetic Prophets - Part One

The earliest Hebrew letters were pictograms, or symbolic pictures. The meaning of Hebrew words were illustrated by the letters or pictograms used. Long ago, Jewish rabbis determined that the letters of the Hebrew alphabet had meaning. A great example is Psalm 119 which is clearly noted to be alphabetic, and the groups of verses demonstrate the alphabetic meaning. I admit that the meanings of some letters are easier to see than others. For more information on alphabetic designs please see Alphabetic Designs

In my study of the fascinating Messianic Prophets (also known as the Minor Prophets), I found that there is an alphabetic design beginning with the first prophet, Hosea, continuing through the twelve books and concluding with the last prophet, Malachi. These alphabetic designs help give us insight into the Lord’s Word, but they also are further confirmation of the unity of the Bible.

Here are the designs I found:

1) Aleph – (which means) God as Creator and King - Hosea 1:1-3:5 This passage is about God’s relationship with Israel. The Lord says “I will” thirty-three times in twenty-seven verses. It ends with Israel returning to seek the Lord as their God in the last days.

2) Beit - (which means) House and Temple - Hosea 4:1-14:9 This entire passage is about the House of Israel.

3) Gimel - (which means) Loving kindness and culmination - Joel 1:1-3:21 The Book of Joel is about the Lord’s loving kindness to Israel. Four times He says that Israel will never again be an object of scorn, be ashamed (two times), or be invaded by foreigners. Joel describes the final culmination of history when Israel’s sins will be pardoned by the Lord.

4) Dalet - (which means) The door; the way or path - Amos 1:1-9:7 The Prophet Amos describes the terrible path or way of the destruction of Israeli in 722 B.C.

5) Hay - (which means) The breath of God; grace - Amos 9:8-9:15 The Lord will show grace to Israel by bringing them back to their land and planting them there, never again to be uprooted.

6) Vav - (which means) Completion and redemption - Obadiah 1-21 The Book of Obadiah is about the complete destruction of Edom. “There will be no survivors of the House of Esau.” (verse 18)

7) Zayin - (which means) Sustenance and struggle; affliction - Jonah1;1-2:10 These two chapters chronicle Jonah’s struggle with the Lord, and his affliction.

8) Chet - (which means) Transcendence, life and grace - Jonah 3:1-4:11 In the conclusion of Jonah, the Lord shows His grace and spares the lives of the people of Ninevah.

9) Tet - (which means) Serpent and objective good - Micah1:1-3:12 Israel is punished because they followed the ways of Satan (the serpent). Out of this bad situation will come the objective good; the mercy and grace of God will be demonstrated.

There is more to this fascinating Hebrew alphabetic pattern which will continue in Part Two.

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