Alphabetic Designs

The Hebrew alphabet is composed of twenty-two letters. Over the centuries and millennia, the rabbis have found that each letter of the alphabet has a meaning as listed below. David the psalmist was apparently aware of these meanings, because they are included in his alphabetic design of Psalm 119. Most translations include the Hebrew letter before each section of eight verses in this psalm.

Some letter meanings are easier to see than others. The fourth letter, Dalet, indicates the way or a door. Psalm 119:25-32 contains four references to way or path. The eighteenth letter, Tzaddi, indicates righteousness. Read Psalm 119:137-144 and count the number of times the word right, righteous and righteousness appear.

The Old Testament was originally divided into twenty-two books, making it alphabetic in design. Books like First and Second Kings were combined. The twelve “minor” prophets were together in one book. Again, the fourth letter, Dalet, indicates a door or way. The fourth book is Numbers, which is about the way through the desert. This design applies to chapters, also. In the New Testament, the Revelation has twenty-two chapters. The fourth chapter opens with the Apostle John seeing a door, Dalet, in Heaven.

The Tav is the twenty-second letter. Before the time of Jesus, the Tav was written as an “X” or a cross. Psalm 22 contains many prophetic references to the crucifixion of Jesus. The twenty-second psalm is about the cross. Genesis 22 records the story of Abraham, the father, preparing to sacrifice Isaac, the son. It is a foreshadow of God, the Father, offering Jesus, the Son, for our sins. It is about the cross.

The book of “minor” prophets would have been the twenty-second book of the Old Testament before the books were divided. These prophets all speak directly or indirectly of the coming Messiah and His suffering. We know the Messiah is Jesus and that he suffered on the cross.

Most of us do not read Hebrew and the meanings ascribed to the Hebrew letters are sometimes very subtle. The examples I have given are simple and easy to see. Unlike Menorah designs and Torah designs which I will soon discuss, alphabetic designs are not always easy to determine. But the alphabetic designs are just one more indication of the many hints, clues, signs and foreshadows the Lord, the Creator, has placed in His Word. The Bible is not a simple document containing stories, myths and fables. It is the inerrant Word of God. May His Name be praised forever!

The Hebrew “Aleph-Beit”, or Alphabet

There are twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet, plus five letters that have a "final form" when they appear at the end of a word. This is necessary because in Old Testament Hebrew, there were no spaces between the words. The following is list of the letters and their meanings as determined by Jewish rabbis and scholars over hundreds of years, and confirmed in Psalm 119:

  1. ALEPH – God as Creator and King
  2. BEIT – House and Temple
  3. GIMEL – Loving kindness and culmination
  4. DALET – The door; the way or path
  5. HAY – The breath of God; grace
  6. VAV – Completion and redemption
  7. ZAYIN – Sustenance and struggle; affliction
  8. CHET – Transcendence, life and grace
  9. TET – Serpent and objective good
  10. YOD – Creation and metaphysical
  11. KAF – Crowning accomplishment
  12. LAMED – Teaching and learning
  13. MEM – Water, revealed and concealed
  14. NUN – Faithfulness, soul and emergence
  15. SAMECH – Support and Divine presence
  16. AYIN – Sight and insight
  17. PEH – Mouth and speech
  18. TZADDI – Righteousness and humility
  19. KOPH – Holiness and growth cycles
  20. RESH – The wicked
  21. SHIN – Divine power and provision
  22. TAV – Truth and perfection; judgement

Final KAF (11)
Final MEM (13)
Final NUN (14)
Final PEH (17)
Final TZADDI (22)

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