excerpt from Volume
4 - CROSSING THE JORDAN
RIVER - A Foreshadow of Salvation for Jew and Gentile)
of the most important validations for the Bible as the true
Word of God is understanding the origin of the Hebrew language,
including literal, figurative and implied meanings of root
was a language spoken between God and Adam. It was the same
language spoken between Adam and Eve. Did the language change
at a later date? After the flood when Noah and his family
left the ark, there was only one language spoken at that
time by Noah and each of his sons and their wives. This
language was the language spoken between God and Adam and
between Adam and his descendents, including Noah. It was
the language of God!
Language Has Survived the History of Man
was a descendent of Adam's righteous son, Seth. Seth died
14 years before Noah's birth. Enosh, Seth's son, was 84
years old when Noah was born. Enosh lived 905 years and
Noah lived 950 years. The flood occurred when Noah was 600
years old and he died 350 years later. So, Noah spent all
of his pre-flood life with his father, his grandfather and
five generations of Enosh. Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared,
Enoch (five great grandfathers), Methuselah (grandfather)
and Lamech (his father) were alive at the same time as Noah
was alive. I don't think the language of Noah changed very
much from the language Adam and Eve spoke in the Garden
of Eden, as they conversed with each other and with God.
It would have been difficult for the ancestors' children
to change the original language because the elders lived
for such a long time. Forming new words in the original
language would be difficult because new words would expand
the language beyond the vocabulary of the elders, making
the teaching of living history difficult. In the pre-flood
Adamic society, "living history" was passed along
by the elder's recount of the history told to them by Adam.
The elders' knowledge of history was the most influential
teaching element in pre-flood society. So, expanding the
language by forming new words would be met with some resistance
because new words would affect the elders' accurate communication
of living history. If any one of the elders varied the historical
account, even slightly, the other elders would correct him.
So, to preserve historical integrity, the original language
spoken in the garden was preserved.
post-flood times Noah was the oldest man on the earth. He
was the one to whom his descendents went to gain wisdom
and seek guidance. Noah had great favor with God and all
post-flood descendents were aware of his status with God.
Noah, the eldest of his people after the flood, was ruler
of his generations in post-flood times for as long as he
lived. Noah taught and instructed his descendents in righteousness
until the day he died. Noah preserved the original language,
as he was the reference and source of pre-flood living history.
Genesis chapter 10 outlines the nations of the earth according
to the bloodlines of Noah's sons, Ham, Japheth and Shem.
All of Noah's sons and their descendents still spoke only
one language. Genesis 11:1-9 describes God confusing the
ability of all descendents communicating with each other
by changing the language spoken at Babel. The descendents
of Ham spoke a different language and the descendents of
Japheth spoke a different language and scattered throughout
the middle east and northern Africa according to their language.
Through languages God grouped bloodlines together in post
flood times. But, Shem and Noah still spoke the original
language of pre-flood times. This language also kept the
bloodline of Shem together. Shem's descendents later became
known as the Semites (known as Israelites today).
11:9-10 (KJV) - Therefore is the name of it called Babel;
because the LORD did there confound the language of all
the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad
upon the face of all the earth. (10) These are the generations
of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old,.......
9 speaks of scattering the people according to their language.
Verse 10 speaks of the beginning of recording the genealogy
of Shem, which introduces Abram into the historical narrative
in Genesis 11:26. Since Abram was a resident of Ur
of the Chaldeens, which is located on the Euphrates River
opposite of the city Babel; Noah, Shem and Abram remained
in the general area and did not spread to other far away
places. It appears God kept Noah, Shem and Abram's locality,
language and bloodline intact for a special purpose - the
covenant promise and the establishment of the nation of
was there listening to Noah. Abram was fifty years old when
Noah died. So, Abram heard the account of Genesis directly
from Noah and Abram believed in God. Twenty five years after
Noah's death God called Abram. At that time Abram was seventy
five years old. As a descendent of Noah and the Seth blood
line, Abram, like all others before him, spoke the language
of God. If he spoke the language of God, then Ishmael and
Isaac spoke the language. So did Isaac's children, Esau
and Jacob. God changed Jacob's name to Israel, therefore
the language was preserved and spoken by the twelve sons
of Jacob (the nation of Israel). Thus, the Mosaic Law was
written in God's language. Therefore, if the the Law and
the Prophets is the language of God, then the Law and the
Prophets (Old Testament) is the voice of God spoken through
Israel's ancestors, Moses and the prophets. The language
and voice cannot be separate! Additionally, Christ did not
speak of His own, He only spoke what the Father told him
to speak. Therefore, the New Testament is also the voice
of God spoken through Christ Jesus. The Word of God (Bible)
is the language and voice of God! It is alive because everywhere
it is read or spoken and by believing what God spoke, eternal
life prevails. Genesis 1:3 (KJV) - And God said,
Let there be light: and there was light. The Word of
God has creative power when spoken in faith by a heart fully
committed to Him. It is most important to see the Word of
God as the voice of God. So when one with a heart fully
committed and devoted to Him speaks the Word of God,
God speaks through him.
English vernacular speaks in words, not pictures. But, Hebrew
words speak in pictures because of its cuneiform base. Therefore,
when English speaking people read the Bible, by default,
they will attempt to read it literally (word for word),
as they would any other book. Thus, apart from studying
the figurative and implied meanings (pictures) of the Hebrew
language, understanding the Bible will be limited and the
richness of hidden manna will never be known.
root words in today's Hebrew language is the language of
God! This becomes apparent as one studies the Hebrew language
and see letters that are pictures (cuneiform type characteristics)
which formed picture images for expression of ideas. By
combining letters the imagery expands, resulting in word
pictures with more specific meanings. Thus, the original
language was beyond literal meanings and ideas. As time
passed, the language continued to expand to form multiple
child root words, each branching from the same parent root
example - The word "stone" in the Hebrew is
'eben" (eh'-ben) which literally means to build
with "stone". Eben is formed from the primitive
root word "banah" (baw-naw') which means
"to build" (literally and figuratively).
Banah's use in the Bible can be both literal and figurative.
Figuratively, banah as used in the KJV means - (begin
to) build (-er), obtain children, make, repair,
set (up). So, when Jesus stated in Matthew 24:1-2
(KJV) - And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple:
and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings
of the temple. (2) And Jesus said unto them, See ye not
all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall
not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not
be thrown down. Was Jesus thinking literally or
the Jews were questioning Jesus' authority they asked Him
in John 2:18-22 (NIV) - Then the Jews demanded of him,
"What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your
authority to do all this?" (19) Jesus answered them,
"Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again
in three days." (20) The Jews replied, "It
has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you
are going to raise it in three days?" (21) But
the temple he had spoken of was his body. (22) After
he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what
he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words
that Jesus had spoken.
and I will raise it again in three days"
- This statement by Jesus can not be understood in the literal
has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and
you are going to raise it in three days?" -
Jews were thinking literally and completely missed the picture
message (metaphor) spoken by Jesus.
temple he had spoken of was his body"
- Jesus was thinking figuratively. Was Jesus' statement
the proper use of the language?
The figurative meaning of the root word for "stone"
is banah, which is used to mean "obtain children"
and "to build" a family. So, Jesus' figurative
picture was the building of the temple of God (His body)
using "living stones'. Living stones are children of
God who form the body of Christ, His temple in the earth.
Jesus gave Simon a new name, He named him Cephas which by
interpretation is "stone" - John 1:40-42 (KJV)
- One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him,
was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. (41) He first findeth
his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, we have found
the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. (42)
And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him,
he said, "Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt
be called Cephas", which is by interpretation, A
stone. Jesus changed Simon's name to Cephas the
moment He first met Peter, after Simon's brother Andrew
had heard John the Baptist speak the day before.
Jesus thinking literally or figuratively?
correctly interpret Peter's name to mean "rock",
as defined in the Greek. However, to counsel many who believe
Peter is the rock of the church because of Jesus' question
to the disciples (many days after He first met Simon and
changed his name) in Matthew 16:15-18 - He saith unto
them, But whom say ye that I am? (16) And Simon Peter answered
and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living
God. (17) And Jesus answered and said unto him, "Blessed
art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed
it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (18) And
I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this
rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall
not prevail against it." Christ replied to Peter's
answer centered on Peter's faith in Him as the Christ. Faith
is the rock upon which Jesus builds His church. Although
Peter's name in Greek means rock, he is not the rock upon
which the church is built.
Peter's Greek name Petrus is tied to the Greek root word
lithos which means "stone". Thus, in John 1:42
when Jesus changed Simon's name to Cephas, Greek scholars
noted the proper interpretation of Cephas - "which
is by interpretation, A stone."
(Strong's Concordance / Greek Lexicon) #4074 - Petros
(pet'-ros); apparently a primary word; a (piece of) rock
(larger than #3037); as a name, Petrus, an
- lithos (lee'-thos); apparently a primary word;
a stone (literally or figuratively).
did Peter think when hearing Jesus' words? Peter also heard
his new name Cephas as having a figurative meaning. We know
this to be true as He stated such in 1 Peter 2:4-5 (KJV)
- To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed
of men, but chosen of God, and precious, (5) Ye also, as
lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an
holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable
to God by Jesus Christ.
Jesus was speaking figuratively when He told the Jews He
would raise the temple in three days and when He changed
Simon's name to Cephas because He had a picture of building
the church through faith in Him (obtaining children and
setting up the family of God) on His mind. His use of the
language was proper, because when He died on the cross and
three days was raised from the dead, God obtained children
and the body of Christ was born! By faith in the sacrificial
blood of Jesus for our sins, we become "living
stones" and united with the body of Christ
to form the true temple of God in the earth! So, Jesus'
figurative use of the language was correct.
this word study of the Hebrew and Greek clarity of scripture
increases and faith in the Bible increases. Emphasis is
placed on the original languages because they form meaningful
mental pictures of understanding. Remember the adage, "a
picture is worth a thousand words."
and implied meanings of Hebrew words form metaphorical pictures
which foreshadow the work of God through Christ Jesus.
Hebrew is the language of God and the Bible is the true
voice and Word of God. Through out the Bible the Hebrew
language forms figurative pictures of the Messiah in the
form of foreshadows, symbols and people types. These are
all prophetic pictures of Jesus and what God does through
Origin of the Hebrew Language
Jeff A. Benner
is classified as a Semitic language (or Shemitic, from Shem,
the son of Noah). Was Hebrew just one of the many Semitic
languages (descendants of Shem); such as Canaanite, Aramaic,
Phoenician, Akkadian, etc., that evolved out of a more ancient
unknown language? Or, was Hebrew, and the Semitic family
of languages, the original language of man?
According to the Bible all people spoke one language (Genesis
11:1) until the construction of the Tower of Babel, in southern
Mesopotamia which occurred sometime around 4000 BCE1. During
the construction of the Tower, God confused the language
of man and scattered the nations (Genesis 11:7,8).
is at this time that the Sumerians (from the land of Sumer,
known as Shinar in the Bible - Genesis 10:10), speaking
a non-Semitic language, appear in southern Mesopotamia.
It is believed that the Sumerians are related to the people
living between the Black and Caspian Seas, known as the
Scythians, descendants of Noah's son Japheth.
approximately the same time the Sumerians appeared in Mesopotamia,
another civilization emerges in the South, the Egyptians.
The original language of the Egyptians is Hamitic (From
Ham, the second son of Noah) and is also unrelated to the
the time of the Sumerians and the Egyptians, the Semitic
peoples lived in Sumeria and traveled west into the land
descendants of Noah after the Tower of Babel - The descendants
of Japheth traveled north with their language, the descendants
of Ham traveled southwest with their language and the Semites
traveled west with their language (see figure 1).
is why it was called Babel - because there the LORD confused
the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered
them over the face of the whole earth" (Genesis 11.9).
What was the one language spoken prior to the Tower of Babel?
When God created Adam he spoke to him (Genesis 2:16) indicating
that God gave Adam a language and this language came from
God himself, not through the evolution of grunts and groans
of cave men. When we look at all the names of Adam's descendents
we find that all the names from Adam to Noah and his children
are Hebrew names, meaning that their name has a meaning
in Hebrew. For instance, Methuselah (Genesis 5:21) is Hebrew
for "his death brings" (The flood occurred the
year that he died). It is not until we come to Noah's grandchildren
that we find names that are of a language other then Hebrew.
For instance, the name Nimrod (Genesis 11:18), who was from
Babylon/Sumer/Shinar and possibly the Tower of Babel, is
a non-Hebrew name. According to the Biblical record of names,
Adam and his descendants spoke Hebrew.
addition: Jewish tradition, as well as some Christian
Scholars, believed that Hebrew was the original language
Merrill F. Unger, "Tower of Babel," Unger's Bible
Dictionary, 1977 ed.: 115. (BCE - Before the Common Era,
equivalent to BC)
J.I. Packer, Merril C. Tenney, William White, Jr., Nelson's
Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Facts (Nashville: Thomas
Nelson, 1995) 337.
Madelene S. Miller and J. Lane Miller, "Sumer,"
Harper's Bible Dictionary, 1973 ed.: 710.
Unger, "Scythian," 987.
Unger, "Egypt," 288.
William Smith, "Hebrew Language," Smith's Bible
Dictionary, 1948 ed.: 238.
word study on the word "spirit" -
graphic at the right is an example of Hebrew word formation.
Cuneiform symbols are letters that form pictures allowing
the symbol to be used in a variety of applications. Symbol
pictures provide not only literal meanings, but implied
and figurative meanings as well. This means studying figurative
and implied meanings of Hebrew key words of an Old Testament
scripture will form a metaphorical picture of a New Testament
event or a future event. This is referred to as foreshadowing.
Foreshadowing reveals hidden manna in the language of God's
Word. Foreshadowing goes beyond the scope of literal perceptions.
is a letter picture which means a wall of a tent or corral
which separates and protects what is inside the wall or
corral from what if outside. The key precept is separation
is a letter picture which represents the head of man, or
the top or head of anything, mountaintop, rank, etc. In
the above graphic's study it's meaning is man.
the letters "Hh" and "R" forms a parent
root "RaHh" which means a man outside his tent
whose responsibilities include routine caring for the livestock.
His routine is "a prescribed path" he follows
each day. Emphasis is place on the phrase "prescribed
path" and sheparding the flock or herd.
child root of the parent root is "RuW-aHh" which
means the wind following a prescribed path for the
coming of each season. It also means breath or the wind
of man which follows a prescribed path by inhaling
and exhaling. This word is also translated as "spirit"
as it is an essential part of man, just as much as the breath
and the mind of man are essential. Again, emphasis is place
on the "prescribed path" of the spirit, the breath
and mind of man as essential parts of man. Figuratively,
"RuW-aHh" is a picture of the mind of man with
a spirit inspired influence which governs his routine thinking
and reasoning process. This routine is a prescribed
path he follows concerning his life, as prescribed by what
he believes to be true.
child roots are "Ye-Re-aHh" and "A-RaHh"
both indicating prescribed paths (routines) by the
moon daily and also taken by travelers to a specific location.
common element of the parent root and the child roots
is the phrase "a prescribed path". The
common symbol of the parent and child roots is the
head or spirit inspired mind of man. Remember the bible
scripture concerning why God brought the flood?
6:5-6 (KJV) - And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was
great in the earth, and that every imagination of the
thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
(6) And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the
earth, and it grieved him at his heart. Man's carnal
spirit inspired the imaginations and thoughts of his mind
that led him to follow a prescribed path of continual
evil. God was grieved in His heart! Up to this point in
time the Holy Spirit strived to change his prescribed
6:3 (KJV) - And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always
strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet
his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
in the letters, parent root and child roots are legitiment
ways to use figurative meanings (pictures) to tell the story
of God's work through His Messian, Christ Jesus.
letter symbol "Hn" which leterally represents
the wall of a tent, could also be used to figuratively represent
the tent of the body. The apostle Paul referred the tent
of the body in 2 Corinthians 5:4 (NIV) - For while we
are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because
we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our
heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed
up by life. The apostle Peter also referred to the tent
of the body in 2 Peter 1:13-14 (NIV) - I think it is
right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the
tent of this body, (14) because I know that I will soon
put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to
desire is to show us the way to live outside our earthly
tent by moving inside His tent (symbolically represented
by the tent of the tabernacle) under the "rams' skins
dyed red" covering (the blood of Christ).
the Eyes of Your Understanding - Volume 7
for a study of the tabernacle's pattern, a foreshadow of
redemption and transformation.
we reside in God's tent we are saved and protected from
the earthly spiritual matters and spiritual predators that
reside outside the tent of His tabernacle. God has established
"a prescribed path" for us to follow. His prescribed
path is the path of the Spirit set in place by the death
and resurrection of Jesus - The Way or it could be said,
"The Path". Remember when Jesus said, "Take
up your cross and follow Me"? When one walks in The
Way (following Christ) he walks by the Spirit on the prescribed
path of God. God prescribed the path through the atoning
death of His Son for the sins of mankind and the Spirit
enables man to follow Him, as he renews his mind (spirit)
through faith in the Word of God. God has a "prescribed
path" for us to follow that leads to Him in the Kingdom
of God! God created all things and He created them to work
in a certain way through the power of the Holy Spirit. His
Way is a prescription of enternal life for all of mankind.
So, "RuW-aHh" which means the wind following a
prescribed path for the coming of each season, figuratively
represents the prescribed path of the wind (breath) of God
(Holy Spirit) leading us through life to the next season,
the millennium reign of Christ. Figuratively, it could also
represent the Holy Spirit leading each of use through each
season (circumstance) of our lives - Galatians 6:9 (KJV)
- And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season
we shall reap, if we faint not. The key understanding
of the metaphor use of the word spirit is the prescribed
path or Way of God leading us to enternal life by following
the Hebrew language is the language of God. Therefore, we
should see the Word of God as the voice of God! The Bible
is one of the great miracles God has given to man. The Word
is the seed of God and our faith in His Word creates in
each of us a new man, born of God. God has spoken to each
of us and His spoken Word is still creative! Today, God
still says, "Let there be......"! And it
is so! The promises of God are not "yes" and "no",
but always "yes" in Christ Jesus! "Yes"
in Christ Jesus is the prescribed path of God!
Corinthians 1:19-22 (NIV) - For the Son of God, Jesus Christ,
who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy,
was not "Yes" and "No," but in him
it has always been "Yes." (20) For no matter
how many promises God has made, they are "Yes"
in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is
spoken by us to the glory of God. (21) Now it is God who
makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed
us, (22) set his seal of ownership on us, and put his
Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is
prescribed path (the Way) of God is a guarantee of
what is to come!
Amen! Praise God for the Bible!!