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Facets of God Displayed in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet: Ayin, Pey, and Tsaddiq

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Tamara is a Bible student who loves mining the treasures in God's Word and sharing its teachings and applications with others.



Hebrew, the original language of the Old Testament, is a fascinating language where each letter of its alphabet is iconized with a pictograph. The pictographs can then help define the words they spell.

There are a total of 22 letters in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet. This article will study the sixth set of three letters in their pictograph form. These are "ayin," "pey," and "tsaddiq." Each one will reveal a particular characteristic of God.

Before we continue, please note that the words with Hebrew fonts are to be read from right to left. Knowing Hebrew won't be necessary, but it is helpful to know the directional aspect when describing the letter's position within the word. When I mention the first letter, it will be the letter beginning on the right, and the last letter will be on the left.

It is also important to note that the fonts I am using in this article are modern Hebrew ones developed during the Babylonian captivity and are used in Israel today. In their most ancient form, these letters were actual images of the pictographs we will be studying.

Additionally, at the end of each section, a video will further the lesson about each letter. These videos were produced by Jewish Jewels Ministries and hosted by Dr. Danny Ben-Gigi, former professor of Hebrew at Arizona State University.

"Ayin" Is an Eye

"Ayin" (ע), the sixteenth letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet, is represented by an eye. "Ayin" is also the Hebrew word for "eye." and shows us that God sees and notices us, as well as all the happenings of the universe.

The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
Keeping watch on the evil and the good.

— Proverbs 15:3

The Bible tells us that God's seeing goes further than simple observation, but a searching desire to be active on behalf of those who love Him.

. . . the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.

— II Chronicles

According to the above verse, not only does He see us, but He wants to show us His great strength in our situations and circumstances.


An Example From Hagar

The story of Hagar, an Egyptian servant girl of Sarah, Abraham's wife, showcases the first mention of God "seeing" in the Bible. After Sarah mistreats Hagar, Hagar flees to the desert. While In the desert, Hagar encountered El Roi, "the God who sees me."

The angel of the Lord found her by a spring (עֵין) of water in the wilderness, the spring (עֵין) on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, maid of Sar′ai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sar′ai.” The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her.” The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will so greatly multiply your descendants that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” And the angel of the Lord said to her, “Behold, you are with child, and shall bear a son; you shall call his name Ish′mael because the Lord has given heed to your affliction. He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against every man and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “Thou art a God of seeing”; for she said, “Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?”Therefore the well was called Beer-la′hai-roi

— Genesis 16:7-14

"Ayin" is also the same Hebrew word for "fountain" or "spring of water" as is used in the above portion of Scripture. It draws its imagery from the concept of the eye that springs water from the tear ducts. It was not coincidental that Hagar was discovered at a fountain of water.


Jesus—Fountain of Living Waters

In the book of Jeremiah, chapter two, God is revealed as the "Fountain of Living Waters." In this portion of Scripture, God accuses His people of forsaking their only hope of life and sustenance by running after other people and things to satisfy themselves.

My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.

— Jeremiah 2:13

Relatedly, Jesus, in the New Testament, spots a woman by a well of water who sought her necessities in the desert of human relationships. He reveals to her that He is, in fact, the living water that she truly needs.

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him I will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.

— John 4:13-14


"Pey" Is an Open Mouth

"Pey" (פ), the seventeenth letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet, is represented by a picture of an open mouth.

The Hebrew word for "wonderful" begins with the letter "pey." It is defined as distinguishable or miraculous. The visual that goes with this letter is a mouth opened wide with astonishment.

. . . His name will be called Wonderful . . .

— Isaiah 9:6

The wonderfulness of God is strongly associated with what God does and how incredible He is.

I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders (פֶּלֶא) of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds . . . Who is so great a God as our God You are the God who does wonders (פֶּלֶא); You have declared Your strength among the peoples. You have with Your arm redeemed Your people . . .

— Psalm 77:11-14

The mouth is an organ of speech. God spoke the entire physical world into existence.

Then God said . . .

— Genesis 1:2

That is a wonder in and of itself. This letter is invitational for us to come and hear what it is God has to say.

. . . whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.

— Matthew 7:24

What God has to say is powerful, relevant, and worthy of our attention.


"Tsadiq"—A Humble Righteous Man

"Tsadiq" (צ), the eighteenth letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet, is thought to be a picture of a man kneeling with hands lifted in praise. We learn from this letter that God is the Righteous One who alone is worthy to be praised. In all of its forms, the Hebrew word for righteousness contains the same letters as "tsadiq."

The prophet Jeremiah reveals God as "Yahweh Tsidkenu" יהוה צדקנו (The Lord Our Righteousness) in his confrontation with the false shepherds of God's people.

In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

— Jeremiah 23:6

King David praises God for this same quality.

The Lord is righteous in all His ways . . .

— Psalm 145:17


Righteousness Requires Humility

The quality of righteousness and its connection with the humility of kneeling, as displayed in the pictograph, is brought together by the prophet Isaiah in chapter fifty-three. This chapter paints a vivid Messiac picture of Jesus, "The Righteous Servant." He is humbly described as "a Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief despised, stricken, smitten, oppressed, and afflicted." He humbled Himself by being "wounded for our transgression and bruised for our iniquities," and He submitted to the chastisement for our peace. This portion of Scripture also tells us that He was numbered with the transgressors even though He was righteous.

It doesn't get any lower than that, nor is there any higher form of love. The God of the universe stooped down from infinite heights to suffer with and for us.

He is the God who makes things right even at the expense of Himself.

‘I will go before you And make the crooked places straight . . .

— Isaiah 45:2


In combination, we can see that the God who sees us (ayin-eye), our fountain of living waters, is wonderful, miraculous, extraordinary (pey-mouth), as well as righteous (Tsadiq-kneeling man) in all that He is and does.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Tamarajo


Tamarajo (author) on June 13, 2013:

Thank you DeBorrah. I am glad you found this revelation of the Word informative. The depths of His Word really are infinite and we will most likely ponder and discover for eternity and will always consistently reveal His glorious ways. The truly is amazing as you say.

I hope you enjoy the conclusion as well as it does bring full circle the revelation.

Blessed to have you come by and comment.

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans on June 12, 2013:

Tamarjo, This series continues to be informative. You have given us much spiritual food to ponder! As you wellstated: " We have seen in this second to the last part of this series that The God who sees us (ayin-eye) our fountain of living waters is wonderful, miraculous and extraordinary (pey-mouth) and He is righteous (Tsadiq-kneeling man) in all that He is and does" Amen! The Lord is truly amazing.

Thank You for sharing, I look forward to your final summation of this series. Voted UP! God Bless You!

Tamarajo (author) on August 23, 2012:

drpastorcarlotta I liked this revelation as well that His observation of us is not passive but very active. It might not mean much to know that God is simply watching us but to know He is watching and waiting to be involved in our lives and situations.

Blessed to have you stop by and comment.

Tamarajo (author) on August 23, 2012:

Hyphenbird, glad you are enjoying the series. I have learned much myself and always awed at His neverending ways of showing us His truth.

Thank you for stopping by and commenting

Tamarajo (author) on August 23, 2012:

absolutely brotheryochanan... all of it is about revealing Himself to us. I think it is also a way to confirm and solidify what has already been revealed. This world and its philosophies are always changing but His truth is timeless, never changes, and is always relevant which I think the pictographs reveal.

Glad you stopped by and thank you for commenting

Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC on August 23, 2012:

I liked when you stated: "Not only does He see us but He wants to show us His great strength in our situations and circumstances." That is the TRUTH! AMEN! Voted-Up!

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on August 23, 2012:

Thank you for this continuing series. I have learned so much from them. May you be forever blessed and to God be the glory.

brotheryochanan on August 21, 2012:

A huge difference in the way God uses letters (and numbers) to reveal himself, not as the kabbalists or astrologists use them at all. This is so we can get to know Him better, not as some say, we cannot know God. Beautifully done Tamarajo, you further His divine purpose on hubpages.