Facets of God Displayed in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet: Dalet, Hey, and Vav
My favorite Biblical studies center around the ancient Hebraic roots of our Christian faith. Hebrew word studies, and the pictographs that they contain, can sometimes give us a more detailed and in-depth view of Biblical concepts.
There are a total of 22 letters in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet. In this article, I would like to look at the second set of three letters and show how each one amazingly portrays a facet of God's character.
An interesting observation about these three-letter pictographs is that they are all materials of a home which was the main topic of the first three letters in building a home and family through a son.
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
— Psalm 90:1
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 I am describing the position of the letter within the word. So, 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 that were developed during the Babylonian captivity and are what is 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, there will be a video that furthers the lesson about each letter. These are done by Jewish Jewels Ministries and are hosted by Dr. Danny Ben-Gigi former professor of Hebrew at Arizona State University.
Dalet—A Door: The Path to Transformation
"Dalet" (ד) is the fourth letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet and is a picture of a door.
Jesus revealed Himself as "the door" in John chapter 10. This was in reference to Himself being the point of entrance, the one and only true path to the spiritual sheepfold of salvation protection and provision.
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
— John 10:9
The concept of a door, in reference to this letter, suggests a specific path or way into the presence of the Father.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
— John 14:6
Jesus in being "the way" shows us that "the way" is through death, burial, and resurrection to a new life with Him that ushers us into the life of salvation.
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
— Romans 6:4
Peter offers us a furthering application in his second epistle.
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
— II Peter 1:10-11
"Hey"—A Window of Light and Revelation
"Hey" (ה) is thought to be a picture of a window indicating revelation and illumination.
Twice in the Scriptures, Jesus reveals Himself as "the light of the world". First, in the story of the woman caught in adultery.
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
— John 8:12
He speaks this to the Pharisees who are attempting to entrap Him through this incident.
The second time Jesus reveals Himself as "the light of the world" is just following the previous example in the story of the man who was born blind.
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
— John 9:1-5
The larger revelation of this story can be seen if we view both stories together. From a spiritual application point of view, we might see that Jesus's true purpose in coming was to "reveal" and shed light on the problem that we were born blind as a result of an act of spiritual adultery committed in a garden long ago. He also came to "reveal" the solution to this problem, namely, Himself.
A final note that is worth observation is that "hey" (ה) is used twice in the covenant name of God "Yahweh" (יְהֹוָה) This possibly shows us Gods desire to reveal Himself to us.
I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord (Yahweh-יְהֹוָה) I was not known to them . . . But indeed for this purpose I have raised you (Moses-type of Jesus) up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.
— Exodus 6:3, 9:16
If we look at the first five letters as a whole, noting that five is the biblical number for grace, we see that the grace of God is the Father (Aleph), in the Son (Bet), by the Holy Spirit (Gimel) and the path to Him (Dalet) revealed (Hey).
"Vav"—The Nail in a Sure Place
"Vav " (ו) the sixth letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet, is a picture of a tent peg or nail that would have been used to secure an ancient tent or home.
"Vav" carries a strong covenant theme which makes sense, in that, a covenant is what secures and binds together.
I will fasten him (Eliakim-meaning God will raise up or establish) as a peg in a secure place, And he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house.
— Isaiah 22:2
We can see, in the Old Testament king Eliakim, being a type of Jesus, as the "peg" that was raised upon the cross to secure a place for us, who became "a glorious throne to His Father's house.
Jesus—The Nail in a Sure Place
It was the nail-pierced hands and feet of Jesus that secured our eternal futures in Him.
This particular letter reminds us, also, to stay connected to "The Word" and hope that anchors our souls.
The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd
— Ecclesiastes 12:11
Liberty Bible commentary follows this same thought as it concerns this Scripture.
"These stakes furnish man with mental and spiritual anchorage. All of these collected sayings . . . are given by one Shepherd who through His Words is an anchor to the people whom He loves . . . Life is totally profitless without God-connectedness"
— Liberty Bible Commentary
God confirmed His promise of love to us through the nail-pierced hands and feet of Christ that we might take hold and fasten ourselves to Him and that This would be an anchor of our souls through the trials and tragedies of this life with this goal in mind . . .
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
— I Peter 5:10
In reference to Gods Hebrew covenant name Yahweh (יְהֹוָה), once again, It is noteworthy that "vav" (ו) is placed between two "heys"(ה's). The first "hey" (ה) represents the open fellowship that Adam and Eve had in the garden. The "vav" (ו) that follows, and is in the middle, reveals the necessary covenant repair of Christ's death on the cross for our sins. The second "hey" (ה) after it represents the restored fellowship and revelation.
The whole gospel story (the way) is about re-connecting (covenant) and revelation of the covenant one.
This “has been understood as the dependence of all souls . . . on the Lord Jesus, as the only Saviour of all lost human spirits.”
— Adam Clark
In combination, we see how the household is constructed with the door and the way revealed through the Lord Jesus Christ who was hung on the cross nailing our sinful debt to it.
. . . wiping out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
— Colossians 2:14
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Tamarajo