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Goodness & Mercy

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life — Psalm 23:6a

Let’s go a little deeper to understand the words goodness and mercy in the context of this favorite verse. Goodness, the Hebrew word ‘tov,’ is first used in Scripture in the biblical account of creation. Each day more of God’s character was reflected and order brought to the house He was building for mankind. In the same way, for our lives to function properly He establishes order in our house which is good. In addition, He extends His mercy by surrounding us and propping us up for the journey He has laid out for our life.

Surely He will establish order in my house and surround and prop me up for my life’s journey all the days of my life!

Goodness

Tov (tobe)

BvJ

טוֹב

JThe ‘Tet’ shows a basket that means contain or surround or in order.
vThe ‘Vav’ pictures a tent peg or nail. It means to secure, connect, or establish.
BThe ‘Bet’ shows the floor plan of a tent. It means home, inside, or family.

Order is established in the house.

 

Mercy

chesed (kheh’-sed)

DuC

חֵסֵד

CThe ‘Chet’ depicts a fence that would contain, divide, surround, protect, or make private.
uThe ‘Samech’ represents a thorn bush that would prop up, support, twist, turn, or snare.
DThe ‘Dalet’ represents a tent flap or door. It can also mean back and forth movement as in going in and out of a door.

God surrounds me and props me up for my journey through life.

 

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Believe

It is interesting that the Hebrew words Aman (Amen/Believe) and Emuwnah (Faith) are linked as Aman is the root of Emuwnah. While Emuwnah is the actions in our life that reveal our relationship with the Life Giver; when we say Amen, we affirm that relationship. “And he (Abraham) believed in the Lord; and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)

Believe

Aman (ah-man’)

nMa

אָמַן

aThe ‘Aleph’ is the picture of an ox head and illustrates the strength of an animal. It can mean strong, power, or leader.
MThe ‘Mem’ illustrates water or waves. As a nomadic people, the Hebrews did not understand the waves or waters of the ocean. So the letter came to mean chaos, mighty, or blood.
nThe ‘Nun’ represents a sprout and gives us the meaning of life and continuing to a new generation. It can have the meaning of continuing, perpetuating, sustaining, offspring, or heir.

I strongly agree with what God has shown me about the mystery of eternal life.

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Confidence

Artist Marla Jean Clinesmith knew this had to be her first work to tackle at the beautiful Chateau Orquevaux residency in France where she would be with many other accomplished artists in June 2022. Studying the meaning of this word gave her a seal of confidence that helped her excel and have a wonderfully productive residency.

Seal of Confidence

Kesel (keh’-sel)

luk

כסל

kThe ‘Kaf’ represents a palm or open hand, often used to invite another into our home with a sweeping motion of our open palm, but the letter also is used as a seal.
uThe ‘Samech’ represents a thorn bush that would prop up, support, twist, turn, or snare.
lThe ‘Lamed’ illustrates a shepherd’s staff that shows authority.

Oddly, the word Kesel often refers to ones fatness or loins as the seat of ones confidence, which can be either proper or foolish. In a physical sense, that enlarged mass protects the internals. Yet we see this multiple times in the Bible where it means, “the Lord will seal the authority of His truth within my inward parts, holding me up.”

The Lord shall be your confidence Proverbs 3:26

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Yeshuah

Salvation

Yeshuah (yay-shoo’-ah)

hEvsy

ישועה

yThe ‘Yud’ in pictograph form shows an arm and a hand. The picture can mean to work, throw, worship, or it can simply mean an arm or hand.
sSThe ‘Shin’ may be depicted differently depending on the time period, but represents two front teeth and can mean sharp, eat, consume, separate, or destroy.
vThe ‘Vav’ represents a tent peg or nail and means to secure, attach, or hook together. But it can also simply mean peg or nail.
eEThe ‘Ayin’ appears as an eye. It relates to the function of the eye, understanding, or knowledge.
hThe ‘Hey’ pictograph represents a man with his hands in the air trying to get someone’s attention. It suggests look, reveal, behold.

As pictographs, the letters combine to mean ‘see how a hand will save or separate by a nail.’ But it is actually a compound word consisting of ‘Ya’ (God) and the root word ‘shua’ (to rescue). Yeshua is the one who secures our rescue or salvation. There are several alternate spellings and this one finishes with the ‘Hey.’

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Woman of Valor

Studying Proverbs 31 inspired Artist Marla Jean Clinesmith to create a beautiful work of art about the woman of valor.

Woman of Valor

Eschet Chayil (aish-et khah’-yil)

LyC hsa

אשה חיל

aThe ‘Aleph’ represents the head of an ox means strong.
sThe ‘Shin’ represents two front teeth that would tear, separate, destroy, or devour.
hThe ‘Hey’ illustrates a man with arms up to get attention, like saying look or behold .

Eschet is a form of the Hebrew word for woman—Eesha. It contains a root word (sa) meaning “strong devourer” or “fire.” Add the (h) meaning “to look” with the root word of “fire” and the interpretation is “look, the one who comes out of fire.” That may initially sound odd to equate a woman with the result of fire, but not if you realize that precious metals, like gold, were of great value after being refined by fire which recognizes the importance of a woman.

CThe ‘Chet’ represents a fence that surrounds or protects or contains.
yThe ‘yud’ appears like a hand or arm and indicates work.
LThe ‘Lamed’ illustrates a shepherd’s staff that shows authority.

Chayil is used in the Old Testament many times, typically in reference to men as warriors portraying force or might. The few times chayil is used in reference to women it is always in a special godly sense. Chayil (valor) appears to be connected to grace — the place God provides where we are empowered to do what He has called us to do. Valor is using the authority He gives us to accomplish His work to benefit the Kingdom. It is a measure of what we do with grace. In other words, how well do we maximize His grace in our lives? May you be valiant for the Kingdom!

Eschet Chayil — The one who comes out of fire (is refined) and takes authority in her sphere of influence to be productive for the Kingdom.

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Ruach

Spirit (Ruach)


C

Chet

Within

v

Vav

Establish

r

Resh

Man

Spirit is the expression of man that is established from within, commonly portrayed as breath or wind.

r

The ‘Resh’ symbolizes a head, man, chief, highest, top, beginning, or first.

v

The ‘Vav’ represents a tent peg or nail and means to secure or hook. But it can also simply mean peg or nail.

C

The ‘Chet’ depicts a fence that would contain, divide, surround, protect, or make private.
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Shalom

No word in the Hebrew language is more graphic in its pictorial form than the word Shalom! The idea that peace originates in multiple forms is seldom considered. However, Yeshua made it clear that His Shalom was different from all other when He told His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14:27) The pictographs clearly demonstrate the uniqueness of God’s approach to peace.

Peace

Shalom (shaw-lome’)

MvLs

שָׁלוֹם

sThe ‘Shin’ represents two front teeth and can mean sharp, eat, consume, separate, or destroy.
LThe ‘Lamed’ is a picture of a shepherd’s staff. The shepherd used the staff to exercise authority over the sheep to direct or lead them. It can mean teach, lead, yoke, move forward, or authority.
vThe ‘Vav’ represents a tent peg or nail and means to secure or hook. But it can also simply mean peg or nail.
MThe ‘Mem’ illustrates water or waves. As a nomadic people, the Hebrews did not understand the waves or waters of the ocean. So the letter came to mean chaos, mighty, or blood.

Destroy the authority that establishes chaos.

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Sukkot

Sukkot


t

Tau

Covenant

v

Vav

Establish

k

Kaf

Cover

v

Vav

Establish

u

Semech

Protect

“Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of Sukkot for seven days to ADONAI.” Leviticus 23:34 (CJB)

Sukkot it one of the three pilgrimage festivals held in the fall. It refers to the temporary buildings that are built to commemorate God’s protection and provision during the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness. It is also known as the Feast of Tabernacles and Feast of Booths.
This painting depicts the Paleo letters for Sukkot through the four species of plants that are used to “rejoice before the Lord.” They are the citron (etrog), one palm (lulav), two willow branches (aravot), and three myrtle branches (hadassim).
u represented by myrtle branches
v represented by a bare branch
k represented by willow branches surrounding the citron
v represented by a bare branch
t represented by palm branch

Together these letters would mean “to establish and secure a protective covering for the covenant.” It is a joyous festival and even today we should remember our dependence on the Lord to protect and provide.

u

The ‘Samech’ is a thorn bush representing support, prop up, protect, twist, or snare.

v

The ‘Vav’ represents a tent peg and means to nail, attach, or secure.

k

The ‘Kaf’ depicts a man’s offered hand to welcome, cover, open, or allow.

v

The ‘Vav’ represents a tent peg and means to nail, attach, or secure.

t

The ‘Tau’ depicts crossed sticks as a marker for a signature or agreement or covenant.
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Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Halal Yah (haw-lal’ Yaw)

HyvllH

הַלְלוּיָה

HThe ‘Hey’ depicts a man waving arms for attention, to look, reveal, or behold.
LThe ‘Lamed’ represents a shepherds staff the represents control, direct, authority, or lead.
LThe ‘Lamed’ represents a shepherds staff the represents control, direct, authority, or lead.
vThe ‘Vav’ represents a tent peg or nail and means to secure or hook. But it can also simply mean peg or nail.
yThe ‘Yud’ represents a hand or arm to indicate work, throw, or worship.
HThe ‘Hey’ depicts a man waving arms for attention, to look, reveal, or behold.

The word “Hallelujah” is a compound word from two Hebrew words, “Hallel” meaning praise and “Ya” meaning God. The use of the two Lameds together indicates the authority of authorities (like King of Kings or Lord of Lords).

“Behold or boast at what the authority of authorities (God) has established by the work of His hands!”

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Righteous

Righteous


q

Quph

Follow

D

Dalet

Journey

f

Tsade

Hook

The desire to be hooked on a journey that follows God.

f

The ‘Tsade’ represents a fish hook and means hunter, catch, or desire.

D

The ‘Dalet’ represents a tent flap or door. It can also mean back and forth movement as in going in and out of a door or a journey.

q

The ‘Quph’ character appears like the back of man’s head or a sunset and means last, behind, following, revolving or cycle of time.
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Passover

The specially matted print of Passover (Pesach in Hebrew), as presented by Artist Marla Jean Clinesmith, may well portray one of the most vibrant Biblical word pictures of all time.

Passover

Pesach (peh’-sakh)

CuP

פסח

PThe ‘Pey’ represents an open mouth and means speak, open, blow, or apart. It often is used to mean ‘Spirit’ as in the wind.
uThe ‘Samech’ represents a thorn bush that would prop up, support, twist, turn, or snare.
CThe ‘Chet’ illustrates a fence or wall surrounding and protecting the action of life.

In simple terms, it means to crossover or leap, as in God’s Spirit will leap over the marked homes in Exodus Chapter 12. But there is so much more to it. This is the action taken by God (hvhy), the ultimate judge of His own creation, as His Spirit passed over all the households of Egypt to dispense death to the firstborn of Pharaoh, his people, and gods. The only thing that protected God’s people from this deadly plague was the blood of the sacrificed lamb applied to the lintel and door posts of the houses of God’s people. At the sight of the doors marked with blood, the Spirit of God (Pey P) turned away (Samach u) the wrath of God from the walls or boundaries (Chet C) of the homes of those marked as God’s people.

The entire scene was a physical foreshadow of the spiritual reality that Yeshua, the Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world, will bring to completion with His death on a cross planted on a hill called Golgotha in Jerusalem generations later.

It’s here, however, that our word picture presents a mystery. If the cross is the ultimate solution to the sin condition separating God and man – why two door posts? Some would speculate a connotation of the lintel and two door posts representing the Crown of thorns and nail pierced hands of the Savior. And while the scriptural account is somewhat silent on this matter, it does record in Exodus 12:37-38 ‘Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. A mixed multitude went up with them also …,’ indicating both Jews and Gentiles were saved on that night.

As for me, the picture reminds me of the encouraging words of the Apostle Paul recorded in Ephesians Chapter 2 as he assures us that Christ’s death on the cross made two, both Jews and Gentiles, one thus bringing us the ultimate in peace.

To that we can all proclaim – Hallelujah!!!

Explanation by Pastor Jim Woodard

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Israel

Israel


L

Lamed

Authority

a

Aleph

Leader

r

Resh

Man

s

Shin

Destroy

y

Yud

Work

The ‘Aleph’ and ‘Lamed’ form the root word ‘El’ which means God or strong controller. Together the letters in Israel mean “Men (the nation) whose work is to press/turn others towards El (God).”

y

The ‘Yud’ in pictograph form shows an arm and a hand. The picture can mean to work, throw, worship.

s

The ‘Shin’ represents two front teeth and can mean sharp, eat, consume, separate, or destroy.

r

The ‘Resh’ symbolizes a head, man, or chief.

a

The ‘Aleph’ is the picture of an ox head and illustrates the strength of an animal. It can mean strong, power, or leader.

L

The ‘Lamed’ is a picture of a shepherd’s staff. The shepherd used the staff to exercise authority over his sheep to direct or lead them. It can mean teach, lead, yoke, or move forward.
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Shabbat Shalom

Shabbat Shalom


M

Mem

Chaos

v

Vav

Establish

L

Lamed

Authority

s

Shin

Destroy

t

Tav

Covenent

B

Bet

House

s

Shin

Separate

Together the words signify “to separate to the house of the covenant where the authority that establishes chaos has been destroyed” and “Rest in the Lord in peace”

s

The ‘Shin’ represents two front teeth and can mean sharp, eat, consume, separate, or destroy.

B

The ‘Bet’ shows the floor plan of a tent. It means home, inside, or family.

t

The ‘Tav’ represents a sign, mark, covenant, or cross.

s

The ‘Shin’ represents two front teeth and can mean sharp, eat, consume, separate, or destroy.

L

The ‘Lamed’ is a picture of a shepherd’s staff. The shepherd used the staff to exercise authority over his sheep to direct or lead them. It can mean teach, lead, yoke, or move forward.

v

The ‘Vav’ represents a tent peg or nail and means to secure or establish.

M

The ‘Mem’ illustrates water or waves. As a nomadic people, the Hebrews feared the waves or waters of the seas, so the letter often meant chaos, mighty, or blood.
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Spirit

Spirit (Ruach)


C

Chet

Within

v

Vav

Establish

r

Resh

Man

Spirit is the expression of man that is established from within, commonly portrayed as breath or wind.

r

The ‘Resh’ symbolizes a head, man, chief, highest, top, beginning, or first.

v

The ‘Vav’ represents a tent peg or nail and means to secure or hook. But it can also simply mean peg or nail.

C

The ‘Chet’ depicts a fence that would contain, divide, surround, protect, or make private.
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Loving Kindness

Loving Kindness


d

Dalet

Door

U

Samech

Assist

C

Chet

Protect

Door of mercy and protection. When such loving kindness is extended to one another, a common journey through life takes place.

C

The ‘Chet’ depicts a fence that would contain, divide, surround, protect, or make private.

U

The ‘samech’ represents a thorn bush that supports, assists, or shields.

d

The ‘Dalet’ represents a tent flap or door. It can also mean back and forth movement as in going in and out of a door.