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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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Passover

Portrait of Marla Jean Clinesmith

Drawing “Pesach”


Reflections by
Marla Jean

Normally, when I illustrate a word from Paleo Hebrew, I break down the meaning of the letters to gain understanding from the perspective of the ancient people. Then I ask Holy Spirit’s help with the composition and color palette, trying to let Him guide my hand while I am working. I often understand where He is taking me, but “Pesach” was different. I did not feel that I had a clear grasp of the word, but created the art anyway.

NOW, two years later, while talking to Pastor Jim about the word, the meaning has become much clearer.

At the sight of the doors marked with blood the Spirit of God (P) will turn (u) the wrath of God from the walls (C) of those marked as God’s people.

Look for the letters in the art and follow what I NOW see. The painted “blood” on the mat top and sides was something I had never done, but it certainly serves to give the viewer a hint of what the work is about (or at least makes one wonder what it is about) while at the same time framing what is important. The samech (u) appears to be opening up and turning to become part of the chet (C)building a wall of protection. The pey (P) represents the Spirit by sitting high, hovering, and full of light. The complementary palette of reds and greens that culminate in the openings of the chet indicate the life (green) that comes from the blood (red) Jesus sacrificed for us.

Bottom line, Holy Spirit was “right on” with His direction even though I didn’t understand at the time.

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Guilt

Guilt

Asham (aw-shawm’)

Msa

אָשָׁם

aThe ‘Aleph’ is the picture of an ox head and illustrates the strength of an animal. It can mean strong, power, or leader.
sThe ‘Shin’ looks like two front teeth of an animal and means press, rip, or destroy.
MThe ‘Mem’ resembles waves of water and to the ancient Bedouins, that appeared as chaos.

Aleph-Shin is a root word meaning ‘fire’ or the ‘strong devourer.’ Fire could be good or bad depending on how it was used, but adding the Mem results in ‘the fire of chaos’ which defines ‘guilt.’ When sin comes into our life and we don’t deal with it properly, it can get out of control, just like a fire, and it brings guilt.

 
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Honor

Honor

Kabad (kaw-bad’)

dbk

כָּבַד

kThe ‘Kaf’ is the picture of the palm of a hand and can mean to open, allow, or invite entry.
bThe ‘Bet’ illustrates the floorplan of a tent and represents home or family.
dThe ‘Dalet’ looks like door flap of a tent and indicates the idea of a doorway, journey, or pathway.

Honor is what opens the inside door.

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Blessed

There are precious few ways for man’s relationship with God to be reciprocal. To “bless” may be the most powerful example of that rare opportunity. The Ancient Hebrew pictographs give us a clear and achievable formula for not only receiving blessings from God but giving blessing to God by doing exactly as He does.

Blessed

Barak (baw-rak’)

krB

בָרַךְ

BThe ‘Bet’ shows the floor plan of a tent. It means home, inside, or family.
rThe ‘Resh’ symbolizes a head, man, chief, highest, top, beginning, or first.
kThe ‘Kaf’ represents a palm or open hand, like to invite another into our home with a sweeping motion of our open palm.

Together the pictographs mean to ‘give access to my house.’ When we are blessed by the Lord, it is much more than receiving simple physical treasures, He gives us access to Himself.

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Armor of God

Armor of God


In Ephesians 6:10-20, we are told to wear the Armor of God. Here we can use the Ancient Hebrew letters to gain a better understanding of each piece of the armor.



Helmet of Salvation (Yeshuah)


h

Hey

Behold

E

Ayin

Look

v

Vav

Nail

S

Shin

Separate

y

Yud

Hand

As pictographs, the letters combine to mean ‘Behold, 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 ‘shuah’ (to rescue). In the Armor of God, the Helmet of Salvation is Yeshuah, the one who secures our rescue or salvation.
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 or hook. But it can also simply mean peg or nail.
EThe ‘Ayin’ appears as an eye. It relates to the function of the eye, understanding, or knowledge.
hHThe ‘Hey’ appears as a man waving his arms. It relates to pay attention, hehold, reveal.

Breastplate of Righteousness (Tsedek)


Breastplate of Righteousness

q

Quph

Follow

D

Dalet

Journey

F

Tsade

Seek

As part of the Armor of God, the Breastplate of Righteousness represents seeking a journey that follows God.

F

The ‘Tsade’ represents a man searching or seeking and means hunter, catch, or desire.

D

The ‘Dalet’ represents a tent flap or door as 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.

Belt of Truth (Emet)


belt of truth

t

Tau

Covenant

M

Mem

Water

a

Aleph

Strong

The Belt of Truth is an important item in the Armor of God used in spiritual warfare. The Aleph and Mem together create the word “Mother,” the strong water that nurtures and holds a family together. The word “Truth” means to nurture the covenant.

a

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

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. On the other hand, water sustained life and in this instance, it carries that meaning.

t

The ‘Tau’ is used as a man’s mark, either like a signature on an agreement or even a crossed sticks on the ground to mark a boundary point. Either way, it is associated with an agreement or covenant between two people or between man and God.

Shoes of Peace (Shalom)


M

Mem

Chaos

v

Vav

Establish

l

Lamed

Authority

s

Shin

Destroy

Destroy the authority that establishes chaos. In this illustration as part of the Armor of God, the Shoes of Peace indicate we need to to be walking or pursuing. If we do the walking, God will destroy the chaos ahead of us.

sS

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 the sheep to direct or lead them. It can mean teach, lead, yoke, move forward, or authority.

v

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

M

The ‘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.

Shield of Faith (Emunah)


H

Hey

Behold

n

Nun

Life/Heir

v

Vav

Secure

M

Mem

Water

a

Aleph

Strong

The pictograph portrays getting our attention, ‘Behold’, the root of Em (mother or giver of life) who seeks to establish continual life or activity in us. Faith is the actions of our life that reveal our relationship with the life giver. Our faith brings a life that has purpose. When our actions come into agreement with the Lord, the enemy’s weapons cannot penetrate the Shield of Faith.

a

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

M

The ‘Mem’ illustrates water or waves. As a nomadic people, the Hebrews feared the waves or waters of the ocean. So the letter came to mean chaos, mighty, or blood.

v

The ‘Vav’ pictures a tent peg or nail. It means to secure, connect, or establish.

n

The ‘Nun’ represents a seed or sprout and gives us the meaning of continuing to a new generation. It can have the meaning of continuing, perpetuating, sustaining, offspring, or heir.

hH

The ‘Hey’ pictograph represents a man with his hands in the air trying to get someone’s attention. It suggests look, reveal, behold.

Sword of the Spirit – The Word (Debar)


r

Resh

Man

B

Beyt

Home

D

Dalet

Door

The only offensive weapon is the Sword of the Spirit, which is The Word of God (Debar). Words, in the ancient thought process, had substance. Sentences were an ordered arrangement of ideas that ordered lives. The Word of God makes the enemy back down. The more a person is in command of the Word, the more effective soldier he will be.

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.

B

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

r

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

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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!”