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Strong & Courageous

Be strong and courageous. — Joshua 1:6a

Evidently Rak Chazaq Amats is an ancient war cry. One we can adopt today as we are encircled by a strong wall and seek more to step out of our comfort zone and overcome the chaos in our midst.

Strong

Chazaq (khaw-zak’)

QzC

חָזַק

CThe ‘Chet’ represents a fence that usually divides or protects.
zThe ‘Zayin’ appears as a mattock, a tool to cut or harvest.
QThe ‘Qoof’ shows the the back of a man’s head or a sunset that means follows or cycles.

The Lord has repeatedly told his people to be strong and courageous. The word “strong” is interesting in that it is closely related to vision. Together the chet and zayin are the word for “see.” Add the qoof and the meaning is “what follows the vision.” A strong person has the ability to see beyond what is seen in the physical and perceive beyond the normal experience.

Strong is what follows the vision.

 

Courage

amets (aw-mats’)

FMa

אָמַץ

aThe ‘Aleph’ resembles an ox head and depicts strength or leader.
MThe ‘Mem’ looks like waves of water that represents chaos to desert dwelling Bedouin.
FThe ‘Tzade’ appears like a man crawling as a hunter seeking prey.

The meaning of courage or “Amets” in Hebrew begins with the tzade. The little man is crawling and seeking the strength (aleph) to overcome the chaos (mem).

Seeking strength of overcome chaos.

 

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Lamb

Artists Comments

When I began this piece, I had in mind John the Baptist’s statement recorded in John 1:29. When John saw Jesus coming towards him he said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Having heard this phrase my whole life, I incorrectly assumed that the phrase “Lamb of God” was spattered throughout the whole Bible. Surprisingly, that phrase seems to be exclusive to John.

Then I wondered about “Passover Lamb.” My search for that phrase came up empty as well. The lamb appears to be referred to as only the Passover or Pesach. So at this point in my research, this will be my lamb that illustrates my vision of the Lamb… or as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5:7… ”indeed Christ our Passover who was sacrificed for us (me).”

I am interested in other understandings and/or research about this topic. Please don’t hesitate to comment below.

Lamb

Seh (śê)

hs

שֶׂה

sThe ‘Shin’ is the picture two teeth, usually meaning to tear, rip, or destroy.
hThe ‘Hey’ illustrates a man with his arms up like he is trying to get attention, so it refers to behold, look, observe, or reveal. In this case it is used as “what comes from.”

Of the teeth (those that graze)

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Passover Promises

Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God — Exodus 6:6-7a

These promises are remembered in the four cups during the Passover Seder meal. Artist Marla Jean Clinesmith created beautiful works of art using the Ancient Hebrew letters for a word representing each of those promises.

Bring You Out

Yatza (yaw-tsaw’)

AFy

יָצָא

yThe ‘Yud’ represents an arm and a hand and means work, throw, or worship.
FThe ‘Tsade’ represents a hook or hunter and means catch, or desire.
AThe ‘Aleph’ is the picture of an ox head and illustrates strong, power, or leader.

By His work He searches and greatly brings us out.

 

Rescue You

natsal (naw-tsal’)

LFn

נָצַל

nThe ‘Nun’ represents a sprout and gives us the meaning of life, continuing, or heir.
FThe ‘Tsade’ represents a hook or hunter and means catch, or desire.
LThe ‘Lamed’ is a picture of a shepherd’s staff and is used to represent authority.

Life comes from pursuing THE authority.

 

Redeem You

goel (gaw-al)

lag

גָּאַל

gThe ‘Gimel’ is the picture of the upraised head of a camel and means walk, carry, lift up, or pride.
aThe ‘Aleph’ is the picture of an ox head and illustrates strong, power, or leader.
lThe ‘Lamed’ is a picture of a shepherd’s staff and is used to represent authority.

To gather back/restore to the original intent with the strength of MY authority.

 

Praise

hallel (haw-lal’)

LLh

הָלַל

hThe ‘Hey’ represents a man with his hands in the air trying to get someone’s attention and suggests look, reveal, behold.
LThe ‘Lamed’ is a picture of a shepherd’s staff and is used to represent authority.
LThe ‘Lamed’ is a picture of a shepherd’s staff and is used to represent authority.

Behold THE Authority.

 

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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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Fire

Fire

Esh (aysh)

sa

אֵשׂ

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.

Fire is a strong devourer.

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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.