Peaceful Packers Llamas


Peace, Joy + Love to All


This page is a resource that we use for Christian bible study. We have developed some of the information on this page and we have borrowed information from other studies which are freely available. Our intent is to provide a study resource that we can access when traveling. We do not disagree with anyone's personal interpretation of scripture and our thoughts are not offered as an argument for the perspective from our understanding of this revelation. Please feel free to read or use the study material if it is of help. Thank you - Love, Peace and Joy

Hebrew Studies - Lesson #3  ALEF-TAV

 Our third Hebrew study is a continuance of our consideration of ALEF-TAV - we encountered this interesting and wonderful revelation of Jesus Christ, in the Old Testament, during our first Hebrew study.

 The 611 ALEF-TAV occurrences, in the Old Testament, are a direct reference which Jesus Christ makes on more than several occasions in the New Testament book of Revelation; you should consider that when Jesus is talking to John, in the Book of Revelation, that are both Jews - so they, during the original event, would have been speaking Hebrew to each other. The Book of Revelation is recorded in Greek so the ALPHA-OMEGA which we translate into our various English versions of the Bible were actually ALEF-TAV in the dialog, of Jesus and John, which the Book of Revelation documents:


·         Rev 1:8  "I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end ...  the Lord ... who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."


·         Rev 1:17  "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead ... he laid his right hand upon me ... saying ... Fear not; I am the first and the last"


·         Rev 21:6  "he said to me ... it is done ... I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end ... I will give him who thirsts ... the fountain of the water of life freely."


·         Rev 22:13 "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."


These references, in Revelation, which Jesus makes regarding Him being the beginning and the end are also found in two verses of the Old Testament book of Isaiah:

Isaiah chapter 44, verse 6: “This is what the Lord says … I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.”

Isaiah chapter 48, verses 12-13: ““... I am he; I am the first and I am the last. My own hand laid the foundations of the earth ... my right hand spread out the heavens …”

The reference is that He (Jesus Christ) is the ALEF and TAV: את

In both modern and ancient Hebrew, the stand alone or perhaps better stated as "unbound" (e.g. to other Hebrew letters in a word) את is an unspoken syntax object. The Hebrew name for this unspoken syntax object is "eet" or "et" or "ate" or eth" depending upon the source that you may be reading. This unspoken and un-translated syntax object, "eet", is termed a "direct object marker", the purpose is to provide sub-text reference. In English, we use the position of a noun in a sentence to define it's relationship to the verb of that sentence - for example: "Jack went to visit Jill" - here the position of Jack in the sentence defines which noun performed the action - the meaning is quite different from the same words in an alternate sentence: "Jill went to visit Jack". The eet is a grammatical symbol which performs this function in both ancient and modern Hebrew - it defines the noun of accusative case, that is the noun which is directly related to the main verb of a statement. We see these occurrences of "eet", in the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament, as direct references to Jesus Christ. The occurrences of "eet" are not common, there are only a total 611 (perhaps 613) such occasions in the Old Testament, and they are a wonderful revelation when this name for Jesus Christ is present. Altogether there are over 7,000 occurrences of the letter combination את in the Old Testament when you consider this letter combination also within words. This is by far the highest number of any two letters in sequential combination within the Old Testament in ancient Hebrew. One of the great Jewish scholars of the first and second century, Rabbi Akiva, in the Talmud commentary termed the "Babylonian Talmud" found his studies brought him to the belief that the unbound ALEF-TAV occurrences found in the Torah and Prophets represent the presence of God, in his term: "the Divine Hand". He felt that the unbound ALEF-TAV occurrences are the actual "secret" sign of God which embrace all the words of the Torah and again in his words: "all of creation". Not too far from the Gospel of John, chapter 1. Rabbi Akiva was a remarkable person, originally a shepherd who became one of the great scholars and spiritual leaders of his time. He was not a Christian however he was true to the covenant of Moses to his best efforts, helped to define that covenant in modern Judaism as a relationship with God who requires obedience however a covenant with God who also extends mercy to His people. Rabbi Akiva was martyred during the reign of Hadrian because he continued to practice his faith, Judaism, when it was outlawed by the Roman empire.

ALEF-TAV is not every where in the Old Testament, nor is it necessarily in every key verse in which a Christian might expect to see a direct link to Jesus Christ. For example, ALEF-TAV is not found in Numbers 6: 22-27: “The Lord said to Moses, Tell Aaron and his sons, This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;  the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” A beautiful prayer and blessing however no את .

We feel God has something wonderful for us to find in this study. Our first goal is to be focused on a study of the Hebrew alphabet, word structure and syntax however with our “discovery” of ALEF-TAV this segment of our Hebrew studies project also promises to be a nice study of Old Testament revelations of Jesus Christ. In this third Hebrew study, we have selected some Old Testament verses which contain ALEF-TAV and have been, for many years, scriptures which we feel are revelations of Jesus Christ. Our intent is to review the scripture, review the Hebrew text with the ALEF-TAV and also make any other New Testament comments which seem appropriate. This may take us awhile so our apology if you review some of the verses and we’re not quite complete with either the Hebrew transliteration or the New Testament references.


Genesis chapter 1, verse 1

Note scripture verse Genesis, chapter 1, verse 1: "In the beginning God את created the heavens and the earth.

This is Jesus Christ defined as God creating the heavens and the earth in the very first verse of the Old Testament.

Note in the epistle of Paul to the Colossians, chapter 1, verses 16-17:

" For by Him (Jesus Christ) all things were created that are in heaven and earth ... all things were created by Him and for Him"

The Gosple of John states the same truth in chapter 1, verse1: "... all things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made ..."

  דﬡﬢי ﬡﬨ ﬣשמﬦ ﬡﬨ ﬡלדיﬦ כﬢﬡ כﬢﬡשיﬨ  
  the earth and the heavens   God (Eloheim) created In the begining  



Genesis chapter 28, verse 15

verse 16 us key - thread 10 - 22 //  Jacob's Ladder //  Surley the Lord is in this place and I did not know it



Numbers chapter 21, verse 6

There is an Alef-Tav occurrence in the Old Testament book that is titled Numbers surrounding the account of the bronze snake which God had Moses make to deliver the people of Israel from venomous snakes. The setting is just after a great victory they had against people who attacked them. The people of Israel then began to speak against God saying “why did we leave Egypt, we do not like this Manna, etc.”. The snakes had always been there however the people of Israel removed themselves from the protection of God and then the snakes began to be a problem. Moses made the bronze snake and placed it on a pole to remind the people of Israel of that their protection was from God, if they were bitten they could look at the bronze snake to remember God’s protection and they would be saved. This bronze snake left a lasting impression on the people of Israel because it was preserved over centuries until the time of King Hezekiah of Judah. Hezekiah was a good king, in the eyes of God, who tried to return the hearts and minds of the people of Israel to the one true God. He removed the high places where the Israelites had started to worship idols, he smashed their sacred stones to these idols, cut down Asherah poles which were also sites of idol worship and he broke into pieces the bronze snake which Moses had made. The bronze snake was broken because the people of Israel had, by that time, named it Nehushtan and were burning incense to it as an idol.

Note the reference, by Jesus, in the Gospel of John, to himself and the bronze snake which had been made by Moses; this account comes in His dialog with Nicodemus the Pharisee: “ Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.  He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[ must be born again.’  The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.  I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

 The account of the bronze snake, made by Moses, is found in the Old Testament book titled Numbers, chapter six, verses 4 through 9: “… they traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way;  they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.  The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”  So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived. The segment of scripture “ venomous snakes among them; they bit the people” is the text we’ll focus on to note the Alef-Tav which is present in Numbers, chapter 21, verse 6.

    ﬡﬨﬣצם יבשכ ﬣשדפﬦ דיﬣישם ﬡﬨ כשם  
    the people and they bit venomous serpents   among the people  


A little bit father along in this scripture is the verse: "Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived." Note that God did not take away the consequence of their sin, rather He provided a solution for the harm that the consequence caused. The word of our interest, in this verse, is "looked" ... as ... it is not the usual Hebrew word for look; rather it is the word Hibeet which has the meaning of "looking with expectation".
      Looked with Expectation          




Deuteronomy chapter 18, verse 18

I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.


Psalm 83

Some students of the Old and New Testament consider the scripture of Psalm 83 as a prophecy for a conflict that is to occur in Israel prior to the Rapture and prior to the more famous conflict which is detailed in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel, chapters 38 + 39. The Ezekiel conflict comes just at the beginning of the seven year time of Tribulation and includes a host of Israel's neighbors as well as perhaps Russia or at least southern Russia which was the land of Gog at the time of Ezekiel. To many, the conflict of Psalm 83 appears to fall before the Tribulation and thus before the Rapture - though who really knows except the Lord. Our prayers are always for the reconciliation of these very different ethnic groups and peace in their region both with reference to Psalm 83 and the famous prophecies of Ezekiel 38 + 39. Perhaps the conflict of Psalm 83 is part of Israel's ancient past however, regardless of the actual reference, it holds an interesting occasion of ALEF-TAV. Our purpose in looking at Psalm 83 is this occurrence of an ALEF-TAV in a fairly short psalm of which we'll print the whole text into our study. So far, in our studies of the free standing AlEF-TAVs, regardless of how you consider them - e.g. a direct object marker defining the noun related to the primary verb of a statement or, as we see it, Jesus Christ present among the Old Testament scriptures which look forward to His redemptive work on Earth for our salvation - this is an ALEF-TAV  that is a little different. In the examples we have explored, the ALEF-TAV sits between the primary verb of a statement and its noun which so far has been a mix which includes all of creation, the people of Israel, the people of the nations who will be called to God through God's wonderful grace, truth and faith (that's us Christians) - however - in Psalm 83, verse 13, we find the ALEF-TAV between the primary verb and the actual land (pastureland) of Israel. This supports a recurring theme we find in the Old Testament - that is - the Promised Land itself, the actual land of Israel, as defined quite a few times in the Old Testament, is very important to the Lord along with His love and concern for the people of Israel to whom He gave this land as an inheritance for all their coming generations.


Psalm 83

1 O God, do not remain silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aloof, O God.
2 See how your enemies growl, how your foes rear their heads.
3 With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish.
4 “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”

5 With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you—
6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
8 Even Assyria has joined them to reinforce Lot’s descendants.

9 Do to them as you did to Midian, as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10 who perished at Endor and became like dung on the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God.”

13 Make them like tumbleweed, my God, like chaff before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest
or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15 so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm.
16 Cover their faces with shame, Lord, so that they will seek your name.

17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace.
18 Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord - that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

      בﬡ ﬡﬨ בידשלב      
      of God's pasturelands for ourselves   let us take possession      

Searching scripture a little more we fine, related to our study of ALEF-TAV, some Old Testament scriptures which compliment the prophesy of Psalm 83

Obadiah chapter1, verses 15 +18-19 - 15 For the day of the Lord is near against all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. 18 The house of Jacob shall be a fire, the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau stubble; they shall burn them and consume them, and there shall be no survivor of the house of Esau; for the Lord has spoken. 19 Those of the Negeb shall possess Mount Esau, and those of the Shephelah the land of the Philistines; they shall possess the land of Ephraim and the land of Samaria, and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.

Joel chapter 3, verse 19 - 19 Egypt shall become a desolation and Edom a desolate wilderness, because of the violence done to the people of Judah, in whose land they have shed innocent blood.

Zephaniah chapter 1, verse 14 and chapter 2, verses 8-9 - 14 Therefore you shall give parting gifts to Moresheth-gath; the houses of Achzib shall be a deception to the kings of Israel. 8 I have heard the taunts of Moab and the revilings of the Ammonites, how they have taunted my people and made boasts against their territory. 9 Therefore, as I live, says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Moab shall become like Sodom and the Ammonites like Gomorrah, a land possessed by nettles and salt pits, and a waste forever. The remnant of my people shall plunder them, and the survivors of my nation shall possess them.

Isaiah chapter 34, verse 5 + varses 9-10 - 5 When my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens, lo, it will descend upon Edom, upon the people I have doomed to judgment. 9 And the streams of Edom[b] shall be turned into pitch, and her soil into sulfur; her land shall become burning pitch. 10 Night and day it shall not be quenched; its smoke shall go up forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; no one shall pass through it forever and ever.

While the revelation of Psalm 83 and these related passages is sobering when one considers the image which is being projected in prophecy, we feel that perhaps the role of the Christian is to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, to pray for the safety, health and welfare of all the peoples of this region regardless of the orientation of their faith in God. It is interesting to note that ALEF-TAV is found in Obadiah Chapter 1, verse 17, again in Zephaniah Chapter 1, verse 18 and in Zephaniah Chapter 2, verse 11. In the current time frame we'll move on to other examples of ALEF-TAV and perhaps return to this cluster at another time.


Isaiah chapter 52, verses 6-15

In the range of verses 10 and 11 of this chapter in Isaiah there is an ALEF-TAV. It seems important to consider the major points in this revelation between verses 6 and 15 - so - we'll detail that scripture, with a  bold/underline, that we'll also transliterate to highlight the ALEF-TAV. "My people shall know My Name ... they shall know ... that ... I AM He who speaks ... Behold it is I ... Who proclaims peace ... Who brings glad tidings ... Who proclaims salvation ... Who tells you ... Your God Reigns ... Break forth into joy ... Sing together ... For the Lord will comfort His people ... He will redeem them ... The Lord will bare His holy arm ... In the eyes of all nations ... and ... the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God ... you who bear the vessel of  Lord ... will not go out with haste ... nor ... go by flight ... for ... the Lord will go before you ... and ... be your rear guard ... Behold my Servant ... He will sprinkle many nations ... for what has not been told ... they will see ... and what they have not heard ... they will consider."


    ﬡלדיכ ישצﬨ ﬡﬨ ﬡדצ ﬡפבי    
    of our God will see the salvation   the earth the ends of    




Isaiah chapter 52, verses 5 - 8

This prophecy of Jesus Christ has an Alef-Tav in the sixth verse of Isaiah chapter 52; we have bolded the section of this scripture which has the Alef-Tav: "He was wounded for our transgressions ... He was bruised for our iniquity ... The chastisement for our peace was upon Him ... And by His stripes we are healed ... We all, like sheep, have gone astray ... We have turned everyone to his own way ... And the Lord laid upon Him the iniquity of us all ... He was oppressed and afflicted ... Yet He did not open His mouth ... He was led as a lamb to the slaughter ... For He was cut off from the land of the living ... For the transgressions of My people, He was stricken ..."

  בעבד דיﬡ בבש כלב עוּוּ ﬡﬨ כ  
  was afflicted and He He was oppressed us all the iniquity of   upon Him  



Isaiah chapter 66, verses 18 +19

And I ... am about to come and gather the people of all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory. I will set a sign among them ...

  לקכע ﬡﬨ כל ﬣגים ﬣלשנח      
  I will gather   all nations and tongues      



 Zachariah 12: 10

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the one they ehave pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son." This is one of the Old Testament scriptures which John quotes as he remembers Jesus at the cross in the Gospel of John, chapter 19, verse 37: "They shall look on him whom they pierce."

  דיﬣיד צל כבםכד צלי    
  an only son for as one mourns for Him    
  וּםבד דדכד ﬡש ﬡﬨ    
  and they shall mourn they have pierced for Me over whom      
  םﬦכד יבדל דדיﬡ כים    
  mourning there will be great that in ... day    



Micha chapter 5 verses 2-5

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting. Therefore He shall give them up, Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; Then the remnant of His brethren Shall return to the children of Israel. And He shall stand and feed His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; And they shall abide, For now He shall be great To the ends of the earth; And this One shall be peace.




םוּשל לﬣי יצﬡ יוּםםד




of Israel

the ruling One to be shall He come forth out of you  




ילדד צדצﬨ יﬨם רכ




gives birth

she who is in labor until that time to the brethern there goes forward




As we were working on this ALEF-TAV which is a prophecy for the birth of Jesus Christ at Bethlehem Ephrathah, we noticed verse 8 in Micah chapter 4: "And you, O tower of the flock, The stronghold of the daughter of Zion, To you shall it come, Even the former dominion shall come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.” There is no ALEF-TAV in this scripture however we took note of the term "tower of the flock" which, in Hebrew, is pronounced: Migdal Eder.

      Migdal Eder          
      Tower of Eder          
      Tower of the Flock          

At the time of Jesus' birth, Migdal Eder was not a watchtower for the ordinary flocks of Bethlehem Ephrathah. This was a shelter, for very special sheep, which was on the North side of Bethlehem, close to the town, on the road to Jerusalem. A passage in the Mishnah tells us that these sheep bore the lambs which were destined for Temple-sacrifices, and accordingly, the shepherds, who watched over them, were not ordinary shepherds - rather they were trained in and followed Rabbinic law. The same Mishnaic passage also tells us that these flocks were on pasture all the year round. We find it interesting to consider that Jesus may not have been born in a donkey shack behind some Inn or in a cave used for livestock - He may have been born, out under the glory of God's stars, in a shelter for the sacrificial lambs dedicated to the worship of God. The Tower of Eder also is named in Genesis chapter 35 verse 21 as the location where Rachel (Jacob's wife) died giving birth to her son Benjamin. It was here that Jacob setup a pillar at Rachel's grave.

The internet has made access to many resources much easier for various type of reference. Note a mention of Migdal Eder that is found in the Hebrew commentary Mishnah (the written record of the oral teaching of the Jewish Rabbis), in the book of Shekalim, chapter 7, verse 4: "Of the herds, in the space between Jerusalem and `the tower of the flock' and on both sides, the males are for burnt-offerings, the female for peace-offerings.” It turns out that temple rules required that the lambs for sacrifice must be raised within three miles of the temple and in the wilderness (this reference comes from another Mishnah commentary – Baba, chapter 7, verse 7). Bethlehem was about three and a half miles from the temple and Migdal Eder was situated on the west side of that town toward Jerusalem – while the actual site is not certain, most agree Migdal Eder was about a half to three-quarters of a mile from Bethlehem. Another Mishnaic reference tells us that these flocks lay out, on pasture, all the year round, since they are spoken of as in the fields thirty days before the Passover -- that is, in the month of February, when in Palestine the average rainfall is nearly greatest. In addition, Migdal Eder is also mentioned by the Targum. The Targum is an Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible (Tanak) which was written during Israel’s seventy year captivity in Babylon. Rabbis added commentary to this translation of the Old Testament scriptures   –  here the commentary for Genesis 35:23 states: “He will spread his tent beyond Migdal Edar the place where Kind Messiah will reveal himself at the end of days".  Hopefully not overdoing this portion of the study, there are several other Jewish sources for comment on Migdal Eder including the Jerusalem Talmud which states: “The King Messiah … from where does he come forth? ‘from the royal city of Bethlehem in Judah’”. Additionally there is a Jewish mystical work, the Zohar (II, 8b) which says that when the time arrives for the Messiah’s revelation, he will appear in a great light in the outskirts of Bethlehem, close to Rachel’s tomb, at a place called Migdal-Eder (“the tower of the flock”), where Jacob had camped after Rachel’s death. The again in the Targum another comment on Genesis 35:21, specifies: “And Jacob proceeded and spread his tent beyond Migdal-Eder, the place where it is to be that the King Messiah will be revealed at the end of days”. While Jewish and Christian commentaries are certainly not scripture, it is interesting to see there is a historical basis for conclusions similar to the one we made for this verse in the Old Testament book of Micah, chapter 4, verse 8.



Micha chapter 6, verse1

Listen to what the Lord says: “Stand up, plead my case before the mountains; let the hills hear what you have to say. “Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the Lord has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel.



Malachi chapter 3, verse10

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.


Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 

The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

This is the Shema; note the ALEF-TAV in the third box:

The Shema is a declaration of faith in God. For Jewish folks there is an obligation to say the Shema in the morning and at night.

Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom forever and ever.

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

And these words that I command you today shall be in your heart.

And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them

when you sit at home, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.



Isaiah chapter 22, verses 21 + 22


We encountered an interesting alef-tav while doing a study in the New Testament book Revelations that focused on the messages which Jesus gives to the seven churches. Note in chapter 3 of Revelations this set of verses addressed to the church at Philadelphia: "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens ... I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut."


The primary scriptural reference for the "Key or David" is found in the Old Testament book Isaiah, chapter 22, verses 21 - 25: "On that day I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah and will clothe him with your robe and bind your sash on him. I will commit your authority to his hand, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open. I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his ancestral house. And they will hang on him the whole weight of his ancestral house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. On that day, says the Lord of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way; it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will perish, for the Lord has spoken."


There is an alef-tav in verse 21 between the word strings "He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah" and "will clothe him with your robe and bind your sash on him. I will commit your authority to his hand" - both central to the definition of the "key of David" in verse 22 : "I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open" - thus the link back to Revelations chapter 3, verses 7 + 8. We see these verses, that is the image of the key of David, as the Jewish tallit or prayer shawl. Note from the Old Testament book Numbers, chapter 15, verses 38 - 40: "Speak to the children of Israel; tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them ..." The term "tassel" refers to the "tzitzit" at each corner of the tallit - these tassels represent the commandments, the names of God and for the Christian a nice reminder of the wonderful grace which was purchased and is provided to us through the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. That grace provides our salvation, the atonement for our sins, health and healing in this life, etc. Many tallits also have an atarah" (crown) on which is often written a blessing that is stated verbally when one puts on the tallit (see our study section on tallit). Jewish folks will wear a tallit during their morning prayer time (Shacharit), during Torah reading services and on special occasions like weddings, etc. We find the tallit mentioned, in the New Testament, in quite a few verses including:

  • Gospel of Matthew, chapter 9, verse 20

  • Gospel of Matthew, chapter 14, verse 36

  • Gospel of Mark, chapter 6, verse 56

  • Gospel of Luke, chapter 8, verse 44

 The tallit has recently been reintroduced to Christians as a scripturally based heritage for use during both prayer and worship.

Jewish tradition refers to the "wings" of a tallit - a good symbol of God's grace - note in Psalm 91, verse 4: "under His wings I will find refuge"

The presence of the alef-tav in Isaiah chapter 22, verse 21 sends a message to us that the our use of a tallit is important to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ:




כיי בכטד כﬨנד לבשי




your authority

fasten him with your sash with your robe cloth him      


לבי ידשלם לישב לﬡב





and the house of Jerusalem to the dwellers of a father





י םﬨﬨ צגישבכ ביﬨדד





and none he that opens on his shoulder of the house of David

the key




We feel, from these scripture references, that the tallit is a representation of the Key of David which reflects and aids our commitment to prayer and worship. The use of the tallit may appear somewhat different to many fellow Christians and we should always be sensitive to the possibility that our use of a tallit, as Christians, may be offensive to some Jewish friends - however - we find in Revelations chapter 3 and Isaiah chapter 22 a clear description of the tallit as the Key of David. Prayer and worship of God is the key which "he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open" (from Revelations) and "he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open" (from Isaiah). What does this mean? - Perhaps:

  • Matthew chapter 16, verse 19: Jesus speaking to Peter - "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven"

  • Luke chapter 11, verse 52: Jesus speaking to the Jewish leadership - "you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering"

  • John chapter 10, verses 7 - 10: Jesus speaking - “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep ...  I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture ... I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly"

  • Matthew chapter 24, verses 32 + 33: Jesus speaking - “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.  So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates."

  • Matthew chapter 7, verses 7 + 8: Jesus speaking - "Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.  For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."


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