Category Archives: Ancient Hebrew Word Pictures

Yeshua is the Door

the-door-of-the-sheep“Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.John 10:7

In Yeshua’s “I am” statement about being the Door of the Sheep,  He teaches us that He is “the Door”, not just “a door”.  He is saying that He is not only our Shepherd who leads us into the sheepfold of the Kingdom, but He is the only door by which we can enter and be saved and find safe pasture (John 10:9).  There are deeper meanings for understanding Yeshua as our door into the Kingdom of God, so come with me now as we dig deeper into the Word to explore these meanings.

It is helpful to understand more about sheep and shepherding in general and specifically during Yeshua’s time.  Of all domesticated animals, sheep are the most helpless.  Sheep will spend their entire day grazing, wandering from place to place, never looking up. As a result, they often become lost. But sheep have no “homing instinct” as other animals do. They are totally incapable of finding their way to their sheepfold, even when it is in plain sight. By nature, sheep are followers. If the lead sheep steps off a cliff, the others are likely to follow.

Also, sheep are very susceptible to injuries and are utterly helpless against predators. If a wolf enters the pen, sheep won’t defend themselves or run away.  Sheep are totally dependent upon their shepherd for food, shelter, guidance and protection. So close is the bond between shepherd and sheep that to this day Middle Eastern shepherds can divide flocks that have mingled at a well or during the night simply by calling their sheep, who know and follow their shepherd’s voice. The shepherd leads the sheep to safe places to graze and makes them lie down for several hours in a shady place (think of the parallel to Psalm 23). Then at nightfall, the shepherd leads the sheep to the protection of a sheepfold.

In ancient times, there were two kinds of sheepfolds or pens. One kind was a public sheepfold found in villages. It would be large enough to hold several flocks of sheep. This sheep pen would be in the care of a “doorkeeper”, whose duty it was to guard the door to the sheep pen during the night and admit the shepherds in the morning. The shepherds would call their sheep, each of which knew their own shepherd’s voice, and he would lead them out to pasture (see John 10:4).

The second kind of sheep pen was in the countryside, where the shepherds would keep their flocks in good weather. This type of sheep pen was nothing more than a rough circle of rocks piled into a wall with a small open space to enter. Through it the shepherd would drive the sheep at nightfall. Since there was no gate to close—just an opening—the shepherd would keep the sheep in and wild animals out by lying across the opening. He would sleep there, in this case literally becoming the door to the sheep[fold].

Several ancient Hebrew word pictures point to Yeshua as the Door in a powerful way.  The ancient letter for door is dalet.  This meant the tent flap or door originally, but also the “path” or the “way of life”.  Devar in Hebrew means “word”. When we look at the ancient characters for Devar, though, the root meaning is “the Door of the Son”.  Since Yeshua is the living Word, Devar can also be interpreted as “The Word of YHVH”, as in the book of Deuteronomy [Devarim].  Psalm 19:14 says: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, YHVH, my rock and my redeemer”.  In Hebrew, a word for redeem is Padah and the word picture meaning is “redemption comes by the mouth of the door”. The ancient letters tell us that redemption is by the words of the door, and we know that door is Yeshua. Another significant word is the Hebrew word for Righteous, Tsedek, and the word picture tells us that  a person is righteous when their hook is the Door they follow (hook, or fishhook, refers to that which draws you – your passion or desire).

God’s name, Yehovah, is spelled yod-hey-vav-hey in Hebrew. The letter dalet is added to spell “Yehudah” [Judah], out of whose line Yeshua was descended. These 4 letters of the Name of God plus the letter dalet which means “door,” paint a different word picture:  His name tells us that Praise opens the Door to God“.  Since Yeshua is the Door, and He said everyone must enter through Him, this is a graphic picture of the pathway to YHVH – the key to the Door is praise!

Yeshua tells us that He is not only the shepherd of His sheep, but also the door of the sheep. In doing so, He is inviting us to be part of His sheepfold, where we will never have to fear or want for anything.  All we have to do is praise Him, and follow Him on His path, trusting Him with every part of our lives!

Ancient Hebrew Confirms Yeshua’s Work on the Cross

How to live Torah“So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I am He.” John 8:28

We have spoken before about all the amazing prophecies of the Messiah in the Nevi’im (prophets) that foretold the first coming of Yeshua and how He would die and be resurrected to atone for our sins and bring us back into relationship with Abba Father.  When we go deeper into the history of the Hebrew language and look at the paleo-Hebrew word pictures, even more incredible Messianic prophecies are revealed to us.

The most elemental aspects of our relationship with YHVH [Yehovah] are the life instructions He gave us in His Torah, and the covenant(s) He made with us from the beginning of His creation.  Looking at the ancient Hebrew symbols for Torah first, we see that the final letter is hey, which appears like a person with their arms raised, meaning “to reveal or behold”.  As the final letter, it actually means “what is revealed from”.  Looking back at the first three letters, they tell us where the law [Torah] originates from.  The third letter, resh, which looks like a person’s head, means “the man”.  The second letter, vav, means “nail”, and the first letter, tav, means “cross”.  So, putting all these together, torah means “what is revealed from the Man nailed to the cross”.

Covenant in Hebrew is b’rit (pronounced breet).  This word starts off with the letter bet, which means “house” in ancient Hebrew word pictures, and then is followed by the letter resh, meaning a person, man or leader.  When these two letters are placed together, they mean “the man of the house” or more commonly “the son of the house”.  The next letter is yod, which means hand or arm, but when used at the end of the first two letters, it becomes possessive, or “my”.  So the first three letters now give us the meaning of “my son”.  Finally, we have the tav at the end of the word, which we saw above meant “cross”.  Putting these together, we get the awesome prophetic meaning of the word covenant as “the cross of My Son”!  This was prophesied in Psalms 22:16 as “they pierced My hands and My feet.” And Zechariah 12:10 as “they shall look upon Me [Yeshua] whom they have pierced”.  We know that YHVH’s covenant with His people started with Abraham, but it was prophesied that the final covenant would be fulfilled through the Messiah, our Redeemer.  Through Isaiah, Abba Father said to Yeshua the Messiah: “I will preserve You and give You as a covenant to the people” (Isa 49:8).

If we go full circle back to the name of the Hebrew language, iv’rit, in the ancient word pictures it is written the same as covenant [b’rit] with one addition – the letter ayin (meaning reveal) is added to the front of the word.  Putting these letters together, we can see the purpose of the Hebrew language stated in its name, meaning in English “to reveal the covenant”, which is “the cross of My Son”.

These are beautiful insights into the Scriptures and the Hebrew language, but what does it all mean for our lives?  If we study YHVH’s Word, then His Son will be revealed to us more and more, and we will come to know Yeshua and His Father, our Creator and Redeemer, who desires only good things for our lives (Jer 29:11).