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The 16th letter of the Hebrew alphabet is AYIN.
The numeric value of AYIN is 70.
The pictogram, or symbol, behind the shape of the letter AYIN is two eyes. Seeing. Watching. Rabbinical tradition has it that the letter represents the optic nerves of the two eyes, leading back to a solid foundation for life.
The word AYIN (spelled AYIN YUD NUN) means "eye".
The thought behind the letter AYIN is easy to grasp. God is watching over us. He cares for us. He is the Good Shepherd.
Psalm 23 is well-known. "The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want." In Hebrew: "Adonai ro'i lo echsar". "Adonai" ... the LORD. This is the word YUD HEH VAV HEH which represents the name of the LORD, which hints at the name of Jesus. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He watches over us.
The word AYIN (spelled AYIN YUD NUN) also means "a spring", as in a spring of water in the desert. The land of Israel has a lot of wilderness area. It is also a land of winter rainfall, with long, dry summers. To find a spring of water in the desert is to find life.
The first mention of a spring of water in the Bible is in chapter 16 of Genesis. AYIN is the 16th letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
Chapter 16 of Genesis is also where Hagar calls God the one "Who sees". The two ideas behind the word AYIN are brought together in one chapter. The 16th letter of the alphabet and the 16th chapter of the Bible.
The previous letter of the alphabet is SAMECH. SAMECH speaks of the LORD being our protection. He surrounds His people. He is our shield.
SAMECH is the 15th letter of the alphabet. At the start of the 15th chapter of the Bible, God promises Abraham that He will be "a shield" to him.
Chapter and verse divisions were not in the original texts of the Bible – they were added later. But they were certainly added in places where there was a natural division in the unfolding story, so it's not as if God was surprised when man added numbered chapters and verses.
There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The Bible starts with 11 chapters in Genesis that show God "rescuing" a people for Himself out of a fallen world, through Noah and his family, kept safe in the ark.
Then, in the next 11 chapters in Genesis, comes the story of Abraham, saved by faith and walking out a life of spiritual growth – his faith being tested. The 22nd chapter in Genesis speaks of Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac ... a father offering his son.
And the Bible ends with 22 chapters in the book of Revelation. Like the Hebrew alphabet, the 22 chapters of Revelation can be divided into the first 11 chapters, and a second 11.
Returning to the thought of AYIN meaning "eye" in Hebrew – in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that: "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness ..." (Matthew 6:23).
In Jewish thought, to have a "good eye" is to be generous, open-hearted. To have an "evil eye" is to be stingy. Proverbs chapter 28 verse 22 relates an evil eye to someone always chasing after money. And the context of these words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount is to do with money. The verses before the ones on having a good eye or an evil eye are where Jesus says, "store up treasures for yourself in heaven ... Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:20-21). And the verses after the ones on having a good eye or an evil eye, are where Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and money." (Matthew 6:24).
The context is money. To have a good eye is to be generous. And extreme generosity is what God demonstrated for us, when "He gave His only Son so that all who believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16). And Jesus, the Bible says, gave Himself to be that offering for sin. (See Galatians 1:4; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:2; Ephesians 5:25; 1 Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:14).
The numeric value of the letter AYIN is 70. Seventy is a significant number that shows up in Scripture in significant places.
Jacob's family, a total of 70, went down to Egypt (Genesis 46:27; Exodus 1:5; Deuteronomy 10:22).
When Jacob died, all Egypt mourned for him for 70 days (Genesis 50:3).
In Exodus 15:27 we read about Israel in the wilderness of Sinai, after they had passed through the Red Sea: "... they came to Elim where there were 12 springs of water and 70 date palms." Springs of water ... the Hebrew word for a spring is AYIN. And 70 date palms. The numeric value of AYIN is 70.
There were 70 elders of Israel (Exodus 24:1,9), and the traditional ruling Council of Israel, the Sanhedrin, comprised 70 men.
Judah was 70 years in exile in Babylon (see 2 Chronicles 36:21; Jeremiah 25:11-12; Jeremiah 29:10)
Daniel was told that 70 weeks, or 70 periods of 7, were decreed for Israel to finish with transgression.
And a 7th reference to 70 in Scripture is found in Psalm 90 verse 10, which says: "As for the days of our life, they contain 70 years ..." Seventy years in Hebrew is "shivim shanah". The numeric value of the phrase is 422 plus 355 which is 777, or 37 x 7 x 3.
To end this session, I want to draw your attention to a principle that Jewish rabbis follow as they study numeric patterns in the Torah. Words, or phrases, that have the same numeric value are usually related.
For example: LORD God: "Adonai YUD HEH VAV HEH", has a total numeric value of 91. There is a word for God found at Genesis 31:11 for example, "ha'Elohim", which also has a numeric value of 91.
And so does the phrase, "the LORD his trust", found at Jeremiah 17 verse 7 ... "Adonai mivtacho".
And so does "Servant of the LORD" ... "Ovadiah".
And so does the phrase, "Son honours Father", which we find at Malachi chapter 1 verse 6 ... "Ben ye'kavod av".
And so does the word: "Amen". All of which tells us a little something about the thought behind the word that we use at the end of prayers ... AMEN. It is from the Hebrew root for FAITH and TRUST ... but it is also an expression that is close to the heart of the Father and of the Son. (See pdf Related words and phrases for more examples)
Here is something interesting. The word "wine" in Hebrew is "ya'in" (YUD YUD NUN). The numeric value of the word is 70. "Secret" in Hebrew is "sod" (SAMECH VAV DALET), and the numeric value of the word is also 70.
We are familiar with the Latin expression, "in vino veritas", meaning "in wine is truth", implying that someone who drinks too much wine is liable to blurt out the truth. And in modern Hebrew they have a similar expression, with the added interest that both the wine which may cause someone to reveal a secret, and the word "secret", have the same numeric value – 70.
I close with this. In the New Testament, the Greek word for "God" is "Theou", which has a numeric value of 484, which is 22 x 22. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and every one of those letters points to Jesus in some form of His work or person. And the Greek New Testament word for "holy" is "agiou", which also has a numeric value of 484, which is 22 x 22. And our God certainly is holy.
Now think about this: Revelation chapter 13 verse 18 says that the "number of the beast is 666". And the Greek New Testament word "paradosis" also has a numeric value of 666. And "paradosis" means "tradition".
The Christian faith is not about rules ... it is not about rituals ... and it is not about tradition. It is about a relationship with Jesus, the Good Shepherd. The One who died for you, Who cares for you, Who watches over you.
With understanding of Hebraic thought and awareness of design elements in the Scriptures, we take you on a journey of growth in Christ Jesus.
The seminar “Bringing sons to glory” starts with Session 1: “You are gods” What did Jesus mean? ... and continues through the Psalms of Ascent.
This series will increase your knowledge of biblical Hebrew.