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The third letter of the Hebrew alphabet is GIMEL.
The numeric value of GIMEL is three.
The pictogram or symbol behind the shape of the letter GIMEL is a foot ... a symbol of someone walking.
The previous letter of the Hebrew alphabet was BET. BET means “house, or household”. The pictogram behind the shape of the letter BET is a tent.
Note that in the line of Hebrew letters, read from right to left, the foot is “walking away from the tent”. There is a progression on view. Moving from a flimsy tent – a temporary dwelling – the dwelling of someone on the move, to a more permanent house – something made of solid materials.
In the first five books of the Bible (the Torah), there is a progression on view:
The last word in each of the first five books of the Bible shows the progress:
Israel came out of Egypt; they journeyed into the wilderness; they heard from God at Mount Sinai; they crossed into the Promised Land at Jericho and had their first victory; and they settled in the land that God had promised them.
It all foreshadows our spiritual journey – our life of faith in Jesus.
God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees, and into a land that He would show him. Hebrews chapter 11 tells us:
(8) By faith ... he (Abraham) went, not knowing where he was going. (9) By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise ... dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise. (10) He was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the patriarchs – were pilgrims. They were on a spiritual journey.
For the Israelites in the wilderness, the ark of the covenant was housed in a tabernacle – a tent. The tabernacle came into the promised land with the Israelites.
Hundreds of years later, King David bought the land and gathered the materials to build a temple of stone in Jerusalem. The ark of the covenant and the brazen altar were brought together and settled in the Temple that David’s son, King Solomon, built.
There is a progression on view. From wandering to a place of settlement. From flimsy tent, to lasting stone. It is a picture. It is a “type and shadow” of what is eternal.
2 Corinthians 5:1 says, the earthly tent (of our life on this earth) will be torn down ... “but we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
We move from a life in corruptible flesh, to the glory that will be ours in eternity (see Romans 8:19-23).
And this was true of Jesus. Since we have to live a life in flesh and blood, Jesus also took on flesh and blood (Hebrews 2:14).
“Although He existed in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but He emptied Himself, taking on the form of a slave, being made in the likeness of men .. He humbled Himself unto death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8)
But Jesus rose from the grave. And He ever lives to receive us into glory. The progress is easy to see. From tent, to stone building, to an eternal life that does not fade.
Now, let us return to the letter GIMEL. GIMEL in Hebrew is spelled GIMEL MEM LAMED.
The letters of this word have a numeric value of 73.
As a word spelled GIMEL MEM LAMED, but pronounced “gamal”, it means “a camel”. The camel image goes well with the pictogram of a foot ... a person walking, symbolizing pilgrimage. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob travelled as a group, with the necessities of life loaded onto camels.
But the word “gamal” also has the meaning “to produce”, as in what comes out of the work of our lives. And it means “to be brought up”, to be raised like children. And it means “to reward, to repay” (what is deserved).
As believers in Jesus, the New Testament tells us over and over again, that “we are in Him” and “He is in us”. We are His workmanship. In Him, we live and move and have our being. His Spirit lives in us. Our life is the life of the Spirit.
People who are not born again – those whose lives are according to the flesh – set their minds on things of the flesh (Romans 8:14).
Those who have the Spirit of Christ, set their minds on the things of the Spirit. And in this, there is life and peace (Romans 8:6).
We are “led by the Spirit” (Romans 8:14). God is raising us as His children. We have been adopted into His family. And as we yield to God, His life and power is at work in us. And He completes what He began.
Jesus is our all in all.
With understanding of Hebraic thought, and awareness of design elements in the Scriptures, we take 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.