When asking a well-known rabbi in Israel, (known for his web site “Ask the Rabbi”) what he thought the Aleph/Tav את Symbol meant, he stated, “In fact the sages do deduce laws from the places where the aleph-tav appears. The rule is that it is meant to include something above and beyond the limited definition of the word. Rabbi S.R. Hirsch explains that it is related to the word ‘Os’ or sign, i.e. the thing stands for something more than itself.”
There have been other very famous Jewish rabbis down through history that also believed the Aleph Tav was a symbol of the divine, like rabbi Nahum of Gimzo and his pupil, rabbi Akiva that lived during the first century that did extensive research on the Aleph Tav and believed strongly that it was not a word, but a “mark” and was a sign of, or an invitation to, “amplification”. According to the Talmud wherever there is room for amplification there is an invitation to see the sign of a divine intention for some other secret or unwritten meaning. Rabbi Nahum attempted to explain every occurrence of Aleph Tav in the Torah and Akiva built on his work, suggesting that every occurrence is meant to indicate the presence of the Divine Hand. Rabbi Simeon, Akiva’s pupil, refrained from expanding or expounding on the Aleph Tav in the command to have awe for Elohim. Yet Akiva suggests that amplification is indeed possible, since the Aleph Tav directly defines Elohim. Akiva’s idea is that the Aleph Tav is the secret sign of Elohim, the silent cipher or secret code that embraces all the other words of the Torah and indeed of all creation. Born in 50 AD and martyed in 135 AD these words coming from rabbi Akiva are not to be taken lightly for Akiva is one of the greatest figures in Jewish history whose influence and stature is a source of inspiration throughout all of the ages. The saying goes, “Whatever one says about Rabbi Akiva, one can never say enough”. The Talmud (Menachos 29a) compares him favorably to Moses, which is the ultimate compliment in the Jewish lexicon. He is the national hero of the Jewish people for all time.
I must say, I totally agree with all these rabbis! Surprisingly, the Aleph/Tav את Symbol is found in the first five books of Moses (Torah) 2,622 times. That is over 1/3 of the total number found in the complete Tanakh, not including the Vav/Aleph/Tav ואת Symbol which is used another 828 times in the Torah, for a grand total of 3450 times that both the Aleph/Tav Symbols are written in just the Torah! This is significant and shows the value Moses placed on both the Aleph/Tav את Symbol and the Vav/Aleph/Tav ואת Symbol. There are whole chapters in the Torah in which Moses only placed one or two Aleph/Tav את Symbols. This proves the positioning of the symbols is based completely on “subject matter”.
The Aleph/Tav את Symbol does not take away from יהוה Father and His supremacy but enhances His characteristics and increases our understanding of their divine protocol. The placement of the Aleph Tav further explains the mystery of Who was represented in the manifestations of both the smoking cauldron and the fiery torch that passed over the sacrifices when Abraham was making covenant with the Yah-head (Gen 15:17). It further explains the pillar of smoke by day and the pillar of fire by night that protected the Israelites in the wilderness. These could only have been manifestations of יהוהFather as a consuming fire and את Y’shua as the cloud (Ex 33:10; Neh 9:19), the Yah-head/Elohim.
In addition to the obvious, there are hundreds of messianic prophetic scriptures in the Tanakh fulfilled by Y’shua the Messiah in the Brit Chadashah (New Covenant). Now we can look to over 9000 Aleph/Tav את Symbols in the Tanakh that further reveal to us how יהוהFather works WITH and THROUGH את Y’shua as ONE, by ONE SPIRIT, to provide redemption for man (Eph 2:18 For through Him we both have access by ONE SPIRIT unto the Father).
These are just a few manifestations in the Tanakh that exemplify Y’shua as Messiah:
1). He is visible in all 7 feast days (Spring and Fall Feast) as shadow pictures of prophecies He would personally fulfill (Lev 23).
2). He is visible in the creation symbolism of the Water of Sanctification (Purification) process with the sacrifice of the Red Heifer (Num 19).
3). He is visible in the ritual of cleansing the Leper (Lev 14).
4). He is visible in the creation and design of the Tabernacle and the furnishings inside, which represent all together the workings of the Yah-head.
5). Through Him, יהוה Father created the world.
6). Through Him, יהוה Father made all the covenants with the 12 tribes.
7). Through Him, יהוה Father’s righteous and Sacred Laws (Torah) were given to the 12 tribes.
8). Through Him, atonement was made for us, first as a type and foreshadow through the sanctified blood of animals and finally through His personal blood on Calvary.
9). Through the meaning of the names of Adam through Noah (chart Gen 5) His entire Gospel story is told.
10). Through the meaning of the names of Jacob’s children in the order of their birth (chart Gen 35) His entire Gospel story is told.
11). Through the original meaning of the 22 Paleo-Hebrew letters, (in the order in which they are given, from the Aleph to the Tav), the entire Gospel Story is encapsulated revealing all His characteristics, (from the beginning to the end and everything in between), showing the workings of יהוה Father, throughאת Y’shua Messiah and how He will redeem man.
12). Through יהוה (Father’s Memorial Name) the Gospel story is revealed. The Yod is Father’s hand which brings the 12 tribes (assembly/congregation) out of slavery. The Hey is Y’shua coming in the flesh as the Lamb of Elohim to provide His את blood as redemption (Ex 12:13). The Vav is Father’s hand pouring out His Spirit to bind His covenant Children with the Yah-head and with each other, to guide us in truth. The last Hey is to be fulfilled when Y’shua returns at the resurrection to save and collect His elect to reign with Him during the millennial Kingdom and forever.
This is the reason why everywhere the Aleph/Tav את Symbol is placed in scripture it reveals the workings of יהוה Father both with and through את Y’shua the Son (Yah-head), expressing the strength of the covenants, and working together as ONE in ONE SPIRIT (Eph 2:18).
The Gospel Story of Y’shuaContained within the Aleph-bet’s Original Meaning of the Hebrew Letters:
1. Aleph (א): He will manifest His STRENGTH for us
2. Bet (ב): He will come in a BODY – DWELLING – WOMAN (bride)
3. Gimmel (ג): He will ASCEND – DESCEND for us
4. Dalet (ד): He will be the DOOR – ACCESS – provide PATHWAY for us to Father
5. Hey (ה): He will REVEAL – LIGHT truth – we will BEHOLD Him
6. Vav (ו): He will SECURE – by becoming a MAN – He will be NAIL – He will be the BRIDGE
7. Zayin (ז): He will be CUTOFF – He is a WEAPON for us
8. Chet (ח): He will be a FENCE – PROTECT us – ENCLOSE us to Himself
9. Teth (ט): He will SET APART – SEAL us – MARK us to Himself
10. Yod (י): His HAND will ESTABLISH us – CONFORM us to His IMAGE
11. Kaf (כ): He will COVER us – by His HAND – SEPARATE us to Himself
12. Lamed (ל): His AUTHORITY will ENFORCE – SHEPHERD us – PROTECT us
13. Mem (מ): He will BRING FORTH – WASH us and CLEANSE us – REFRESH us
14. Nun (נ): He will IMPART His LIFE to us
15. Samech (ס): He will ANOINT us – RULE over us – SUPPORT us – PROVIDE for us
16. Ayin-Ghayin (ע): He will SEE and WEIGH – MEASURE – JUDGE all His creation
17. Pey-Fey (פ): He will INTERCEDE – COMMUNICATE – SPEAK to us
18. Tzadi(ץ): He will HOOK – HUNT – CAPTURE us – make us RIGHTEOUS (Holy of Holies)
19. Quf-Qof (ק): He is BACKSIDE of Elohim – He will RISE UP – COVER us with His CLOUD
20. Resh (ר): He is HEAD – EXALTED – FACE of Elohim
21. Seen-Shin (ש): He is and does CONSUME us – REFINE us – FIRE
22. Tav (ת): He is the SIGN – He will SECURE – SEAL – JUDGMENT – He will establish COVENANTS
The Aleph/Tav את Symbol appears in every book of the Tanakh when the primary subject matter is most often to identify Covenant Peoples, Persons, Places, Things or Titles pertaining to covenant relationship and control by יהוה Father both WITH and THROUGH את Y’shua (Yah-head/Elohim) concerning all of His creation. There are Aleph/Tav את Symbols in regard to יהוה Father’s Judgments, Blood Atonement and Covenants which imply both יהוה and את working together as ONE. Yet there are also dozens of chapters throughout the Tanakh where there are NO Aleph/Tav את Symbols because the subject matter apparently does not merit their placement.
Personally, I feel there is much to be gained from understanding the patterns whereby the Aleph Tav אתSymbols are placed in Hebrew text. There is much that remains a mystery and I am forever reminded of what Paul says in 1 Cor 8:2: “if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know!”