08 11th, 2020

Aleph Tav

Do the Letters Aleph Tav in the Hebrew Text Refer To Messiah?

Aleph and Tav ( ) are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In the Greek alphabet their parallel would be Alpha and Omega and in English, A and Z. They appear together over 7,000 times throughout the Tanakh (Hebrew Old Testament). They are never translated in any Bible in any language.

This study will address the issue of whether or not those two letters refer to Messiah when they appear in a text. Proponents of that view will quote selected verses containing aleph tav that also seem to relate to Messiah in some way. For example:

Leviticus 3:7-8 – If he offer a lamb for  his offering, then shall he offer it before Yahweh. And he shall lay  his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron’s sons shall sprinkle  the blood thereof round about upon the altar.

Since this passage relates to Messiah based on the fact that his blood was shed as an offering, it seems to suggest the letters aleph and tav point to Messiah. However, there are thousands of other verses where aleph and tav appear to have no relation to Messiah whatsoever. For example:

1 Chronicles 6:65  – And they gave by lot out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, and out of the tribe of the children of Benjamin,  these cities, which are called by their names.

We can try to read Messiah into this verse if we so choose, but that is not how we are to arrive at truth. Many believers are reading Messiah into texts that contain . Since that is the case, what other explanation is there for having those words in the text and not translating them? The answer lies in Hebrew grammar.

The Definite Direct Object Marker. In Hebrew prose, definite direct objects are usually marked with . The direct object is the word that receives the action of the verb. For example, in the sentence “God created the earth,” the word “earth” is the direct object of the verb “created.” The direct object “earth” is also a definite direct object because it has the definite article, “the earth.” In Hebrew, the definite direct object marker, also called the accusative marker, is spelled exactly the same as the preposition  which translates “with.” [1]

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