Abram was the first in scripture to be called 'Hebrew'. Why? What does it mean? Is it only referring to the lineage that Abram descended from? Or, is there an understanding of this discriptive term that also applies to us, as Believers In Christ? This writing explores this concept.
The Coarse Course of YHWH
God is the Spirit of Truth and Love. From the authority of Genesis Chapter 1, the original intended destination for ‘adam’ was to be that of a physical manifestation of a Spiritual Identity, or Reality. ‘Adam’, under the positive influence of the Spirit of Truth, was to ‘image’ God, and be the ‘likeness’ of God. Adam was to get his ‘life’ from the Spirit of Truth and Love. And God is Spirit, and ‘image’ is an action verb. Hence, for ‘adam’ to ‘image’ God, ‘adam’ was to physically manifest, in his daily existence, the Spirit of Truth and Love in his conscious identity as Adam. And as Adam manifested himself in union with the Spirit of Truth and Love, all of creation would be blessed by Adam’s presence. This is the divine plan of creation, and only ‘adam’ can, and does, interrupt that divine plan.
Gen. 2:7 “And the LORD God (YHVH Elohim)…breathed into his nostrils…”
From the English translation of this verse it is easy to understand why most readers of this passage would get the impression of one entity imparting into the breathing apparatus of another entity the air that sustains biological life. After all, that is exactly the picture being described here in the English translation of this Hebrew parable. However, the scriptures are a Spiritual message endeavoring to deliver to ‘mankind’, or ‘adam’, a Spiritual understanding of ‘adam’.
The word translated as ‘nostrils’ in this verse is the Hebrew word ‘aph’ (af). Strong’s Concordance designates this word as #639, but also has other references of the use of this word. Strong’s Concordance is an excellent reference work that categorizes, numerically, Greek and Hebrew words for easy access and identification. However, Strong’s is not a dictionary, but a listing of how Greek and Hebrew words in the scriptures are translated into King James English by the translators. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament gives a much better description and understanding of Hebrew words, and recognizes this word ‘aph’ as being an emotional expression, or outburst of frustration, fear, disgust and/or anger. The most vivid ‘word picture’ I get when investigating this word is that of a dragon angrily spewing fire out of its mouth or nostrils. You get the idea. ‘Nostrils’ is a reference to an expression of emotional outburst.
The Hebrew word ‘aph’ comes from the primary root word ‘ah-phaph’, and ‘ah-phaph’ is spelled with three Hebrew letters: ‘aleph’–‘pey’–‘pey’. ‘Pey’ is the seventeenth letter of the Hebrew ‘aleph-beyt’ (alphabet). All Hebrew letters are symbolized by certain characteristics that refer to ‘adam’, and/or characteristics of ‘adam’. The symbolism of ‘pey’ is that of the mouth, and as such, normally is an indication of receiving an expression or communication from the face. The Hebrew word for ‘face’ actually begins with the letter ‘pey’. The Hebrew ‘aph’ is indicating emotion or expression that is usually recognized in the face, or as having come from the mouth in the form of words, or expressive sounds. ‘Hmph’ is a valid example of what this word ‘aph’ describes. Verbal outbursts are examples of ‘aph’, and so this word is translated more as ‘anger’ than any other way the word is translated into English. ‘Anger’ is also a very apt description of ‘aph’. And in Gen. 3:19 this word ‘aph’ is translated as ‘face’, and most reasonable people recognize that ‘actions’ speak louder (more believable) than words.
The primary root word ‘ah-phaph’, which is the source of our highlighted word ‘aph’, is only used in its three letter root form five times in all of the Old Testament scriptures. Every time this three letter root form is recognized, it is translated as ‘compassed’. I list here the scriptural references for the readers benefit: 2 Sam. 22:5; Ps. 18:5; 40:13; 116:3; Jon. 2:6
The reason for listing this primary root, and its five uses, is to illustrate why this word was translated as ‘compassed’. Remember, all three letter primary roots words are action verbs.
When reading the five references in which this root is used, a definite pattern is noticed. In each verse, the person involved was being subjected to an influx of overwhelming negatives. And the response elicited from the overpowering influence of these negatives was an expression of fear, or dread. As you read these five verses you can actually grasp the emotional experience of the persons involved, and the emotional responses they express because of the negative emotional impact of these experiences. The uniqueness of this word ‘ah-phaph’ is that of having your heart, or mind, completely ‘compassed’ with negative emotions. Does the reader notice that what is continuously emphasized here is that of being overwhelmed, or ‘compassed’, with negative emotional influences? And yet we take note of the many times in Old Testament scripture we read “Fear not”; and Yashua (Jesus, if you prefer) continuously reminded us to “Fear not”.
So, what does this have to do with YHVH Elohim? Why does Gen. 2:7 tell us that “YHVH Elohim caused ‘adam’ to be a dust manifestation by imparting into ‘adam’ the characteristics of frustration, fear, disgust and/or anger to be seen and recognized in the face of ‘adam’?
What is the role of YHVH, in imparting to ‘adam’ anger, fear and negative emotions, when the original potential of ‘adam, as prophesied in Genesis Chapter 1, was to image God, the Holy Spirit of Truth and Unconditional Love?
In Exodus, and further on throughout the Old Testament scriptures, we start to find this word ‘aph’ being translated as referring to the anger and wrath of YHVH towards Moses, Israel, the people, the priesthood, Aaron and more. Continuously, and increasingly, YHVH is beginning to sound more like the emotions of frustrated man, rather than that of God, the Holy Spirit of Truth and Unconditional Love. How else could those that wrote about the mythological ‘gods’ of the Greeks and Romans envision and describe ‘gods’ as power-wielding men and women, expressing their whimsical dispersals of benevolence or angry retribution? The mythological, man-made ‘gods’ of man’s imagination all seem to be volatile ‘gods’, having little or no control over their emotional responses that are often dictated by whatever inconvenience or disobedience irritates them. Rather than being in control of emotional responses, these ‘gods’ are the epitome of emotional, volatile man. These ‘gods’, created in the mind of man by the mind of man, are little more than man’s immature desire to exercise unrestrained and unlimited authority over others that they find disagreeable. And so these volatile ‘gods’ tend to always be angry at these incompetent humans they find in their gardens. Does this in any way sound familiar with the Holy Spirit of Truth and Unconditional Love? No, I didn’t think so.
In the Hebrew language of the Old Testament there are two unique and powerful words that are critically misunderstood by the religious mind; hvh (Strong’s # 1933, 1934), pronounced as ‘ha-vah’, and hyh (Strong’s # 1961, 1962), pronounced as ‘ha-yah’. These are both three-letter root verbs, and the reader will recognized that these words are the same when written from right to left, or from left to right. We have briefly glanced at the implications of the action verb referred to as ‘hvh’, and how that word is the root verb basis for YHVH. We also previously discussed that ‘adam’, or mankind, is a manifestation of the sixth day of creation, and as such is represented by the sixth Hebrew letter we call ‘vahv’. ‘Vahv’ is the middle letter of the word ‘hvh’, and it indicates and expresses the carnal and soulish influence and activity expressed by and through ‘adam’ when devoid of the Holy Spirit of Truth and Love. ‘Adam’ (mankind), when absent the presence of the Spirit of Truth and Love, can only produce and perpetuate chaos, destruction, disorder and death. Disfunction is the very nature of ‘adam’ when devoid of the Spirit of Truth and Love. The influence of the carnality and soulish appetites of ‘adam’ is depicted throughout the Hebrew words of the Old Testament by inserting into, or attaching as a prefix or suffix, the ‘vahv’ to words that normally do not contain a ‘vahv’ in their construct. When a word that can satisfactorily stand alone has a ‘vahv’ added to it, or inserted into it, this is indication that the word is influenced by, affected by or descriptive of ‘adam’ (man). Many, many words that do not normally have a ‘vahv’ (six) in their makeup are used in scripture after having had the letter ‘vahv’ attached or inserted. And yet when these words appear with an added ‘vahv’, translations never indicate the implications of the addition of this sixth letter into the word, or how this added ‘vahv’ impacts the meaning of that word. The Hebrew verb ‘hvh’ implies the activity of ‘adam’, functioning in the carnal and soulish attitudes and appetites of ‘adam’.
As an overview summation, the Hebrew word ‘hvh’ is associated as the ‘activity of doing’. ‘Hvh’ infers the activity of ‘adam’ doing what ‘adam’ does in a ‘sixth day’ manifestation of carnality and selfish appetites. The word ‘hyh’, however, implies the emphasis of ‘being’. A most effective illustration of this dichotomy can be recognized in the official motto of the state of North Carolina, my birth place. That motto is as follows: “Esse quam videri: To be, rather than to seem” This phrase speaks volumes to me, for it emphasizes the importance of ‘being’ who you are, rather than the charade of a false and imposed piety. Religious pageantry is exposed in the presence of sincere Spiritual Truth and Love. Adam was assigned the role of manifesting Spiritual Truth in Love. But the first ‘adam’ is “…made a living soul;” The first ‘adam’ is of the earth, and therefore earthy:” The ‘first of adam’ was not yet motivated to “…seek you first the Kingdom of Heaven”, and in so doing, find his ‘being’ as the Spirit of Truth in Love.
So far in this missive we have looked closely at ‘hvh’. In the following segments we will try to unravel ‘hyh’, and compare how ‘hyh’ (to be) differs from ‘hvh’ (to seem).