I had two things I wanted to mention in this post:
1) Yom Kippur begins this Sunday evening (09-27-09) @ sundown and goes until sundown, Monday evening (09-28-09) . Alternatively, some are going by the actual New Moon sighting in Israel according to the Karaites, and therefore Yom Kippur according to that reckoning will begin Tuesday evening and go until Wednesday evening).
If you would like to learn more about Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), you can click this link to read an article written by a Messianic Jew (a Jewish man that believes that Yeshua/Jesus IS the Messiah).
2) I wanted to share a neat, lit'le ol' dittie, in the Torah (1st five books of the Bible - Genesis through Deuteronomy) that can only be seen in the original Hebrew - you won't see it in the English (or any other language for that matter).
If you recall, In Revelation 1:8,10, Yeshua says: "I am Alpha and Omega...." Many of us know that these are the 1st and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and it is taken to mean something akin to Yeshua being the whole of the Word of God (or in other words, every word of the Bible is about HIM). We would see it as Him saying that He was/is the "A and Z" (to put it into English). But we must remember that while Yeshua was on Earth, He would have spoken Hebrew - not Greek, Russian, Afrikaans, English, or any other language for that matter. I think there is every reason to believe that when Yeshua spoke to John on Patmos, He probably spoke Hebrew (the likelihood of John understanding Greek is slim, since he was born and raised in the land of Israel).
ANYWAYS...it doesn't really matter one way or the other. What I want to show is that, if we were to take Yeshua's statement "I am Alpha and Omega" and put it into Hebrew, He would say "I am Aleph and Tav", the first and last letters of the Hebrew Alphabet (or more accurately, the Aleph-Beth). Interestingly enough, the letters aleph and tav actually form a word in Hebrew - "et" (pronounced like "ate"). Now this is where it gets pretty cool...
(Oh I wish I could use Hebrew font on Blogger!!!!) The word "et" is found, in the original Hebrew of the Tanakh, hundreds of times. It has a purpose in Hebrew (of which I won't go into now for times' sake), but goes largely untranslated in our Bibles.
In Genesis 1:1 we read the following: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
These ten words (in the KJV) are translated from just seven words in Hebrew:
(in beginning) (created) (God) (not translated) (the heavens) (and) (the earth)
"B'reisheet bara elohim et ha'shamayim v'et ha'aretz".
If you will notice, we have the Hebrew word "et" twice in that verse.
In ancient Jewish teaching, the seven days of Creation represent seven thousand years of history (based upon Psalm 90:4 where a thousand years are likened to a day). Many Christians take this view as well (especially since Moses' sentiment is echoed by Peter in 2 Peter 3:8).
Notice that there are seven Hebrew words in Genesis 1:1. The seven words have been taken to represent seven thousand years of History as well in some teaching.
Now both Jews and Christians (though not ALL Jews, and not ALL Christians - but they don't count! ;-) ) teach that the world is to go through six thousand years of turmoil, culminating in the last one thousand years being ruled by the Messiah, a time of peace on Earth, no more wars, fighting, famine, etc.
So to bring into perspective, we are to have six thousand years, and then just before the last thousand years (the "Millennium"), the Messiah comes to usher in the Messianic era.
If this is true, and something the Bible teaches (and I, for one, believe that it IS!) then is it possible that we have a clue, found in the very first verse of the Bible?
Isaiah 46:10 says: "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." Young's literal translation states it as follows: "Declaring from the beginning the latter end...."
From this we get the concept that the end, i.e, latter days, are actually declared from (or "out of") the beginning. The word for "beginning" in Isaiah 46:10 is the Hebrew word "reisheet" - lit. 'beginning.' Do you remember the first verse of our Bibles, Gen. 1:1: "In the beginning" (Hebrew - "b'reisheet')?
Soooooo...Let's put this all together.
a) Yeshua says in the book of Revelation that He is the "Alpha and Omega" (in Heb. - the "Aleph and Tav")
b) The first verse of our Bible has the aleph/tav combo in it twice (untranslated in our English Bibles), found in the fourth and sixth positions.
c) The seven days of creation represent the seven thousand years of Earth history (as well as the seven words of Genesis 1:1).
d) Isaiah tells us that the entirety of Biblical (and world) history are declared "from" or "out of" the beginning (and you can't get any more "beginning" than "In the beginning..."!).
Now for the conclusion of the matter. I will see if I can lead you to the prophetic (yes, PROPHETIC) significance of this by asking a few questions so that when the answer dawns on you, it will be more exciting.
Of the seven words of Genesis 1:1, where do we find the "aleph/Tav" (if you were to number the words - ie. B'reisheet = 1, "bara" = 2, etc.)?
As Believers in Yeshua/Jesus not only as the Messiah and Savior of the world, but also the One of whom the ENTIRE Bible points to, how many times does He come to Earth?
If we take the seven Hebrew words, and ascribe one thousand years to each word (in other words, each word represents a millenia of time), in which millenia do we find the "Aleph/Tav"?
And lastly, by the placement of the Aleph/Tav in Genesis 1:1 - do we possibly have a prophetic declaration of God's Son, found in the very FIRST VERSE of the Bible?!? Did God, way in advance, tell us of the time(s) of the Messiah's coming(s)?
I hope that this is as interesting to you as it is me, because there are SO MANY MORE cool things in our Bibles embedded within the Hebrew that can teach, instruct, and even PREPARE us for the days in which we live.