Jots & Tittles: A Closer Look at a Little Bit of Hebrew

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, He spoke into the chaos in order to bring the universe into being. His first recorded words are: ‘Let there be light.’ (Genesis 1:3 KJV)

At least, that’s how we report what He said in English. Just four words. There are even less in the original Hebrew: These two words are ‘yehi ׳owr’ which, translated into English, are more like: ‘Be, light!’ or ‘Exist, light!’

Now, an apology (but not much of one) for the following lesson in English grammar. If you’ve studied a foreign language, you might know a bit about the verb ‘to be’ and how it is conjugated. But if you haven’t, you’ve probably only noticed this when someone from another country says something like ‘you is late’ instead of ‘you are late’ or ‘we am waiting’ instead of ‘we are waiting’. If you’ve been speaking English all your life, you instinctively know the way the following pronouns and verbs match up:

I + AM
YOU + ARE
HE + IS
SHE + IS
IT + IS
WE + ARE
THEY + ARE

Now, notice that ‘I am’ is the first of the ‘to be’ sequence. But as it so happens, ‘I AM’ is one of the names of God.

So we can see that the very first word God spoke when He was creating the universe—‘Be!’—actually came from His own name. He not only fashioned the heavens and the earth, He introduced Himself to His creation by name.

His second word connects His name to ‘light’. Jesus said, ‘I am the Light of the World.’ (John 8:12 NIV) That word, ‘world’, is actually ‘kosmos’—and refers to the entire universe.

Look closely at His words:

They go right back to the very creation of the universe when God said, ‘Yehi, ׳owr!’ So Jesus was claiming to be the ‘I AM’, the ever-existing one who created all things. And both His friends and His enemies knew it. Some believed it—some did not.

What about you? Do you believe Jesus is the great ‘I AM’?

About the author

ahamilton

MORE GREAT READS FROM

When Attacks Come

‘Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 2 Timothy 2:3 NKJV There are two kinds of criticism: constructive criticism and destructive criticism. The first kind builds you up and the second tears you down. Constructive criticism, when founded in truth and delivered well, can be the key to moving forwards. Unfounded criticism can…

Today’s Readings

When Irritations Happen

‘Be kind to one another, tenderhearted.’ Ephesians 4:32 ESV Some of us excel in our studies, but act carelessly, casually and sometimes even cuttingly when it comes to our relationships. Then we rationalise and say, ‘I didn’t mean any harm,’ or ‘That’s just my way.’ Sorry, God doesn’t let us off the hook like that….

Today’s Readings

Turn It Over To God

‘Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you.’ Psalm 55:22 NIV When the world around us is driven by a go-getter culture, it’s hard to give things over to God and rest in the knowledge He has it sorted. Now, we know that God absolutely does ask us to get stuck in…

Today’s Readings

Receiving From God

‘You must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.’ Mark 11:23 NLT In order to receive what God promised in His Word, you need to do three things. First, make up your mind. Take hold of His promise and don’t let go. Be determined! God responds to a faith that…

Today’s Readings

Jots & Tittles: A Closer Look at a Little Bit of Hebrew

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, He spoke into the chaos in order to bring the universe into being. His first recorded words are: ‘Let there be light.’ (Genesis 1:3 KJV) At least, that’s how we report what He said in English. Just four words. There are even less in…

Be Patient

‘When the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it.’ James 1:3–4 TLB You’re closer than you know to becoming the person God wants you to be. Sure, it seems like a trial and a test but, by His enabling grace, you’ll make it through and come out stronger and…

Recent Articles

Jots & Tittles: A Closer Look at a Little Bit of Hebrew

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, He spoke into the chaos in order to bring the universe into being. His first recorded words are: ‘Let there be light.’ (Genesis 1:3 KJV) At least, that’s how we report what He said in English. Just four words. There are even less in…

More Than Conquerors

Can you preach the Gospel by bending, smashing and breaking stuff? That’s the mission of the Conquerors Strength team from the US. Each of their amazing feats has a message behind it. ‘Jesus died for U,’ they tell audiences, ‘like the shape of this horseshoe. But if you accept him into your life, He becomes…

Pastor Chef’s Tips for a Balanced Lifestyle

Mark Kujawa, the Pastor Chef, says that when it comes to cooking, everyone wants ‘quick and easy’. He says that’s partly because we live in ‘a lazy culture’. But if you’re well-prepared, ‘quick and easy’ is actually possible. ‘I can do Spag Bol in about 10 minutes,’ he said. ‘So quicker than a Friday night…

The Truth About Millennials

Millennials are just THE WORST, right? At least, that’s what our elders say. There are seemingly endless pieces in the press talking about how terrible we are. Pastor Ben Windle has spent two years researching us, and he says we aren’t as bad as all that. Next time someone starts a story with ‘back in…

Donate to vision

Over 80% of our income is from the freewill gifts of wonderful people just like you.
So thank you for helping. Your generous support is 'Connecting Faith to Life'.