THE SEVENTH LETTER FOR THE SEVENTH DAY

UNDERSTANDING THE SABBATH FOR BELIEVERS

As you begin to study Hebrew, especially the alphabet, God has placed a corresponding meaning per letter.  In this case, we are talking about the Hebrew letter zayin. The 7th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, its root meaning, can be a bit deceiving. Zayin means sword or a sharp weapon. Many have compared it to a battleax or a sickle for a harvest. The mystery is found in the root, meaning sustenance as in food and the harvest. The Hebrew word mazon, מזון which means food, is found in the word, nourishment.

The sages would teach that there were times when warfare was necessary for defending your harvest, for protecting your wells, for guarding your flocks, and for defending your family. They compare the letter Zayin with the Hebrew month Tishri. When we consider that Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Tishri 1 and Tishri 10 respectively, we can see spiritual warfare waged in the members of Israel’s flesh.

This results in either the blessing or curse of the harvest rains. When we investigate the spiritual meaning behind the letter Zayin we find something significant. Spiritually the letter means a crown, as in a crown worn by a king. The idea as we add the literal and spiritual meanings is that when G-d returns during the 7th month, He returns with the sword to claim his Kingdom. Our King first gathers His people for the great Shabbat on Rosh Hashanah, and He returns after Yom Kippur (REV 19:11-16) wearing His crown His sword and riding a White War Horse.

The mystery of Zayin goes even more profound. The letter itself has a numerical value of seven. In scripture, this number means Completion, Wholeness, Blessing, and Rest. It contains all of the elements of Shabbat.

As Shabbat is the seventh day and the holiest day of the week, the seventh month is the most sacred in the spiritual calendar. HaShem also tells us that the seventh year called the Shmita (שמיטה) is a year of Shabbat of The Land (LEV 25:1-4). The ground is not fallowed so it can recover from the prior six years. This revitalizes the soil and allows it to store nutrients and riches from the elements.

As we unravel the meaning of Zayin, we find its relationship concerning time and remembrance. The Hebrew word for remember is zahor (זכור). It is the same word found in the Fourth Jewish commandment to remember Shabbat. (Normally the third commandment in Christendom). In reading Exodus 20:8-11, we find that Shabbat has a twofold mitzvah for the Fourth Commandment; to remember and to set it apart.

EX 20:8 – 11 “Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God. You have six days to labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work — not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property. 11 For in six days, Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why Adonai blessed the day, Shabbat and separated it for himself.

When considering the meanings of Zayin and the numerical value for the Seventh-day of the week, the Seventh year, and the Seventh month, we find that God gives us a direct inside into keeping the Sabbath.

Z’man (זמן) in Hebrew means time. However, the word also means to cut up into sections. If we look at the biblical timeline, there are 2000 years between Adam and Abraham, from Abraham to Jesus and from Jesus to His Kingdom. Therefore, as we read the genealogy beginning with Adam the first man and ending with Jesus the second Adam, we arrive at the sixth thousandth year. We now conclude that we are living in the seventh thousandth year.   

By definition, Shabbat means to cease to desist, to have peace. When we look at the letter Zayin, we see Shabbat as a time of warfare with our loved ones in the context of this letter.

Coming together to keep the seventh-day holy, we joined forces with the Holy Spirit of God in obeying the command and becoming strong within him and with our family. One of the mainstays when it comes to Shabbat is the table presentation. The three elements that should always be there are salt, bread, and wine. Shabbat is celebrated with a meal with praise songs with questions of those who have wisdom and knowledge of a relationship with G-d, HaShem.

Shabbat is about thanking God for his provision for his protection and for the blessings that Jesus brings us as we continue in His word, His love, and His Torah.

Published by Pastor Billy Elias

Mine is a restorative ministry, bringing to life Torah and Tanakh to the lives of believers in Jesus the Messiah. I strive to break down the anti-semitic mindset, which is still very prevalent in Christendom today. My wife Josephina and I are the founders of Ilan Restoration Fellowship in Toms River, NJ. We are proud members of Restoration Fellowship International.

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