Hebrew Signs for the Church

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Shofar- The blowing of the ram's horn (shofar in Hebrew) is used to usher in the biblical festivals of Israel including the Sabbath and to inspire people to repent and amend their lives. The sounding of the shofar symbolizes freedom and liberty, proclaims the anniversary of the creation of the world, is a reminder of the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai, and is a sound of worship warfare that routs the enemy and brings down walls, Exodus 19:16-19, Numbers 10:8-10, Joshua 6:20. The shofar is most often made from a ram's horn, but the horn of a sheep, goat or antelope can be used.

In the New Testament the sound of the shofar (trumpet) is associated with the second coming of Jesus. " For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, 1 Thess. 4:16. "Listen, I tell you a mystery, we will not all sleep, but we will be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised... " 1 Cor. 15:51,52.

Tallit or Talis (Prayer Shawl)- A religious symbol, a garment, shroud, canopy, cloak which envelopes the Jew both physically and spiritually, in prayer and celebration, in joy and sorrow, Num. 15:37-41. It is used at all major Jewish occasions: circumcisions, bar mitzvahs, holidays, weddings and burials.

In Biblical times Jewish men wore this garment called a TALITH, TALIS, TALLIT or PRAYER SHAWL all the time, not just at prayer. The apostle Paul was a Pharisee, but also a “tentmaker”. Because the Hebrew term for tent and tallit is the same, many believe that he made Prayer Shawls, not tent structures as we know them. In the Old Testament six million Jews could not fit into the tent of meeting that was set up. Therefore, God gave each his own private sanctuary where they met with Him. It was an intimate, private space and time set apart from anyone else, totally focused upon God. This was their PRAYER CLOSET, Matthew 6:6!


Tzitzit (the corner tassels of the Tallit)- "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God." Num. 15:37-41.

Every Hebrew letter has a numerical equivalent. The letters in the word Tzitzit total 600. In addition, the Tzitzit is tied with 8 strings into 5 knots representing the 613 laws of Moses. The windings between the knots are 7, 8, 11, 13 totaling 39. These numerically represent "the Lord is One" but also the stripes Yeshua (Jesus) suffered for our healing, Is. 53:5, I Pet. 2:24. The blue thread portrays God our righteousness woven through the white exemplifying our holiness in Him. In Mark 5:30-31 we see the woman who had an issue of blood, "touching the hem" of the garment of Jesus and she was healed. The hem was actually the Tzitzit of His tallit. The tzitzit on your tallit will be a constant reminder of your covenant relationship with God, Yeshua (Jesus) your righteousness, His Commandments and His Promises. What better tool to help you explain what God has done for you and can also do for others?


Mezuzah- A small case containing the words of God is commonly known as a mezuzah (Heb.: doorpost), because it is placed upon the doorposts of the house. The mezuzah is not, as some suppose, a good-luck charm. Rather, it is a constant reminder of God’s presence, His commandments, and His promises of blessing.

The commandment to place a mezuzah on the doorposts of our houses is derived from Deut. 6:4-9, a passage commonly known as the Shema. In that passage, God commands us to keep His words constantly in our minds and in our hearts, by (among other things) writing them on the doorposts of our house. In the mezuzah the words of the Shema are written in Hebrew on a tiny scroll of parchment, along with the words of a companion passage, Deut. 11:13-21. Written on the back of the scroll is the name Jehovah Nissi, God Our Protector. The scroll is then rolled up and placed in the case, so that the letter Shin, the first letter of the name is visible, or more commonly the letter Shin is written on the outside of the case.

The case and scroll are then affixed to the right side doorpost on an angle with prayers of dedication. Then the rest of the house is blessed with prayers and sometimes oil. From then on, every time you pass through the door with the mezuzah on it you touch the mezuzah and then kiss the fingers that touched it, expressing your love and respect for God and his words to us, and reminding yourself of His promises of protection and blessing.


Menorah- One of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith is the menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum used in the tabernacle, and then in the Temple Ex. 25:31-40. The priests lit the menorah in the Sanctuary every evening and cleaned it out every morning, replacing the wicks and putting fresh olive oil into the cups, an eloquent picture of our command to be filled continually, and to pray without ceasing, Matt 25:1-12, 1 Thess 5:17. 

It has been said that the menorah is a symbol of the people of God and our mission to be "a light unto the nations" Isaiah 42:6. The sages emphasize that light is not a violent force; we are to accomplish our mission by shedding His light through our lives to the world around us. This idea is highlighted in the vision in Zechariah 4:1-6. Zechariah sees a menorah, and God explains: "Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit."

Chanukah is the celebration of the season of light and miracles. It is a celebration of the coming of the Light of the World, the Shamash. As a centerpiece of this celebration, the menorah used on Chanukah is commonly patterned after the temple menorah, but has nine branches to commemorate the miracle of the Maccabean revolt against Greek occupation: that one day's worth of olive oil prepared for use in the temple menorah miraculously lasted eight days until a new supply of oil could be prepared.


Oil of Anointing- Oil has been used throughout Jewish history for prayer and anointing. It has been used for anointing priests and kings, buildings, and specific people for service, consecration, and blessing, Exodus 29:7, Exodus 40:9, 1 Samuel 16:13, Psalm 45:7. Anointing oil is traditionally made of pure olive oil, and may be scented with spices, resins, and plant extracts as the oil of the temple was, found in Exodus 30:23-25.

Anointing with oil is also a New Testament practice. In the new testament oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. We find Jesus’ disciples anointing with oil in Mark 6:13. Anointing with oil is also found throughout the New Testament for the purposes of service, consecration, and blessing, but also for healing, Hebrews 1:9, James 5:14, 2 Cor. 1:21, 22.


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