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Spoke 8 - Chet

Ruth, Amos, 1 Thessalonians


Symbolic Meaning of the Number Eight

Circumcision: The Sign of God's Covenant

This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.

Genesis 17:10f

The historic Christian Church has traditionally associated the Number 8 with the entrance into the Covenant of God. This understanding comes from God Himself who commanded Circumcision - the Sign of the Covenant - to be performed on the Eighth Day. God used the same language - אות ברית (Ot B'rit, Sign of the Covenant) - when He gave the Rainbow (Genesis 9.13):

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

Genesis 17:10f

The word "rainbow" (קשת, qeshet) used in this verse sums to the Number 800 which also is the value of the Greek words "Lord" and "Faith." It also is the value of the final letter of the Greek alphabet, Omega (cf. Eight and the Resurrection below). This is the essence of Faith - trusting in the Lord who will see us through to the very end, signified by Omega. This lifts us above our present state to behold our Shepherd who is Lord above all.

Given the extreme significance of Circumcision as the Sign of the Covenant, it is no wonder that the Rabbi's have long expounded on the spiritual significance of the Number Eight and its relation to God's Covenant. For example, on page 134 of his book Alef-Beit, Rabbi Yitzchak declares:

The Torah prescribes that the circumcision of a male child take place on the eighth day from birth. These eight days always include at least one Shabbat, the seventh day, which corresponds to the experience of perfect harmony with nature. The eighth day of circumcision represents the power of the soul to contact that light which totally transcends nature. Through circumcision the Jew is given the power, throughout his life, to overcome all the obstacles nature may seem to place in the face of his service of G-d.

The transcendence associated with the Number Eight - recognized by both Jews and Christians - ultimately manifests in the everlasting New Beginning found in the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The command to circumcise all male children was obeyed by Joseph and Mary after the Birth of Jesus:

And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Luke 2:21

The contextual connection between the Number 8 and the Name of Jesus is amplified in this, one of the greatest alphanumeric identities linking the Greek and Hebrew languages to each other and the central doctrine of historic Christianity:

The many numinous ramifications of this Number are discussed in the Gematria Reference under the Number 888.

God expanded upon the spiritual meaning of this "circumcision of the flesh" when He commanded us, saying "circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart" (Jeremiah 4.4), and again in Romans 2:28

For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Romans 2:28

All three concepts of Circumcision, Baptism, and Resurrection come together in Colossians 2:11f

In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Colossians 2:11f

Yet physical circumcision remains the characteristic sign of the First Covenant given in the Torah as the mark of the Jews. All these ideas cohere under the category defined by the quintessentially Jewish Number, the Number 613:

613 = The First Covenant = In the Torah = Circumcision

Circumcision on the Eighth Day is a supernatural typological prophecy of the renewal that comes through entrance into God's Covenant, which manifests as Baptism in the New Testament, and ultimately as a symbol of the everlasting life given though the resurrection of Christ.

Eight, Baptism, and the Ark

Baptism is the Sign of the Covenant in the New Covenant. Like Circumcision, it involves a "cutting off" of the flesh - only now it is a symbol of being crucified with Christ, "buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6.4). God reveals the connection with the Number 8 in 1 Peter 3:18ff:

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

1 Peter 3:18ff


Octangular Baptismal Font in Pisa

There is a strong typological association between Noah's Flood which washed away the wicked people of the world and Baptism which is the symbol of the washing away of our wicked sins. The correlation is simply astounding - it is a typological prophecy that everyone can see fulfilled in Christian Baptism. Of particular beauty is the correlation with the Baptism of Christ when the Holy Spirit descended upon Christ in the form of the Dove - there very animal released by Noah from the Ark as the sign of the new beginning! We have multiple independent converging lines of association between Baptism, Salvation through the Flood, Resurrection, and the Number Eight that points clearly to the deliberate design and Teaching of God's Wisdom. It is for this reason that the Church has traditionally designed baptismal fonts as octagons.

Eight and the Resurrection

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

John 20:24

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ultimate new beginning. In the perfect Wisdom of God, it occurred on Sunday, simultaneously the First Day and the Eighth Day of the Week. It is the temporal equivalent of the Octave, established from the foundation of the World to teach us forever the glory of the resurrected Lord of the Universe. This is reiterated yet again in Christ's appearance to Thomas on the Eighth Day after his resurrection. And what teaching did Christ give us? When I was an unbeliever, I thought that Christ was teaching blind faith when He said "blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." How could this be anything but blind belief? The answer is as obvious as it profound. Faith is not blind - Faith is the fulfillment of Christ's promise that "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." In plain English, the reason people need proof is because they are blinded by their sins and lack of faith. They are so cut off from God and Truth that they can not receive the witness of the Holy Spirit! They fulfill the words of Christ from Matthew 12:39:

An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Matthew 12:39

Thomas was called Didymus which means twofold or twin (S# G1324). The natural reason for this was because it was the Greek translation of his Hebrew name pic (Tawom, Twin, S# H8380 - note the phonetic similarity to the English). The supernatural reason is because the fundamental characteristic of doubt is double-mindedness (see James 1:8), and this is what was enscripturated in the record of Doubting Thomas. Oh! The glory of God's Wisdom! Finally, two elements of this story link to the Number 800:

Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

John 20:27

We have the pair of identities:

The Risen Lord is the object of our Faith. It is by joining ourselves utterly to the Lord through faith, even unto death - the Omega Point of our natural lives - as Ruth with Naomi, that we can focus the mind, heart, and hope on the ultimate outworking of God's Creation - again symbolized by Omega - so that we can walk through this world in perfect peace. This is the marriage of the Soul with God! Note that this links to the Rainbow = 800 given as God's original sign of the covenant and the last letter of the Greek language, Omega.

All these ideas are both recognized and expounded upon in the traditional Jewish understanding of the Letter Chet. For example, on page 136 in his book Alef-Beit, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh declares (emphasis mine):

At the level of Divinity, the number eight alludes to the absolute Infinity of G-d. ... Whereas at the level of Souls, circumcision gives one the power to overcome obstacles, at this level of awareness G-d's true Infinity links one, in covenant, to His very Essence.

When linked to Infinity, overcoming obstacles, even death, the secret of resurrection, becomes self-evident and "second nature." When absolutely connected to the Infinite One, there can in truth be no obstacle.

To really appreciate the significance of this quote, it must be remembered that it comes from a Jewish Rabbi who is not trying to support the text of the New Testament, wherein we find the extremely strong Christian witness to the relation between the Number 8 and Resurrection.

Eight, Octaves, and New Beginnings

It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

AV Lamentations 3:34-34

standing waveThe verses above are two of the Chet Alphabetic Verses from Lamentations (vss 23 . 24). Of particular interest is the Chet KeyWord חדש (chadash, new, S# H2319) which relates to the fundamental symbolic meaning of the Number Eight in Scripture established by God in the Seven Days of Creation. The Eighth Day is the first day of the new week, precisely as the Octave is the Eighth Note that begins the musical cycle anew on a higher level. This meaning coheres with the shape of the Arabic Number 8 - the Figure Eight - which is an image of the physical shape of the standing wave of the Octave. All this naturally (and supernaturally!) integrates with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Three numbers are closely associated in Scripture with the ideas of Marriage, Resurrection, New Beginnings. Each has the form of an Octave: N x 7 . 1. Specifically, the first, third, and seventh octaves, which are given by N = 1, 3, and 7:

First Octave: New Beginnings: 8 = 1 x 7 . 1
Third Octave: Number of Spokes: 22 = 3 x 7 . 1
Seventh Octave: Pentecost: 50 = 7 x 7 . 1

The idea of the octave is very enlightening here. Books 8 (Ruth) and 22 (Song of Solomon) are deeply integrated on the idea of Marriage, which is the ultimate biblical symbol of our entrance into God's Covenant and the ultimate outworking of His Covenant when Christ receives His Bride. The Number 22 - the Number of Spokes on the Wheel and letters in the Hebrew alphabet - is the third Octave. Pentecost, which represents the fullness of God's Time, sealed by His Spirit is the Seventh Octave, in perfect harmony with God's use of the Number Seven in Scripture. These identities are discussed more in the Spoke 8 Pentecost article. They point to the everlasting Wisdom of God descending from above. The Key is knowing Jesus (888) and the power of His Resurrection (8).

EnglishEight
GermanAcht
Greekpic
LatinOcto

Many, if not most words for "eight" from Indo-European languages are very similar to the name of the eighth letter Chet, in the sense that it is composed of a guttural like "ch" followed by a dental like "t." The only significant variation noted in Klein's Etymological Dictionary of the English Language is the Old Slavic Osmi which - interestingly enough - is phonetically similar to the Hebrew name of the Number Eight, Shemunah (S# H8083). The value of this name integrates with the Aleph and Tav:

The Number 401 also coincides with the value of the name of Isaiah, the one book in the Bible that is an image of the Bible within the Bible, complete from Aleph to Tav (cf. Inner Wheel of Isaiah).

The idea of the Octave manifests in a slightly different way in the Greek Alphanumeric correlation, which begins with Alpha = 1 and ends with Omega = 800.

The Number 8 integrates with the Number 66 - the value of the Wheel (Galgal) - to yield the Key to the Bible, as revealed in Isaiah 22.22:

And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.

Isaiay 22:22

We have the identity:

KEY

pic

Maphte'ach

= n528 = 8 x n66

Of course, the name Isaiah is itself integrated with Eight and the Aleph Tav through the identity:

Isaiah

pic

Yishaihau

= n401 = Aleph . Tav = Eight

Note also that the ordinal position of Isaiah in the Canon is as Book 23, which integrates with the sum of the ordinal values of Aleph (1) and Tav (22).





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