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Spoke 4 - Dalet

Numbers, Ezekiel, Galatians

Galatians: Four Weak and Beggarly Elements

Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Galatians 4:1f (Spoke 4, Cycle 3)

Dalet KeyWordsThe Rabbis teach that the alphabetic sequence Gimel - Dalet represents a rich man (Gimel) chasing a poor man (Dalet) to give him alms. These ideas emerge immediately from words closely associated with the names of these letters. As discussed at length on Spoke 3, Gimel represents Gomel, the Abundant Giver, and Dalet represents the Dal, the poor. It is particularly significant that when Dal is used in constructed phrases such as (Delet Ha'Aretz, the poor of the earth, c.f. Jer 40.7), a Tav is appended to form the construct state, making the word appear identical to Dalet.

The root (dalal) means to hang down, to be pendulous, to swing. The idea is passivity, like the leaf of a door hanging on its hinges. Hence this verse from Proverbs 26.14: "As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed." It is the root of the name Delilah who enfeebled Samson (see The Door to the Way of God).

With this understanding of Dalet, we see the profound significance of the rhetorical question posed in Galatians 4.8:"

Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

Note that this verse calls the elements both weak and beggarly. Both of these ideas are strongly associated with the Fourth Letter. We have an exact match between the symbolic meaning of Dalet - as understood by the Rabbis and encoded in the Hebrew language - and the content of Galatians on Spoke 4.

These weak and beggarly elements are called the "stoichia" in Greek. As stated by James Strong they refer to "the elements from which all things have come, the material causes of the universe." Traditionally, they have been four in number - earth, air, water, fire. They are weak and beggarly because they have no power in themselves. They are utterly subject to the Will of God and His redeemed people, who once were "in bondage under the elements of the world (Galatians 4.3).

Immediately following this question, God links these four elements to the Fourth Day of Creation, saying "ye observe days, and months, and times, and years." This echoes the fourfold purpose of the Sun, Moon, and Stars which was defined on the Fourth Day as being "for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years." Here is a table with "times" and "days" from Galatians interchanged to make the correlation more clear:

Parallel between Galatians and the Fourth Day
  1 2 3 4
Fourth Day signs seasons days years
Galatians 4.10 times months days years

There are four time related elements in both cases.

The passage continues, refering directly to the Spoke 4 theme of Birth, with Paul declaring that he is "afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain." And then in verse 19, he makes the association explicit, saying:

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

Here is a list of the Key Concepts from Spoke 4 found in this short passage:

  1. Poor, Weak, beggarly
  2. Four Elements
  3. Fourth Day of Creation
  4. Birth
  5. Knowledge of God

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