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Spoke 3 - Gimel

Leviticus, Lamentations, 2 Corinthians

Spoke 3 - Gimel - The Abundant Giver

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

2 Corinthians 9:6ff (Spoke 3, Cycle 3)


The name of the Third Letter comes from גמל (Gamal, Camel). Its relation to English is obvious, there being but a slight variation in pronunciation between Camel and Gamal. Also, the third Latin letter "C" in camel corresponds to the third Hebrew letter Gimel in Gamal.

Jewish tradition states that Gimel represents a rich man running to give alms to a poor man, represented by the letter Dalet. To those who know Hebrew, this understanding is essentially "obvious" in that two closly related words, gomel and dal, mean Benefactor and Poor, respectively. The words "Gomel - Dal" echo the alphabetic sequence "Gimel - Dalet," suggesting Giving to the Poor. In this tradition, Gimel symbolizes the ultimate cheerful giver, so eager to share his abundant wealth that he chases the poor, seeking any chance to give, to bless, and to bestow his riches upon the needy. This understanding coheres with Scripture. In the great alphabetic Psalm 119, the first Gimel verse states:

  • AV Psalm 119:17 Deal bountifully (גמל, gomal) with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.

The word gomal differs from the name of the third letter only in pronunciation (the consonants are the same.) Abundant Generosity is one of the great themes of the Third Spoke. It reveals the character of the Holy Spirit, our Benefactor, the Giver of God's abundant gifts. Indeed, the greatest gift of all is God Himself in the Person of the Holy Spirit. He is both the Giver and the Gift itself. This theme is explored in the article called Poverty and Wealth.

Gomel also means to give in the sense of to reward, to recompense, or to repay , which can have positive or negative sense depending on what is deserved. God used it in Isaiah 3 when he said:

For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory. The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded (גמלו, gamlu) evil unto themselves. Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward (גמול, gamul) of his hands shall be given him.

Isaiah 3:8

The verses from Isaiah 3 demonstate the divine design of the chapter sequence of Isaiah, since it is here that Gimel makes its debut within Isaiah. Just as the Second Letter Beyt first occurs in Isaiah 2, so the Third Letter Gimel first occurs here in Isaiah 3. These verses also contain a dense confluence of ideas related to the Number Three and the Letter Gimel. They echo the Fall into sin recorded in Genesis 3, the eating of fruit (created on Day 3 and closely associated with the Fall), and the primary theme of Lamentations, the second book on Spoke 3 which opens with these words mourning the Fall of Jerusalem (see Fullness of Divine Retribution):

How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary! She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies. Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits. The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness. Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the LORD hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy.

Lamentations 1:1ff (Spoke 3, Cycle 2)

Again, many concepts related to the Number 3 and the Letter Gimel converge in these verses. Jerusalem falls into bondage and destruction because of "the multitude of her transgressions." She is driven from Jerusalem to dwell amongst the heathen just as Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden as the recompense of their sin in Genesis 3. Just as Adam had to live by "the sweat of his brow" after eating the forbidden fruit,  so these exiles find "no rest." 

Of particular significance is the statement that "she hath none to comfort her," for this touches upon another aspect of the great thematic river rushing through Spoke 3, God the Holy Spirit, Our Comforter. In all the Bible, the greatest density of the word comfort is found on in the opening verses if 2 Corinthians on Spoke 3 (see The God of All Comfort). In contrast, the loss of the God's comfort is emphasized five times in Lamentations, where Jeremiah cries out with words such as Lamentations 1:16 (see Israel hath No Comforter!):

For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed. Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is none to comfort her.

Lamentations 1:16 (Spoke 3, Cycle 2)

The set of ideas associated with Gimel are clearly seen in this table that lists how the KJV translates two closely related root words. (The frequency of each word is indicated by the number that follows it.)

gemul (גמול)
(Strong's #1576)
recompense 10, reward 3, benefit 2, given 1, deserve 1;
gamal (גמל)
(Strong's #1580)
wean 10, reward 8, dealt bountifully 4, do 4, bestowed 2, recompense 2, weaned child 2, do good 1, requite 1, ripening 1, served 1, yielded 1

All of these ideas relate to the Holy Spirit, who gives us God's abundant gifts, nurtures believers, convicts sinners of their guilt, and comforts them when they repent.

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