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Spoke 12 - Lamed

2 Kings, Nahum, Titus

Spoke 12 - Lamed - The Teacher of Teachers at Age 12

And when he was TWELVE YEARS OLD, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.

And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors (Didaskaloi, Teachers), both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers...............................................................Luke 2:24ff

Christ Teaching in the Temple (Hoffman 1880)

The perfect and precise correspondence of this specific numerical detail in the life of Christ with the symbolic meaning of the Twelfth Letter never ceases to amaze me. This is the only childhood event of Christ that Scripture records; its significance can not be over stated. God marked it with the Number 12 to show that the Life of Christ the Alpha and Omega, the Living Word of God fully exemplifies the meaning of Lamed, the Teaching Letter! The word translated as "teacher" in Luke 2:23 above didaskalos is the root of the English word didactic which refers to something "designed for teaching." It is used as a title of Christ forty times in the NT, always translated as "Master" in the KJV. Note that Hoffman This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window caught the essence of Lamed when he portrayed Christ pointing to the written Word as He taught the elders in the Temple.

The true miracle here is that it is the life of Christ that reveals the meaning of this Hebrew Letter! The fundamental meaning of Lamed is found in the verb pic (Lamad, Teach) as discussed at length in the articles Christ, Our Master and Teacher and Teach and Exhort!. This all manifests with perfect clarity with Christ teaching in the Temple at age twelve. The exact language describing this event is particularly enlightening. Here is an interlinear translation:

The word didaskalon is the plural of didaskalos - a title of Christ variously translated as Master or Teacher. Here's Strong's description of this word :

  • S# G1320
  • AV - Master (Jesus) 40, teacher 10, master 7, doctor 1; 58
  • 1) a teacher
  • 2) in the NT one who teaches concerning the things of God, and the duties of man
    • 1a) one who is fitted to teach, or thinks himself so
    • 1b) the teachers of the Jewish religion
    • 1c) of those who by their great power as teachers draw crowds around them i.e. John the Baptist, Jesus
    • 1d) by preeminence used of Jesus by himself, as one who showed men the way of salvation
    • 1e) of the apostles, and of Paul
    • 1f) of those who in the religious assemblies of the Christians, undertook the work of teaching, with the special assistance of the Holy Spirit
    • 1g) of false teachers among Christians

The King James translators were careful to distinguish Jesus from earthly teachers by uniformly translating Didaskalos as Master if and only if it refers to the Master of all teachers, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is interesting that the number of such references is exactly 40, there being a strong Hebraic Tradition linking the Wisdom of the Torah with Water (Mem = 40). In modern Hebrew a Scholar is called pic (Lamdon) - the Nun at the end being the agential suffix.

Didaskalos corresponds to the Hebrew Rabbi. It comes from the root didasko (S# G1321) which was used to translate the word Elamadkem (I will teach) in the Lamed verse of Psalm 34 (vs. 12 in the Tanach, 11 in English versions):

  • Come, ye (Leku) children, hearken unto me: I will teach you (elamadkem) the fear of the LORD. ................................................................................................AV Psalm 34:11

The details of this verse are discussed in the introduction to the symbolic meaning of Lamed. It forms an Alphabetic KeyLink to the book of 2 Kings, as discussed in Teaching the Fear of the Lord. It also is a double double link because the Lamed verse is found in the alphabetic Psalm 34 which resides on Spoke 12 of the Inner Cycle of the Psalms - the first double - and because the Lamed verse contains two Lamed KeyWords, Leku (Come ye) and elamadkem (I will teach you) - the second double. This is all discussed in the Inner Cycles > Psalm 34: I will Teach article. The link between twelve and teaching seems to manifest in the similarity between the Greek dodeka (twelve) and didasko (teach), there being double D's in both, but this is just an intuition right now. I haven't plumbed its depths yet.

There is yet more to see in this fragment from Luke. The word kathedzomenon is from the same root as cathedra - the official seat of the Bishop - hence the Roman Catholic "ex cathedra" as a designation for the official teaching of the Church. So what do we see here in Luke? We see Christ Himself sitting at age 12 as the Teacher of teachers! Glory to God! Our great Master Teacher has revealed Himself to us, that we might all bow to the wonder and glory of His Perfect Teaching! Oh! The Glory of God! Scripture teaches us all things. Turn to it and it alone for Wisdom! It is the faithful Word of God.

Next article: Rabbi Jesus and His Twelve Talmidim