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Spoke 10 - Yod

2 Samuel, Jonah, 1 Timothy

Holy Hands

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

1 Timothy 2:8 (Spoke 10, Cycle 3)

The name of the Tenth Letter, (Yod), comes from the Hebrew word for a Hand, (Yad). This connection is extremely well established in the Alphabetic Verses where Yad (Hand) appears four times in the verses corresponding to Yod:

  • AV Lam 1:10 The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation.
  • AV Lam 4:10 The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.
  • AV Prov 31.19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
  • AV Psa 119:73Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.

This meaning of the tenth letter manifests in a number of significant ways in the Book of 1 Timothy. It is the only book in the Bible to speak of "holy hands":

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

1 Timothy 2:8 (Spoke 10, Cycle 3)

This exemplifies the relation between the hand (yad) and the idea of praise expressed in the KeyWord yadah. Paul amplified this theme in his reminder to Timothy of the gift he had received:

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

1 Timothy 4:14 (Spoke 10, Cycle 3)

As far as I know, Timothy is the only person mentioned in all the Bible as receiving such a gift from the Apostle Paul by the laying on of hands.

Finally, Paul continues this theme in the only warning he gave on this topic in all his writings:

Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.

1 Timothy 5:22 (Spoke 10, Cycle 3)

All of this is in perfect harmony with the meaning of the Letter governing Spoke 10.

The Role of Yod in Hebrew Grammar

The tenth letter, Yod, is a symbol of both action and personal possession. This integrates with its grammatical function in the Hebrew language as follows:


When Yod is prefixed to a triliteral root, the root is transformed into the third person masculine imperfect tense, e.g. ברך (barak, to bless) becomes יברך (yibrak) which means "he blessed", "he blesses", or "he will bless" depending on context. The fundamental idea is that the Yod signifies his action. A similiar idea is seen in the etymology of the English words such as manual and manipulate, which are based on the Latin word for hand, manus.

Personal Possession:

When a noun is suffixed by a Yod, it the transforms the noun into the first person possessive. For example, David sang of the many things that God was to him:

My God (אלהי, Elohi) is my rock (צורי, tsuri); in him will I trust: he is my shield (מגני, Magni), and the horn of my salvation (ישעי, yeshohi), my high tower, (משגבי, mishgabi) and my refuge (מנוסי, menosi), my saviour (משעי, mishohi) ; thou savest me from violence.

in 2 Samuel 22:3 (Spoke 10, Cycle 3)

In each of these cases, the noun was suffixed with a Yod to signify the word my. Christians are familiar with this from the cry of Christ when He was on the Cross - My God, My God (Elohi, Elohi). Thus we see that the י (Yod, Hand) means my or mine when suffixed to a word - it is the symbol of that with which we grasp and possesse things.

This differs from the meaning of Kaph (Palm of the Hand, or Open Hand) which signifies the second person possessive, i.e. the idea that something is yours. This is an astoundingly beautiful integrated symbolic system - the Active Hand (Yod) indicates something is mine, whereas the Open Hand (Kaph - as if stretched forth to offer you a chair) indicates that something is yours. The difference between Yod and Kaph is discussed further in Yod versus Kaph.

Our power to act is symbolized by the Tenth letter Yod. This integrates with the Ten Commandments which teach us how to use this power. They are not to be understood as merely warnings - they are also guides, as Paul wrote "the law is a schoolmaster to guide us to Christ" (Galatians 3.24). The Ten Commandments integrate in a powerful way with the content found in 1 Timothy on Spoke 10, Cycle 3.

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