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Spoke 22 - Tav

Song of Songs, Acts, Revelation

Sealed with the Sign of the Cross

And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

Revelation 5:1 (Spoke 22, Cycle 3)

Entry for Tav in Ben Yehuda's Pocket Hebrew dictionary
Digital scan of the entry for Tav in
Ben Yehuda's Pocket Hebrew dictionary

God designed the symbolic meaning of the Twenty-Two Hebrew Letters to proclaim the message of the everlasting Gospel. The meaning of each Letter derives from its name, position in the Alphabet, grammatical function and associated KeyWords. The meaning of the Last Letter is very plain; Jews and Christians have agreed about it from the beginning. As noted on page 21 of the BW book, its name (Tav) is a common Hebrew word that denotes a mark, sign, or cross. In the ancient Hebrew script, it was written alternately as or the latter being identical to the traditional form of the Cross of Christ, as seen in the digital scan of Ben-Yehuda's Pocket Hebrew Dictionary This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window above.) It is the origin of the corresponding Greek Tau and Latin T. God displayed its primary symbolic meaning in two Alphabetic Verses:

  • AV Ps 25:21 Let integrity (tom) and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.
  • AV Lam 4:22 The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished (tamam), O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will discover thy sins.

This is the glorious wonder of the Bible Wheel; it is self-evidently perfect from beginning to end. These Tav KeyWords describe the Twenty-Second Spoke, the Final Spoke that completes and seals the entire Bible. God placed them in the Alphabetic Verses as signs that prophetically anticipated the flawless integrity of His Bible as a whole! Yet there is more, so much more. In the rabbinic tradition, Tav is called the Seal of Truth (Bible Wheel book pg 37), and its form as a cross returns us to the central theme of all Scripture, the Gospel of Christ who sealed our salvation and bought us by the blood of His Cross!

Moreover, the famed Hebrew scholar Gesenius noted that Tav was "a sign in the form of a cross branded on the thigh or neck of horses and camels." The form of the cross itself is the archetypal seal and elemental sign of ownership. God Himself used it to identity His faithful Remnant in a vision He gave to the Prophet Ezekiel:

And the Lord said, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark (תו, tav) upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark (תו, tav); and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.

The actual Hebrew word translated as mark in this verse is tav, the name of the Twenty-Second Letter. Everyone marked with the Tav Cross was protected when God poured out his wrath on the apostates corrupting His Temple. Similar imagery appears in Revelation 7 when God sealed 144,000 of His servants in their foreheads against the coming judgment. All of this conspires to reveal Tav as the Covenant Letter which is the meaning recognized by both Christians and Jews since antiquity. It is here that we come to an ultimate understanding of the overall structure of Scripture and an answer to the question: Why is the entire Bible built upon the Number 22? It is the Divine Seal of Scripture - a perfect Circle, sevenfold symmetric perfection, sealed with the Cross! Could anything be simpler? Could anything be more beautiful?

The ancient Rabbinical tradition calls Tav the Seal of God, the Seal of Truth, and the Seal of Creation. Rabbi Ginsburgh, in his article on Tav This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window, identifies the seal as truth (אמת, emet), spelt with the first, middle, and last of the sacred letters. He then says:

The last letter or seal of the word emet, "truth," itself - the seal of G-d's seal - is the letter tav, simple faith, the conclusion and culmination of all twenty-two forces - letters - active in Creation.

Could the truth shine forth more plainly? Could God have made it any simpler? For nearly two thousand years the truth of God has been lifted high upon the steeples of Christian churches throughout the world. It is the sign of the Cross!  

Emet (truth) also is an anagram of m'eth (מאת), which can be read as From Aleph-Tav. This coheres with the universal intuition expressed in such words a "I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God." Truth falls short if it includes less than the whole, from Aleph to Tav. Likewise, all truth ultimately comes from God, who identifies Himself as the beginning and the end, which is the Aleph and the Tav. It is the eternal foundation of the biblical structure.  

Tav, God's Seal, governs Spoke 22. This manifests in the distribution of words cognate with "seal" upon the Wheel. This graph represents the result of searching the entire King James Bible for all such occurrences:

As the graph makes clear, the vast majority of occurrences of seal and its cognates in the Bible come from its last book. This is because Revelation describes both the opening of the book "sealed with seven seals" (Revelation 5.1) and the sealing of the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel with "the seal of the living God" (Revelation 7.2). The significance of this word distribution can not be overstated. It is a simple demonstration of God's careful design of the Bible in accordance with the structure and symbolic meaning of the Hebrew alphabet as revealed in the text of Scripture and explicated by the ancient Rabbinical tradition.   

The last book of Cycle 1 prefigures the great themes found in the last book of Cycle 3. Just as Revelation explicitly proclaims a promise of everlasting life for the faithful and a warning of fiery judgment for the unbelievers, so ends Cycle 1 in the final verses of the Song of Solomon:

Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

Song of Songs 8:6f (Spoke 22, Cycle 1)

The links between Love, Death, and God's Seal (Cross) are many and profound. As it is written:

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

And again:

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Matthew 16:24-26

And in the most significant sense, Jesus Christ spoke of His own death as his glorification, and His great work that He came into the world to accomplish. It was on His Cross that He sealed the New Covenant of our Eternal Salvation with His own blood. Thus it was from His Cross that He declared, IT IS FINISHED (John 19:30)

Next article: The Fulfillment of the Entire Revealed Word of God

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