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[Wheel] > Golgotha - The Axis of the Wheel

And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was,  JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

John 19

The crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ is the central event of all Scripture. It is the fixed point of God's revelation. Just as the Apostle Paul "determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified" so the Wheel revolves about this singular event. It is the axis of the Wheel.

Great insight into the divine design of the Bible emerges from the study the two Hebrew words for a Wheel, ophan () and galgal (). Both were used in Ezekiel's vision of the Chariot when he said "As for the wheels (, ophanim, plural), it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel (galgal, singular)."1 The voice in the vision identified the plurality of wheels (ophanim) as a singular Wheel (galgal). The four individual wheels are described as having "one likeness, as if a wheel (ophan) had been in the midst of a wheel (ophan),"2 whereas all four collectively are identified as the Galgal. The traditional Jewish understanding of this word are discussed in An Ancient Witness

The etymology of galgal proves particularly relevant to the study of the Wheel of God. A closely related word, Gilgal, differing only in a single vowel point (which was not part of the original text) appears in Joshua 5.9:

And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day

The triliteral root common to the two words rolled and Gilgal is galal () which expresses the idea of something round, circular, or rolling. It is the root of the word Galilee, the region of the Lord's earthly ministry, so called because it consisted of a circuit (galeel ) of cities on the furthest outreaches of the Israeli kingdom. This root also gives rise to megillah () denoting a scroll, or roll of a book. The prophet Zechariah used this word when he wrote, "Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll ()." Likewise, it is used in Psalm 40, the prophetic Psalm of the Lord's first advent, where we read: "Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume () of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart."  

All of these ideas come together in the meaning of the root pic (Galah, S# H1540) which is various translated as uncovered, discovered, opened, or revealed. It is used in Isaiah 53.1 "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?" This is the Hebrew root - the root of the word Revelation - that governs the overall structure of Scripture!

Yet there is more - not only does this root express both the nature of Scripture (it is a revelation from God) and its geometric form (a wheel) but it also encodes the axial theme about which this wheel of revelation revolves!

The name of the place where the Lord was crucified is the Aramaic3 Gulgoltha ()  which became Golgotha () in Greek. It arose from galal through the Hebrew word for a skullgulgoluth (), so called because of its round form. 

The name of the place where the Lord was crucified, therefore, differs from the Hebrew word denoting a wheel, galgal (), by the addition of two letters, the Aleph () and the Tav (). These are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet that govern the overall structure of God's Wheel. They correspond to the Greek Alpha and Omega, by which the Lord God identified himself, saying, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."

This intimate relation between the Wheel, the letters Aleph and Tav, and Golgotha is but a glimpse of the infinite depth of God's perfect wisdom. How mighty are his works! He designed each letter of the Hebrew alphabet to be kind of hieroglyph with a complex set of symbolic meanings that marvelously mix and merge to form the living words of the Hebrew language. By studying each letter's name, grammatical function, numerical weight and relation to other letters, we come to understand its essential meaning and how it governs the themes of its corresponding Spoke. The thoroughly Jewish understanding of these letters can be found at Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh's site (The link will open in a new window.) 

Aleph Tav: The Sign and Seal of Almighty God

The significance of Aleph (), though wonderfully rich beyond measure, is also incredibly simple. As the first of the letters, it was designed to refer specifically to God Almighty. As noted by Rabbi Munk4 "The symbolizes the One and Only, the Eternal, the Omnipotent God." This coheres, of course, with God's own use of the Greek form of this letter as quoted above.

The significance of Tav () is equally rich in its simplicity. Its name denotes a mark, sign or cross. Gesenius5 observed that Tav was used to refer to "a sign in the form of a cross branded on the thigh or neck of horses and camels." In the ancient script, Tav had two forms, being drawn either as or , the latter being identical to the classic image of the Cross of Christ, which, by the way, was understood by the early Hebrew Christians who used this in their development of the theology of the Cross. Tav is the that "marks the spot" about which all history turns. It is the axis of the Wheel

Can there be any doubt that this is the product of divine design? For it was upon a rough-hewn blood-stained wooden Tav at the place called Golgotha that Jesus Christ bore the unbearable weight of our sins and declared "It is finished," thereby explicitly fulfilling the message encoded in the alphabet since the day God created it. The everlasting Gospel, in precise analogy with the pattern of this Divine Alphabet, begins in God (, Aleph) and is completed in the Cross (, Tav).

Yet there is more. These two letters, Aleph and Tav, combine to form the word , Eth, which in a mundane sense merely serves to indicate the direct object in the accusative case. But both scholars and mystics have noted that there is much more to be found in this simple word. The ever scholarly Ernst Klein, in his Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language, noted that was originally "a noun in the sense of 'being, essence, existence,'" while the esoteric author of the Zohar elaborated on this, stating that signifies essence of a thing, from beginning to end, first and last, and noted its use in Genesis 1.1 where it appears at the center of first seven words of the Bible:

With this understanding of Eth, we discover that the true essence of the Wheel, Eth Galgal,   , is an anagram of , Golgotha, where the only change is that the First has become Last!6  

Golgotha remains fixed as the inescapable central point about which God's revelation eternally revolves. It is the unmovable axis of the Wheel. From Aleph to Tav, from beginning to end, from Genesis to Revelation, this is the message encoded in the supernatural structure of the Bible. 

Behold the wisdom of God! The very word denoting the intrinsic geometric structure of God's Word, Galgal, points directly and inevitably to its central event at Golgotha, the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, where the reproach of our sin was forever rolled away. Glory to God in the highest!

1) Ezekiel 10.13

2) Ezekiel 10.10

3) There should be no confusion about Scripture referring to Golgotha as the Hebrew (versus Aramaic) name of the place, since the Hebrew mentioned in John 19 should be understood as referring to the common language of the Hebrew people of the day, which was Aramaic.

4) The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet, pg 43

5) Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon of the Old Testament

6) The first became last in two senses. 1) is reversed to  , and 2) Aleph and Tav are moved from the right to the left end of the word galgal.

7) This page was the prototype of pages 377-380 of the Bible Wheel book, now posted online under the title The Wheel of Revelation.

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