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.
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
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
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
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
(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
in Greek. It arose from galal through the Hebrew word for a skull,
gulgoluth (), 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,
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
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.)
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.
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
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
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,
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
, 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.