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  1. #1
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    Alphabet letter order

    Hi,
    Thank you for all your post. I'm very happy to learn about the alphabet.

    The post about the vowel original order is very intresting. I have just been looking at the original hebbrew glyph they are beautiful. But still my question that is why the "Ah" first, then the "bah" ?
    Is the alphabet order a record of the value order at the time of it's creation ?
    This would mean that for Ancient hebrew the Animal was more important than the Batiment ?
    Or is it just that A was more used than B and so on ?

    I have the same question for the numbers. With Natural numbers, we already know that 0 was named after 1 or 2, but which one of the 1 and 2 was named first ?
    two can be seen as the inseparable "mother and child". In psychology it's the first entity a human being acknowledge when he comes to earth. So maybe the 1 is defined later as not the 2. Or as the 2 - 1 when one realised that he is not his mother?


    Thank you, for your help.
    Last edited by Minanga; 08-12-2010 at 11:37 AM. Reason: for clarification

  2. #2
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    An auto reply.

    The english or french alphabet as we know it today has had many changes. Some letters were dropped at some time and then regained there mention at the end seri. For exemple X an Y are not the last letters of the greek alphabet.

    Neverthe less the question still remain. How was the order of the first letters chosen ?
    My guess is that the glyphe were disposed in a meaning full order. That is they told a story. Maybe one starting like this:
    An Alep (ox: A) was leaving our Bayit (house: B). Quickly I gimel (throw or stick : C) at it to drive it back towards the daleth (door: D) of the he (wall - fence: E)

    As for numbers I still have no clue

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minanga View Post
    An auto reply.

    The english or french alphabet as we know it today has had many changes. Some letters were dropped at some time and then regained there mention at the end seri. For exemple X an Y are not the last letters of the greek alphabet.
    Hi Minanga,

    Welcome to our forum!



    It is good to have a new member who is interested in the origin of the alphabet. The first thing I note is that the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin alphabets all begin the same way:

    Aleph - Alpha - A
    Bet - Beta - B
    Gimmel - Gamma - C
    Dalet - Delta - D

    Then we find some slight rearrangements (e.g. Vav --> U/V/W) and additions and deletions. But not too much confusion really when you think of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Minanga View Post
    Neverthe less the question still remain. How was the order of the first letters chosen ?
    My guess is that the glyphe were disposed in a meaning full order. That is they told a story. Maybe one starting like this:
    An Alep (ox: A) was leaving our Bayit (house: B). Quickly I gimel (throw or stick : C) at it to drive it back towards the daleth (door: D) of the he (wall - fence: E)

    As for numbers I still have no clue
    The origin of the order is a mystery. I don't know of any way to discover it. I can see the story idea as a possibility, but it doesn't feel very likely. I suspect there is probably something more going on.

    Also, I don't follow your meaning on gimel (camel) as "throw or stick" and you seem to be confusing Hey with Chet, the eighth letter H which means wall or fence.

    Again, welcome to our forum,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  4. #4
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    Jul 2009
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    reference

    Hi thanks for your answer.

    I based my story on this chart !
    Wich can be found with a little history of english alphabet here:
    http://members.peak.org/~jeremy/dict...ssic/chapters/



    Looking for this kind of chart began on biblewheel.com after seen on this web site a link to this: Ancient Hebrew Alphabet Chart by J E Marchant

    Those two preceding charts don't have exactly the same order. I'm sure this could be a heated debat


    I also like very much the following picture. I did nearly the same drawing at home for the same reason: reconstruction of the general meaning stored in the letters: a landscape full of Hebrew letters

    Drawing the Alphabet is a very good way to remember how our ancestor used to live but it does not give us any clue on a hierarchy between those letters.
    Maybe they were none
    Maybe it was just pure artistic creation. using living things around as they came to mind. (kind of the first brainstorming).

    The Kabalistic stuff came after in my sens, when the letters were already dead.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minanga View Post
    Hi thanks for your answer.

    I based my story on this chart !

    Wich can be found with a little history of english alphabet here:
    http://members.peak.org/~jeremy/dictionaryclassic/chapters/



    Looking for this kind of chart began on biblewheel.com after seen on this web site a link to this: Ancient Hebrew Alphabet Chart by J E Marchant

    Those two preceding charts don't have exactly the same order. I'm sure this could be a heated debat


    I also like very much the following picture. I did nearly the same drawing at home for the same reason: reconstruction of the general meaning stored in the letters: a landscape full of Hebrew letters

    Drawing the Alphabet is a very good way to remember how our ancestor used to live but it does not give us any clue on a hierarchy between those letters.
    Maybe they were none
    Maybe it was just pure artistic creation. using living things around as they came to mind. (kind of the first brainstorming).

    The Kabalistic stuff came after in my sens, when the letters were already dead.
    Excellent info. Thanks!

    I don't know how "hot" the debate may get, but it should be interesting. I agree with most of the meanings of the letters listed in the chart you showed, except these:

    Gimel = Camel, not throw or stick

    Yod = Hand more than "Arm." And it means a lot more than "push away" because when suffixed to a word it means "mine" - which comes from the idea of grasping something with the hand.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  6. #6
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    Jul 2009
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    He y stop ! He aven !

    I agree that the original meaning of the letters are not very clear.

    Another example could be the "E" Which in the chart above is said to represent a man armed raised up as if he was trying to stop someone. The "eh" for the author then means the Wall (as in obstacle) That's close (in english terms) to the "hhah" of J E Marchant's chart, meaning there also wall as in tent wall. But then it would be the ancestor of the "H" and not "E".

    "E" in J E Marchant char is also the derived from a man raising his arms up but then it would represent somebody who reveals himself. That's not the same as someone trying to stop somebody.

    I would prefer the J E Marchant's "E" interpretation, as for me "E" would represent someone praising DIEU. Dieu is the french name for god which rimes in french with "E" and Cieux (heaven). It's also a letter very much present I beleive in some spelling of god's name in Hebrew not to say if we had to count it, in the writting in general of french and english. see
    french letter distribution chart from wikipedia, E first and by far...
    English letter frequency distribution. Same here...
    I looked at Dutch and Spanish by curiosity but no surprise "E" first,

    So the question still remains, why do we use a alphbeta order and not a epsilalpha order for example as the most used letters are "E" then "A" in most cases ?
    A first element of answer could be the alphabeta order is not based on frequency of use.
    But then on what?
    It's puzzling that the "A" would be the first letter only by chance as it's also the symbol for the most important thing of nomadic people (Ox).
    After the livestock the most important could well be in fact the House, the Base. But then it becomes blur for me.

    I guess several hierarchy were mixed over time to give us what we have today. Still it would be interesting I think to be able to get what changes were made and why.. But maybe I'm been too curious
    Last edited by Minanga; 08-14-2010 at 03:47 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quickly,
    I've notice rereading my post that in english "H" and "E" are often combined.
    Could it be by chance that "HE" be a definition of a Man ? A Man then been the one able to "stop" and "reveal oneself" ? As when on friday saturday and sunday, many men stop all activity to pay attention at who they really are in prayers ?
    ...
    Last edited by Minanga; 08-14-2010 at 03:48 AM.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2009
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    Finaly about Yod,
    Your comment is very helpfull for me to grasp the link to the egyptian glyphe (the arm with the hand). I'll take it In
    Up to now I had mostly read of the "push away", "throw" action related to Yod. From what you say it seems that there is a strong relationship between I and Y. Between the arm and the tent peg wich makes a lot of sens that I had not seen before, like: In french "Y" is called a greek "I". lol

    complementary note;
    Could the "U I" close to the sound of "Y" means that there's an "I", an arm that is not secure because in J E marchand chart Y is the tent peg with the meaning add, secure. It's english translitaration is U. Therefor adding U to I would mean that I is not secure by himself.
    .... All this to finaly notice that the yodh association to the arm and hand glyph is really unclear.

    Thank you very much.
    "Y", yod, upsilon idoa, the arm adding and not "I", iota the arm pushing.
    Last edited by Minanga; 08-14-2010 at 03:50 AM.

  9. #9
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    Yakima, Wa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minanga View Post
    I agree that the original meaning of the letters are not very clear.

    Another example could be the "E" Which in the chart above is said to represent a man armed raised up as if he was trying to stop someone. The "eh" for the author then means the Wall (as in obstacle) That's close (in english terms) to the "hhah" of J E Marchant's chart, meaning there also wall as in tent wall. But then it would be the ancestor of the "H" and not "E".

    "E" in J E Marchant char is also the derived from a man raising his arms up but then it would represent somebody who reveals himself. That's not the same as someone trying to stop somebody.

    I would prefer the J E Marchant's "E" interpretation, as for me "E" would represent someone praising DIEU. Dieu is the french name for god which rimes in french with "E" and Cieux (heaven). It's also a letter very much present I beleive in some spelling of god's name in Hebrew not to say if we had to count it, in the writting in general of french and english. see
    french letter distribution chart from wikipedia, E first and by far...
    English letter frequency distribution. Same here...
    I looked at Dutch and Spanish by curiosity but no surprise "E" first,

    So the question still remains, why do we use a alphbeta order and not a epsilalpha order for example as the most used letters are "E" then "A" in most cases ?
    A first element of answer could be the alphabeta order is not based on frequency of use.
    But then on what?
    It's puzzling that the "A" would be the first letter only by chance as it's also the symbol for the most important thing of nomadic people (Ox).
    After the livestock the most important could well be in fact the House, the Base. But then it becomes blur for me.

    I guess several hierarchy were mixed over time to give us what we have today. Still it would be interesting I think to be able to get what changes were made and why.. But maybe I'm been too curious
    It seems the chart combines and confuses Hey (5th letter) with Chet (8th letter).

    As a word in the Hebrew language, "hey" means "behold!" (Strong's #1888) and it has this meaning in almost all languages. When folks want attention, they say "Hey! Look over here!" and they will often raise their arms to help get attention. I'm pretty sure this is the primary meaning of the 5th letter.

    The letter Chet is entirely different. It means "fence" or "enclosure." It's ancient pictograph was a fence:



    This is the origin of the Latin letter H and the Greek Eta. The Hey actually corresponds to E and the Epsilon of the Greek. The confusion seems to come from the transliteration of the sound.

    Now as for the order of the alphabet, it seems pretty clear that it did not arise from the the frequency of the letters. I think your idea that it "tells a story" is correct. The sequence of the Alphabet seems to be determined from the meaning of the letters, but not always the literal meaning. For example, Aleph does mean "ox" but it also means "leader" when pronounced "Alluph." I think this is the reason it is first. Aleph is the Alluph, the leader of the Alphabet.

    Then when we put the first two letters together and we get Aleph Bet = Leader of the House = Father (AB). This coheres with the traditional structure of the family. Furthermore, the "AB" (Father) is the Teacher because the Alphabet was designed to teach.

    The Father leads to an abundance (gamol) of understanding.

    This is the Door (Dalet) to Life (Hey).

    I think the order was given to communicate an entire theological understanding of God and the Gospel. It begins with Aleph (Elohim = God) and ends in the Cross (Tav). The order can only be understood when the full symbolic meanings are grasped. The literal "pictographs" are just hints of a much larger set of associations.

    Great chatting!

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    7
    Hi you all. I am new and I am enjoying what you all have to say. I do not know how to read Hebrew, much less know what the individual letters mean,but as I was reading about a picture of an outstretched arm trying to stop someone and on and on,in my mind's eye, I saw a picture of Christ on the cross revealing Himself to all as the One who stopped the wrath of the Holy God upon a disobedient people.To me at least,it is the Gospel in the alphabet. But then again I have an active mind. God bless you all. handyman

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