I continue, this week, in my study of Isaiah 45:7. I am currently looking at the word “make” in “I make peace” which is the Hebrew word asah. The first letter of asah is the Ayin and I find there is more to be learned from this letter.
Both of my books on Hebrew letters told me Ayin not only carries the meaning of “eye” but can also mean a “spring or fountain”. Mr. Bentorah says, “The word Ayin also means spring or fountain. A fountain is a subterranean reservoir that feeds oceans and rivers. This brings out the idea of something that is deep and buried, as a person’s true character or intent is buried but is revealed through his eyes. The Ayin is the letter of spiritual insight. The spring or fountain also suggest a source. The eyes are a source of information into a person’s consciousness.” In his book, Mr. Haralick echoes this same thought: “Words that end in Ayin include mayan (H4599) which means spring, fountain, source, or well and has the alternate meaning of thought, attention, or consideration…The spring or fountain or well of sight and balance is insight and consciousness. This is the revealed meaning of Ayin.”
I was thinking of this meaning-not so much in my study passage-but in Genesis 1:26 where God says, “Let us make (asah) man in Our own image.” God’s process of making is described in Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” The word translated “formed” in this verse is yatsar (H3335)which is a word I’ve already looked at as it appears in Isaiah 45:7 “I form (yatsar) the light.”
I am struck by the care taken by God in the making of humankind. I think of the attention and intention denoted by His forming man from the dust of the ground. The picture here is of an artist paying attention to every detail while creating His masterpiece. The word “create”-bara in the Hebrew-is also used to describe God bringing mankind into existence. I think of that word “create”. I’ve already mentioned being given a resource that suggests bara means “to fill” or “to fatten”. I like that: once God had formed the man, something more was required. God filled or fattened man. God Himself breathed into his nostrils. The lungs of man expanded and he became a living being.
“What is man that You are mindful of him and the son of man that You visit him?” David asks in Psalm 8:4. He goes on to write, “For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet” (verses 5-6). This passage expresses the worth of humankind. Crowned with glory and honor. Made alive with the very breath of God.
Francois du Toit translates Revelation 1:8 as “The God who is Lord over all things says: I am the Alpha and the Omega-my I-am-ness defines time-I am the present, past, and future” and then adds the following commentary: “The union of Alpha and Omega in Greek, makes the verb άω, I breathe. And in Hebrew the union of the first and last letter in their alphabet, Aleph (bull’s head) and Tav (the cross) makes…et, which the Rabbis interpret as the first matter out of which all things were formed (see Gen 1:1). The particle et is untranslatable in English but, says Rabbi Aben Ezra, “it signifies the substance of the thing!” Jesus is the Alpha and Omega in whom we live, and move, and have our being! He is indeed closer to us than the air we breathe!” (The Mirror)
I first read that months ago and I’ve been thinking hard on it ever since. Jesus the The Word One with God, in the beginning with God, all things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made (John 1:1-3). He is there breathing life into the man He formed and, thinking of bara as filling, He filled mankind with Himself. How terrible Chapter 3 of Genesis becomes! Adam and Eve were not merely choosing to disobey the Voice of God, they were rebelling against the very source of their lives.
In Jesus, all has been redeemed and restored. The 20th Chapter of John records Jesus breathing on the gathered disciples and saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit”. Shortly after this, Jesus ascends to the Father and, days later, Pentecost comes. There came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind. The Holy Spirit came mightily on all who were gathered together and He has continued to come throughout this age.
I think about the Ayin in terms of the Holy Spirit. Water is used in various scriptures as a symbol for the Holy Spirit and, indeed, He is the living water Jesus promised to all who thirst and come to Him. One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 12:3: “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” I’ve sung it as a member of various choirs and those words never cease to fill me with awe and wonder. The Holy Spirit, the very Spirit of the Living God, is a spring, a well, a fountain and He is that in me. His presence in me is proof I have been redeemed, reconciled, restored, and renewed by the source of my life: Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the mighty wind from Heaven, the very breath of He who made me. Also become my breath. It is impossible to separate us. I am in Christ. I am a new Creation. In Him I live and move and have my being. The Holy Spirit enlightens my eyes to see I now live eye to eye with Jesus.
These studies are so important to me because it is easy to become blinded. While the source of my life is Jesus and I am seated with Him in Heavenly places, I am still in this world and the doings of day to day life can be difficult. It is surprisingly easy to feel forgotten by God when I am in dark places, there are obstacles before me I see no way around, and I am hedged on every side. It only takes a moment for my vision to be obscured and I see no way through. I have to be still then and know He is God. I have to remind myself who I am and who He is in me. I have to bring to my remembrance all the times He has proven Himself faithful and tell myself no matter how deep the darkness or impossible the obstacle, He has joined me to Himself. He cannot leave me nor forsake me for He lives in me in The Holy Spirit. This is who I am this moment. He is my light in the darkness. He is the One who has overcome. He is my way through.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God” (Psalm 42:11).
Unless noted otherwise, all scriptures are quoted from The New King James Version of The Holy Bible, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee, 1982
Bentorah, Chaim, Hebrew Word Study: Beyond the Lexicon, Trafford Publishing, 2014, Pages 130-134
Du Toit, Francois, Mirror Study Bible The Romance of the Ages, Mirror Word Publishing, 2021, Page 495
Haralick, Robert M., The Inner Meaning of the Hebrew Letters, Jason Aronson Inc., Northvale, New Jersey, 1995, Pages 229-240