Last week we talked extensively about “The Rock” as a type of Messiah. This week, in the second half of Exodus 17, we see Moses resting on a “stone”—a different but very common Hebrew word, eben (Strongs H68). The name “Ebenezer,” used in a few places in 1 Samuel means “stone of help”, so at least the first half of that word is familiar to English speakers. The Hebrew picture-letters we’ve looked at in past articles of this series will be very informative as to what this simple word is implying.
The first two letters of eben are ‘Aleph‘, and ‘Bet‘. Fun fact—we get the English word ‘Alphabet’ from these first two Hebrew letters in the “Alef-bet”.
‘Aleph’ is a picture of a strong mighty bull. It’s also the first letter in the Alphabet, and so it also means ‘first’ or ‘original’. We see this in the word ‘El‘ (God) as the ‘first and mighty authority (as discussed back on Day 24.) We also saw this letter in the name Agag (the king of Amelek) meaning “original Gog” (as discussed back on Day 23). Likewise “Adam”, means first blood, or original blood.
The letter ‘Bet’ is an overhead floorplan of a tiny house. It doesn’t just imply a building, it goes as far as an entire family line. It also stands for the number 2, as it’s the second letter in the Hebrew alphabet. (So just in this one letter we can see “2 houses”, but that’s a lesson for another day.)
When these two letters are combined as ‘AB’ we get the word “father”, an image of ‘the first and strongest in the house’. This is common and more obvious in the words Abba, Abram, and Abraham.
The final letter “nun” we’ve also talked about before—it’s a picture of a seed or a little swimming sperm, and it implies ‘perpetual or continual’. If you combine the last two letters, bet and nun, you get the simple word ‘BeN’—which means ‘son’. For example, “Benjamin”, Jacob’s youngest, means “son of my right hand”.
Here’s were it gets kind of cool and deep:
If you overlap the words for AB (father) and BeN (son) so the two short words share the ‘B’ (the house) you get eben, ‘stone’, the word of the day. “Stone” is a picture of the Father and the Son united together in the house.
A completely united Father and Son is not just the cornerstone principle of all Scripture, it’s the most solid of building stones of every family and thus all society—Hebrew and non-Hebrew.
You can also read these three letters (aleph, bet, and nun) as ‘first son’, a reference to the traditional high value of the firstborn son in each household. Exodus 4:22, “Thus says YHWH, Israel is my firstborn SON”. John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten Son of The Father), full of grace and truth.” So when Yeshua is ONE with The Father, and we (as Israel) are ONE with Yeshua, it’s like a precious stone.
Beware, because unity can go bad too.
In Exodus 15, in ‘The Song of Moses’, Pharaoh and his Armies are united, and the lyrics say they sank like a stone, and were then a still as stone. This intentional (and beautifully chosen) language was rubbing salt in the death of Egypt’s firstborn sons that was the source of their rage and thirst for vengeance.
In Genesis 11:3 we see Nimrod, the first post-flood villain, using brick instead of stone to build his tower. This is implying a man-made structure—an unnatural structure. A hint of the idea of destroying and replacing the unity of Father and Son for the sake of progress and humanity’s own selfish goals. This metaphor continues in Egypt as Pharaoh has Israel slaving away to make bricks as their primary job.
In Exodus 20:25 there’s a related command, “When you make me an altar of STONE, do not built it from hewn STONE—for if you lift up a tool upon it, you have profaned it.” 1 Peter 2:4 continues this thought, “As you have come to him, a living stone—rejected by men, but in the sight of YHWH chosen and precious. You yourselves are like living stones being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to YHWH through Yeshua Messiah.” Peter then quotes from Isaiah 28:16, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: whoever believes will not be in haste.”
Brick and hewn stones are similar. They are convenient and easy for man to build and work with. We can create just about anything with brick, and quickly too. Like a tower reaching to heaven, for example, or pyramids that serve as a testimony to man’s wayward inventiveness and pride. This is why I shed no tears when Notre Dame Cathedral burned down. It is was a symbol of the prideful work of human hands, chiseling away lawlessly. Harsh but true.
“Systematic Theology” and most “Statements of Faith” are like bricks in this same way. Simple and convenient is more important than truth. I think ‘brickianity’ was a term coined to describe the nature of the modern church at large.
Yah’s Holy altar, and more importantly His People Israel, are not brick, nor hewn stones (at least not hewn by human tools.) We are inconvenient. We are irregular. We have to be graceful and merciful to one another, because we are called to fit together—as is. Funky, broken, and at times even a little flaky. “Whoever believes will not be in haste”.
The whole Babylonian system, religious, financial, medical, military, is first and foremost built with bricks, and it is constantly demanding brick-like compliance.
Here’s the good news:
Daniel 2:34-35, “As you looked, a STONE was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image [of the timeless Babylonian system in which we live] on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”
Messiah, you could say, is a Chip Off The Old Block. Daniel say’s Messiah is made from the same material as YHWH, and he’s just as powerful.
Back to the hill in Exodus 17…Moses is resting on a stone [resting in the unity of Father and Son] while faithfully lifting his hands with the authority given to him by YHWH. As Moses does so, Yeshua fights his battles for him. If this doesn’t read like a New Testament based sermon, you and I aren’t reading the same Bible.
This, my friends, is the Way to Shavuot. “The Way” represents timeless cornerstone principles, not based on “the letter of the Law”, but absolutely based on the principles introduced in the Torah. If you divorce the Torah from the teachings of Messiah or the epistles of the Apostles, it’s like wielding a tool and hewing a stone. The Bible is one consistent book from end to end containing congruent, consistent, and applicable truths.
Please don’t hack at Scripture with the hammer and chisel of man-made religion, just so it fits your own preconceptions, denominational traditions, or the way your were raised. Instead, let the hammer of Yah’s Torah come down on you, and have The Father sculpt you into an image of His Son.