Give me 5!
We read in Exodus 6:6-8, “6 Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. 7 I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’”
In these verses we see “5” promises of God or “5” salvational steps that He will cause to happen in order to free His people from slavery/bondage and to deliver them. Those 5 promises/steps are the following:
1.) “I shall bring you out” (exodus/rapture?/by a cloud/His Spirit/Moses)
2.) “I shall deliver you from their enslaving” (destroys Pharaoh’s army in Red Sea)
3.) “I shall redeem you” (blood of the spotless lamb)
4.) “I shall take you” (establish marriage covenant)
5.) “I shall bring you into the land” (promised land)
This part of our Heavenly Father’s Word is where the meaning of the 4 cups of a traditional Jewish Passover seder are derived. The 1st 4 steps listed above are also the meaning of each of the 4 cups that are celebrated by Jews all over the world during Passover (including many Christians that perform Passover seders as well). Some Jews in Israel drink the 5th cup (Sephardic tradition). The 5th cup represents the fulfilment of God’s promise of bringing His people back to the promised land.
The number “5” is connected to the Hebrew word “Mashiach” (Messiah) because only the Messiah, meaning the anointed of God (re: Yehoshua/Joshua & Yeshua/Jesus) was & is able to bring God’s people into the promised land which is the “5th” and final step of God’s promise given to His people before He brought them out of bondage of Egypt. But only One Messiah is able to keep His people in the promised land to truly fulfill God’s 5th salvation promise in the future. Only the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), God’s anointed is able to perform such an awesome divine act of mercy and grace!
What else can we learn about the deeper meaning of the number 5 in Scripture?
The 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the letter “hay”, which is also used to represent the number 5 in Hebrew because it has a numerical value of 5. The letter “hay” in the Paleo Hebrew (older Biblical Hebrew) means “Lo/Behold“, as in to take notice of a divine act of God. Keep this in mind whenever you see the words “Lo” and “Behold” used in the Bible, some translations will use the word “see” instead of Lo or Behold. The number “5” in Scripture is known to represent a divine act of mercy & grace.
Many ancient Rabbinical sources believed and taught that the Hebrew letter “hay” represents the “breath” of God, the life giving force or in other words God’s life giving Spirit that He “breathes” into man. We can see a glimpse of why they believe this in Psalm 33:6, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” In the Talmud, in regards to Psalm 33:6 (Menachot 29b) it is said that the “breath of His mouth” refers to the sound of the letter “hay”, the outbreathing of Spirit. Even though I do not study or follow the Talmud I find this thought and belief of those who have studied the Hebrew Scriptures and the Biblical Hebrew language most of their lives to be very interesting.
In the Hebrew, God has a name that is usually translated as “The Lord” in most English Bibles but in the Hebrew text we see 4 Hebrew letters that do not have vowel markers included, those 4 Hebrew letters of God’s name are “Yod Hay Vav Hay” = YHVH. Because there are no vowel markers no one is able to 100% prove how to correctly pronounce His name even though many believe otherwise.
We see in Genesis 17:4-7 that God changed Abram’s name to Abraham. This was Abram’s 5th divine encounter with God or Abraham’s as he is known now. And what God literally did was add the Hebrew letter “hay” to the name Abram. God said to Abram in Genesis 17:4-7, “4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.”
Abram is given a “new name”, he is known as Abraham from that point on. In Hebrew, to be given a new name isn’t based on the understanding of having a new title that “sounds” different but a new way of behaving. The Hebrew word translated as “name” in the Bible is the word “shem” and it doesn’t just mean someone’s title but instead their “character” and “function” in life. To be given a new name in the Hebraic understanding is to literally become a new person with a new walk which is different from how one was behaving (thinking, speaking & acting) before.
The name “Abram” is made up of 4 Hebrew letters, alef, beit, resh & mem but after God changed his name to “Abraham” the adding of the letter “hay” increased the letters of his name to “5”!, being alef, beit, resh, hay & mem.
By God adding the letter “Hay” to the name “Abram” it can be symbolic of God giving a part of Himself, His divine strength, His “breath” or Spirit, the 2nd letter (Yod Hay Vav Hay) of God’s name He gave to Abram therefore Abram becomes “Abraham”. I believe this is a prophetic picture of man receiving God’s Spirit working within and through him, an amazing act of divine mercy & grace! This all happens as God revealed (when He says “behold”) His awesome act of divine mercy & grace by establishing His covenant with Abraham and Abraham’s descendants.
We read in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us)”
We also read in Matthew 28:20, “Teaching them to observe all that I (Yeshua) have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Lo & behold, the most amazing act of divine mercy & grace is later given through and fulfilled by our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)! As we enter into the New Covenant through Him and become a new creation and are given the Spirit of the Lord (YHVH), or in other words the letter “hay” is taken from His name (His character) is added into the midst of our being, our new name (meaning our new character or nature). Our new character which will reflect the character of the One whom we received this new life giving character from and lo and behold, we will also bring forth acts of mercy & grace to those around us!
We read in Exodus 34:1-10, “1 The Lord said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. 3 No one shall come up with you, and let no one be seen throughout all the mountain. Let no flocks or herds graze opposite that mountain.” 4 So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. 5 The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God (1) merciful and (2) gracious, (3) slow to anger, and (4) abounding in steadfast love and (5) faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, a forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” 8 And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. 9 And he said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.” 10 And He said, “Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.”
Our God revealed His divine mercy and grace in the very character of His name that He described of Himself to Moses. He proclaimed or in other words He was telling Moses “to take notice”, (remember hearing this before with the meaning of the letter “hay”, the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet) of Who He is and what He was going to do. How many descriptions did God use to proclaim His name, His character to Moses?
He used 5!
3.) slow to anger
4.) abounding in steadfast love
We see in verse 10 that God says “behold”, remember this is one of the meanings of the letter “hay”, indicating that we are about to see a divine act of grace & mercy. What is the divine act of mercy and grace that is being revealed here?
God is allowing Moses & the Children of Israel to renew the covenant again after having broken the previous covenant. Take note that even though there had been a change in the covenant (meaning Moses had to cut out and provide the stone tablets this time instead of God), the covenant requirements were still the same. Those covenant requirements being the 10 commandments, “5” commandments revealing how we are to love God and “5” commandments revealing how we are to love our neighbors!
Do you see a pattern of 5’s?
Now read Matthew 14:13-21 keeping in mind everything that we have learned about the deeper meaning of the number 5 in Scripture:
“Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When He went ashore He saw a great crowd, and He had compassion on them and healed their sick (mercy!). 15 Now when it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to Him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.”
Can you see a divine act of mercy & grace? What does this reveal about Who Yeshua truly was being that this act was divine?
I want to also suggest that within the very name of God, the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob (Yod Hay Vav Hay) is a revelation of 2 awesome divine acts of mercy & grace. We see the Hebrew letter “hay” twice in the very name of God which I believe represents these 2 divine acts of mercy & grace, more so than any other acts of divine mercy & grace in Scripture. What are they?
I believe it represents the 1st and 2nd coming of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)! The divine acts of God coming in the form of man to save His people by His own Hand, truly because of His grace and mercy, His great love! Praise God!
Where else in Scripture do we see the number 5 and can you see how it represents God’s divine mercy & grace?
-the law of God, also known in Hebrew as the “Torah”, which are the 1st “5” books of the Bible known as the “books of Moses”.
-the sacrifices/offerings given by God In Leviticus chapters 1-6 in order that His people would be able to draw near and receive temporary atonement for their sins, there were “5” sacrifices/offerings.
-in the parable of the 10 virgins given by Yeshua in Matthew 25:1-13, there were “5” wise virgins that were able to go into the wedding feast with the bridegroom.
There are more examples given in the Bible, keep the number 5 in mind as you read in order to find further witnesses of our God’s divine mercy & grace.
May the Lord continue to “give me 5!”. May He also give you 5, being His divine mercy & grace given by and through the Messiah Yeshua that sends forth the breath of God to dwell in us, His life giving Spirit! Amen!
Until next time, the Lord bless you and guard you.