PHB: dalet - Commandment family דהחך

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Pneumnemonic Hebrew for Beginners***PHB: Letter families->PHB: vav - Word family יוזן->::vav - Word family extension אג-דנר->::Build some gates - 1->dalet - Commandment family דהחך->nun - Son of Man family נעצשץ

The meaning of each letter in the Dalet ד or Commandment Family has something to do with the commandment.

Dalet ד the commandment

The dalet ד is the commandment. It is not the rosh ר revelation. See the difference between the right angle corner on the dalet and the rounded corner on the rosh.

He ה they did not understand

The he ה is drawn with a dalet ד as the commandment, then a vav returns halfway up the left side. The response is not a full response (not returning to the top) because the commandment is not understood. The Hebrews did not understand that the law was a schoolmaster [s 1] and the real meaning was a hidden prophecy of the death and resurrection of Jesus on the cross. [s 2] The response is like when sheep hear the shepherd's voice. [s 3] They are drawn to it, but they do not understand the words.

He means 'aha!' It is the response of recognition but not of understanding. [v 1] [v 2] [q 1] [a 1]

Chet ח they understood

The chet is drawn like a he ה but the vav on the left returns all the way to the top. This represents that the commandment was understood. The meaning of chet is 'dismay', because when you really understand God's command, you are dismayed. [v 3] [q 2] [a 2] [q 3] [a 3] [1] Dismay is terror. When people met the Holy God they fell on their faces. [s 4] [s 5] [s 6] [s 7]

The chet ח symbol represents life in many cultures. They may pronounce it chee. Understanding is represented by seeing. One cannot understand (see) the teaching of Christ (the kingdom) unless he has been born again. [s 8] Understanding is a sign of the beginning of life.

When you draw the vav of the chet say, "understood" or "saw".

The progression דהח

The dalet ד representing the commandment, is found in each letter. There is the commandment ד, the commandment which was heard but not understood ה, and the commandment which was understood ח.

Final kof ך

The final kof ך is the form used when a kof כ is at the end of a word. We examined the kof כ when we discussed the nun נ. The nun נ is the Son of Man, and the kof כ is the Son of God; fully God and fully man by nature, as indicated by the long horizontal vav's.

Kof כף means 'spoon' or 'palm of the hand' and the final form ך signifies the Son of God died according to the commandment (which is why it looks like a large dalet). [v 4] [q 4] [a 4] [s 9]

As you draw the final kof say, "The Son of God died".

חד sharpen

Interpreting word formations is not as simple as merely replacing the letters with a meaning. Such replacement forms a riddle which is answered by scripture.

Sharpen chad חד is formed as -- understand ח the command ד. It is not easy to see the connection between the two. But God says the same thing in different ways until we understand. He has given another clue to the connection in the verse:

Pr 27:17 ¶ Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Now we understand the proverb better. To improve the countenance of the friend, we help them understand God's commands. Remember we are using this in a technical sense as a metaphor for his command and the result of his command. We would remind our friend that God spoke and as a result of his command, the universe sprang into existence. We might also confront his sin and bring hope for a changed life based on God's Mercy and power in overcoming sin.


  1. When does a sheep decide which shepherd to follow?
  2. Why does understanding the commandment cause dismay?
  3. The Gospel of Thomas (2) says, ... The one who seeks should not cease seeking until he finds. And when he finds, he will be dismayed... Could the chet be the source of Thomas's riddle?
  4. Consider in light of the final work of the Son of God: "Isa 49:16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of [my] hands; thy walls [are] continually before me." How secure are you?


  1. It is not being suggested that the Gospel of Thomas is scripture, only that the author was familiar with pneumnemonics.


  1. Ga 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
  2. Heb 10:1 ¶ For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
  3. Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
  4. Ge 17:3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
  5. Nu 22:31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.
  6. Jos 5:14 And he said, Nay; but [as] captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
  7. Mt 17:6 And when the disciples heard [it], they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
  8. Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
  9. Isa 49:16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of [my] hands; thy walls [are] continually before me.


  1. he ה - aha, m. to be drawn to God but not understanding, m. hearing
  2. How much does a sheep have to understand of what the shepherd says, to be his sheep?
  3. chet ח or חת - dismay, m. understood, seeing
  4. final kof ך - palm of the hand, m. last work, the Son of God died


  1. Sheep are born to the shepherd who owns the flock. They hear his voice from birth.
  2. The holiness of the law confronts your sin.
  3. It is a good exercise to read the Gospel of Thomas in the genre of prophetic riddle or sensus plenior, since he shares many of the same riddles which are mistakenly interpreted to be literal and so are identified as Gnostic
  4. Graven into his works.