Gathering Manna: Hebrew Alephbet

Samech

Samech סמך = the 15th letter of the Hebrew Alephbet, it forms the “s” sound and can be transliterated as either an “s” or “c”.

Samech Word Picture: In Paleo Hebrew, the Samech is the picture of a prop, or support. It represents something that is a support structure. It comes from the root word meaning to uphold, to lean upon, or to support. This letter is also connected with the Hebrew concept of Semikhah – the laying on of hands onto a sacrificial animal in order to transfer the sins, yet it also carries the meaning of laying on of the hands in order to ordain someone and charge them with authority. This is seen in Numbers 27:23 – “And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as Yahweh commanded by the hand of Moses.” In other words, one of the basic ideas of this letter is the transfer of something, whether it be guilt and sin to a sacrifical animal, or authority, power, and the charging of a great task.

In the Modern Hebrew, this letter is circular. It is symbolic of the ever-ascending spiral of the glory of Yahweh in the universe, much like the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud.

Exodus 40:34 – “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of Yahweh filled the tabernacle.”

Gematria/Numerical Value = 60

*60 is the number associated with the Aaronic Benediction/Priestly Blessing because it has 60 letters that compose it in the Hebrew.

Numbers 6:23-27 – “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,

Yahweh bless you and keep you;

Yahweh make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

Yahweh lift up his countenance[a] upon you and give you peace.

“So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

It’s no accident that Samech is also the 15th letter, and the Priestly Blessing is composed of 15 words!

When looking at the significance of this letter, it’s important to take into account the number 15. 15 is the value of the shortened form of Yawheh – Yah יה. It is also the number that connects us to the adulterous woman who had to endure the ordeal of the bitter waters of jealousy (Numbers 5). There were 15 steps leading up to the Nicanor Gate where this judgment was carried out. Could it be that the Samech is our reminder of the blessings and protection of Yah that can be extended towards us who have been the adulterous woman if we’ll allow that guilt/sin to be transferred to another, the worthy sacrifice, our Messiah?

*Remember Aleph, with a value of 1, represented the husband, this leads us into the Bet (2), the wife that is joined to the husband to form the house, from this divine union we see the Gimmel (3), representing the firstborn son, the Messiah.  We learn of the role of this firstborn in the Dalet (4), He will be the door, and the Hey (5), causes us to behold him – connecting how He, the Gimmel/Messiah would be the Dalet/Door by walking among us in the flesh allowing us to behold (Hey) Him as the restored Vav (6) Man!  He would be nailed (Vav) upon the tree in order to be the connector (Vav) for fallen man.  It would only be through the Vav man’s sacrifice that He would be able to take back the authority and reign as the crowned King (Zayin), and once again offer the covenant (Zayin) to all of us who had strayed.  His example would teach us how to walk a circumcised life wielding the sword of the Torah (Zayin)!  By wielding this sword, we enter into a new beginning (Chet) and find ourselves inside the place of protection with the boundary lines intact once more (Chet) and can now stand under the chuppah with our Bridegroom (Chet)!  From this place of new beginning, that we should be bearing the fruit of the spirit (Tet) in our lives because we’ve become encircled by His Covenant (Tet).  It is from this position of Covenant that we now as well can operate in the authority promised to the one sitting at the right hand (Yod) and take possession of all the Covenant Promises (Kaf).  In order to have possession of these Covenant promises (Kaf) it requires us to sit at the feet of the Teacher (Lamed) and allow the Torah to prod and incite us (Lamed) along the straight and narrow path.  It from the instruction of the Teacher (Lamed) that the hidden truths (Closed Mem) begin to open to us (Open Mem) and we’re able to grow in the midst of the different trials and tests (Mem) that Yahweh allows us to endure for our own maturing process. This is the mystery of how we can be His light (Nun) in the earth, the trials give us a chance to shine (Nun) and an opportunity for His Seed/Word (Nun) to grow within us! As His Word grows within us, it causes the blessings of Yah to come upon us, His face to shine upon us, and He is gracious towards us and writes His name upon us as His people (Samech). We now become a Tabernacle that His Glory (Samech) rests upon!

Textual Oddities:

In Ecclesiastes 12:13 – “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear Elohim, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

סֹוףדָּבָרהַכֹּלנִשְׁמָעאֶת־הָאֱלֹהִיםיְרָאוְאֶת־מִצְוֹתָיושְׁמֹורכִּי־זֶהכָּל־הָאָדָֽם׃

This verse begins with an enlarged letter Samech in the term conclusion/soph סוֹף – this letter reminds us of His Glory and our only response in the face of His Glory is to fear Him and keep His commandments!

Practice Letters with the letter ס:

Sukkot סוכתTabernacles (Festival of Sukkot/Tabernacles)

Ciynay סִינִי (Mt.) Sinai – Thorny

Selah סֶלֶה pause, musical rest, silence

Cela’ סֶלַע Rock

Sepher סְפַר Book