Origin of our alphabet

Ooo, apparently our alphabet came from an ancient phonetician script that was a precursor to ancient Hebrew. ‘A’ comes from something that looks a bit like A is you rotate it. As does b, c, d and e.

Apparently in Hebrew every letter is a sound and a picture.

Aleph is the ancient Hebrew word for an ox and it looks a bit like the head of the ox. Bet looks a bit like a tent and means house.

I feel the video gets less plausible as I watch on though. However, at the end he says that in Ezekiel 9 God sent an angel to destroy anyone in Jerusalem who did not have the mark on him. He says that the Talmud teaches us that the mark was a “tav” which was the ancient Hebrew letter T, drawn as a cross. So, “hundreds of years before Christ this was the Jewish sign used to anoint the priests”.

I looked into that a bit:

תָוָה is the verb “he marked” and  תָו is the Hebrew for “mark” which I guess is mainly “tav”. Both are in Ezekiel 9:4. I was slightly sceptical but both my commentaries on Ezekiel mention this fact.

There was special significance to the “mark” used for the purpose. The word “mark” is the Hebrew word taw, which is the name of the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet. It may have been understood as an abbreviation for tām, “blameless.” In the seventh and sixth centuries b.c. the taw of Paleo-Hebrew script was written like an X or sloped cross. Its use here was to identify the righteous and exempt them from judgment. The “man” in white linen was to place the taw on the forehead of every righteous person. The significance of this sign to Christian interpreters obviously goes beyond what Ezekiel understood. As H. L. Ellison observed, the prophets often spoke more than they understood. God’s judgment always was tempered with mercy. The “man” in white linen marked those who were grieved over the sins of Judah. These were spared and became a small remnant of hope for future restoration. They were spared by receiving the sign of the cross (X), as would be those sealed for deliverance in Rev 7:3–4 and 14:1.[1]

Those who exhibit this response are to be marked with a tāw on the forehead. Taw is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In the archaic cursive script it had the shape of an X or a cross, a form that remained essentially unchanged from the early stages of the evolution of the alphabet until the adoption of the square Aramaic script. It is preserved to this day in Western scripts as T. This taw, placed on the foreheads, the most visible part of the body, was to serve as a distinguishing mark to separate the righteous from the wicked. Like the blood on the doorposts of the Israelites’ houses on the night of the Passover (Exod. 12) and the scarlet cord in Rahab’s window (Josh. 2:18–21; 6:22–25), it was a sign (cf. LXX τος σημεῖον) of hope. However, since in ancient custom the taw also served as a mark of ownership, the possibility that this mark represented Yahweh’s signature, his claim on those who were citizens of the true kingdom of God, deserves consideration[2]

Was it a coincidence that the “mark” was a cross? Maybe. But my next discovery seemed even more amazing and much more sound.


[1] Cooper, L. E. (1994). Vol. 17: Ezekiel. The New American Commentary (127). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[2] Block, D. I. (1997). The Book of Ezekiel, Chapters 1–24. The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (307). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

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