Each letter of the Hebrew and Aramaic alphabets was originally a picture of something from everyday life which became stylized into a pictograph in the early Semitic writing. An example in our culture that we easily understand is how we use icons with computers today. The small stylized picture is recognized easily and tells us something immediately, like open a file, format painter, copy, close file. Another common sign like this are road signs and stop lights (green hand for go).

When these pictographs of the letters are put together, they form words that retain the original pictures behind the letters and give understanding to the meaning of the words. The Semitic cognate languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, and others all work in this way.


To see how this works, let’s look at the first two letters of the alphabet and what their original pictographs looked like.

Aleph in Hebrew, alaph in Aramaic – is the picture of the head of an ox and means strong one or leader.

Beyt in Hebrew, beth in Aramaic — is the picture of a one room house or tent and means house, family or what is inside. Beyt can also be a preposition “in” or “with.”

Putting the first two letters of the alphabet together forms the word for FATHER. The simple meaning of the word picture is that a father is the strong leader of the house or family.

In Psalm 89, God is describing the covenant he made with David as king and that his throne would be established forever. In verse 26, God is speaking about David and prophetically about the Messiah.

He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’ Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.

This foreshadows the relationship of Jesus with God in the Garden when he cries out to God as his ABBA. And it also indicates our relationship with God as OUR Father and we as his sons.

This is really the first concept of the alphabet and also the first concept of salvation. Our God is the strong one of the house!!!! As a father, we can rely on him for everything.