In today’s teaching at New Life Church the Fort Pastor Alvin highlighted several key verses in the Old Testament that supports what Jesus claimed: that the Scriptures point to Him (John5:38-39; Luke 24:25-27) and that “even before the Creation of the world, I AM”.
In Revelations, we saw this being reiterated.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Rev 22:13.
Almost every Christian know that the One speaking in this verse is Jesus Christ. But did you know that this a direct reference to Isaiah 44:6?
“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.
— Isaiah 44:6
By saying this, Jesus is making a claim that He is God himself.
But what got my curiosity is the Alpha and Omega.
Alpha and Omega are Greek letters. If the Book of Revelations was originally in Hebrew/Aramaic and then later translated to Greek, then Alpha and Omega will become Aleph א and Tav ת — the first and last “letters” of the Hebrew alphabet. (or AZ in English)
To simplify, we can say that Jesus is saying he is את /et/, or that את refers to Jesus. (Note: Hebrew language is read from right to left)
Now, let’s have a little lesson on Hebrew 101.
In Hebrew language, את /et/ is a preposition and plays an important role in Hebrew grammar. Its most common use is to introduce a direct object. (See Wikipedia’s explanation for more details.) However, /et/has no direct translation into English because it simply indicates that “a direct definitive object is next”.
Since this preposition can not be translated into Greek or English it naturally got lost during the translation of the Bible.
Now this is where things really get exciting.
את is found7034 times in the Old Testament. And the first instance it appeared in the Bible:
בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ׃
— Genesis 1:1
It’s interesting to note that אֵ֥ת is not just in the first verse but also at the very center (of the verse) of creation.
Did you get goosebumps? Me too.