Today I learned that the 39 books of our modern Hebrew Testament are identical to the Hebrew Bible that was in Yeshua’s day. Yes, I knew that. But in Yeshua’s day, the Hebrew Bible was arranged into 22 books (according to Josephus), and the order was different:
- 1&2 Samuel
- 1&2 Kings
- The Twelve Minor Prophets
- Song of Songs
- 1&2 Chronicles
This struck me because there are also 22 letters in the Hebrew Aleph-bet. And Yeshua is the Word of God, who created the world and all that is therein, who also upholds all things by the Word of His power (Heb 1:1-3).
“Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall you scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you slew between the temple and the altar.” Mat 23:34-35
It just so happens that the account of Abel (beginning with A in English, our first letter) is in Genesis, the first book of the Hebrew Bible, and is the first record of martyrdom in the Bible. The account of Zacharias (beginning with Z in English, our last letter) is in Chronicles, the last book of the Hebrew Bible (2 Chr 24:20). The martyrdom of Zacharias is the final record of martyrdom recorded in the Hebrew Bible.
And who is Yeshua, the Aleph and Tav, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last? He is He who was martyred for the sins of the whole world.