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The Hebrew Letter Kaf and the Holy of Holies

Kaf – The Crown of Glory

My new self-study program, which comes with a book/workbook and DVDs, is entitled “The Gospel According to Moses: A Study of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.” I discuss how three of the furnishings in the Tabernacle and Temple were constructed with crowns. First we have the Table of Showbread with its golden crown that prevented the sacred breadcrumbs from falling off the table. Next, we see how the crown surrounding the Altar of Incense protected the hot coals from falling. And then we see the Ark of the Covenant where the golden crown protected the glory of God. Judaism, however, claims there are four crowns. They are:

  •     Crown of Priesthood (the crown on the Altar of Incense)
  •     Crown of Kingship (the crown on the Table of Showbread)
  •     Crown of Torah (the crown on the Mercy Seat)
  •     Crown of a Good Name (Menorah: the crown of light and truth)   A good name is better than precious ointment  Eccl 7:1 (Hebrew = “good oil”)

Oil: shemen
Precious: tov= good

Think of the Menorah as a crown of light and truth. The finest, beaten oil was used to light the Menorah. Yeshua’s crown of thorns was beaten into His head mercilessly by the Roman soldiers:

And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  Matt 27:29

The rank and file Israelite possessed only the crown of Torah following the horrific golden calf episode in the wilderness (Ex 32). The crown of the priesthood was then assigned to the tribe of Levi through the Aaronic lineage, and the crown of kingship was assigned to the royal tribe of Judah. Originally, God intended all of Israel to be a holy nation and a royal priesthood:

“…and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”    Ex 19:6  

The Letter Kaf – A Symbol of Humility and Anointing  

The letter kaf  is the eleventh letter in the Hebrew Aleph Bet (alphabet). This number signifies judgment and disorder that leads to redemption when sincere repentance is offered to God. Like a bowl turned on its side, the kaf symbolizes the outpouring of sacrificial blood, the only means of salvation:  

“And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”  Heb 9:22  

The term kaf means “bent.” It is rooted in the term kafah, meaning “to bend down.” Kaf represents an open hand of blessing, which speaks of anointing. One must bow down to receive the hand of anointing. In other words, one must humble himself in the sight of the Lord. Kaf also speaks of potential, much like the “olive shoots” of Psalm 128:3: “Your sons (daughters) will be like olive shoots around your table…” With proper nurturing children will grow into mighty trees of righteousness, the plantings of the Lord if they submit to His Lordship (Is 61:3).  

The term kaf also means “to contain, to receive,” and it is also the word for “palm,” meaning the palm of the hand, which is used in anointing. One opens his palm to bequeath and to receive divine blessings. The open palm reminds us of the kippah, the head covering worn by observant male Jews, which, like the kaf, is also dome shaped. Both the palm and the kippah are signs of divine covering. The kippah speaks of the palm of God upon the head of His beloved, covering, protecting, and anointing him. The bent shape of the kaf serves to remind us of these truths. The English word “cap” is likely derived from the Hebrew term kippah. The idea of the head covering alludes to a crown.  

There is only one who embodies all four crowns, our Lord Yeshua who is King, Priest, the Living Word, and the One who walked in the midst of the seven candlesticks (Rev 1:13), the One whose name is above all names, the One who is crowned with many crowns:  

“…and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.  Rev 1:13   For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name…” Php 2:9  

The Role of the Cherubim in the Holy of Holies  

Talmudic writings claim that the curtains separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place were pulled aside during festal days, allowing the worshipers to see the two cherubim facing each other, wing-tip to wing-tip, on the Ark of the Covenant. The glory of God dwelt between the two exotic beings that some Jewish scholars suggest were male and female to remind the people that the love of God for man is like that of the covenant love between husband and wife:

“The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat.”  Ex 25:20

The phrase “spreading wings” (of the cherubim) is also used in the following passages:

“ ‘Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold you were at the time for love; so I spread [parasMy skirt [kanaph = wings] over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine,’ declares the Lord God.”  Ez 16:8

He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. So spread [paras]your covering [kanaph = wings] over your maid, for you are a close relative.”  Ruth 3:9  

When Boaz covered Ruth with his garment, he also accepted her marriage proposal. From that moment onward, Boaz, a type of Yeshua, became Ruth’s kinsman redeemer, her protective covering, taking her “under his wing” in a matter of speaking. When one looks down at the cherubim, he sees two versions of the letter kaf, each one facing the other, touching wing-tip to wing-tip. This is a prophetic picture of the heavenly bride (hL’K; kallah) united with her Bridegroom in covenant love. There is healing and deliverance in His wings as witnessed in the Holy of Holies!  

“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.”  Mal 4:2

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