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  • Writer's pictureGODVERSITY

Hebrew Word Study: YONA

VERSE: “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him” — Matthew 3:16:

Zohar, Reference number 68:3-4 – “A portal shall be opened, and a dove will come from it. But it will (one day) return through this portal, and it will take a crown in its mouth, and put it upon the head of the King Messiah.”

Let me first explain that I did not study the Zohar to gain any personal knowledge, I only studied it as a source to develop my skills in Aramaic. The Zohar is a Jewish mystical book. Although the Talmud and Zohar were not in written form until after the death and resurrection of Jesus, their teachings were very common among religious leaders of Jesus’s day. These teachings were oral tradition and sought to be a commentary upon the Torah. Not that it is was all bad just that the Jews put this on the same authoritative level as the Torah. Yet, God is an opportunist and this reference to a dove descending from a portal to put a crown on the head of a Messiah just might be the reason God sent His Spirit in the form a dove when Jesus was baptized.

There is no question that the heavens opening and the Spirit of God descending like a dove was a sign of confirmation to John the Baptist that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, but could it not have been a sign to other Jews who were taught in Oral Tradition that a dove would descend from an open portal to heaven and place a crown on the head of the Messiah?

In the Peshitta, Aramaic Bible, the word for dove in Aramaic is yona which means a messenger of peace and faith from heaven. Yes, it is the same word for Jonah. The Nun in the word yona (dove) suggests the breaking down of barriers between heaven and earth.

Perhaps what God was trying to show at the baptism of Jesus as with any baptism, is the confirmation that God has broken down the barriers between heaven and earth and the acceptance of Jesus as ones Savior will mean that when we finish this life’s journey God will be able to open that portal to heaven for us to pass through.

I have two pet doves, Jonah and Shekinah. I guess in a way they are my spiritual symbol. They teach and remind me every day about the nature of God. They are truly like a messenger of peace and faith in God. When I reach into the cage they do not fight with me, they never peck at me. They just peacefully rest in the palms of my hands. It is like they are saying; “This is how you are to rest in God.” Doves bond very quickly with humans and will fly to you to rest on your shoulder. But if you ever speak harshly to them they will turn their backs on you. They are very easily offended, just like the Spirit of God.

As the old Gospel song goes:

On the wings of a snow white dove

God sent His pure sweet love

A sign from above,

On the wings of a dove.

What a perfect example of a yona, a messenger from heaven.



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