When we look at the word “redeem” we should already be thinking about how Yeshua redeemed us from our sins by his death and suffering. The redemptive plan of salvation comes from the understanding that the Messiah had to suffer and die for the sins of Israel. But what does the ancient Hebrew word for redeem tell us about this plan of salvation?
The Hebrew word for redeem is ga’el and has a very strong prophetic meaning behind the Hebrew pictures that make up this word. Below is the ancient Hebrew pictures for the word redeem.
Lamed Aleph Gimel
In Hebrew we read this from right to left starting with Gimel. In ancient Hebrew the Gimel is a picture of a camel’s hump and comes from the Hebrew word for camel, “Gamal”. It shows a “lifting up”. The next to two pictures in ancient Hebrew make the word “El” and shows the picture of an ox and a shepherd’s staff. The word aleph means ox and represents strength and leadership while lamed means “to goad i.e. to teach” the staff being an incentive. The word “El” which is translated as “God” really means “the strong shepherd” or “the mighty shepherd”. When these pictures are put together we have the word redeem by the Hebrew pictures “God lifted up”. To be redeemed God needs to be lifted up. This lifting up is not about praising God but about putting him to death. In John 12:32 we read the following;
“And I, if I am lifted up from the land, shall draw all unto Myself”
This lifting up in John 12 is a picture of Yeshua being put to death as explained in John 12:33.
“This he said, signifying by what death He was about to die”
When Yeshua is lifted from the land then we will be redeemed! This is a picture of his death on the cross, “God lifted up” is being redeemed by Yeshua and his death. El or God is Yeshua who was lifted up for us! This is what being redeemed is all about!
“[Yeshua]…who gave himself for us, to redeem (ga’el) us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people, His own possession ardent for good works” (Titus 2:14)
This can also be read as, “…to redeem and be lifted up for us to cleanse us from all lawlessness…” This is the true picture and understanding of what it means to be redeemed by God. In the TaNaKh or the Old Testament we read this prophetic passage regarding the word redeem.
“Therefore say to the children of Israel; I am YHWH; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem (Ga’el) you with an outstretched arm…” (Exodus 6:6)
You have been redeemed with an outstretched arm by the crucifixion of Yeshua our King Messiah! The word “redeem” gives us the whole picture of the gospel and redemptive plan of God through Yeshua. We should never forget what God has done for us through the love of his son Yeshua our redeemer and King. Shalom and God bless.