Daily Tidbits 1/9/12 – Tigers & Crimson Tide

The BCS Championship will be played tonight (1/9/12) between the LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide.  There are interesting connections to the Gospel in both tigers and crimson tide which I hope to be able to share in this tidbit.

Tiger in Hebrew is נמר ‘namer.’  This word is translated as leopard in the KJV.  The word is somewhat of a mystery but probably has its meaning in the spots of the leopard or stripes of a tiger.

The outside letters are נר  ‘nar’ which is the word for a lamp or light and is the root of מנורה ‘menorah’.  The middle letter or body is מ ‘mem’ which is the word for water or mystery as waters are the ‘unknown’ in Hebrew thought.  It is interesting that the word נמר ‘namer’ is used 7 times  in Scripture just like the menorah (Daniel 7:6; Song of Songs 4:8; Isaiah 11:6;  Jeremiah 5:6, 13:23; Hosea 13:7; Habakkuk 1:8).  The point I want to make here is that the tiger is a picture of His body.  Divided like the menorah yet one (Exodus 25:36), gathered by/in the waters (baptism – Ephesians 4:5).  More on this as the study progresses.

The נמר ‘namer’ (tiger/leopard) in Scripture is usually represented as a fierce predator.

In Daniel 7:6 the kingdom of Greece is portrayed by the leopard/tiger due to its swiftness in taking prey.  It is said that the tiger can run up to 50 miles per hour.  Its swiftness is further seen in Habakkuk 1:8.  Interestingly, the word for swift in Habakkuk 1:8 is קלל ‘qalal’ which literally means the swiftness of a shepherd who travels with a light load.  The Shepherd in Hebrew is the one who tenderly cares for His flock but destroys all enemies of that flock.  Perhaps this is why God likens Himself to a נמר ‘namer’ (tiger/leopard) in Hosea 13:7 who destroys Israel due to their rebellion.  Wolves in sheep’s clothing had infiltrated and destroyed His flock so the Good Shepherd must act in vengeance against them.

Due to the false shepherds Israel was scattered (Jeremiah 23:2; Ezekiel 34:5) so the Good Shepherd promised to punish those wolves and regather His flock into one (Jeremiah 23:3; Ezekiel 34:10-31).  How does He do this?  By giving His life for the sheep.

Joh 10:11  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Joh 10:14  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Jer 13:23  Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard (נמר ‘namer’ tiger/leopard) his spots? Then you also may do good who are accustomed to doing evil.

The word for spots here is חברבּרה ‘chabarburah’ which can mean spots or stripes.

חברבורה ‘chabarburah’ has the exact same meaning as  חברה  ‘chaburah’ which is used in Isaiah 53:5 speaking of the stripes that were laid upon Messiah as the healing of the nations (Revelation 22:2).
Isa 53:5  But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His wounds (KJV stripes) we ourselves are healed.
Isa 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have each one turned to his own way; and Jehovah made meet in Him the iniquity of all of us.

1Pe 2:24  who “Himself carried up in His body our sins” onto the tree; that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness, of whom “by His wound you were healed.”
1Pe 2:25  For you were “as sheep going astray,” but now you turned back to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

The Menorah may have in fact been a picture of the cross. The Scriptures speak of the crucifixion being on a tree (Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24)

Jesus was crucified in the midst of two thieves

Joh 19:18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, on this side and on that side, and Jesus in the middle.

Traditionally this is the image that is portrayed of the crucifixion.

But if this were the case the following Scripture would make no sense.

Joh 19:31 Then, since it was Preparation, that the bodies not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for great was the day of that sabbath, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and they be taken away.
Joh 19:32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other crucified with Him.
Joh 19:33 But on coming to Jesus, when they saw He was dead already, they did not break His legs.

Why would the soldiers break the legs of the 1st and 3rd person and then go to Jesus last? If they were all crucified on one tree this would make perfect sense as they would make a circle starting from the 1st thief and working around to the Messiah.  If Messiah and the two thieves were crucified on a single tree then the image that would have been formed would have been a menorah.

Another hint of this is seen in the following verse:

Joh 19:31  Then, since it was Preparation, that the bodies not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for great was the day of that sabbath, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and they be taken away.

Notice it says bodies (plural) should not remain on the cross (singular).  The text seems to indicate that all 3 bodies were on a single ‘cross’ which in Greek would be σταυρός ‘stauros’

Ernest Martin

“Since we are told by the apostle John (who was an eyewitness to the crucifixion) that all three were crucified on ONE stauros (i.e. a single tree), it is easy to see how the Roman soldiers broke the legs of the robber in the Messiah’s right side (who had his back to the Messiah and was located on the northeast side of him) and then they broke the legs of the robber on the Messiah’s left side (who also had his back to the Messiah but was located on the southeast side of him). So, proceeding from the northeast side of the tree of crucifixion, the soldiers killed the first robber, went to the southeast side and killed the second robber, but they then came to the Messiah who was facing (let us say) westward towards his Father’s Temple. When they reached Yeshua they found him dead already.” (Secrets of Golgotha, pp. 176-177).

Tree of Life

The verses that speak of Christ being crucified on a tree use the word ξύλον ‘xulon’ for tree.  This is the same word used for tree of life in the New Testament.

Rev 22:2  In the midst of its street and of the river, from here and from there, was a tree of life producing twelve fruits: according to one month each yielding its fruit. And the leaves of the tree were for healing of the nations.

Rev 22:14  Blessed are the ones doing His commands, that their authority will be over the Tree of Life, and by the gates they may enter into the city.

The Menorah is a picture of the tree of Life whose fruit is for the healing of the nations (Isaiah 53:5).  The Menorah = Light (Exodus 35:14; Leviticus 24:2; Numbers 8:2).  The Word is Light (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23)  The Messiah is Light (John 1:9; 8:12; 9:5; Isaiah 9:2).  We, His body,  are to be lights in the world, shining forth His light (Matthew 5:14-16; Philippians 2:12-15; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Luke 12:31-35).  The Word of God will go forth out of Zion (Isaiah 2:3; 51:15-16).  We are the branches of His body/menorah (John 15:1).  We are one body (Exodus 25:31, 36; Romans 12:5; Galatians 3:28).  One body, one Tree (Exodus 34:23; 37:16-17; Revelation 1:20).

Crimson Tide

Crimson tide is caused by a dinoflagellate, which literally means whirling scourge, named Karenia brevis which blooms in the Gulf coast causing the waters to turn red.  K. brevis produces deadly neurotoxins which cause gastrointestinal and neurological problems in other organisms and are responsible for large die-offs of marine organisms and seabirds.

Karenia brevis causes a ‘red sea’ which brings death.  The Red Sea is the body of water that Israel passed where they were baptized (1 Corinthians 10:2), a picture of death, and were ‘born again’ on the other side.  This same body of water brought death to Egypt who represent those who don’t believe and therefore can’t pass through the waters of death unto life.

Interestingly, the game will be played at the New Orleans Superdome, home of the Saints.  What is the Biblical definition of saints?  Those who are born again, who have passed through the waters and are healed by the stripes of the Lord.



Born Again




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