Shadows of Messiah – The Cow

Shadows of Messiah - Cow


The theme of a disciple following his Master is seen in the cow. The cow is a herd/flock animal which is provided for by the shepherd/farmer and also is used for service to his master. In Hebrew, the word for disciple is למד ‘lamad’ which means one who is taught through goading, as in the goading of an ox.

Disciples are called to take up their crosses and follow Christ (Mark 8:32-37; 10:21; Luke 9:23-25; 14:26-35; Philippians 3:10-14; 1 Peter 4:12-14; Galatians 5:22-25). This process of following/walking with the Messiah is likened to being yoked together, as two oxen (Matthew 11:29-30).

lamad 2
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Isa 8:16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples {למד ‘lamad’}.
Isa 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught {למד ‘lamad’} of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

This connection to learning and oxen is also seen in the Hebrew word אלף ‘aleph.’ This word is speaking of two oxen being yoked together, the younger learning from the older.

aleph 2

The Hebrew letter א ‘aleph’ {spelled אלף ‘aleph’} is a picture of an ox. This word אלף ‘aleph’ is translated in the Scriptures as ‘oxen’ (Psalm 8:7; Proverbs 14:4; Isaiah 30:24) and ‘kine’ (Deuteronomy 7:13; 28:4, 18, 51). אלף ‘aleph’ is also translated as ‘learn’ (Proverbs 22:25) and ‘teach’ (Job 33:33). This is because one form of learning is done through following a more experienced individual such as two oxen being yoked together, the younger learning from the older.

The picture of oxen being yoked together in connection with learning points to Christ Jesus.

Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The root of אלף ‘aleph’ is אל ‘el’ which is commonly translated as God but literally means power and strength as in the strength of an ox.


el god
Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible – Jeff Benner pg 20

Literally, אל ‘el’ means strong authority as א ‘aleph’ means strength or power and ל ‘lamed’ is the picture of a shepherd’s staff which represents authority. Scripture declares that Jesus is אל ‘el,’ God (Psalm 45:6-7; Hebrews 1:1-9; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Matthew 1:23; John 1:1; 20:28; Titus 2:13; Philippians 2:5-8; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15-17; Romans 9:5).

Joh 15:14 Ye are my friends {אלוף ‘aluf’}, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Joh 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Joh 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

In John 15, Messiah links this concept of following Him with His desire for us to bring forth fruit, manifested in love. This is interesting to note as fruit and love are also themes associated with the cow.

The Hebrew word פר ‘par’ means fruitful but also a cow or bull. פר ‘par’ literally means “open the head”, speaking of heads of grain scattered on a threshing floor which were crushed and opened by the process of threshing in which an ox was lead in a circle.

This process of threshing is seen in the Hebrew word דרש ‘derash’ which means to seek/search and study but also to tread out the grain. The root of דרש ‘derash’ is דר ‘dar’ which has the meaning of moving in a circle or cycles. The word for disciple comes from the Hebrew למד ‘lamad’ meaning to be yoked with Messiah. Being a disciple is being a student who studies at the feet of His Master and walks with Him to learn of His ways. The word מדרש ‘midrash’ comes from the root דר ‘dor’ which means to make a circle, as in treading out grain. Studying the Scriptures with the guidance of the Holy Spirit is like walking in cycles of righteousness with our Master.

This concept of threshing points to another one of the Hebrew words which means cow which is עגל ‘agal.’ עגל ‘agal’ has the literal meaning of something round. This word is used of cows as they circle around when in play and when used to tread out the grain they walk in circles, making trenches with the wheels of the carts they pull. עגל ‘agal’ is the root of the word מעגל ‘ma`gal’ which means a path or cycle, used in reference to the walk of a believer.

derekh way

Treading and threshing connects back to the cycles of righteousness and being yoked to Messiah (His disciple)

Archery and shooting are connected to the path/way in that the Word of God is likened to a target. To hit it is to stay in the straight paths. The word for sin means to miss the target.

דרך ‘derekh’ comes from the root word רח ‘rach.’

rach 2

Routine is not a bad thing. This is how we learn and stay in His ways. His cycles of righteousness literally mean ruts of righteousness. Getting in a rut is not a bad thing if your rut is the straight path of the Word. Walking in His ‘ruts of righteousness’ help us to stay in His ways because they become “second nature” to us.

Following are a few more words which comes from the root רח ‘rach’ which associate the Way/Path with the Spirit.

rach 3

Walking in the Spirit is walking in His paths (the Way). The Way is the Truth. When Jesus spoke of worshiping the Father in Spirit and in Truth this is what He meant. Walking in the Spirit of the Word, following the Lamb wherever He leads.

Pro 4:11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths (מעגל ‘ma’agal’).

מעגל ‘ma’agal’ – Trench: The trench made from the wheels of carts. Also an entrenchment. [freq. 1] |kjv: path, trench, goings, ways| {str: 4570}

Psa 17:4 As to the doings of men, by the Words of Your lips I keep from the paths (ארח ‘orach’) of the violent.
Psa 17:5 My steps have kept in Your tracks (מעגל ‘ma’agal’)
so that my strides have not slipped (not shaken…ie no compromising).

The Good Shepherd leads us in cycles/paths of righteousness.
Psa 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths {מעגל ‘ma`gal’} of righteousness for his name’s sake.

The guidance of the Shepherd applies not only to sheep but also to cows as both animals are flock/cattle. The Hebrew word for shepherd is רעה ‘ra`ah’ which literally means one who provides for and cares for the flock. The root of רעה ‘ra`ah’ is רע ‘ra’ which means companion and friend, one who is loved. Pictographically, רע ‘ra’ means to “see the head”. The Shepherd is the ‘head‘ of the flock. The English word cattle comes from the Latin word ‘caput’ which means head. Cattle follow their head.

The Scriptures define The LORD Jesus as our Head (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; 5:23; 1 Chronicles 29:11; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Colossians 1:18-19). The human skull consists of 22 bones which correspond to the 22 letters of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet. This Aleph-Bet is a picture of Messiah Jesus.

The Aleph-Bet is encapsulated in the word את ‘aleph tav.’ In the Greek this is Alpha and Omega, applied to Christ (Revelation 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13).

את ‘et’ literally pictures the plowing of a field by oxen, a theme which is associated with the walk of believers with the Lord.

et plow

It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word for congregation/assembly/church is קהל ‘qahal’ which means those who are gathered by the voice of the shepherd (קול ‘qol’).

qahal 2


Psa 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep {צון ‘tson’} of his pasture.

The Hebrew word צון ‘tson’ means cattle which includes cows. This is also seen in the Hebrew word איל ‘ayil’ which means the ‘strong one of the flock or herd.’ This can be an ox or ram depending upon the flock/herd.



Peter admonishes believers to desire the milk of the Word as newborn babes that we may grow thereby.

1Pe_2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

The Greek word here translated as milk is γάλα ‘gala’ which traces back to the Hebrew word עול ‘ghool’ which means to give milk. עול ‘ghool’ is comes from the root word גל ‘gal’ which means round, connecting back to the word עגל ‘agal’ which means cow and also comes from this root word גל ‘gal.’ The Hebrew word for a suckling infant {גול ‘gul’} also comes from this root word. The Hebrew word for a scroll {מגילה ‘megillah’} (Word), made of leather (cow skin), also comes from this root word גל ‘gal.’

milk ghul
On a deeper level, milk is linked to the DNA molecule which is a picture of the Word of God. The Hebrew word for milk is חלה ‘chalav’ which is the source for the English words ‘life‘ and ‘protein.’ Life comes forth from the proteins produced by the DNA molecule in the cell of living organisms…

For more see: Shadows of Messiah – DNA

Scripture associates the primary or foundational doctrines of the Word with milk:

Heb_5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

The foundation of the Word is Jesus who is the manifestation of God’s love.

1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Eph 2:19 So, then, you are no longer strangers and tenants, but you are fellow citizens of the saints and of the family of God,
Eph 2:20 being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the cornerstone,
Eph 2:21 in whom all the building being fitted together grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
Eph 2:22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

1Co 3:11 For no one is able to lay any other foundation beside the One having been laid, who is Jesus Christ.
Isa 28:16 So, the Lord Jehovah says this: Behold, I place in Zion a Stone for a foundation, a tried Stone, a precious Cornerstone, a sure Foundation; he who believes shall not hasten.

Jesus’ declaration of God’s love was manifest on the cross.

Psa 22:22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Heb 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
Heb 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

Scripture speaks of the sacrifice of Jesus in Passover imagery, calling Him the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29, 36). As mentioned before, one of the Hebrew words for sheep is צון ‘tson’ which means cattle, this includes cows. The Passover sacrifice could be from the flock or herd (Deuteronomy 16:2).

Deu 16:2 Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there.

The Hebrew word for herd in Deuteronomy 16:2 is בקר ‘baqar’ which refers specifically to cows, animals which are used to plow the ground. Isaac Mozeson traces the English word ‘cow’ back to this Hebrew word.


The Bosom, the Family and Gathering at the Cross

As mentioned before, אלף ‘aleph’ is the Hebrew word for oxen/kine but also translated as family. אל ‘el’ means the strong leader which can be seen in the role of a father. Further connecting the family and cows is the Hebrew words for father in law {חם ‘cham’} and mother in law {חמות ‘chamot’} which come from the root חם ‘chem’ which means cheese. Literally, חם ‘chem’ is describing the ancient process of milk being placed in a skin bag which was hung out in the sun {חמה ‘chema’} until cheese was formed.

One of the Hebrew words for cow is שור ‘shor’ which links back to the umbilical cord which connects child to mother. שור ‘shor’ has the meaning of the cow being used as a beast of burden to pull heavy loads. The root of שור ‘shor’ is שר ‘shar’ which means a cord or rope used in pulling heavy loads but also has the meaning of a navel cord which binds the infant to the mother.

shor cow

The word father in Hebrew is associated with love, so too is the word mother. אם ’em’ (mother) is the source of the Latin ‘amare,’ the French ‘amitie’ and the English ‘amity’ which mean love. One of the Hebrew words for love is דד ‘dud/dad’ which means both love and breasts/bosom. דד ‘dud/dad’ is the source of the English words ‘udder’ and ‘teat.’

Interestingly, the English word ‘baby’ comes from the Hebrew בבה ‘baba’ which is related to the word אבוב ‘aboob’ the root of which is אב ‘av’ which means father but also means a pipe, as in the breast of the mother whose milk flows to give sustenance to the baby. בבה ‘baba’ in Hebrew means the pupil, the apple of one’s eyes. As any parent has held their baby in their arms against their bosom they recognize this is the epitome of love and intimate relationship (apple of the eye/little guy in the eye).

The English word ‘family’ comes from משפחה ‘mispocha’ the same root as שפח ‘shaphach’. שפח ‘shaphach’ is the root of the word crucifixion which gathers all the families of the earth. The bosom, which represents the love of the family also links to the Messiah.

Messiah came from the bosom of the Father.

Joh 1:18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, that One declares Him.

He gathers and then carries in His bosom His people, linking to the crucifixion. It is through the work of Messiah on the cross that mankind is brought into His family.

Isa 40:10 Behold, the Lord Jehovah will come with strength, and His arm rules for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him, and His wage before Him.
Isa 40:11 He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; He shall gather lambs with His arm; and carry them in His bosom; those with young He will lead;
Psa 89:50 Remember, O Lord, the reproach of Your servants, my bearing in my bosom the insults of the many peoples
Psa 89:51 with which Your enemies have cursed, O Jehovah; with which they have cursed the footsteps of Your anointed.

Eph 2:8 For by grace you are saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift (gift = love = bosom) of God;
Eph 2:9 not of works, that not anyone should boast;
Eph 2:10 for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God before prepared that we should walk in them.
Eph 2:11 Because of this, remember that you, the nations, were then in the flesh (those having been called Uncircumcision by those having been called Circumcision in the flesh made by hands)
Eph 2:12 that at that time you were without Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers of the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Eph 2:13 But now, in Christ Jesus you who then were afar off, came to be near by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14 For He is our peace, He making us both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition,
Eph 2:15 in His flesh causing to cease the enmity, the Law of the commandments in decrees, that He might in Himself create the two into one new man, making peace,
Eph 2:16 and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, slaying the enmity in Himself.
Eph 2:17 And coming, He proclaimed “peace to you, the ones afar off, and to the ones near.” Isa. 57:19
Eph 2:18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Eph 2:19 So, then, you are no longer strangers and tenants, but you are fellow citizens of the saints and of the family of God,

There are multiple words in Hebrew for love, all linking back to the bosom. The most common is אהב ‘ahav’ which has the meaning of a gift and the expressions and actions of one towards the family. The pictograph meaning displays the gift of the Father to mankind of His only begotten Son. Again linking the bosom, the family and the crucifixion.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Joh 15:13 Greater love than this has no one, that anyone should lay down his soul for his friends.

From the root:

The Pictograph meaning of Love

The first and last letters spell out the word for Father (אב ‘ab’) and the middle letter is a picture of a man with outstretched arms. The Love of the Father is revealed through the Messiah on the tree, gathering all mankind back to their Creator.

There are two more words in Hebrew which are translated as bosom. The first is חצן ‘chatsan’ which comes from חץ ‘chets’ which literally means a tent wall, as in an enclosing. This imagery is seen in the above word, אהב ‘ahav.’

Through the sacrifice of Messiah, the gift of God’s love, we become His house.

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Eph 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Eph 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

The word צלחת ‘tsalachat’ is also translated as bosom but also means a bowl, as in the bowls/pans used in the Tabernacle. צלחת ‘tsalachat’ comes from צלח ‘tsalach’ which means to advance forward, as in an oxen moving towards its mark. צלח ‘tsalach’ traces back further to צל ‘tsel’ which has the meaning of a bowl but also means a shadow (as in the covering that a bowl makes when held upside down)…as under the shadow of His wings, the little guy in His Eye.

Believers ‘hide’ under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 17:8). Another word for bosom in Hebrew is חב ‘chav’ which also means to hide.

chav hide love bosom

This cup, bosom, love connection is interesting in light of the cow as another Hebrew word for bowl is מקנית ‘maqniyt’ which literally means the “shape of a bowl that holds liquids like a breast that holds milk”. The root word is נק which pictures the drawing in of an infant to the breast to suckle.

נק ‘naq’ is also the source of the word נקיק ‘naqiyq’ which means a cleft in the rocks, as in the cleavage of the breast {נקק ‘naqaq’}. The imagery of the cleft of the rock is used in the Scriptures as depicting an intimate relationship with the Almighty (Exodus 33:18-23).

Recall that the word in Hebrew for pupil is בבה ‘baba’ which is the source of the English word ‘baby.’ Interestingly, the English word ‘shade’ comes from the Hebrew word שד ‘shad’ which means the breast/bosom. שד ‘shad’ is the root of the word שדי ‘shaddai’ which is translated as ‘the Almighty.’ שד ‘shad’ pictographically means to return to the door, which Scripture defines as Messiah.

Joh 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

The word דד ‘dud/dad’ (love) means two doors or two breasts.

Further connecting the cow to this concept of abiding under the shadow of His Wings is the Hebrew word for bellow or ‘moo’ which is צהל ‘tsahal’ from the root צל ‘tsel’ which means shadow. Recall that צל ‘tsel’ is also the root of צלחת ‘tsalachat’ which means bowl.

Again, the word דוד ‘dod’ means love. דד ‘dod’ literally means the breasts. As mentioned before, דד ‘dud/dad’ is the source of the English word ‘udder’ and ‘teat.’

The letter ד ‘dalet’ is the picture of a door, or flap of a tent which opens the way inside. The tabernacle consisted of two doors/veils which דד displays. What is the veil of the Tabernacle a picture of? The body/flesh of Messiah.

Heb 10:20 which He consecrated for us, a new and living way through the veil; that is, His flesh;

The above portion of Scripture is in context of the New Covenant which was cut at Calvary where Messiah gathered mankind into His bosom (Isaiah 40:11; Psalm 89:50).

Shadows of Messiah book 3

blessing 4



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