Can You Understand 666 Without Understanding Six?
The name of the Torah portion is vayigash, to draw near, and it is from the root nagash. The Hebrew letter vav signifies a connection, an attachment, or relationship. Its numerical value is six.
Unless Messiah returns first, all eventually arrive at that final destination six feet under. If you've read a few paramilitary thrillers, you know that to "deep six" someone is to kill him. To watch someone's "six" is to protect his back when he's vulnerable. The number six, the vav, is the number of a man
(Adam and Eve), who were one human at Creation on Day Six, yet they were two. The contranym six is a number both of holy sensual intimacy as well as the virtual death that yields a human companion to Adam. The deep six of forming and maintaining relationships results in bitter tears.
To draw near is to risk death. Are you uncomfortable when people who aren't close to you move into your personal space? Basic instincts tell you that one of three things could occur: sexual intimacy, battle with an adversary, or the physical closeness of brotherhood or friendship. Two of these possibilities are gifts of God, but ironically, all three may require death. There is something in a human being's soul that instinctually knows this, and it may cause tension before there is trust, or faith. This depth of love is characterized by a focus on the good of the other at the cost of one's own life or comfort.
To draw near is characteristic of the Spirit of Knowledge (Ruach Daat) listed in Isaiah 11:2, the sacrificial love of Messiah, the willingness to lay down one's life for the Bride, even for those who will never draw near in return. It sacrifices even when there is no tangible personal reward. This Sixth Spirit of Adonai corresponds to the Sixth Feast, Yom Kippur, a celebration of brotherly love for the sixth assembly, Philadelphia. One of the most fundamental of human needs is to belong, to connect with other human beings. That is our six.
When someone goes "deep six," it means he is buried. Most misunderstandings, quarrels, and broken family relationships stem from human beings trying to connect with others apart from the power of the Ruach HaKodesh. It is a mistaken belief that a human is accepted or belongs when he is in control.
Some believe that keeping silent about wrong behavior will guarantee acceptance from peers. Others believe that humiliating others will make them accepted by the group as some sort of authority. Still others think saying things they don't really believe or doing things they know are wrong will bring favor.
It is commonly thought that separation from a problem relationship
and replacing it with a more comfortable one is the answer. All of these are mistaken ways of connecting with others. These errors are not drawing brothers near; it is pushing them away. These beliefs are broken vavs, a deep six without resurrection power.
An oversized letter vav marks the center (Leviticus 11:42) of the Hebrew sefer of the five books of Torah; it appears within the word
gachon, for belly. The whole Torah points toward enlarging relationships, which is its center. It is a place from where living water should arise with mercy toward friends, family, and neighbors.
On the other hand, the context of the enlarge vav is that it defines creatures not considered food for human beings, things that "fall down and go on their belly" like the serpent who broke the vav of the Sixth Day in the Garden of Eden. When he deceived the woman, he broke all the relationships in the Creation. An undisciplined belly, or appetite, marks the beast who goes on his belly. Yeshua came to restore us to walk upright in the image of Elohim.
On the other hand, a broken vav is in Numbers 25:12, and it appears in the word shalom: "Therefore say, 'Behold, I give him My covenant of peace (shalom)...'" This is a blessing given to Pinchas for his zeal in spearing the Israelite man and Midianite woman who were committing an abomination in front of the Tent of Meeting. Because he acted to preserve Israel from the wrath, Pinchas was given the covenant of peace with a broken vav, hinting that sometimes the individual vav must be broken in order to restore and resurrect the vav of shalom for the good of the nation.
Often people "draw near" trying to make connections in conversations by pointing out what they have in common with the other person. This may often come across as narcissistic if overused, but often it is how the person is trying to establish the connection of the vav through shared acquaintances, experiences, etc. An excess of "that happened to me, too" or one-upsmanship characterizes some people, and they unwittingly ward off those with whom they are clumsily trying form deeper relationships. While not always helpful in comforting someone who's grieving or hurt (because the focus should be on the wound of the other), it is helpful to find vavs, shared interests in connecting to new people.
As Judah drew near to Joseph, he used the word "brother" six times. This is not by accident, for the value of the vav is six. In order to draw close to someone, a person must establish kinship, and the deepest of the relationships is within a household.
It is because of this that both the Tabernacle and the Temple were referred to as the House of God. There is no closer relationship than to dwell in the same House with a family. There is no way of the individual worshiping Elohim that is not perfected within the Body of Messiah in the Father's House.
In drawing near to Adonai, believers risk rejection because of imperfections and willful sins. A defective priest is prohibited from drawing near to offer the sacrifices or the incense. He could benefit from the sacrifice, but not draw near. This is not to be cruel, but to remind Israel that the priests and the sacrifices should represent Israel's final perfection, full healing, and the end of their faith, not their present shortcomings.
There are many examples in Scriptures where people are warned against drawing near to Adonai in their fears and imperfections. Yeshua, however, rectified this by serving as our Yom Kippur sacrifice. His is the ultimate sacrifice of brotherly love and the ultimate relationship-builder of the Father's House. By dying as a man of flesh, Yeshua is our brother drawing near to Adonai to offer himself on our behalf. Whatever has happened to you has happened to him, too, which is why we want to draw near. He endured our grief and suffering. He's been there.
Yeshua is calling his own to a holier way of belonging and connecting with brothers and friends called Israel. He is preparing those he knows for his Sukkot Kingdom of Living Waters. When brothers and sisters risk everything to approach one another, the whole house of Pharaoh will hear. In the context of this Torah portion, Pharaoh is a picture of Adonai ready to save when relationships within Israel are reconciled.
Is there an ungodly relationship that needs to be broken today?
Or is there a broken family vav that you can repair today?
Either way, it's a deep, deep six.
"Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666." (Revelation 13:18 NKJV)
The vav is also a nail; three vavs (3 6s) held Yeshua to the tree of sacrifice; his sacrifice, however, holds the Body of Messiah together. The 3 6s of the beast were never nailed to the tree; therefore, his relationships are anti-Messiah.
The ability to control others has nothing to do with the ability to lead them. Herod and Pilate controlled people. Yeshua led them.
This does not apply to a violent relationship, which is really no relationship at all; it is an already-broken vav.
So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. (Galatians 6:10) But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8) By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. (Hebrews 11:7)