Rather than have an overburden of information in the last P.T. I have sensed the necessity of presenting some factual material here in an Appendix, which can be passed over by those who don’t wish to delve any deeper into these matters of present concern. First of all I should like to refer to the Hebrew text of Exodus 20:8-11, which is the FOURTH COMMANDMENT, concerning the Sabbath Day. In P.T.83 I said that there were no less than TWENTY occurrences of the little letter YOD in the text. I was correct – there are certainly NOT less than twenty – in fact on testing it again I found that I had missed THREE of them! How easy it is to miss this tiny letter. When the Lord said that “not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law until all are fulfilled” He had 23 cogent reasons for not disturbing the Sabbath Law! Looking at it from this point of view, should we not shudder at the thought of transferring the Sabbath to another day?
One further point about the text, and I think this is important. We read “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it HOLY.”The Hebrew word QODESH, translated HOLY, means literally “to set apart”. The Lord was asking His people to SET APART the Sabbath Day, and not to treat it like the other six days in the week. And so we find at the end of the commandment the same words, “Therefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath Day and SET IT APART.” The Almighty has SET APART the seventh day of the week, and I can find absolutely no evidence that He has changed His mind since then. I am quite prepared to rejoice on Sunday, because of the Lord’s resurrection, but I can find no Scriptural warrant for thinking that God has exchanged the seventh day for the first day of the week.
The next point concerns our Lord’s words about the commandments. He said that “Not one Yod or one Tittle shall disappear from the Law.” We have looked at the letter Yod, but what about the Tittle? Rather than write about this, I felt it would be better to reproduce here what is written in one of the Appendixes from “The Companion Bible”, edited by Dr.E.W.Bullinger, a Bible which I have found to be a mine of useful information, and a true “Companion” through most of my years as a believer in the Lord Jesus.
“Certain letters [in the Hebrew text] have come down with the text, from the most ancient times, having a small ornament or flourish on the top. [He gives four examples of what look like pins sticking into the tops of the Hebrew letters.] These ornamented letters were quite exceptional, and implied no added meaning of any kind; but so jealously was the sacred test safeguarded, that the scribe was informed how many of each of the letters had these little ornaments.
These ornaments were called Ta’agim, meaning “little crowns”. The Greek-speaking Jews called them “keranoth” meaning “little horns” because of their appearance. And so in the Gospels they are called “keraia“, little horns. Modern commentators still cling to the traditional explanation that this “title” is the small projection or corner by which the letter Beth differs from the letter Kaph, or Daleth differs from Resh. But the Massorah informs us that this is not the case, and thus tradition is quite wrong.
It was to these Ta’agin the Lord referred to in Matthew 5:18 and Luke 16:17 when He said that not only the smallest letter (Yod), but that not even the merest mark or ornament (Tag) should pass away from the law until all things should come topas. So our Lord Himself recognized these Ta’agin, which must have been in His Bible from which He quoted.”