Divine Strategy and Vision in the Month of Tevet

The spiritual significance of Hebrew months and walking in prayerful expectation has become part of our family rhythm.

We have begun honoring the start of new months with a prayer and setting our hearts on potential new opportunities. As might be expected, the traditional prayer can vary depending on synagogues or families but the intent is to create a moment to pause and bless the coming days. The prayer we choose as a family is full of beautiful gratitude and expectation:

Prayer of Blessing and Sanctification

May it be Your will, Lord, our God and God of our fathers, that You begin for us this month for good and for blessing. May You give to us long life, a life of peace, a life of goodness, a life of blessing, a life of sustenance, a life of physical health, a life in which there is fear of heaven and fear of sin, a life in which there is no shame or humiliation; a life of wealth and honor, a life in which we love Torah and fear God; a life in which the Lord fulfills the requests of our hearts for good. Amen. Selah.

Tribal Connection: Dan

The month of Tevet is connected to the tribe of Dan.

Like all humanity, the tribe of Dan has both negative and positive character traits. They are remembered as the first tribe recorded to have worshiped idols (1 Kings 12:26-30) which serves as a reminder for us to be careful of where we place our worship–not only in the month of Tevet but in every other month as well.

When Jacob blessed the tribes in Genesis 49 he said of Dan:

Dan will judge his people

as one of the tribes of Israel.

Dan will be a viper on the road,

a horned snake in the path

that bites the horse’s heels

so its rider falls off backward.

-Genesis 49:16,17

One might view being likened to a viper with only a negative correlation but is it not possible that this analogy also demonstrates that the tribe of Dan had authority in their mouth and was gifted with strategy in battle?  Dan would kill the enemy without ever touching him simply by striking the heel of his enemy’s horse.

Samson, whose father was a Danite and whose mother was from the tribe of Judah, killed the Philistines by toppling Dagon’s temple in Gaza. At that moment it is believed that Samson killed over 3000 Philistines without ever laying his hands upon them.

Dan and Judah: The Head and the Tail

There are multiple connections throughout scripture between the two most populous tribes: the tribe of Dan and the tribe of Judah.

It is from these tribes that the artisans called by God to work in the temple descended: Bezalel (Judah) and Aholiab (Dan).  Reference: Exodus 31:1-6.

These two tribes also flanked the nation while traveling through the desert: Judah, whose name means praise, led out in front of the nation of Israel while Dan, whose name means judge (representing justice), formed the rear guard.

“Then the standard of the camp of the children of Dan (the rear guard of all the camps) set out according to their armies;” -Numbers 10:25 (NKJV)

Every Generation Faces their own Philistines

Like Samson in Gaza each generation will face its own Philistines, battling enemies who attempt to eliminate the Jewish people from the face of the world (first noted battle in Gen 48:22). As Believers we know that satan desires our elimination as well as he came to kill, steal, and destroy and we must remain mindful of this (John 10:10). The tribes of Israel needed both the qualities of Judah and Dan to surround the nation; they were led forth in praise and prayer by the tribe of Judah while the tribe of Dan protected, avenged, and offered strategic authority as their rear guard.  In order to survive, those attributes had to continue to “flank” the nation of Israel and as Believers, as One New Humanity, we would be wise to embrace the same principle.

Strategy. Authority. Rear Guard.

In the month of Tevet if we were to focus on three positive attributes we can learn from the tribe of Dan we might focus on:

The Gift of Strategy

The Authority in our Mouths to Lead and Direct

The Lord Himself as our Rear Guard protecting us from what we cannot see (Isa 52:12)

Ayin | Eye | 70

The month of Tevet is connected to the Hebrew letter Ayin.

Ayin can be translated as “eye” and has a numerical value of 70.

“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,

On those who hope in His mercy,” – Psalm 33:18

Biblical Numerology

The number seventy is made of two perfect numbers i.e. the number 7 which represents perfection and the number 10 which represents completeness and the law of God. Therefore, the number 70 is often viewed as a sacred symbol of spiritual order, wholeness, and judgment.

Rosh Chodesh Tevet (the first day of the new month) falls on the 6th day of Hanukkah. In Biblical numerology, the number 6 represents humanity so here we can begin to see a connection between ayin (the eye) and the perceived light which dispels the darkness for mankind. The tribe of Dan protected and supported Israel and likewise the lights of Hanukkah illuminate and dispel the darkness. 

Seeing in the Spirit: Training Our Eyes

“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” – Revelation 1:7

In Judaism the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) represents the “eye for every eye, the light for every light, the wisdom for every wisdom” meaning that it is the ultimate illumination, revelation, and instruction.  Therefore, all we perceive through our physical eyes should be filtered through the spiritual wisdom gleaned from the Word.

You and I may look at the same situation together side-by-side but cognitively each of us will see things a bit differently. Physical sight stirs something within us that is uniquely our perception based on thoughts, feelings, or experiences. Our understanding of what we see will not be identical. Knowing this we must be disciplined in training ourselves to see things through the lens of God’s Word or as they say in Judaism: Torah’s hashkafah (outlook, ideology, worldview, perspective).  

During the month of Tevet we are reminded that the mental eye should be trained to view things through the lens of biblical instruction. It is our spiritual eyes that allow us deep and penetrating vision to see within and discern the truth and know how to respond, not react, to what we see. 

Our spiritual eyes are connected to having the mind of Christ:

For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NKJV)

As it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,

Nor have entered into the heart of man

The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

-1 Corinthians 2:9

God’s instruction, His Word, is the lens through which we are to perceive the world.

Hanukkah is a time to truly see. It is a time of illumination. And a time of great faith despite opposition.

We often speak of the hellenization of thought and religion which is quite simply the adoption of Greek culture, religion, or thought amongst non-Greeks. The Syrian-Greeks who defiled the temple wanted the Jewish nation to see the world the same way they saw the world. Those who battled against the Maccabees fought for a world where God’s instruction was not the filter by which we ultimately perceived. 

Hope and Expectation 

In this season it is important to place our hope, faith, and expectation in the Lord. 

The Midrash teaches that the Tabernacle was completed on the 25th day of Kislev (the end of the month preceding Tevet and the first day of Hanukkah). We read about this day in Exodus 39:32-43.  From this point on the tribal leaders began preparing their offerings to present in great anticipation of the erection of the Tent of Meeting which did not happen until the first of Nissan (the month of Passover; Exodus 40).

Tevet is thus the beginning of a time of preparation and anticipation. Just as Hanukkah was a time of rededication as Believers we can begin this month from a position of dedicating ourselves as temples to the work of the Lord and Kingdom expansion; we begin looking forward (1 Cor 6:19). 

There is great empowerment in yearning to follow God’s instruction and preparing to walk in obedience. Even from this moment, we can begin preparing our hearts for the upcoming season of deliverance during Passover. We posture our hearts in a place of anticipation for all that is ahead—to a glimpse of the peaks of the mountains the Lord is giving to us. 

Something New

In reference to Noah and his family on the ark, Genesis 8:5 says, “In the tenth month (Tevet) on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountain were seen.” For Noah Tevet marked the beginning of something new. Further evidence of God’s deliverance. Hope after the flood. 

It is interesting to note that every Hanukkah Shabbat the religious Jewish world reads their haftorah portion (a selection of readings from the prophets) and the annual reading begins with these words:

“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord. Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. And the Lord will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem.” – Zechariah 2:10-12 (NKJV)

Our Prayer for You During Tevet:

May the Lord dwell in your midst and may you reject all forms of idolatry—anything that would attempt to elevate itself in your heart or mind. 

May the Lord give you vision and divine strategy and may your days be flanked with praise and justice. Let the words of your mouth be in alignment with Word and the authority of the Lord and may you know Him as your rear guard. 

We pray that you will see with divine inspiration, wisdom, and vision as you filter all things through the Word, God’s Instruction. May your temple be transformed as you behold the Lord and reject any thoughts that are not rooted in your Father. 

May you embrace this season of preparation and anticipation for all that is to come and experience the power of yearning to follow God’s instruction; like Noah may you begin to see the peaks of the mountains you have yet to claim. May your hearts be filled with hope and your lives illuminated by the Light of the World, Yeshua our Messiah.

In Tevet, it is our prayer that your eyes are open to see.