In written communications, letters and numbers serve to express the thoughts and ideas, wants and needs of people. In Hebrew and also Greek, the entire alphabet served as both letters and numbers. In Hebrew this is called Gematria or by its Greek name Isopsephia. Therefore, in the Hebrew language, every letter has a meaning, and also a numerical value. This has tremendous significance, in that numbers become very relevant.
Continuing with the importance of the number 8 in ancient Hebrew, contrary to the comments made in an article to me recently and following the earlier two posts on this subject, the 8th letter in the Hebrew Alphabet is Chet.
This eighth letter, Chet, has an ordinal or positional Gematria and it's standard Gematria are the same (8). It is the number of new life/new beginning. Raised to its triplicate, 888 is the numerical name of Jesus in the Greek New Testament text. The literal meaning of this letter is a "fence," "hedge" or "chamber." The symbolic meaning is "to make private" or "to separate." In ancient Hebrew the 8th letter was drawn as a fence, and the word picture it gave was Brother [Gen 24.29] because the word brother is "a strong fence" (that protects). As an example, the following understanding of the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet brings us to understand the significance of the number 8, especially as it is incorporated into the 888 listed above.
The First letter of the Hebrew Alphabet, called in Hebrew, the Aleph-Bet, is the Aleph, drawn as shown here. The literal meaning of aleph is ox or bull. The symbolic meaning of this letter is: God, strength, strong leader. It shows God's mastery and oneness.
In the ancient Hebrew, it was drawn like the head of an ox which is part of the original meaning of the letter. The literal meaning is "strong leader, strength, master, 1 or 1000. This is the example of ancient wisdom in the scriptures that read: "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?"2nd Cor. 6:14. A young, inexperienced oxen would be yoked with a full grown ox accustomed to ploughing, and the younger would learn from the older because of the latter's size and great strength, he would literally drag the young ox around in the proper direction as commanded by the ploughman.
The Gematria of the letter Aleph is 1 and always means God. Yeshua/Jesus said "I and my Father are ONE" (John 10:30). In the full spelling it's Gematria is 111, which is the same Gematria as "The Lord My God" (Ps 38.15) and "Children of the Living God" (Hos 1:10).
This first letter of the Hebrew alphabet that stands for God, when written out is amazing and shows the deep complex and integrated design of the word of God that millennia later, would become flesh, alive and living in the person of Yeshua/Jesus Christ. Can we believe the accuracy of the "New Testament" Greek text? Can it be traced back to the ancient Hebrew teaching. Of course.
The aleph spelled full by it's Gematria of 111 gives us a bed rock solid truth. When multiply the number 8, the number of new life, new beginnings by Aleph, the first letter, we arrive at the number 888 which is "Jesus" in the Greek text of the New Testament! This ties the person of Jesus directly back to the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and God Himself! The first and "Greatest" commandment is that we love God with all of our heart, mind and strength.
For someone to claim he has studied thoroughly and not found any significant meaning for the number 8 in ancient Hebrew is to show one’s ignorance. And so it is with all who write about the Book of Mormon and try to find ways around the plain and simple language therein which, in and of itself, is completely understandable and needs no special interpretation by scholars who try to make it into something that agrees with their erroneous models. The Jaredites built eight barges that brought them to the Land of Promise (Ether 3:1)—no further discussion on this number is necessary.