אֵת IS THE SIGNATURE OF JESUS?
♦ Jesus revealed Himself to be the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega, in the Book of Revelations
Revelations 1:8 (KJV) -"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."
Revelations 1:11 (KJV) - "… I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea."
Revelations 21:6 (KJV) - "And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."
Revelations 22:13 (KJV) - "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."
The Alpha and Omega are the first and last letter of the Greek Alphabet; while the Aleph אֵ and Tav ת are the first and last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. An argument can be made that Jesus is the Aleph Tav אֵת.
♦ The Aleph Tav (אֵת) can be interpreted as the strength of the covenant; and the strength of men's covenant with G-d is upheld through Jesus' finished work.
The Hebrew alphabet was originally written using a pictographic script and the study of the pictograph can yield insight into the etymology of the Hebrew alphabet.
The letter Aleph אֵ in paleo-hebraic is a picture of an Ox ; and there is general consensus it can be interpreted as "Strength".
The letter Tav ת is a little more contentious. In paleo-script, this letter does vaguely look like a cross. While one may be tempted to interpret it as Christ's cruxification, the focus should be on the prophet Ezekiel's vision in Ezekiel 9:4, where Israelites who had the mark (which is literally the letter ת) on their foreheads were spared from G-d's wrath. ת is thus more accurately seen as a mark of the "covenant between G-d and men" - specifically those men who were in right standing with G-d, and saved from His judgement.
Ezekiel 9:4 (KJV) - "And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark ת upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."
♦ Taken together, the Aleph Tav אֵת is argued to be Jesus' signature; and whenever the Aleph Tav אֵת appears in a particular Old Testament scripture, Jesus' hand is in that matter.
Genesis 1:1 (KJV) - "In the beginning G-d created אֵת the heaven and the earth."
Zechariah 12:10 (KJV) - "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me אֵת whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
A HEBREW GRAMMATICAL FUNCTION?
♦ אֵת is a grammar function to identify the object of the verb.
Using Genesis 1:1 as an illustration, this verse in the original Hebrew is read as "In the beginning created G-d אֵת the heaven and the earth". The placement of the אֵת informs the reader "the heaven and the earth" is the object that G-d had created, and not the other way around.
Verses such as 1 Chronicles 2:12 "And Boaz begat אֵת Obed, and Obed begat אֵת Jesse" is better explained with אֵת as a grammar function to identify the defined object, rather than it being the signature of Jesus.
A DIVINE MARKER?
♦ However, the Babylonian Talmud also suggests the אֵת could be more than just the sign of a defined object.
The Babylonian Talmud is one of the central works of the Jewish people and consists of rabbinical teachings from the Late Antiquity period (3rd to 5th centuries)
Many rabbis of the Talmud, especially Rabbis Simeon and Akiva, have viewed the אֵת as a sign of, an invitation to, amplification. And in Talmudic episteme, wherever there is room for amplification there is an invitation to see the sign of a divine intention for some other, secret or unwritten meaning. The extract from the Talmud Chagigah 12a pertaining to the אֵת is reproduced below for reference -
Rabbi Ishmael questioned Rabbi Akiba when they were going on a journey together, saying to him: Thou who hast waited twenty-two years upon Nahum of Gimzo, who used to explain the [particle] Eth (אֵת)* throughout the Torah, [tell me] what exposition did he give of [Eth] the heaven and [Eth] the earth? Said [Rabbi Akiba] to him: If it had said, ‘heaven and earth’, I could have said that Heaven and Earth were names of the Holy One, blessed be He. But now that it says: ‘[Eth] the heaven and [Eth] the earth’, heaven [means] the actual heaven, and earth [means] the actual earth.[footnote *] Heb. אֵת, which is either (a) the sign of the defined object as in Gen. I, 1, or (b) the preposition meaning with. Nahum of Gimzo explained every instance of the accusative particle as indicating the inclusion in the object of something besides that which is explicitly mentioned. For the sole exception (Deut. X, 20), v. Pes. 22b, where ‘Nehemiah the Imsoni’ is an error for ‘Nahum the Gimsoni’ or man of Gimzo (v. Graetz in MGWJ., 1870, p. 527). The interpretation of אֵת given here is grammatical rather than Midrashic or homiletical. For the רבוי explanation of אֵת in this verse, which includes the sun and moon etc., v. Gen. Rab. I, 14.