Tav (ת) Old Testament Hebrew words that start with tav

Quick reference

Hebrew Name:
English Name:
Speech Sound:
Numerical Value:

Pronunciation guide

The traditional pronunciation of Tav is a voiceless dental fricative, meaning it’s pronounced like the “th” in “think.” When it has a dot (dagesh) in its center, it becomes plosive, meaning that it’s pronounced like the “t” in “table.” A good example of both forms is the word תַּבְנִית, which is pronounced tab-neeth’ ().

Numerical significance

Tav has the numerical value of 400 in the Hebrew numerical system (Gematria). The number 400 can symbolize a period of transformation or completion, such as the 400 years of the Israelite sojourn in Egypt (see ), which ended in a dramatic change and liberation.

Cultural and symbolic meaning

In its ancient pictographic form, Tav is believed to resemble a cross or a mark, which was used to signify a covenant, a sign, or ownership. For example, in , God commands a Tav mark () to be placed on the foreheads of the men who grieve and lament over all the detestable things done in Jerusalem, signifying identity and protection. In cultural context, it reflects the idea of being marked as distinct or claimed.