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"Jot or a Tittle"

Updated: Jan 28

Understanding the “Jot or a Tittle”

In Matthew 5:18 Yeshua stated, “ For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled”.

For years I questioned what the phrase “jot and tittle” referred to?

In ancient Jewish literature it refers to the common phrase in Hebrew,

lo yod v'lo kotzo shel yod , meaning “not a yod or a thorn of a yod”.

In the Hebrew language the yod is the smallest letter in the alphabet. It looks similar to our English comma. The yod is made up of 3 parts. The thorn of the yod is the “kotz”or serif mark at the bottom of the face of the yod and it is considered the smallest of all markings in the Hebrew text. The Torah scroll was considered invalid if it lacked the serif of the yod. (1)

The meaning is that not the most insignificant or seemingly unimportant thing will ever pass away from the Torah (law), but that Yeshua will bring the whole Torah to its fullest understanding. See also Luke 16:17 “ And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” (KJV)


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