Bible & Mathematics
Bible & Mathematics
1. Panin And Bible Numerics
Ivan Panin was a Russian immigrant to America who was converted to Christianity when he discovered amazing numerical patterns in nature, which he believed could only be the work of the Creator. In 1890, Panin began to discover NUMERICAL SYSTEMS IN THE BIBLE, and went on to devote a large part of his life (40-50 years) to investigating the patterns he found.
God's Pattern In Nature
Modern natural sciences started "to explode" when scientists realised from the Bible that God is a God of order and that THIS ORDER IS TO BE FOUND IN HIS CREATION. Logically, it follows that if God has put order into all of His creation, how much more would He have put order into His Word, the Bible.
For instance, it must be mentioned that renowned scientists, such as ISAAC NEWTON who contributed so much to modern physics and mathematics, spent many years of their personal research on the subject of "Numerics in the Bible". Newton must have felt that he was "onto something".
The following is an excerpt from Bullinger's book: BULLINGER, E. W., "NUMBER IN SCRIPTURE", The Lamp Press, London, 1952.
PHYSIOLOGY offers a vast field for illustration, but here again the grand impress is seen to be the number SEVEN. The days of man's years are "Three-score years and ten" (7 x 10). In SEVEN years the whole structure of his body changes: and we are all familiar with "the seven ages of man".
The various periods of GESTATION (pregnancy) also are commonly a multiple of SEVEN, either of days or weeks.
With INSECTS the ova are hatched from SEVEN half-days (such as the wasp, bee, etc.); while with others it is SEVEN whole days. The majority of insects require from 14 (2 x 7) to 42 (6 x 7) days; the same applies to the larva state.
With ANIMALS the period of gestation of:
- The mouse is 21 (3 x 7) days.
- The hare and rat, 28 (4 x 7) days.
- The cat, 56 (8 x 7) days.
- The dog, 63 (9 x 7) days.
- The lion, 98 (14 x 7) days.
- The sheep, 147 (21 x 7) days.
With BIRDS, the incubation of:
- The common hen is 21 (3 x 7) days.
- The duck, 28 (4 x 7) days.
With the HUMAN species it is 280 days (or 40 x 7).
Moreover, man appears to be made on what we may call the SEVEN-day principle. In various diseases the SEVENTH, FOURTEENTH, and TWENTY-FIRST are critical days; and in others, SEVEN or 14 half-days. Man's pulse beats on the SEVEN-day principle... for six days out of the seven it beats faster in the morning than in the evening, while on the seventh day it beats slower. Thus the number SEVEN IS STAMPED UPON PHYSIOLOGY, and he is thus admonished, as man, to rest one day in seven. He cannot violate this law with impunity, for it is interwoven with his very being." [End quote].
During the time of the French revolution under Robespierre, a TEN-DAY WEEK was introduced, instead of the GOD ORDAINED SEVEN-DAY WEEK. Humans and animals could not cope with having only one rest day in ten. Men started to get ill and cattle collapsed in the fields. Soon, they had to go back to the seven-day week. It was clearly shown that God's pattern should not be violated.
Cells in the human body are constantly dying and being replaced. This works on a seven-year cycle, whereby over a period of seven years every cell in the body is replaced.
Many other incredible patterns are present throughout nature, Fibbonacci numbers being one of the more well-known. There is such an incredible design shown in nature that we could list things all day long, but we trust you get the main point. CLEARLY THROUGHOUT NATURE, WE CAN SEE GOD'S STAMP ON ALL OF CREATION.
The one great question now is, may we not expect to find the same phenomena in that greatest of all God's works, His Word?
"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (HEBREWS 11:3).
Many Christians believe that Ivan Panin found a numerical structure in the Bible. However, Panin’s findings have come under so much ATTACK that some churches have dropped the subject of "Bible Numerics" from their teaching.
In our Assemblies, "Bible Numerics" has been seen as additional evidence that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. We do not NEED Bible Numerics to prove or believe that the Bible is the Truth, but we have always aimed to teach the WHOLE COUNSEL of God.
In response to questions which were asked of us, we put together a group of more "mathematically minded" individuals in our Assembly, some of whom also know a bit about the ancient Hebrew & Greek texts of the Bible. They were assigned the task of evaluating the truth about Bible Numerics.
We would love to have Panin here today so he could stand up against any unjust accusations. Panin did an amazing amount of work to find these numerical patterns. Nowadays computers are doing this painstaking task.
We believe there are good arguments for and against Panin's work: there are SOME AREAS THAT ARE FAIRLY SAFE to tread in and OTHERS where the arguments become UNCERTAIN and unsubstantiated. However, we cannot exclude or dismiss the evidence presented, and have to acknowledge, "There could be more!” It would not be fair to the many who have dedicated a great part of their life to this field of study to simply attempt to refute their findings with a mere wave of our hand on research done over a period of two weeks.
Panin used Bible texts in the original languages and counted words and letters. He calculated numerical values of words and letters, and calculated place values of words and letters in a passage. He selected words and letters according to symmetries (e.g. first and last words), subsets (e.g. sentences, names, themes, the vocabulary in a passage), and so on.
The Case For Panin
Panin was the one that brought widespread attention to Gematria, which means assigning a numerical value to a letter based on the Greek/Hebrew numbering system. Some very interesting examples of Gematria include the following (Theomatics claim them as well): 888 is the value of JESUS in Greek. The NUMERICAL VALUES OF ALL THE MAIN TITLES OF JESUS IN GREEK ARE DIVISIBLE BY 8 (e.g. Lord = 800). This is quite incredible and gives reason to link Jesus to the number 8. All the examples with 666 are interesting, and there are links between some of the Pope's titles and 666. Some say 13 is a number linked to the devil because the numerical values of Dragon, tempter, belial, murderer and serpent are all divisible by 13.
Another example is in JOHN 21:11, with the 153 fish. Many Greek words or phrases connected with this verse are a multiple of that value: FISHES = 153 x 8, THE NET = 153 x 8, MULTITUDE OF FISHES = 153 x 8 x 2, FISHERS OF MEN = 153 x 14.
While some argue that the patterns of seven aren't in every verse, it is possible that every verse has its own arrangements of features. Authors such as E. W. Bullinger have investigated the meanings of many different numbers. For instance, THE NUMBER 13 IS WOVEN INTO VERSE 2 OF GENESIS CHAPTER 1, AS THE THEME OF THIS VERSE IS DISCORD. Likewise, verse 3 has its own pattern, but this time the numbers used are 13 and 11. The introduction of 11 at this stage is appropriate for in this verse God said, "Let there be light." As the number 11 signifies instruction or revelation, there had to be light before anyone could see and be instructed.
One factor is that the Scriptures were not originally separated into chapters and verses, but were structured this way later. This explains some of the criticism, where the critics try to look at particular verses to disprove the patterns. Panin, however, looked at those verses WHICH FORM A NATURAL DIVISION, e.g. GENESIS 1:1-5. These first five verses contain the account of the first day of creation.
Here is just one example of his work:
- The 33 Hebrew words used have a numerical value of 6188, or 884 x 7
- The total value of the 33 initial letters used is 2401, or 7x7x7x7 (or49x49)
- The 16 different initial letters have a value of 1281, or 183 x 7
- The first and the last words in the vocabulary arranged alphabetically total 658, or 94 x 7
- Arranged in order of occurrence the first and the last words total 924, or 132 x 7
- The value of every seventh word totals 1008, which is 7 x 3 x 3 x 2 x 2 x2 x 2, not only a multiple of 7;
- but having seven factors,
- which add up to 21, or 3 x 7
Ivan Panin goes on to list 14 features of 7, and 7 features of 13 concerning these first five verses.
Panin worked through numerous scriptures and wrote down many features. Some might be a bit farfetched but many more are striking. Even though he was not quite right with his probability calculations he unveiled many interesting aspects hidden away. Some more research and analysis is needed to summarise and finalize what Panin and others started. Panin’s work could resemble that of astronomer Tycho Brahe who examined the movement of the planets in much detail for 40 years. Only later on did Kepler extract the famous Kepler laws from that huge amount of collected data.
The Case Against Panin
1) Original Texts And Associated Problems:
One of Panin’s critics, Brendan Mackay, a mathematician from Canberra, objects that there are different "original texts" of the Bible and that a few changes in the text can alter the numerical findings, e.g. R. McCormack did some studies on Matthew chapter one and found many "7’s" in there. So did Panin. But McCormack and Panin used different texts. Which one is the "right" text?
In addition, Panin MADE ALTERNATIVE READINGS where he saw fit. It should be noted that certain differences between the texts make no difference to the features; it all depends on what the difference is and which is the particular feature under investigation.
However, Panin’s argument that he "corrected" the original texts to fit his mathematical findings are waved away by Mackay with the statement that this approach is circular reasoning. Mackay also accuses Panin of having changed the text in MARK 16:9-20 in order to get 175 words in there.
Mackay acknowledges Panin’s findings in GENESIS 1:1 and Matthew chapter one, but argues that for a text as long as the Bible, there is a certain probability that you will find such clusters. Mackay says that, contrary to Panin's claims, the "incredible pattern" is ONLY PRESENT IN SOME VERSES of the Bible.
2) Probability Considerations:
PANIN'S PROBABILITY EQUATIONS WERE WRONG. There is no doubt that Panin's calculation of the probabilities of features occurring is incorrect. If one were to search for 5 features, and find 2 of them, Panin would say the probability of this outcome is 1/7 x 1/7. However, this is not correct. Panin checked so many features that some of them HAD to work. Of course, he didn't present the ones that didn't work. While what he found may indeed be very unlikely to occur randomly, it WASN'T AS UNLIKELY as he believed.
This is why each verse he analyses exhibits different features of seven. If he were to take the SAME group of say 10 features, and check every verse for their presence, then calculate his statistics based on this, then it would be mathematically sound. For example, the feature of "Number of Words" in a verse – Mackay says that if you check the whole Bible on average only every seventh verse has the number of words divisible by 7.
3) Farfetched Features:
Some of the features Panin used seem to be farfetched and one asks if there is anything behind them. If every seventh word gives you the multiple of seven then fair enough - it is rather convincing. However, other features SEEM SHAKY. An example of weak "features" is given in GENESIS 1:1-5: "The first and last words in the vocabulary arranged alphabetically have the numerical value divisible by 7; and if arranged in order of occurrence their numerical total is divisible by 7". These kinds of features can be found in OTHER TEXTS TOO.
We all agree that if we could find just one feature which covers the whole Bible (each and every sentence) it would stop the mouth of all opponents. But so far no one has found such a pattern.
4) Meaning Of Numbers:
One thing to be very CAREFUL about is the attributing of numbers to certain meanings. For instance, we know that 666 is the number of "the Beast". This is directly scriptural. However, authors such as Bullinger have ATTRIBUTED MEANINGS to a lot of numbers, which may not necessarily be backed up by the Word. One example showing this is where Bullinger says 12 is the number of perfect government, therefore 11 must mean disorder, chaos, etc. (12 minus 1). However, Panin says that the number 11 has a "good" meaning. Evidently the Word is NOT SO EXPLICIT about this.
You can, of course, find a pattern of some number or another in any scripture. In order to assess the validity of the research, you must decide which number means what, and whether the Scriptures really support this?
Summary Of Arguments Against Panin's Work
One of the strongest arguments against Panin’s work is that he did not properly calculate the probabilities of his features.
However, we have not come across anyone who has worked out the probabilities based on linguistic terms and on the value of the alphabet itself (aspects such as which numbers and words naturally come up most often in Hebrew/Greek, etc.). A more accurate and in depth analysis would help to compare Panin’s findings with those of some of the critics.
The most striking arguments against Panin are the examples given in literature other than the Bible. There are examples of this on Mackay's website (3). His vast arrays of features (while mostly very abstract) are certainly striking.
Issues of different texts, while only affecting SOME features SOME of the time, also present an obstacle to Panin's findings.
Results From Our Own Experimentation
Firstly, we studied GENESIS 1:1-31, and found that the first verse has the numerical value of 37x73. A program was written to examine the Hebrew "Ben Asher" Text (Note: the differences to the other manuscripts are minor as far as our investigations are concerned). The investigation of the following verses yielded ONLY AVERAGE RESULTS. This was based, though, on very few features.
We also looked manually for numeric patterns in the Old Testament (Massoretic Hebrew text) of GENESIS 1:1-2 and PSALM 117 (only two verses). We mainly looked for patterns of seven. We were able to duplicate the patterns in GENESIS 1:1 which are described by Panin, but DID NOT FIND any obvious patterns in verse 2.
Thirdly, we investigated whether a famous ancient GREEK text would yield the same results as the investigation on the Scriptures. Here are some of the findings on the Iliad. We tried to use some of the same features that Panin used for the Biblical texts.
1) Homer's Iliad:
HOMER'S ILIAD is THE Greek literature work. It is the earliest and most famous. Many students of Greek had to learn it by heart. The first 7 verses were chosen as this is the introduction (prooimion) which gives the contents of the whole epic:
"Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures, for so were the counsels of Jove fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles, first fell out with one another."
Here is what has been found - a combination of all possible numbers, as could be expected. If one was to try hard, one could maybe build a case with the number 11. Judge for yourself.
The fact that NO FEATURES really could be found in the first 7 verses of the Iliad doesn't prove of course that there might not be any in the following verses. But the LACK OF FEATURES in the introduction would be a bit "disappointing".
- Words used in the passage: 44 = 2 x 2 x 11
- Letters used in the passage: 222 = 2 x 3 x 37
- Numerical value of the passage: 25938 = 2 x 3 x 3 x 11 x 131
- Number of nouns: 19
- Number of proper names: 6
- Number of occurrence of proper names: 7
- Letters of both main persons (Atreidhs, Achilleus): 8
- Numerical value for Achilleus: 1276 = 2 x 2 x 11 x 29
- Number of verbs: 8
- Numerical value of nouns: 12127 = 67 x 181 (whatever that could mean!)
- Number of "the": 1
- Number of words beginning with vowel: 21 = 3 x 7
- Number of vowels in text: 122 = 2 x 61
- Number of consonants in text: 100 = 10 x 10
- Number of words occurring more than once: 4
- Number of words occurring only once: 40 = 2 x 2 x 10
A survey on Panin’s dissertation on Mark 16 was also conducted:
2) Veryifying MARK 16:9-20:
Because the authenticity of MARK 16:9-20 has been questioned, the passage had not been included in some Bibles. Ivan Panin TRIED TO PROVE, through the richness and continuity of its gematria, that the passage belongs in the Bible. Gematria, then, is a type of WATERMARK or seal of authenticity.
The number of words in Panin's passage is 175 (7 x 25). The Greek text ("Textus Receptus") underlying the King James Version uses only 167 words! For this problem, see also http://cs.anu.edu.au/~adm/dilugim/panin.html and the evidence mentioned there about the differing editions.
We tried to verify the 175 words anyway, which meant doing some guesswork and including some of the 7 or 8 words which are added in other manuscripts (for example, instead of "Jesus risen" you take "Jesus risen from the dead"). When doing that we could verify many of the findings below (for example, also counting the Greek word "kakeinoi" as two words "kai" and "ekeinoi" – similar to English "it’s" which consists of "it is").
In our opinion, Panin’s findings in MARK 16 are FLAWED because he used a text which is a MODIFIED VERSION of the Westcott and Hort (W&H) text. Apparently, Panin started with the W&H text, then ADDED CERTAIN WORDS from other texts where he thought it appropriate! This clearly casts major doubts on this piece of work.
There is a great deal of evidence pointing towards an order behind the Bible. While we believe Ivan Panin's work definitely had some shortcomings, we think that some of the numerical patterns in the Bible are too impressive to be denied. On the other hand, we find it dangerous to use a mathematical pattern to discern what part of the Bible is right or wrong (e.g. MARK 16).
It may appear as if people are able to 'disprove' Panin's findings, however, if you study the subject you will see that it is not so clean cut. We know some parts of Panin's work are quite stunning, while others are dubious. In the end, we can never really be sure about exactly how much truth Panin's work contains. If God shows himself to someone through Numerics, then Praise the Lord - our main goal on this earth is after all, to bring souls to salvation.
We checked various parts of his work (e.g. in MATTHEW 1). Some of it is dubious, some might even be wrong, but the patterns that remain are still impressive. In any case, we value Panin's findings and grant him great respect. We don't want to make a wrong decision and throw Bible Numerics away – only to find out one day that it was a valuable tool to see the grandeur and might of God Almighty.
Our basic belief, in summarizing all the fields of Bible Numerics is this: We think there is something numerical in the Bible, but we don't think anyone has exactly revealed it yet. While every researcher has their successes and mistakes, we believe the basic revelation is the same:
God is a God of order and His Word is perfect. Just as we see patterns all around us in God's creation, His Word also contains incredible patterns demonstrating His design.
"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: NOW I KNOW IN PART; but then shall I know even as also I am known" (1 CORINTHIANS 13:12).
"For MY THOUGHTS are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (ISAIAH 55:8-9).
God carries out His heavenly pattern on earth:
"Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things ... see, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount" (HEBREWS 8:5).
Here is the testimony of the Scripture itself on its inspiration and whether it has changed through the course of history:
"... there hath not failed ONE WORD of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant" (1 KINGS 8:56).
"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" (MATTHEW 5:18).
The word JOT really means the Greek "iota" = Hebrew "Yod" which is the smallest letter in the Hebrew Alphabet, next to TITTLE, which in Greek is "keraia" (little hook) = Hebrew "Vav" the second smallest letter.
"And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one TITTLE of the law to fail" (LUKE 16:17).
"Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever" (PSALM 119:160).
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (JOHN 1:1).
"I am ALPHA and OMEGA, the beginning and the end, the first and the last" (REVELATION 22:13).
It is interesting that Jesus associates Himself with the letters of the Alphabet, indicating there might be more to find out.
1. Ivan Panin, "The Last Twelve Verses of Mark", The Association of the Covenant People, Canada/USA.
2. Ivan Panin, "Verbal Inspiration of the Bible Scientifically Demonstrated"
3. Brendan Mackay, "In Search of Mathematical Miracles", http://cs.anu.edu.au/~bdm/dilugim/index.html
4. Col. J. H. Durrant, "Bible Numerics", p.7.
5. Bullinger, E.W., "Number in Scripture", The Lamp Press, London (1952)
6. Payne, F.C., "The Seal of God", ELE Trust, Brendale (1996)
(For further reference see the website http://www.theomatics.com, by Mr. Del Washburn)
What is Theomatics?
The basic gist of Theomatics, is to investigate all Biblical references to a PARTICULAR TOPIC and then use GEMATRIA - the same Greek/Hebrew numbering system used by Panin (see Panin and Bible Numerics) - to calculate properties of the numeric values of relevant phrases.
For example: In the ancient Greek New Testament, the 32 key references to the birth of Jesus each carry phrases with a multiple of 111:
|Jesus||=||111 x 8 = 888|
|Christ||=||111 x 12|
"the birth of Jesus Christ thus was"
|=||111 x 49 (MATTHEW 1:18)|
"and she will bear a Son"
|=||111 x 11 (MATTHEW 1:21)|
"to you a sign, the virgin shall be with child"
|=||111 x 8 (ISAIAH 7:14)|
Theomatics is based on twenty years of extensive research and poses a challenge to any skeptic. It is a statistical approach and one has to understand a bit of this rather tricky business.
Del Washburn writes: "In order to perform any objective and scientific investigation, both the procedure and end results must be: (1) definable, (2) testable, (3) the tests repeatable, and (4) the outcome predictable. When Theomatics discovers a pattern, it must be defined by the usage of a particular Hebrew or Greek word. Every phrase to be examined must:
- Contain a specific word,
- Be a certain length away from that word in both directions,
- Use only one text,
- Examine every phrase, combination or mathematical possibility present.
The computer then proceeds through all the phrases looking for features. Next, the same computer program goes back through all of the same Bible references, again looking for features.
Only this time, the numerical VALUES for the letters are jumbled into RANDOM ALLOCATIONS. For example, the name "Jesus" equals 888 in Theomatics. With the other random values, the word would come out - e.g. to 974 instead.
This shows that Mr. Washburn worked scientifically. If skeptics wish to repeat these tests to verify the results, they must apply the same initial procedures (as in all scientific research).
Clustering is the concept where numbers cluster around these large multiples. It investigates the Theomatics “hits” falling within the range of one or two numbers on either side of the target. For instance, instead of only investigating 222 (111 x 2), they also look into results such as 223.
Normally, the way one would expect random numbers to fall, there would be about the SAME AMOUNT of -1 and +1 hits as -2 and +2 hits. However, to quote the Theomatics website: "In virtually every major Theomatics pattern that has been discovered to date, when all the hits are faithfully recorded, there will almost always be TWICE AS MANY -1, +1 as -2, +2 hits, plus way more direct hits than the expected results. If the numbers were random, this would be like witnessing a MATHEMATICAL MIRACLE. It would be no different than challenging a person to flip a coin 1000 times, and get 800 heads and 200 tails - a "total" impossibility. This clustering phenomenon has happened CONSISTENTLY with tens of thousands of Theomatics features over the years. It virtually never fails (except in perhaps a few short stretch examples).
Here are some more facts about Theomatics:
- The phenomenon only works in the Bible and nowhere else.
- The phenomenon only works with the standard numerical allocations (e.g. alpha = 1, beta = 2, etc …) for the alphabets. When any of the other 403 septillion random permutations are examined, even for the Bible, nothing will be discovered beyond chance expected.
- The phenomenon only works in the Bible WHEN words and phrases with related or similar theological meaning are examined. The example mentioned in "Panin and Bible Numerics", with the fish relating to the number 153, is expanded upon in Theomatics. Many examples are given of different phrases involving fish and having the number value of 153.
So far NO CRITIC has been able to refute the findings of Theomatics. This may also be because of the complexity of the number patterns which have been found so far. It is a lot more difficult to find patterns divisible by 111 or 153 than by seven!
From our investigation, we have concluded that Theomatics is GENERALLY SOLID. We have some reservations about the "cluster theory" aspect. Besides the cluster statistics, Washburn often counts the cluster hits as actual hits when he presents his results. Another point we noticed is that with regard to the fish example, Washburn almost seems to imply that the reason it says "153 fishes" is simply to fulfil Theomatics. In general, however, we think that the method employed is SCIENTIFICALLY VALID. Assuming that he followed the method given on the website as he said then his results seem fairly sound. Please note though, we are only going on what we have read on the website, and we have not yet conducted a deep study of his books.
Much controversy lately has been around an alleged BIBLE CODE, supposedly found in the first five books of the Bible (in Hebrew, the "TORAH") if you read only every umpteenth letter found in the Hebrew original. This subject called ELS for short (Equidistant Letter Sequence).
While in the past this would have been a meticulous task to do manually, now, with the development of computers and the respective software for the task it is relatively easy and has therefore received great attention in scientific circles. SOME VEHEMENTLY DEFENDING its validity, others outright refuting it as a HOAX.
Within this dissertation, we don’t want to go into subjects like whether the assassination of YITZHAK RABIN could be found hidden in the text and was therefore prophetically foretold. HOWEVER, certain aspects and findings in this discipline throw new light onto the subject of Mathematics in the Bible.
The following is taken and adapted from a website called "Super Computers Discover Mathematically Coded Words in the Bible".
A note on the website tells the reader that the conclusions of the paper have been invalidated with new research findings. However, when reading the rebuttals one can really not find any arguments against what is presented here:
In Hebrew, the word Torah is represented by the consonants T-V-R-H.
In the Hebrew text of the book of Genesis, if you take the first ("T") in the word "bere’shiyt" = "In the Beginning", then count 49 letters, the next letter (the 50th) is ("V"); the next 50th is ("R"); and then the next 50th is ("H"). In other words, after the first "T", in 50 letter increments, we FIND THE LETTERS SPELLING "TORAH".
In the book of Exodus, we encounter the same result.
However, it doesn't seem to work with the third book of Moses, Leviticus. But stay tuned …
In the fourth book of the Torah, the book of Numbers, we discover this 49 letter interval works with "HRVT", that is, TVRH backwards.
A similar 49 letter interval also appears in the fifth book the Torah, the book of Deuteronomy. However, in the book of Deuteronomy the interval starts in the fifth verse instead of the first. Why the fifth verse? This could be an explanation - according to the Talmud the book of Deuteronomy doesn't begin until the fifth verse where it states: "On the other side of the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to expound the Torah ..." The first five verses might have been taken from the back of Leviticus.
In the middle book, the book of Leviticus, it doesn't seem to work either way. But it does work for YHVH, the sacred name of God ("Yahweh" or "Jehovah", translated "LORD" in the KJV), if you count in seven letter increments.
It appears that the Torah (TVRH) ALWAYS POINTS TOWARD THE NAME OF GOD.
Here is the overview:
This may just be another hint that there is MUCH MORE HIDDEN in the structure of the text itself than we have ever dreamed. Clearly, there is much more to this than first meets the eye of the casual observer.
The Interval of 50:
The use of seven with the name of God shouldn't surprise us, with Sabbaths of days, weeks, months, and years, and the many other heptadic structures throughout the Bible. But why the intervals of 50?
The number 50 has several important meanings in Judaism. Every fiftieth year is a jubilee year; the Torah was given 50 days after the Exodus from Egypt
This and many other patterns can be found in the Hebrew text depending on the message of the text:
The word A B Ra Ha M was found in a 50 letter interval around GENESIS 1:28
"be fruitful and multiply". Coincidence?
Remarkably, the computer demonstrated that the word YiShRAeL (Israel) is spelled out twice, at intervals of 7 and 50 in GENESIS 1:30 to 2:3.
The significance of this finding is that:
These are exactly the four verses that constitute the "kiddush" which the Jews recite over a cup of wine every Friday night to sanctify the Sabbath. This is astounding because 7 and 50 are the only numbers related to Shabbat. Seven stands for both the Seventh Day of Creation and the seventh year when the land rests. After seven cycles the land rests also on the fiftieth year, the jubilee year. Is this merely coincidence?
Which Text Did They Use For The Computing?
It is likely that the skeptic will argue that chance is sufficient to produce the patterns we have seen. However, it turns out that when a computer examines a Torah text with only slight variation, statistically significant coded patterns are absent.
The Torah in the "official" Massoretic text (used by the researchers) contains exactly 304,805 letters.
The Samaritans, who exist to this day, possess a text of the Torah, called the Samaritan Pentateuch, which varies in several hundred points (specific letters) from the Massoretic text. In the seventh century B.C., the ten northern tribes of Israel were exiled. In their place gentiles from various nations were brought into Israel. The Samaritans are thought to be the descendants of those people. Although influenced by Judaism, they were not considered to be part of the Jewish nation. When computers were put to work on the Samaritan Torah, researchers FAILED TO FIND any significant words in code beyond what was expected to occur statistically by chance.
When the nation of Israel was reborn in 1948, a group of Jews from Yemen returned to Israel with their own Torah scrolls. Although these Jews had been isolated from mainstream Judaism since the destruction of the Temple in 586 B.C., their text varied from the Massoretic text by only nine letters! Yet, when it was examined by researchers, it too FAILED to yield the many equidistant "Torah Codes" when the text in question contained even ONE LETTER DIFFERENCE!
Interestingly enough, the researchers used the so-called KOREN edition of the Massoretic text, which is the text used also for the TEXTUS RECEPTUS of the KJV. It appears that the commonly advocated BEN ASHER text, which is based on the Leningrad manuscript, differs in about 22 letters throughout the first 5 books of the BIBLE.
Could An Overzealous Author Have Put it in?
Finally, to those who would argue that these codes were placed there by rabbis with a lot of time on their hands, we must point out that until the advent of computers the statistical rarity of these design features was not appreciated. With the advent of super computers it has been shown that the frequency of these coded sequences is way beyond the expected random-chance occurrence of such letter sequences. Did Moses and the ancient rabbis put these codes in the Torah to impress future generations of computer users? THE NATURE OF THE TEXT AND ITS CONTENT MAKES THIS HIGHLY UNLIKELY.
What do we think about it? With all the controversy about "prophecy" and ideas circulating about hidden information in the "Bible code", we at the CAI would rather ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION. Our main aim is to look into the DIRECT MEANING of the scriptures, rather than looking for hidden messages that may or may not exist. The case we have recited above is another interesting feature that COULD point to divine inspiration.
The Quantitative Structure Analysis Of The Scriptural Texts
Could a numerical pattern of, let’s say, 7 already be woven into the structure of the original text?
Could it be that people like Panin have simply rediscovered a numerical pattern, which was originally PUT INTO THE SCRIPTURE BY ITS AUTHOR(S)? A fairly new publication by a certain Prof. Labuschagne "NUMERICAL SECRETS of the BIBLE" supports this view.
Biblical writings can be viewed as "numerical compositions". This means they have been designed with regard to the number of words and letters to be contained in the text. The number of words used is not a product of chance, but was intentionally chosen by the author. So the text is structured in a quantitative way, by numbers, not only in a qualitative way, e.g. by sequentially ordered subjects.
There are clear examples of numerical compositions in the Old Testament: for example the alphabetical poems, like PSALM 119. Labuschagne calls attention to the well-known usage of the 22 Hebrew letters as a structuring device, but also to an unexpected interpretation of the verse divider "atnach" as a numerical divider for a complete psalm.
The Book of Lamentations seems to be a good example of numerical studies. Labuschagne found a couple of obvious, as well as some more or less 'hidden', quantitative structures: A symmetrical distribution of verses, lines, and words - most of them with some connection to the number 22.
A sevenfold structure can also be found. It is to be understood as symmetry in the sense that there are text-sections which have identical lengths if counted in verses. In Lamentations chapter 5 even alphabetic acrostics are found.
Labuschagne mentions many intriguing factors in his book like:
- The ELEVEN Divine Monologues in the Pentateuch
- The ELEVEN Toledoth (=
"these are the generations of …") formulas in Genesis
- The role of 7 in the lifespans of the patriarchs. For example,
"And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died"(GENESIS 5:31).
- Significant Numbers in the Divine Speeches in Genesis
- Conspicuous Numbers in the Divine Speeches in Deuteronomy
- The Symbolic Meaning of 17 and 26
- The Divine Name YHVH Interwoven in the Fabric of the Text
- The Divine Name Numbers Signifying God's Presence
- 17 & 26 in the Lifespans of the Patriarchs and in the Genealogies
- The Watermark of the Name of God as the Hallmark of Holy Scripture
- How Numerical Structures Support the Message of a Text
- and so on …
All Bible readers know that numbers like 7 often occur explicitly in many books of the Bible: From the seven day week of creation, to its extensive use in the Book of Revelation. In addition to this, there are several examples where there are seven items drawn up WITHOUT explicit mention of the number seven.
And this is the important fact: The text itself has been STRUCTURED by a number. It can already be seen in a good translation of the Bible, so you don't need to read Hebrew or Greek.
Just to give two examples from the New Testament:
"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure (1)
, then peaceable (2)
, gentle (3)
, and easy to be intreated (4),
full of mercy and good fruits (5)
, without partiality (6)
, and without hypocrisy (7)
" (JAMES 3:17).
"… Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power (1)
, and riches (2)
, and wisdom (3)
, and strength (3)
, and honour (4)
, and glory (6)
, and blessing (7)
" (REVELATION 5:12).
There is a wealth of information available on the quantitative structure of the Bible and several studies have been done by independent authors. We certainly haven’t seen the last of this subject!