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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Biblical numerology refers to the interpretation of numerical values used in the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament where we believe that the numbers apart from indicating the normal numbers also imply quality or attributes of the value.  This type of approach had been used and studied almost as ealy as writings of Bible itself. This book is my attempt to collect these semiotics and illustrate them from the Bible itself.   According to the theory, these numbers were purposely inserted by their authors to emphasize a particular message. These simply becomes a symbol so that the very mention of the number will ignite memories and connections to enhance the concepts and relationships. It is this aspect I have in mind when I entitled this books as the Symbology of Biblical Numbers.  I do not go into the gematria and numerolgy and encoding of secrets in the Bible.  This is a more wider field. Numerical symbology is most abundantly found in Ezekiel, Daniel and Revelation.

There is a whole secular area of numerology  which is directed to prophetic interpretations etc., akin to palmistry and astrology

  

Bible, is an absolute mine of numbers and their symbolic representations. The numbers in the bible are present in a definite pattern and reveal different meanings associated to them. These numbers signify various religious incidents that took place in history and the teachings by Jesus Christ. The meanings of these numbers and their symbolic representation slightly vary in the Old and new testaments but both reveal the depth and concealed concepts of these numbers to the readers. It is mentioned in the scriptures that the universe is formed by three expressions, namely, numbers, letters and the words, and the whole circle of life revolves around them. The study of the vibrations of these numbers is the study of tat divine creative energies in different levels of manifestations. There is a description of deep meanings related to the person and places in the Bible and the study of these numbers lead to a better understanding about the scripture. The study of numbers and their numeric symbolization in the bible is known as Bible numerology.

 

Hebrew Numbers

Hebrew and Greek languages did not develop a notation for number system as we have it today.  Instead they used their alphabet itself to denote numbers.  Every alphabet is thus given a number.  As such it is simply a word which when adding up the sum of all represent the whole number.  As such when it form part of a text it will not make any difference unless we recognize them as a number.  Thus every word is a number and every number can have different words depending on how the adding numbers are placed in the word  in its ultimate sense.  This is what developed the numerology within Hebrew culture. Thus any Hebrew book can be thought of as a series of numbers placed in such a way as to make sense. In other words we can say the whole book is encoded.


Even though Hebrew letter system has evolved, the mode of numerical counting in Hebrew using the Hebrew AlefBet remain the same as it was during the early Hebrew history. Today numerical counting system uses the European digits (0, 1, 2, 3...9) to represent numbers.  

 

Each letter in the Hebrew alphabet (or aleph-bet) has a numerical value.
 

This is how it is assigned.

The first 10 letters (consonants actually) have the values 1-10.
The next 9 letters are valued 20, 30, ... 100.
The remainder are valued 200, 300, and 400.
The number values for each character are shown in the table below.
There is no representation for zero (0).
This is the system used by Hillel II in the fourth century A.D.  Later, the final forms of the letters kaf, mem, nun, pe, and tzadi were used for the missing values 500, 600, 700, 800, and 900.

 

The first 9 letters have the values 1- 9

Value

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Value
x 1

א

Alef

ב

Bet

ג

Gimel

ד

Dalet

ה

He

ו

Vav

ז

Zayen

ח

Het

ט

Tet

Next 9 letters have values 10 to 90

Value
x 10

י

Y

כ

Kaf

ל

Lamed

מ

Mem

נ

Nun

ס

Samekh

ע

Ayin

פ

Pe

צ

Tzadi

Next four letters are 100, 200, 300,400

Value
x 100

ק

Qof

ר

Resh

ש

Shin

ת

Tav

 

 

 

 

 

These were used later as multiples of 100 upto 900

Value

x 100

ק

Qof

ר

Resh

ש

Shin

ת

Tav

ך

Final Kaf

ם

Final Mem

ן

Final Nun

ף

Final Pe

ץ

Final Tzadi

 

These were the original numberings:

The Hebrew script itself grew out of pictographs through the ages.  Each picture itself has a story and basic theme and interpretation.  These also come into play as association of numbers and names.


Development of the Hebrew Scripts over the ages.

 

 

Example

The number 764 in Hebrew is: תשסד.
The value is calculated as  764  =  4+60+300+400 =  
תשסד
It can be permuted in anyway. As one can see it does not matter in what order you write them they will represent the same number.

My name for example  works out as
 
. .

M. M. N N N = M.M.Ninan= 4+4+5+5+5 =23= 20+3=

Thus it allows for a lot of manipulations and hence interpretations whether permissible or intended.

 Exceptions to Hebrew Number Formation

There are exceptions. Numbers ending in 15 or 16 would be written as yud-he (10+5) and yud-vav (10+6) (YH), since  the letters "yud he vav he" (YHWH) is the name of God YH is also the name often used. Hence by convention, for the sake of sanctity they are written as tet-vav (9+6 ) טו  and tet-zayin (9+7)  טז are always used.  The number 18  yud-het, uses the same letters as the word for life het-yud יח, So it is written חי.

15

16

18

טו
9+6

Not

10+5

טז
9+7
Not

10+6

חי

8+10

 

Thousands, Millions

Thousands are represented by the same letters as the unit values, sometimes a character similar to an apostrophe is appended. The character is a punctuation mark called geresh. When geresh is not available, the single quote  is often substituted. A space often separates thousands, millions, etc. The pattern for numbers 1-999 is repeated for each thousand from 1,001- 999,999. Millions and Billions etc. are formed by extending and repeating the pattern.

1,000   א׳
1,000,000    א׳ א׳
3,001,764   ג׳ א׳ תשסד     

Numbers Mixed With Text

׳ Geresh

״ Gershayim
 

When numbers are used with text, punctuation marks are added to show that what written is a number not a word.   

 <<<<<<<<<<<<<
http://www.jewfaq.org/alephbet.htm

 

While Old Testament used Hebrew alphabet as numberals, the New Testment used Greek.  Greeks also followed a similar numerical system based on Greek alphabet in almost exact parallel to Hebrew.  Here is their number sytem.

COMPARE THE NUMBER CORRESPONDENCE
  HEBREW ALPHABET
 and GREEK ALPHABET

 

 

The Greek system of numbering letters of the alphabet, called isopsephy.  ἴσος isos meaning "equal" and ψῆφος psephos meaning "pebble") is the Greek word for the practice of adding up the number values of the letters in a word to form a single number. It is based on a similar method to Hebrew gematria. The Greek alphabet, along with the numerical equivalent, are outlined in the table. Note that two letters (digamma and koppa) have fallen into disuse. . Digamma literally means "double gamma" and is descriptive of the original letter's shape.

Digamma, later called Stigma, continued in use as a numerical symbol, as seen in the 666 of Revelation 13:18. The isopsephia values of  Ιησους (Iesous, translated as "Jesus"), and Χριστος (Christos, translated as "Christ") are also shown.

Arabic numerals used for numbers were adopted and adapted from Indian numerals in the 8th and 9th century AD.  Until then gematria methods were used in most cultures.