Bible code grids explained

In order to fully understand and appreciate the mystery of ELS Bible codes, one must possess a working knowledge of Bible code grids. This article is intended to function as a reference page which explains this concept as clearly and concisely as possible. My hope is that having an article on this topic that I can link to in future posts will eliminate a lot of unnecessary redundancy in my future articulations on this topic. So without any further a-due, let’s dive in.

What are ELS Bible codes?

Before we explain what Bible code grids are, perhaps we should back up for a moment and make sure that we’re clear about what ELS Bible codes are. For those of you who may not be familiar with the phenomenon (and haven’t read any of my other articles I have written on this topic), ELS is an acronym that stands for equidistant letter sequencing. In a nutshell, the basic idea of ELS Bible codes is that there are hidden messages encrypted in the original Hebrew text of the Bible at equidistant letter sequences which are topically relevant to the biblical passages in which they are found.1 In order to demonstrate, let us consider an example. Behold:

Screenshot of a two-column table documenting a single-verse Bible code in Psalm 69:30. In the right-hand column the Hebrew text of the verse is shown with the letters comprising the encoded phrase (ashir lo, meaning: "I will sing to him") highlighted in green. In the left-handed column the English translation of the verse is supplied, with the line this particularly relevant to the ELS code ("I will sing to him") highlighted in yellow. In the merged row below this, the encoded text-string (aleph, shin, yod, rosh, lamed, vav) is written out, with an added space inserted between the rosh and the lamed to separate the two words in the string. The English translation of the encoded Hebrew statement is charted just beneath the encoded Hebrew phrase--ashir lo, meaning: "I will sing to him".
The Hebrew phrase אשיר לא (ashir lo (“I will sing to him“)) is encrypted at an ELS of every 5 letters in Psalm 69:30.

As the table above reveals, if you begin at the first letter of Psalm 69:30 (Psalm 69:31 in Christian Bibles), and keep skipping every five letters until you reach the end of the verse, you’ll find that every 5th letter spells out אשיר לו, which translates to English as: “I will sing to him.” Obviously, given that the encoded statement in this example is topically relevant to the verse in which it is found, it is extremely difficult to write off as a mere coincidental occurrence. This is the basic idea of ELS Bible codes in a nutshell.

What are Bible code grids?

Now that we are clear about what ELS Bible codes are, we can now move on to the topic of grids. The first question we want to ask is “what are grids?” Simply put, what we refer to as “the grid” in the context of ELS Bible codes refers to the raw format in which Bible codes are displayed by the computer, that is–a grid of Hebrew biblical text divided into rows without spacing or punctuation–not much unlike a word-search puzzle.2 To view a Bible code in grid view is to view it in its natural state.

How Bible code grids are generated

To understand how grids work, one should first understand how Bible codes are discovered by the computer. In order to find encoded messages in the Bible, one must use a computer software program which is designed to conduct equidistant letter skip searches on the Hebrew text of the Tanakh. To make this possible, the software takes the entire text of the Tanakh and removes all spacing and punctuation, so that the entire biblical text from Genesis to Chronicles becomes one long continuous string of Hebrew letters in the eyes of the computer. The reason this step is necessary is that the Bible code does not count punctuation or spacing, but only letters.

To search the Bible code for a specific word or phrase, the code researcher first specifies the range of potential letter skip sequences that he wants the software to search. So for example, setting the ELS range between 1 and 500 tells the software to search for the encryption of the specified string at every possible letter skip sequence between 1 and 500. This means the software restricts the search so that it does not look for the encrypted word at any letter skip sequence greater than 500.3

Once an ELS range has been specified by the user, he or she then inputs into the search box whatever Hebrew word or phrase that they want the software to look for. Because codes of this nature count only letter skips (not punctuation and spacing), the user must input whatever content they want the computer to search for as one continuous string, irrespective of how many words it may contain. So for example, if I wanted to search for the encryption of the name ישוע מנצרת (Jesus of Nazareth), I would tell the computer to look for the string: ‘ישועמנצרת’. The software then starts at the first letter of the Bible, and looks to see if the specified string is encoded at all letter skip sequences within the specified range (beginning at that letter). It then repeats this process starting from the second letter of the Bible, then the third, fourth, and so on and so forth.4

If and when the Bible code software positively identifies an encryption of a string specified by the user anywhere in the Hebrew Tanakh within the specified ELS range, it goes to that place in the text and puts the text onto a grid consisting of x number of letters, where x equals the precise number of letter skips at which the encoded string is found. So for example, if the computer finds the specified string encoded at a letter-skip of 50 letters, the computer displays the portion of the biblical narrative containing the encoded word in a grid consisting of 50-letter rows. This is what is known as the default matrix width.5 Thus, a Bible code grid with rows of 50 letters as in this hypothetical example would be said to have a default matrix width of 50. A consequence of organizing the text in this way is that it causes the encoded string to appear within the grid in a vertical line.6

Before we look at any examples of Bible code grids, it is worth noting that Bible codes can manifest in a number of different ways. One of the most common flavors of Bible code is when you have a primary encoded word or statement which either intersects with or occurs in very close proximity to what I refer to as lines of topical correspondence within the grid that is generated by the computer, and the two combine to reveal a unified cryptic message.7. Another kind of Bible code is when you have multiple related words or phrases all encoded at different equidistant letter sequences, all occurring in close proximity to one another in a grid containing topically relevant plain text. Codes of this latter sort are known as a code matrix.8 In this article, we are only going to look at examples of the first type.

An example of how Bible code grids function

To demonstrate all that I have just explained with regard to Bible code grids, let us consider a simple example. A search for the string ישוימות (ישו ימות, meaning: “Jesus will die“) reveals that this seven-letter string is found encoded in Psalm 49:12-16 at an ELS of every 26 letters. Because it is found at an ELS of 26 letters, the computer puts the text of the surrounding passage into a grid with a matrix width of 26 (26-letter rows). This causes the encoded string to appear within the grid in a vertical line, as revealed in the following screenshot:

Screenshot of a simple Bible code in Psalm 49, as it appears in its original grid form. The table displays the Hebrew text of Psalm 49:8-20 divided into rows of 26 letters with no punctuation or spacing. The encoded Hebrew phrase (yeshu y'mut, meaning: "Jesus will die") can be seen running vertically up the grid slightly left of center, where it crosses with the line of topical correspondence at row 11 to form a unified cryptic prophecy concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Hebrew statement ישו ימות (“Jesus will die”) is encrypted in Psalm 49:12-16 at an ELS of every 26 letters backwards.

Note that I have highlighted the encoded statement in red, while I have highlighted the line of topical correspondence blue. As can be seen, when the Hebrew text of this beloved psalm of David is displayed on the grid, the encoded phrase “Jesus will die” is displayed in a vertical line. The authenticity of the encryption is evidenced by the topically relevant line of plain text with which it intersects. By divine providence, these two statements collide within the grid to become one unified cryptic prophecy in which the spirit of prophecy (Jesus) foretells his own death and resurrection thousands of years before it happened (John 13:19; 14:29; cf. Isa. 42:9; 43:12; 45:21; 46:9-10). Viewed on the grid, it is as if the line of topical correspondence suddenly becomes the voice of Jesus, who is responding to the encoded statement which says that he will die.

Simple Bible codes vs. Complex Bible codes

The above example is what I refer to as a simple Bible code (aka short-distance Bible code), which I define as an ELS Bible code that is encoded at an equidistant letter skip sequence of 150 letters or less. The simplistic nature of such codes is rooted in the fact that the small skip sequence in which they are encoded results in a text grid which contains only a single localized biblical passage. The reason for this should be self-evident, that is–the smaller the letter skip at which the encoded string is found, the smaller the containing passage.

Note that Bible code grids can get a lot more complex and mind boggling when you’re dealing with codes encrypted at exceedingly long skip sequences (every 125,000 letters, for example). The reason for this is that codes with extremely large letter skip sequences inevitably end up spanning across multiple books of the canon. This means that every line of the grid in such cases potentially constitutes a line of text from a different book of the Bible. I refer to codes of this nature as complex Bible codes, or long-distance Bible codes.

Because of their inter-canonical nature, complex Bible codes are in my view a far superior witness to the divine authorship and authenticity of the Hebrew Scriptures than simple Bible codes–given that no one but God himself could have possibly been responsible for such codes.9

Complex Bible code example

To the end that we might more clearly demonstrate how complex Bible codes can reveal the under-girding logic and complexity of Bible code grids, it is befitting that we look at an example of an ELS Bible code of this nature. The screenshot below is the grid of a complex Bible code that I discovered a couple of weeks ago. Behold:

Screenshot of a complex Bible code, as it appears in its original grid form. The table displays an obviously condensed version of the code grid, which (due to the exceedingly large ELS at which the encoded statement is found) begins in the first book of the Bible and ends in the last. Altogether the grid contains 9 rows of Hebrew text, all of which constitute a line from a different book of the Hebrew Bible. The encoded Hebrew phrase (bidmut Yeshua), meaning: "in the likeness of Jesus") traverses the entire expanse of the grid, and can be seen running vertically up the grid at the fourth letter position (relative to where each row begins on the grid), where it appears in close proximity to the line of topical correspondence ("I have made the earth, and created man upon it", Isaiah 45:12), which begins at letter 33 on row 5.
The Hebrew phrase בדמות ישו (“In the likeness of Jesus”) is encrypted at an ELS of every 142,695 letters backwards, beginning in Genesis 35:5 and ending in 2 Chronicles 34:22.

Here we have a complex Bible code in which the encoded phrase is found at an equidistant letter skip sequence of every 142,695 letters backwards in the Westminster Leningrad Codex.10 This letter skip sequence is so extraordinarily large that the entire encoded phrase spans across the entire expanse of the Tanakh, with its first letter being found in the first book of the canon (Genesis), and its last letter being found in the last book (2 Chronicles).11 In order to maximize the clarity and help you to better conceptualize the logic under-girding the grid, I have constructed the following table which identifies each individual verse that every encoded letter of the string is found in:

Letter Verse
ע Genesis 35:5
ו Numbers 4:19
ש Joshua 21:5
י 1 Kings 1:35
ת Isaiah 45:11
ו Ezekiel 26:12
מ Psalm 90:4
ד Daniel 7:10
ב 2 Chronicles 34:22
Because it is encoded at such an exceedingly large letter skip sequence, all nine letters of the encoded phrase are all found in a different book of the Tanakh.

As previously stated, the length of every row of letters in any given grid is going to be equivalent to the number of letter skips at which the encoded phrase is found. Obviously, there’s only so many letters I can fit in a grid small enough to screenshot, and there is not a computer screen in the world large enough to capture the total number of letters in a code with an ELS this large. Nevertheless, note that each line in the above grid represents a line of biblical narrative 142,695 letters long. What this means is that, counting 142,695 letters from the ayin in the word ויסעו in Genesis 35:5 (the first letter of the encoded phrase), brings you to the vav in the word עבדתו in Numbers 4:19 (the second letter of the encoded phrase). Likewise, counting 142,695 letters from that letter brings you to the shin in the word עשר in verse Joshua 21:5 (the third letter of the encoded phrase), and so on and so forth. In other words, repeatedly skipping every 142,695 letters, beginning from that first ayin in Genesis 35:5 until you get to the end of the Tanakh–spells out בדמות ישוע (bidmut yeshua (“in the likeness of Jesus”)).

When a code is authentic (occurs by divine design), the grid will always contain an obvious line of topical correspondence in close proximity to the encoded string. As indicated in the above figure by the blue highlighting, the line of topical correspondence in this particular example is found in Isaiah 45:12: “I have made the earth, and created man upon it.” The fact that our encoded phrase occurs in such close proximity to this plain text statement in the grid makes it obvious that the encryption of the encoded phrase is no coincidence. The encoded phrase combines with this statement in Isaiah by divine providence to form one unified cryptic message. In this particular example, it is as if the encoded phrase is intended to function as a comment which is intended to be appended to the line of topical correspondence, thus: “I have made the earth, and created man upon it–in the image of Jesus.” Obviously, the logic of this statement is founded on the testimony of Genesis which says that God created man in the image of God (Gen. 5:1; cf. Gen. 1:26-27). The implication of the code is thus self-evident, namely–Jesus is God.


In this article we have introduced and covered the very important topic of Bible code grids. We surveyed how Bible code software works and learned how Bible code searches are carried out. From there we covered the logic under-girding Bible code grids, and learned how grids are generated by the software when a positive encryption of a specified word or phrase is found. We then completed our lesson by looking at two sample Bible code grids–one simple and one complex. Now that you understand how Bible code grids work and how they are generated, you should be better equipped to understand what is going on when presented with a Bible code in its original grid format.

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  1. I should emphasize that this is somewhat of an oversimplified definition as there’s more to it than that, but that essentially encapsulates the general idea at the most basic level.
  2. As a matter of fact, that is essentially exactly what the Bible code is. The entire Hebrew Bible can be likened unto one gigantic, divinely constructed, prophetic word-search puzzle.
  3. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to specifying the size of the ELS search range, and the size one chooses is ultimately going to be dependent on the individual preferences and research style of the code researcher.
  4. Although it sounds like such a process would take an eternity, modern computers are so powerful that it actually only takes a few seconds to search the entire Bible in this way.
  5. ‘Default’ because it is the default width of the grid generated by the software.
  6. Of course, the grid’s matrix width can be manually adjusted by the user. If we were to adjust the default matrix width of this hypothetical example to a matrix width of 49 (rows of 49 letters), then the encoded phrase which is encoded at 50 letters would then appear within the grid diagonally instead of in a vertical line.
  7. Simply defined, a line of topical correspondence is a line of plain text within the grid which is directly related in some way to the encoded string
  8. The Psalm 22 Bible code matrix is a fine example of one such code matrix.
  9. It is simply impossible that any mortal man or group of men could have conspired to place codes of this nature into the Hebrew Bible–given that doing so would require them to have a perfect knowledge of the precise textual contents of every book in the canon, the precise order in which those books would one day appear within the canon, and the orthographic variation that exists in modern printed editions of the Hebrew Scriptures and the individual manuscripts which underlie them.
  10. Due to the orthographic diversity of the manuscripts underlying the Masoretic text, Complex Bible codes are always exclusive to the particular manuscript or edition of the Bible in which they are found. This presence of such codes in every major manuscript and printed edition of the Hebrew Bible bears witness to the fact that not only is the Hebrew Bible divinely inspired, but each individual manuscript and printed edition of the Hebrew Bible is uniquely divinely inspired.
  11. Bible code software searches the Tanakh, that is–the Jewish canon of the Hebrew Bible, rather than the Christian Old Testament. The books and Hebrew text of both canons are the same, albeit in the Tanakh the books appear in a different order than in the Christian OT. In the Tanakh, 2 Chronicles (as opposed to Malachi) is the last book of the canon.

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