I have long maintained that the Holy Bible is saturated with divine watermarks which attest to its divine authorship and authenticity. In this particular analysis I want to focus exclusively on one specific type of divine watermark, namely–alphanumeric codes. In this examination I will attempt to objectively prove that the Bible is indeed saturated with alphanumeric codes which no man or group of men bound by the laws of time and space could have been responsible for.
Hebrew gematria and Greek isopsephy
The alphanumeric codes in the Bible are based on the mystical sciences of Hebrew gematria and Greek isopsephy. As applied to the Bible, both of these terms refer to an exegetical method which involves adding up the assigned numerical values of all of the Hebrew or Greek letters in a particular word, phrase, statement, or even whole verse from the Bible to get a total numerical value for that particular word, phrase, statement, or verse. The basic idea is that words, phrases, statements, or verses that have the same total gematrical value are spiritually related. It thus follows that by discerning and carefully analyzing alphanumerical equivalencies which occur in the biblical narrative, one can access an additional interpretative layer of the text in which mystical truth is communicated cryptically.
Christian stigma surrounding Gematria & Isopsephy
Both gematria and isopsephy are controversial within the body of Christ, and a lot of Christians outright oppose the practice. The stigma surrounding the mystical science is largely rooted in the fact that these methods have been used by occultists (Kabbalists) and diverse heretical groups (e.g. Gnostics) throughout history, which unfortunately (albeit understandably) has led to a lot of confusion and misconception that has caused many Christians to associate the practice with divination and steer clear of it.
It is true that heretical and occultist groups have made extensive use of gematria and isopsephy throughout the history of the Church, but this should not be surprising. Satan is the ultimate counterfeiter, and it is his nature to entice men to take things that God created to be used for his glory, and cause them to pervert them and use them for vain and evil purposes for which they were not intended. Thus to give an example, sexual intercourse was created by God to be used for the purpose of strengthening the emotions bonds of marriage between a husband and wife. Sex was created to be a gift to man, and when it is used for its intended pure and holy purpose, it glorifies God in that it reflects the ultimate expression of love and intimacy between Christ and his bride. It is only when one perverts this beautiful divine gift by using it in profane and unholy ways and purposes for which it was not intended that it constitutes an act of fornication and becomes a sin.
I use this example because the exact same principle is true of all forms of alphanumerical exegesis. The occultists and heretics who have throughout history practiced gematria and isopsephy have simply taken something holy and pure that God created for the Church to use for his glory, and have perverted it and used it for ungodly purposes for which it was not intended. When used for the holy and pure purpose for which it was intended, gematria and isopsephy both glorify God by testifying of Jesus Christ (1 John 4:2). It is only when someone walking after their flesh uses these exegetical tools in profane and ungodly ways (e.g. trying to divine the future for one’s own selfish gain) that the practice falls under the umbrella of divination and becomes a sin.
In order to help clear up the confusion and alleviate the fears surrounding gematria and isopsephy, it is helpful to understand how and why the alphanumerical systems undergirding these methods of mystical speculation arose.
Ancient alphanumerical systems
Once upon a time, long before Arabic numerals had been invented, ancient peoples like the Greeks and Hebrews who had inherited their alphabet from the Phoenicians began to devise systems of numeral representation which utilized the letters of their alphabets to represent numbers in writing. Note that these systems were not devised for the purpose of encoding texts with secret codes, or for mystical speculation. Ancient societies regularly dealt with numbers in every day life just as we do today, and they accordingly had to devise some sort of standardized system for representing numbers in writing for the practical demands of every day life–bookkeeping, taxes, buying and selling, math books, and so on and so forth. Every society must have some kind of standardized system for representing numbers in writing for all of these things, and the ancient alphanumerical systems upon which the alphanumeric codes in the Bible are based were developed to address these practical societal needs.
The earliest surviving artifact that clearly uses the Greek alphanumeric system to represent numbers in writing is a document that dates to 311-310 BC. This is about 250 years older than the oldest artifact that clearly utilizes the Hebrew alphanumeric system–a coin that dates to 78 BC. Based on this, it is widely believed that the Greeks were the first to develop their alphanumeric system, and many scholars believe that the Hebrews took their inspiration from the Greeks in devising theirs a few hundred years later.1 I have created the following timeline so that one might better visualize where on the historical timeline these developments occurred in relation to biblical and historical events:
One very interesting factoid that the above data forces us to acknowledge is that the Hebrews devised their alphanumerical system hundreds of years after all of the books of the Old Testament had already been written. The significance of that is that it completely rules out the possibility that the OT writers could have themselves been responsible for any alphanumeric codes found in the text of their biblical books, since the alphanumeric system on which the codes are based did not even exist at the time that they were writing.
The Greek alphanumerical system
The ancient Greek alphanumeric system was devised long before the Hebrew one was, and for that reason we deal with it first. The table below charts all twenty four letters of the ionic Greek alphabet, alongside their assigned numeric values:
The more astute observer will likely have noticed that there are no letters in the Greek alphanumeric system to represent the numbers 6 or 90. This was not always the case. The original Greek alphabet contained three additional letters not charted in the figure above, which were later discarded by the ancient Greeks (who apparently decided that they had no use for them). Two of these were the letters digamma (which was positioned between epsilon and zeta), and the letter sampi (positioned between pi and rho). As one might imagine, when the Greek alphanumeric system was originally devised, the letter digamma represented the number 6, and the letter sampi represented the number 90.2 When these two letters were later dropped from the Greek alphabet, the Greeks did not bother to adjust the assigned numeric values of their alphanumeric system accordingly to make them more orderly and logical.
As previously stated, the Greek alphanumeric system predates the Hebrew one–albeit by exactly how much is anyone’s guess. The oldest surviving artifact which contains a clear and objective use of the ancient Greek alphanumeric system is a papyrus that dates to 311-310 BC.3 Based on this we can safely conclude that the Greek system had been devised by this time. It is not hard to imagine that the system had already been around for sometime before that, and was perhaps mainstreamed and popularized by Alexander the Great, who sought to unify his empire through the spread of Greek culture and customs.
The Hebrew alphanumerical system
The Hebrew alphanumeric system was developed after the Greek one, and it is widely believed that the Jews took their inspiration from the Greeks (whose customs and culture dominated the world in which they lived after Alexander the Great conquered the Holy Land in 331 BC) when they devised their system.4 The Hebrew system follows the exact same pattern and logic as the Greek one, albeit without random deviations due to discarded letters. The first ten letters represent numbers 1-10; the next nine letters represent values 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100; and the remaining three letters represent the values 200, 300, and 400:
God utilized these ancient alphanumerical systems to plant alphanumeric codes in the Bible.
Thus far we have learned that the Greek and Hebrew alphanumeric systems were each devised at different times during the intertestamental period. As previously mentioned, these systems arose out of the collective societal need for a standardized system of representing numbers in writing, and they were thus devised to be used to meet the every day practical needs that come with living in a civilized society. The key point I want to emphasize here is that these alphanumeric systems were not in any way shape or form consciously devised for the purposes of encrypting texts with coded messages, or for the purposes of mystical speculation. Ironically, just as it is believed that the Jews took their inspiration from the Greeks in devising the Hebrew alphanumerical system, so too many scholars contend that the Greeks borrowed the idea of using their alphanumeric system for the purposes of mystical speculation and textual exegesis from the Jews in late antiquity.5
Although the Hebrew and Greek alphanumeric systems were devised strictly for practical purposes, God in his perfect foreknowledge and infinite understanding (Job 36:4; 37:16; Ps. 147:5) utilized these alphanumeric systems while the biblical books were being written, in order to deliberately plant alphanumeric codes in the Bible. There are a couple of different reasons that he did this. One reason was for the purpose of establishing and strengthening spiritual relationships between related biblical constructs and biblical passages. So to give a very basic example to illustrate, the Hebrew phrase that translates in the English Bible as “word of the LORD” is based on the Hebrew construct דבר־יהוה (“davar-yhwh”), which is alphanumerically equivalent with the first words that God speaks in the Bible, namely יהי אור (“yehi-or”), which translates into English as “Let there be light.” Both of these phrases carry a total gematrical value of 232 when all of their containing Hebrew letters are summed. By making these two Hebrew phrases alphanumerically equivalent, God is establishing that there exists within the Logos a spiritual relation between the word of the LORD as a biblical construct, and the first words that he spoke at the very beginning of the Creation (Gen. 1:3):
This spiritual relation is fairly self-evident, as the word of the LORD is attested by multiple biblical writers to have been the very first of the works of God–having existed from the very beginning (John 1:1; Rev. 3:14; 1 John 2:14; Prov. 8:23). What is more, it is frequently symbolized in the Bible by a candlestick (Zech. 4:2; 4:6). What God is trying to infer from this alphanumerical equivalency is that “the word of the LORD” is one and the same with the light that was spoken into existence on day 1 of Creation. This claim lines up with the entire collective body of Scripture (John 1:1-4; 1 John 1:1; Prov. 8:23).
We refer to this practice of extracting mystical meaning from alphanumerically equivalencies between biblical constructs, statements, or verses as Gematria when analyzing Hebrew text (Old Testament), and Isopsephy when analyzing Greek text (New Testament).
Examples of Alphanumeric codes in the Bible
Alphanumeric codes in the Bible come in many different shapes and sizes. They can manifest as alphanumerically equivalent words, phrases, and even entire verses. As God’s creativity knows no bounds, there really is no limit to the types of alphanumeric codes that we see manifest in the Bible. To help paint a holistic picture, I will attempt in the space that follows to give detailed examples of each type, beginning with the most simple.
Single-word alphanumeric equivalencies
The most basic type of alphanumeric codes in the Bible are single-word alphanumeric equivalencies. Because they contain so few letters, alphanumeric equivalencies occurring between single words are far more likely than multiple word alphanumerical equivalencies and alphanumerically equivalent whole verses to be the result of random chance, in which cases the alphanumeric equivalency is spiritually meaningless. For this reason one should always exercise extreme caution when attempting to extract mystical meaning from a set of two or more words based on the mere fact that they are alphanumerically equivalent. Nevertheless, in many cases the spiritual connection between the two will be obvious to all who are biblically literate, or to those who have the gift of understanding.
The following is a very basic example of a deliberate alphanumerical equivalency occurring between a pair of single words, which is intended to infer of an existing spiritual relation between two otherwise seemingly unrelated biblical constructs:
As can be seen, the name “Joseph” as it is spelled in Hebrew carries a total gematrical value of 156 when all of its containing Hebrew letters are summed. The very same is true for the word “Zion” in Hebrew. What might be the relation between these two seemingly unrelated biblical constructs?
Let us begin by asking ourselves: “what is Zion?” Simply put, it is the name of a hill in Jerusalem that God has chosen to be his permanent divine residence (Ps. 132:13). Note that in the Bible, anything that God “chooses” is always hated by the world (John 15:19; 1 Cor. 1:28). It thus follows that because Zion is God’s chosen dwelling place, Zion is hated by the world (Mic. 4:11; Ps. 129:5). Put another way, Zion is the place that God has chosen out of all of the tribes of Israel to “put his name there,” (Deut. 12:5; 12:21; 26:2; 1 Kings 11:36; 14:21; 2 Chron. 12:13; Ezra 6:12), and Zion is accordingly hated “for his name sake” (Isa. 66:5; cf. Matt. 24:9; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:17).
Like Zion, Joseph was from birth chosen by God. Out of all of his brothers, it was he who was chosen to be the deliverer of Israel and the entire world (Gen 45:4-13; 50:20). He was also divinely chosen out of all his brothers to be the one who would inherit the birthright promises (1 Chron. 5:2). Because he was divinely chosen, he was hated by his ten brothers (Gen. 37:4-11), who on a prophetic level in the Genesis narrative symbolize all the nations of the world.
The spiritual relation between Joseph and Zion is very clear. Both were chosen by God, and as such–both were/are hated by the world.
Alphanumerically equivalent phrases and word clusters
It is not uncommon for alphanumeric codes in the Bible to manifest as sets of multiple words which together form one complete thought or construct. Because more words typically means more letters, this type of alphanumerical equivalency is generally more complex than those of the single word variety, and equivalencies of this type are therefore more likely to be deliberate and thus spiritually meaningful.
The following is a fine example of a spiritually meaningful alphanumerical equivalency between two topically related lines of text which both consist of multiple words:
As can be seen, the phrase “seal the Law among my disciples” in Isaiah 8:16, carries a total gematrical value of precisely 1,151 when the numerical values of all of its containing Hebrew letters are summed. This just so happens to be the exact same total gematrical value of the phrase: “Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel” when the numerical values of all of its containing Hebrew letters are summed. Might this have been deliberately done by God to establish or affirm some kind of spiritual relationship? Indeed. In order to understand the relationship between these, we must first understand what a signet was, and what it meant to “seal” a document in antiquity.
In ancient times, every king owned a signet ring. A signet ring was a ring with a custom engraved emblem (known as a seal) on the front of it, which functioned as a mark of identity and a symbol of the ring owner’s authority. Any time the king would issue any kind of legislation or written correspondence, he would roll up the document, pour molten wax or clay on the top of it, and press the top part of his signet containing his seal into the molten wax or clay. Once the wax or clay cooled, it would harden–creating a hardened impression of the king’s seal. The king’s seal certified that the king was the author and issuer of the legislation or writing, and thus established that all laws contained therein were absolutely binding upon all subjects residing within his dominion.The signet ring, in other words, functioned as ancient man’s handwritten signature.6
Aside from functioning as a mark of identity and a symbol of personal authority, there were additional benefits to sealing written documents in old time. Once a document was sealed, it could not be opened and read without breaking the seal. Thus, sealing a piece of written correspondence was a means by which one could ensure that it was kept confidential. But even more than that, it was a way by which one could be certain that the text of a written document had not been tampered with or altered by a third party at any point during the process of transmission.
It is this latter function which enables us to fully understand the LORD’s commandment through the mouth of Isaiah in Isa. 8:16 to bind up the testimony and seal the law among his disciples. What he is inferring is that the Law (the Written Word of God) was to be rolled up and sealed with the LORD’s own signet, so that after all of the prophecies contained therein had been fulfilled in years to come–one could break the seal and open it and read and see for themselves that these were the true words of God.
Now you ask, how might the Hebrew phrase “seal the law among my disciples” in Isa. 8:16 be related to the numerically equivalent phrase “Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel” of Hag. 2:23? The answer to this question is revealed in the very verse from whence this cluster of words was taken:
In Hag. 2:23, the LORD through the mouth of the prophet Haggai declares to Zerubbabel that he will make him like a signet (seal).
In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts. (Haggai 2:23)
As we can see, Haggai 2:23 is a prophecy addressed to Zerubbabel, in which the LORD declares that he will make him like his own signet, or seal.7 Thus it as if the numerically equivalent phrase “seal the law among my disciples” in Isaiah 8:16 functions on one level as a divinely encoded alphanumeric cryptographic allusion to the numerically equivalent phrase “Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel” of Hag. 2:23–as Zerubbabel was to become God’s signet (the ring which he would use to seal his Law). Because these two sets of words are so obviously topically related, we can be certain that the alphanumeric equivalency was done deliberately by an intelligent hand.
Alphanumerically equivalent whole verses
The most complex and most astounding type of alphanumeric code we find in the Bible are alphanumerically equivalent whole verses. The entire Bible is saturated with alphanumerically equivalent verses whose textual content is obviously topically related. One of the reasons that this is so astounding is that the modern system of verse divisions wasn’t added to the Bible until the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. This is important for two reasons. First, it proves that no man or group of men could have consciously and deliberately planted the alphanumeric codes in the Bible—since all of the biblical books were written at least 1,000 years before the verse divisions were added to the Bible. Second, it proves that the modern system of verse divisions is just as divinely inspired as the actual text of the biblical books. We will return to this latter point shortly.
Below is an example of two alphanumerically equivalent verses whose textual content is so obviously related that it is impossible to not have been deliberate:
Here we have an alphanumerical equivalency occurring between two specific verses in the Greek New Testament. The topical relation between these two verses is so obvious that it should need no explanation. Both passages speak of God raising someone from the dead. John 11:43 is recounting Jesus’ resurrecting Lazarus from the dead, while Hebrews 11:19 is speaking with reference to Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac–an evident token of the greatness of his faith.8 Given such obvious topical relation, it is undeniable that the alphanumeric equivalency between these two verses was done deliberately by an intelligent hand.
Alphanumeric codes between whole verses rely upon a system of verse divisions not devised until the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
As previously mentioned, the system of verse divisions found in modern Bibles today was not devised and added to the Bible until the fifteenth and sixteen centuries. The significance of this is that it completely rules out the possibility that the alphanumeric codes in the Bible involving whole verses (like the one we just looked at) could have been consciously and deliberately created by the biblical writers. I have constructed an extremely compressed timeline of events which should help one to better conceptualize this very important fact:
The fact that the modern system of verse divisions weren’t added to the Bible until well over 1,000 years since the last book of the Bible was written, proves that whoever is responsible for the alphanumeric codes in the Bible is someone with perfect knowledge and foresight who is not bound by the laws of time and space.
Mixed-type alphanumerical equivalencies
It should be noted that many of the divinely planted alphanumerical codes in the Bible do not always fit perfectly into these convenient little categories presented thus far. It is very common to find deliberately planted spiritually meaningful alphanumeric equivalencies occurring between text strings of different lengths. I refer to alphanumerical equivalencies of this variety as mixed-type equivalencies.
The table below documents a very basic example of a mixed-type alphanumeric code:
The above table reveals an alphanumeric equivalency occurring between a single word and a multi-worded biblical statement, thus making it a mixed-type alphanumeric equivalency. The spiritual relation between these two alphanumerically equivalent pieces of Hebrew Scripture should be fairly self-evident. Obviously, the statement: “And God called the light Day” speaks of God’s naming the light that he spoke into existence at the very beginning of Creation. The candlestick (lit. “menorat” in Hebrew) of the Zechariah 4 vision is the same candlestick that Moses made for the tabernacle. As I have explained at length in another post, its seven branches on one level symbolize the seven days of Creation. As a whole, the golden candlestick is a symbol of the Word of God (Zech. 4:6), which was the light that God commanded to shine out of the darkness on day 1 of Creation (2 Cor. 4:6). The purpose of the alphanumeric equivalency here is to simply to further affirm and reinforce this existing spiritual relation between the light created on Day 1, and the golden candlestick that appears in the vision of Zechariah 4.
Alphanumeric code matrices
Note that all of the examples of alphanumeric codes in the Bible that we have looked at thus far in this analysis have involved only two entities. Yet it is very common to find alphanumeric codes in the Bible which involve multiple entities. I refer to alphanumeric codes in the Bible involving three or more entities as alphanumeric code matrices.
Building upon our most recent example, the following table documents an extremely basic, 3-entity, mixed-type alphanumeric matrix:
We have already explained the fairly self-evident spiritual relationship between God’s calling the light Day in Gen. 1:5, and the golden candlestick of the Zech 4:2 vision. Now we have a third alphanumerically equivalent entity, which officially makes this a gematrical matrix. The fact that the Hebrew spelling of the name Samson also carries a total gematrical value of 696 suggests that there is some kind of spiritual relationship between the biblical character of Samson, and the other two alphanumerically equivalent entities in the table above. What might the relationship be?
The spiritual relationship between Samson and the phrase from Gen. 1:5 is extremely easy to understand. The Hebrew name שִׁמְשׁוֹן (“Samson”) is based on the Hebrew noun שֶׁמֶשׁ (lit. “shemesh”), which is simply the Hebrew word for “sun.” The name Samson literally means “sun man” or “as the sun.“
The same spiritual relationship between Samson and the words “And God called the light Day” also applies to the candlestick of Zech. 4:2, in that the candlestick of the Zech 4:2 is obviously a symbol of the light of the world. There are a lot of additional correlations beyond that, however, which are a bit more subtle. Before we can understand them, we must first understand what the prophetic vision of Zechariah 4 meant in its original historical context.
In the original historical context of the vision, the golden candlestick symbolized Zerubbabel, who as God’s signet ring (Hag. 2:23) was a symbol of his own divine authority upon the earth.9 The two olive trees on either side of the candlestick representing Zerubbabel symbolized the Former Prophets (Zech. 1:4; 7:7; 7:12) and the Latter Prophets (Zech. 8:9). In the time of Zerubabel, the Former Prophets would have answered to the pre-exilic prophets who were no longer living but whose prophecies survived in writing (Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah, and so forth); and the post-exilic prophets (e.g. Haggai & Zechariah) who were contemporaries of Zerubbabel and were ministering the Living Word to him actively. Thus, the original historical meaning of the vision, in which the golden candlestick is being continually nourished with oil from two olive trees on either side of it, signified the word of the LORD being poured into Zerubbabel through the Former and Latter prophets (Zech. 4:6). The implication was that by these, he was receiving the divine strength necessary to carry out the divinely appointed task of rebuilding the temple. The ability to accomplish this seemingly impossible assignment which had for so long eluded him (and brought him so much frustration and discouragement) would not come by his own intellectual might, nor by the strength of his own human will power, but rather by the divine strength received by continually hearing the words of God (Zech. 4:6).10
As previously stated, the fact that the Hebrew word for the candlestick in Zech. 4:2 equals exactly 696 when the values of all of its Hebrew letters are summed, potentially infers that there exists within the Logos some sort of spiritual relation between the golden candlestick of Zech. 4:2, and the biblical character of Samson–whose name adds up to exactly 696 in Hebrew. The key to identifying this spiritual relation lies in Samson’s death.
Samson had a special calling on his life and was divinely chosen from the womb to begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines (Judg. 13:). For this cause he was gifted with a special anointing that allowed him to possess superhuman strength at times (Judg. 13:25), when the spirit of God would suddenly rush upon him (Judg. 14:6; 14:29; 15:14). Despite his many flaws and moral failings, Samson was able to have limited victories against the Philistines throughout his life by merely operating in his anointing. However, because he was not totally surrendered to God, he was unable to access the full extent of the divine strength necessary to accomplish the feat that God had appointed for him.
Note that God always assigns his children with life assignments that are too great to be accomplished in their own strength. The only way that any child of God will accomplish the work that God has given them to do and fulfill their divinely appointed destiny is by the crucifixion of the human will. It is only when they completely lose confidence in and forfeit their confidence in their own strength and ability, and rely on the LORD only, that they receive his strength and ability. They must be made weak, that they might be made strong (2 Cor. 12:9), so that: “the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Cor. 4:7). Such was the case with Samson.
The LORD had to make Samson weak and useless in his flesh so that he could receive the divine strength accomplish the work that God had set him apart for. He had to bring him to a place of complete brokenness and helplessness where he had no choice but to rely wholly and exclusively on the LORD. When this death to self finally occurred, Samson became a vessel fit for his master’s use (2 Tim. 2:21), and found himself suddenly empowered with the strength necessary to finally accomplish the humanly impossible work for which he had been born. When he finally fully surrendered and died to his own self-will, Samson became a walking nuclear bomb.11 Never underestimate the extent of the divine power that is unleashed on the kingdom of darkness when a child of God finally dies to self.
Hopefully the deeper spiritual connection between the candlestick of the Zechariah 4 vision and the biblical character of Samson is now becoming clear. At the time that the vision of the golden candlestick and two olive trees was given to Zechariah in 520 BC, the candlestick was a symbol of Zerubbabel, who at that time was frustrated and discouraged over the magnitude of the divine assignment that lay before him. He had tried to accomplish it in his own strength and ability 16 years prior upon returning to Judah with the former Jewish captives from Babylon following Cyrus’ decree of liberation, but the work was opposed by the Jews’ enemies, and they were forced to indefinitely post-pone the project when a decree was issued by the Persian king to halt the construction. Zerubbabel was apparently discouraged by this failure, and turned his attention to his own personal affairs for the next decade and a half. It was in this historical context in which the prophetic vision of Zechariah 4 was delivered. The vision was intended to function as a word of encouragement and exhortation to Zerubbabel, and thus the angel explains to Zechariah: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit.”
By making the symbol of Zerubbabel in the prophetic vision alphanumerically equivalent with the name Samson, God was deliberately establishing and affirming that there exists within the Logos a spiritual relationship between the candlestick in the vision of Zechariah 4 (which symbolized Zerubbabel), and the biblical character of Samson. The implication was that, just as Samson could not accomplish his divinely appointed assignment and fulfill his destiny until he had fully died to his own self-will and relied exclusively on the Lord for his divine strength, so too Zerubbabel would not be able to accomplish this divine assignment of rebuilding the temple in his own strength and ability. The work was simply too big for him to complete in his own strength and ability. Like Samson, Zerubbabel would have to forfeit his own strength and rely wholly on the Lord’s strength in order to accomplish this great work. Put another way, he would have to be made weak, in order that he might be made strong (2 Cor. 12:9).
One will also note that the symmetry of the Zechariah 4 vision is identical to the biblical description of Samson’s martyrdom in the book of Judges. In the Zechariah 4 vision, you have the golden candlestick which represents Zerubbabel (and ultimately–Jesus Christ, “the light of the world” (John 10:-)), sandwiched in between two olive trees. Likewise, in the biblical account of Samson’s death, you have Samson (whose name means “sun man”) sandwiched in between two pillars that are holding up the pagan temple of Israel’s enemies.12
Taken together, the spiritual relationship between the candlestick of Zechariah 4 and the biblical character of Samson is blatantly obvious and undeniable. As such, we can be certain that the Hebrew word for “candlestick” (as it is spelled in the vision of Zechariah 4:2), was deliberately done by God in order to further strengthen and affirm this spiritual relationship that exists between these two biblical constructs.
Alphanumeric code matrices can also involve whole verses. The table below charts an alphanumeric code occurring between three whole New Testament verses whose topical relation is self-evident:
All three of the above verses carry a total gematrical value of exactly 10,319 when all of their containing Greek letters are summed. As can be seen, the textual content of all three of these alphanumerically equivalent verses speaks of the divine mandate to honor one’s earthly parents (Exod. 20:12; Deut. 5:16). Mark 7:10 and Matthew 15:4 record Jesus’ reiteration of the divine commandment to honor one’s father and mother, while John 19:26 records Jesus on the cross actually honoring his earthly mother–almost as if he is leading by example. Note that the verses in the top two rows are both slightly different records of the same statement made by Jesus. Yet what is remarkable is that Matthew and Mark word the statement quite differently.13 Despite this, they are both worded in such a way that both verses both end up having total gematrical value of precisely 10,319–which obviously is miraculous.14Obviously, the obvious topical relation occurring between these three alphanumerically equivalent verses is nothing short of miraculous, and is indicative of deliberate intelligent design.
Alphanumerical equivalencies which transcend the language & testament barrier
Thus far all of the examples of alphanumeric codes in the Bible that we have looked at have been ones confined to the same language and testament.15 Yet, because God is the author of the entire Bible, and because he is perfect in knowledge and infinite in his understanding–alphanumeric codes in the Bible very often occur between entities contained in different testaments. Because the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament was written in Greek, this means that such codes are constructed with two different languages which go by two completely different alphanumerical systems.
The following is an example of a mixed-type alphanumeric code involving entities from two different testaments:
As the table above demonstrates, the ancient Greek verb for “seal” as it appears in Revelation 22:10 contains a total gematrical value of 1,232 when all of its containing Greek letters are summed. This is the exact same total gematrical value of Zechariah 4:6 when all of the Hebrew letters contained in that verse are summed. At the time that the prophetic vision of Zechariah 4 was delivered, the LORD had just promised Zerubbabel through the prophet Haggai a couple of months prior that he would make him like his own signet ring (Hag. 2:23). Because of the obvious topical relation between the biblical character of Zerubbabel and the biblical construct of the seal, we can be fairly certain that this is a divine watermark rather than a coincidence.
The table below charts an alphanumeric code of the whole verse variety which transcends the language and testament barrier. Behold:
As we can see, Acts 15:18 contains a total gematrical value of precisely 7,028 when all of its containing Greek letters are summed. This just so happens to be the exact same total gematrical value of Exodus 20:11 when all of its containing Hebrew letters are summed. Because it is blatantly obvious and undeniable that these two alphanumerically equivalent verses are topically related, it is obvious that this was done deliberately by an intelligent hand.
Why God planted alphanumeric codes in the Bible
As we have already noted, one reason that God planted alphanumeric codes in the Bible was for the purpose of establishing and strengthening spiritual relationships between related biblical constructs and biblical passages. In so doing, he has provided the student of Scripture with an additional interpretative layer through which he can communicate revelation. Yet, this is far from the only reason. The other, perhaps more fundamental reason that he utilized the ancient Greek and Hebrew alphanumerical systems to deliberately plant alphanumeric codes in the Bible, was that it provided him with yet another means by which he could watermark the biblical texts to affirm their authenticity.
In his perfect foreknowledge, the Lord foresaw that men in the last days would become lifted up with pride as their knowledge continually multiplied (Dan. 12:4; 1 Tim. 4:1), and he knew that this would inevitably lead to an epidemic of spiritual blindness that would cause them to doubt and reject the divine authorship of his Word. Accordingly, he used a wide array of watermarking tools and methods during the roughly 3,000 years that the completed biblical canon was in the process of being developed. Utilizing the ancient Hebrew and Greek alphanumeric systems to plant alphanumeric codes in the Bible was just one of the many “watermarking” methods that he used to accomplish this feat.
The Bible’s alphanumeric codes prove which manuscripts are authentic
It is extremely important to note that many of the alphanumerical codes in the Bible only exist in particular OT and NT manuscripts, and this is particularly true of alphanumeric codes of the whole verse variety.
The Hebrew Old Testament
When it comes to the Old Testament, all of the alphanumeric codes of the whole verse variety that I have uncovered in the Old Testament are only found 100% of the time in the textform of the Leningrad codex, which is the oldest surviving Hebrew manuscript of the entire Old Testament (dating to 1008 AD). It is important to keep in mind, however, that compared to the Greek New Testament, the textual variances between the various Hebrew manuscripts of the OT are very minor and are fairly few in number overall, so (excluding some of the newer so-called “critical” editions of the Hebrew Scriptures) most codes will still be present in most editions of the Hebrew Bible. The problem, of course, is that in the case of alphanumeric codes of the whole verse variety–if the spelling of any particular word is different by even one letter, then any alphanumeric code that the verse which that word is contained in is potentially a part of, is immediately destroyed.
To give an example to illustrate, another very highly esteemed textform of the Hebrew Scriptures is the 1525 edition of the Rabbinic Bible, which was the principle source text of many notable English translations of the OT including the KJV.16 While this text is extremely similar to the Leningrad codex, its’ text will occasionally exhibit some very minor spelling differences from the other manuscripts, where the spelling of a particular word will add an additional consonant to function as a vowel instead of a vowel marker, or alternatively–will get rid of a consonant and instead use a vowel marker.17
My research is still on-going, but as it stands now I have not yet come across any spelling deviations between the Lenningrad codex, Aleppo codex, and the 1525 Rabbinic Bible–which are part of verses that I can conclusively say constitute part of an alphanumeric code or matrix. It is certainly not outside the realm of possibility that the minor spelling deviations which occur between the various Hebrew textforms only occur in verses that are not part of an alphanumeric code, although I am doubtful that this is the case.18 What I can say with reasonable certainty, however, is that so far the alphanumeric codes that I have uncovered in the Old Testament work 100% of the time in the Leningrad textform.
The Greek New Testament
When it comes to the Greek New Testament (whose manuscripts are far more numerable and textually diverse than the Hebrew manuscripts on which modern translations of the Old Testament are based), I am able to say quite conclusively that the alphanumeric codes of the whole verse variety are only present 100% of the time in the latest edition of the Textus Receptus (published in 1894). Note that I emphasized “latest edition,” because at least some of the alphanumeric codes I have found in the Greek New Testament do not work in earlier editions of the Textus Receptus. This is because, in their efforts to improve the manuscript, various Christian biblical scholars were continually making very minor corrections and changes to the text, and publishing their own editions of the manuscript containing those revisions. Most of these textual changes consisted of extremely minor changes in the spelling of certain Greek words (such as the dropping of the movable nu at the end of certain Greek words). Although such spelling changes were minor, they caused significant changes in the total gematrical value of particular verses. Amazingly, these occasional minor spelling changes miraculously caused alphanumeric codes that were not present in earlier editions of the Textus Receptus to suddenly appear in the later editions.
Taken together, this would appear to suggest that the Greek New Testament was still in the process of being divinely watermarked and refined in the purifying fires of canonical sanctification perhaps as recently as the last decade of the nineteenth century. If true, then this obviously confounds the logic of the textual critics–who seek in vain to reconstruct the text of the original autographs, and accordingly ascribe greater authority to the oldest manuscripts. They have it backwards–it is the earlier manuscripts which are inferior, as these constitute a snapshot of the biblical text at an immature stage of its development. Ascribing greater authority to older biblical manuscripts is equal to esteeming the scratch demo of a song recorded live on a 4 track in a garage at band practice, over and above the perfected professionally recorded version that has been carefully and meticulously mixed and mastered by pro engineers, and is finally ready for its radio debut.
While earlier versions of the Textus Receptus do not contain the whole verse alphanumeric codes 100% of the time, many (if not most) of the codes do not exist at all in other editions of the Greek New Testament. To demonstrate using some examples we looked at earlier, the John 11:43 & Hebrews 11:19 alphanumeric code only works in the 1894 Textus Receptus, the Greek Orthodox Church edition, and the Greek Study Bible. Due to minor spelling differences, this alphanumeric code is not present in the 1550 Textus Receptus, Byzantine Majority text, Westcott and Hort, Nestle-Aland, or Tischendorf textforms.
Now you say to me: “If the alphanumeric code works in the Greek Orthodox Church textform and the Greek Study Bible in addition to the 1894 edition of the Textus Receptus, does this not mean that the those textforms are also divinely watermarked?” Not so fast. Remember that whole verse alphanumeric code matrix we looked at earlier between Matthew 15:4, Mark 7:10, and John 19:26? Well, that one occurs exclusively in the latest edition of the Textus Receptus. Due to minor differences in wording, it is found in neither the Greek Orthodox Church edition, nor the Greek Study Bible. The alphanumeric codes in the New Testament only occur 100% of the time in the final edition of the Textus Receptus. What are we to make of all of this? To put it bluntly–the latest edition of the Textus Receptus appears to be stamped with the Lamb’s seal of divine authority, in contrast to the other Greek textforms which do not possess these alphanumeric watermarks due to minor spelling and wording differences.
A Word of Caution
I want to note that I am not claiming that all Hebrew OT manuscripts and Greek NT manuscripts other than the Leningrad codex and the 1894 edition of the Textus Receptus are necessarily insufficient for doctrine, as the spelling and word differences are rarely if ever significant to the point of altering the message.19
Final thoughts on the subject of alphanumeric codes in the Bible
I want to close by explaining why the presence of alphanumeric codes in Bible like those presented in this analysis is miraculous and attests to the divine authorship and messianic authenticity of the biblical canon. First, it must be remembered that the Bible is not one book written by one person (like the Quran, for example). Rather, the Bible is an anthology of 66 books written by approximately 40 different people, who were all living at different times over a span of about 1600 years, and were all writing with a different sets of conscious intentions. None had even the slightest clue that the writings they were penning would preserved, redacted, and assembled into an anthology of literature known as the Holy Bible, which would one day be translated into every human language and mass disseminated throughout whole the earth.
As previously stated, the alphanumerical systems upon which the alphanumeric codes in the Bible depend were devised in the intertestamental period. In the case of the alphanumeric codes found in the Old Testament, the fact that the Hebrew alphanumeric system was devised hundreds of years after the last book of the Old Testament was written entirely rules out any possibility that any of the writers of the Old Testament books could have been responsible for any of the alphanumeric codes in the Bible which are based on this system, as that system did not even exist when they were writing.
Although the same obviously cannot be said for the New Testament writers who penned their books in Greek–we have numerous other ways of ruling out the possibility that they could have consciously and deliberately been responsible for alphanumeric codes found in their writings. For one thing, as we just noted, many of the alphanumeric codes found in the Greek New Testament don’t work in the vast majority of modern editions of the Greek New Testament. They only work 100% of the time in the latest edition of the Textus Receptus. This means that the alphanumeric codes probably didn’t even exist in the original autographs of the NT books, but rather emerged suddenly and miraculously at the end of a very long and sluggish process of refining and purifying that took place over the course of many centuries (Ps. 12:6).
What is more, the fact that the modern system of verse divisions wasn’t devised until the sixteenth century–makes it literally impossible for any of the alphanumeric codes in the Bible involving entire verses to have been devised of men bound by the laws of time and space. Finally, the fact that the alphanumeric codes in the Bible transcend the language and testament barrier–proves that whoever is responsible for the codes is not only not bound by the laws of time and space as we are, but also possesses a level of intelligence and understanding that far exceeds the intellectual capacity of men. Such facts prove that neither the biblical writers nor those who copied and preserved the text during the Middle Ages could have consciously and deliberately planted the Hebrew or Greek alphanumeric codes found in the Old & New Testaments.
Taken all together, there remains only one suspect who could have been responsible for the alphanumeric codes in the Bible. The God of the Bible, who revealed himself to the world as Jesus Christ–is perfect in knowledge (Job 36:4; 37:16), infinite in understanding (Ps. 147:5), and is not bound by the laws of time and space (2 Tim. 2:9; Matt. 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 1:37). Alphanumeric codes are one of many tools he used to watermark the text, and stamp the biblical canon with the seal of his divine authority (Hag. 2:23; Zech. 4:1-14).
- Georges Ifrah, “Greek Alphabetic Numerals,” in From One to Zero: a Universal History of Numbers, trans. Lowell Bair (New York, NY: Penguin, 1988), pp. 267.
- Ifrah, 261.
- Ifrah, 267.
- Ifrah, 270.
- Irfah, 300.
- As a matter of fact, the modern Hebrew verb לחתום (“to sign“), is the ancient Hebrew verb “to seal.” The word is the same, only the meaning has changed.
- The Hebrew word for “signet” and “seal” in Hebrew were (and still are) the same word.
- The implication is that Abraham’s faith in the word of the LORD was so great that he knew that God would be bound by his own Word to resurrect Isaac if Abraham sacrificed him–since he had already promised Abraham: “in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” (Gen. 21:12; cf. Heb. 11:18).
- This is why the angel accompanying Zechariah was able to refer to him as the “Lord of the whole earth” without being guilty of blasphemy. As God’s signet ring, Zerubbabel was a symbol of Christ’s person and authority upon the earth.
- Jesus said: “. . . . the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63; cf. Rom 10:17)
- Perhaps it was on account of this deadly atomic energy which would be unleashed on the Philistines at the moment of his death that the spirit of prophecy moved his mother to name him: “sun man.”
- To take the prophetic implications of the parallel even further–Samson (whose name means “sun man”) dies pushing against the pillars with his arms extended out horizontally, which means that his body was positioned in such a way that he was unknowingly forming the shape of the cross as he selflessly sacrificed himself for all Israel. Samson’s death was a blatantly obvious Old Testament foreshadowing of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This little overlooked nugget of truth strengthens the claim that the Zech. 4 vision is connected to the death of Samson, as the golden candlestick of Zech. 4 represents Zerubbabel, who is himself a type of Jesus Christ–“the light of the world” (John 10).
- As a matter of fact, because ancient Greek was such a highly inflected language, the statements are even more different in Greek than they appear in English translation!
- Indeed, it is even more miraculous when we remember that the modern system of verse divisions wasn’t added to the Bible until the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. This of course proves that the hand responsible for such alphanumeric codes occurring between whole verses is someone who is not bound by the laws of time and space.
- Hopefully every one reading this is aware that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament was written in Greek.
- The 1525 edition of the Rabbinic Bible is the work of a Jewish Christian scholar by the name of Jacob ben Hayyim, who was professionally trained in the textual transmission methods of the Masoretes. His edition of the Rabbinic Bible quickly became the standard Hebrew text of the Old Testament, and remained so until well into the nineteenth century. It was the basis of numerous translations of the Old Testament including the King James Version.
- These alterations are obviously extremely minor and do not in any way affect the meaning of the text. Nevertheless they are significant enough to destroy any existing alphanumeric codes contained within the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, as such codes depend on 100% precision.
- While I have not yet definitively identified any alphanumeric codes that have been rendered obsolete by the occasional minor spelling disagreements exemplified between the chief Hebrew textforms, I have found a few obviously divinely planted ELS codes over the course of my research that are present in the Leningrad codex, yet because of occasional minor spelling disagreements do not work in either the 1525 Rabbinic Bible, the Aleppo codex, or sometimes both. Yet, by the same token, I recently discovered one obviously deliberately planted ELS code in 1 Chronicles 11 that works in the 1525 Rabbinic Bible and the Aleppo codex, yet does not work in the Lenningrad codex due to the addition of a single cholam waw in the spelling of one word in verse 10. Taken together, I interpret this to mean that there is no one Hebrew manuscript or textform that is perfect.
- Although, to be fair–I would absolutely discourage anyone from using any of the newer so-called “critical” editions of either testament, some of which have completely removed whole passages of Scripture based on the observation that said passages are not found in the oldest surviving manuscripts.