The purpose of this article is to introduce the reader to yet another powerful witness to the Bible’s divine origins, that of single-verse Bible codes. In this article, I will explain what single-verse Bible codes are, discuss why they’re significant, and provide numerous examples of them in order to objectively demonstrate their existence. It is my hope that the evidence set forth in this analysis will provide my fellow biblical apologists and soldiers of the gospel with some new ammunition to help them combat the enemy’s lies.
What are single-verse Bible codes?
I use the term single-verse Bible codes to refer to ELS Bible codes which are confined to a single verse of the Hebrew Bible. As with other Bible codes of this kind, the authenticity of single-verse Bible codes is proven by the presence of topical correspondence found within the plain text of the containing verse. Because they are confined to a single-verse, codes of this nature will always be encoded at very small equidistant letter sequences (generally <= 5 letter skips).
Why single-verse Bible codes are important
Single-verse Bible codes are important because the probability of them occurring just by random chance is next to zero. The fact that the encryption is confined to a single verse in these codes has the effect of magnifying the significance of the topical correspondence found within the plain-text of the containing verse. This in turn makes single-verse Bible codes practically impossible to refute. To demonstrate this point, consider the following example which I have written about at greater length in a previous post:
Here we can see that the phrase amad yeshua, meaning: “Jesus stood“, is encrypted at an ELS of every 3 letters backwards in the containing verse. It should be noted that this is the only passage in the entire Hebrew Tanakh where the seven-letter string עמדישוע appears encoded at a short-distance ELS.1
The fact that we find the statement “Jesus stood”, encrypted within a single verse (containing only seven words) in which the speaker asks the LORD who would be able to stand if he kept a record of sins, rules out any realistic chance of a coincidence. The encrypted message in this example is a direct answer to the question voiced in the containing passage. The presence of such blatantly obvious and undeniable topical correspondence in a containing passage so small has the effect of magnifying the significance of the topical relation, which in turn annihilates any realistic chance of the encryption occurring by random chance.
Examples of single-verse Bible codes
Now that we know what single-verse Bible codes are and how they work, let us consider some individual examples.
Example 1: Ezekiel 34:26
Ezekiel 34:26 is another fine example of a single-verse Bible code. Here the phrase הר ישוע (har yeshua), meaning: “the hill of Jesus”, is encrypted at an ELS of every 2 letters backwards, beginning at the letter hey in the second last word of the verse.
Given that the encoded string in this example contains only six letters which are all relatively common ones, this is inevitably going to result in this particular string being found encrypted in several places in the Hebrew Bible just by coincidence. In total, this is 1 of 40 passages where the six-letter string הרישוע appears encrypted at a short-distance ELS in the Standard Thenach edition of the Hebrew Bible, 1 of 46 passages where it appears in the Leningrad codex, and 1 of 41 passages where it appears in the Keter Jerusalem text. However, in cases like this where the encoded message is confined to a single verse which just so happens to bear obvious topical relation to the encrypted phrase or statement, the frequency of the string’s encryption becomes largely irrelevant—as the undeniable presence of such blatantly obvious topical relation in such an exceedingly small containing passage essentially rules out any realistic probability of the encryption occurring by random chance.
In short, the fact that we find the phrase “the hill of Jesus” encrypted in a single verse in which God just so happens to mention “my hill” in the first person—makes it obvious that this is a deliberately planted encryption, as the obvious intent of the encoded message is to identify the God of Israel (who is speaking in the plain text of the verse) as Jesus Christ.
Example 2: Joshua 9:7
Here we see that the Hebrew phrase ברית ישו (berith yeshu), meaning: “the covenant of Jesus”, is encrypted in Joshua 9:7 at an ELS of every 2 letters, beginning at the first bet in the word בקרבי. This is one of three passages in the Hebrew Bible where this seven-letter string is found encrypted at a short-distance ELS in the Leningrad codex and Keter Jerusalem text, while it is 1 of 4 places that it appears in the Standard Thenach text. This rarity combined with the obvious topical relation we see present in the containing verse makes it obvious that this is a deliberate Type 1 ELS code.
Example 3: Psalm 50:2
The phrase יום האפל (“the dark day”) is encrypted in Ps. 50:2 at an ELS of every 2 letters backwards. This is 1 of 2 passages in the Leningrad codex and Keter Jerusalem text where this seven-letter string is found encrypted at a short-distance ELS, and 1 of 3 passages where it appears in the Standard Thenach text. Given this rarity as well as the obvious topical relation found in the containing verse, it is obvious that the encryption is deliberate. Indeed, here one cannot help but hear echoes of the prologue of John’s Gospel: “And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:5).
Example 4: 1 Kings 12:19
Here we see that the phrase ad ba yeshu (“until Jesus comes“) is encrypted at an ELS of every 3 letters backwards in 1 Kings 12:19. This is 1 of 2 passages in all editions of the Hebrew Bible where this particular seven-letter string appears encrypted at a short-distance ELS.
The topical relevance between the encoded phrase and the plain text in this particular example warrants a little bit of explaining. To begin with, it should be noted that in this verse the narrator of 1 Kings 12:19 is speaking of the kingdom split which occurred after the death of Solomon about the year 931 BC, in which the 10 northern tribes of Israel rebelled against Solomon’s son Rehoboam, breaking off and declaring their independence, and forming their own new kingdom with Jeroboam I as their new king. It is therefore the 10 northern tribes of Israel that the biblical writer originally had in mind when he penned this verse. Likewise, it is the Davidic dynasty that is being indicated by “the house of David.” Thus by rebelling against Solomon’s son and successor Rehoboam, the northern tribes (called “Israel” here) were rebelling against the house of David.
Despite the original conscious intent of the biblical writer when he penned these words, this encoded phrase in the verse constitutes a cryptic prophecy which utilizes the same statement for its own prophetic ends. As can be seen, the statement עד בא ישו (ad ba yeshu), meaning: “Until Jesus comes” is encrypted at an ELS of every 3 letters backwards in the above verse—beginning at the ayin in the word עד. The obvious deliberate intent of planting this encryption here is to create a cryptic prophecy which infers that the nation of Israel will be in rebellion against the house of David until the day that Jesus Christ returns.
Whereas the original biblical writer used the term “Israel” to refer exclusively to the 10 tribes of the new northern kingdom, when viewed through the lens of the prophetic encryption—“Israel” signifies the Jewish people as a whole, and their rebellion against the house of David refers to their collective rejection of the divine and messianic authority of Jesus Christ—who is the one and only rightful, legal, legitimate heir to David’s throne.2 In other words, its as if the encoded message hidden within the verse breathes new life into the verse containing it, thus filling it with new meaning. When viewed through this lens, the verse becomes a prophecy which declares that the Jewish people (Israel) will neither acknowledge nor submit themselves to the authority of Jesus Christ (the true heir to David’s throne), until he returns with power and great glory, defeats Israel’s enemies, and establishes his millennial kingdom upon the earth–thus fulfilling all of their messianic expectations. It is only when this has occurred, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Ezekiel will finally be brought to pass: “So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.” (Ezek. 39:22)
Example 5: Nehemiah 6:3
The phrase “the top of the mountains” is encrypted at an ELS of every 5 letters backwards in Nehemiah 6:3. Note that this is the only place in the every edition of the Hebrew Bible where this seven-letter string appears encrypted at a short-distance ELS. The deliberate nature of the encryption is attested by the exclusivity of the encryption as well as the obvious topical relation between it and the plain text of the containing verse. The inference of the encoded statement is that Nehemiah was (figuratively speaking) lifted up in the work of the LORD, and was unwilling to stoop to the low level of those trying to discourage and distract him from his divine assignment.
Example 6: Psalm 69:30
Counting every 5 letters from the first letter in Psalm 69:30 (a total of 5 times) spells out אשיר לו (ashir lo), which literally means: “I will sing to him”. The topical relation between the encoded statement and its containing passage is obvious and needs no explanation. The fact that the phrase “I will sing to him” appears encrypted in a verse which speaks of praising the name of God with a song obviously screams deliberate design.
This is another example where we are dealing with an encoded string consisting of only six letters, all of which are common Consequently, this is not what we would call a rare encryption. This is 1 of 66 passages where this particular six letter string is found encrypted at a short-distance ELS in the Standard Thenach text and the Leningrad codex, and 1 of 65 passages where it appears in the Keter Jerusalem text. But once again, the frequency of encryption is largely irrelevant when it comes to single-verse Bible codes due to the size of the containing passage. The fact that the statement “I will sing to him” is found encrypted within a single verse which contains such blatantly obvious topical correspondence in its plain text is more than sufficient to prove that this is a deliberately planted Type 2 ELS code.
Example 7: Jeremiah 17:27
The Hebrew phrase בעיר שמי (b’ir shmi), meaning: “in the city of my name” is encrypted in Jeremiah 17:27 at an ELS of every 2 letters, beginning at the letter bet in the word בשערי. This is 1 of 2 passages in all editions of the Hebrew Bible where this seven-letter string appears encrypted at a short-distance ELS. The fact that this phrase appears encrypted in a verse which mentions the gates of Jerusalem makes it obvious that the encryption is deliberate, as Jerusalem is the city of God’s name (1 Kings 11:36; 14:21; 2 Chron. 12:13).
Example 8: Psalm 96:5
Here we can see that the phrase kal ha-umim is encrypted at an ELS of every 3 letters in Psalm 96:5. This is 1 of 4 passages in the Leningrad codex where this seven-letter string appears encrypted at a short distance, 1 of 5 passages where it appears in the Keter Jerusalem text, and 1 of 6 passages where it appears in the Standard Thenach text. The fact that we find the phrase “all nations” encrypted in a single verse which states that all the gods of the nations are idols, makes it clear that this is not a coincidental encryption. This conclusion is reinforced by the fact that the plain text as well as the code within it both use the less common word umim to denote the nations.3
Example 9: Ezra 6:5
The Hebrew phrase bit-b’ni (“the house of my Son”) is encrypted at an ELS of every 2 letters in Ezra 6:5. This is another example where we are dealing with a shorter encoded string consisting of all common letters, so the encryption itself isn’t rare. This is 1 of 34 passages in the Hebrew Bible where this six-letter string appears encrypted at a short-distance ELS in the Leningrad codex, 1 of 37 passages where it appears in the Keter Jerusalem text, and 1 of 36 passages where it appears in the Standard Thenach text. Despite this, it is obvious that encryption is deliberate due to the obvious topical correspondence we find in the plain text of the containing verse. The fact that we find the phrase “the house of my Son” encrypted within a verse that twice mentions the Jerusalem temple is extremely difficult to write off as a coincidence.
Example 10: Ezekiel 17:15
At first glance, this example doesn’t look all that impressive given that the encoded string is only 5 letters in length. Believe it or not, this is actually a pretty rare short-distance encryption. This is due to the fact that 2 of the string’s 5 letters are samechs–one of the least frequently occurring letters in the Hebrew Bible. Consequently, despite its brevity, this is only 1 of 4 passages in the Hebrew Bible where you will find the word Rameses encrypted at a short-distance ELS.
The topical correspondence between the encoded word and its containing passage in this example is that Rameses was the name of a region in the land of Egypt (Gen. 47:11; Exodus 12:37; Num. 33:3-5), which is believed to have been named after Pharaoh Rameses II. It is possible that the code is inferring that the ambassadors spoken of in the plain text of the containing verse were sent to the land of Rameses.
Closing thoughts on single-verse Bible codes
In this analysis we have looked at 10 different examples of single-verse Bible codes from seven different books of the Hebrew Bible. Single-verse Bible codes are a particularly powerful form of ELS Bible code because of the minuscule size of their containing passages, which greatly magnifies the significance of the topical relation found therein. Such a phenomenon simply does not occur over and over again by random chance. This makes single-verse Bible codes practically impossible to refute, thus making them an important witness to the divine authorship and authenticity of the Hebrew Bible, and indirectly–the Christian New Testament.
- As I have stated in previous articles, I define the short-distance range as between 2-150 letter skips.
- Jesus is the only legitimate heir to David’s throne, and therefore by rejecting Jesus, the Jewish people have been in rebellion against the house of David from heaven’s perspective for the past 2,000 years.
- The more common word for “nations” in the Hebrew Bible is goyim.