In my two most recent articles I introduced Type 1 ELS codes and Type 2 ELS codes. In this final part of my introduction to biblical ELS codes, I am going to introduce the third and final class of ELS codes in my classification system—Type 3 ELS codes, also known as “Echoing” ELS codes.
What are Type 3 ELS codes?
All Type 3 ELS codes revolve around either a key phrase or a key concept. In order to fully grasp the nature of Type 3 ELS codes, it is therefore necessary that we first clearly define these two terms. Behold:
- Key phrase: a particular word, phrase, or statement in the plain text of a biblical passage containing a Type 3 ELS code.
- Key concept: a central concept or idea found in the plain text of a biblical passage containing a Type 3 ELS code.
Type 3 ELS codes can be broadly defined as ELS codes which repeat or “echo” a key phrase or concept found within in their biblical containing passage.
The divinely appointed function of Type 3 ELS Codes
So far as I can tell, the divinely ordained function of Type 3 ELS codes seems to be more restricted than the other two classes of ELS codes. Whereas Type 1 ELS codes testify of Jesus, and Type 2 ELS codes often shed light on some particular meaning of their containing biblical passage–Type 3 ELS codes appear to have been designed more strictly for the purposes of functioning as watermarks of textual authenticity and as spell-checkers. So far as I can tell, they do not really serve any additional function as do the other two code types.
The two primary orientations of Type 3 ELS codes
There are two primary ways in which Type 3 ELS can be oriented. The first of these is what I refer to as the letter-for-letter orientation, which refers to Type 3 ELS codes in which the encoded text-string is an identical letter-for-letter echo of the key phrase of its containing passage.
The other primary Type 3 ELS code orientation is what I refer to as the conceptual orientation, which refers to Type 3 ELS codes where the encoded text-string echoes a key concept found in its containing passage.
Note that all Type 3 ELS codes with a letter-for-letter orientation revolve around a key phrase; while ones with a conceptual orientation revolve around a key concept.
Examples of Type 3 ELS codes
I have poured over my relational database and have attempted to select seven strong examples of Type 3 ELS codes of both orientations to present in this post. As always, all of the examples that I am about to share are my own original discoveries, and thus to my knowledge have never been shared anywhere by anyone else.
Example 1: Behold the stone
The following Type 3 ELS code was one of the first ELS codes I discovered:
It should first be noted that the Hebrew phrase הנה האבּן (“Behold the stone”) appears a total of two times in the plain text of the Hebrew Bible—once in Zechariah 3:9 (charted above), and once in Joshua 24:27.1
A search for this Hebrew phrase encoded at an ELS depth of every 2 – 150 letters yields a total of 3 results. The computer program tells me that this phrase is encoded in Judges 3:18-19 at an ELS of every 2 letters, in Judges 6:5-15 at an ELS of every 106 letters, and in Zechariah 3:8-10 at an ELS of every 23 letters.
It is always promising to find a single continuous text string of this length encoded at such a short ELS skip interval anywhere in the Hebrew Bible, although coincidences can and do sometimes occur even with text strings of this length, providing that all 7 letters of the text-string are among the most commonly occurring ones in the Hebrew Bible (as is the case here). As such it is possible, though far from certain, that the two matches we find in the book of Judges are mere statistical anomalies. I base this on the fact that there is no obvious and easily discernible topical relation between the encoded text string and these passages.
On the other hand, the fact that this specific text string is encoded in Zechariah 3:8-10 at an ELS of every 23 letters is obviously not a coincidence—due to the fact that this just so happens to be 1 of only 2 places that the Hebrew phrase הנה האבן (“Behold the stone”) appears in the plain text of the Hebrew Bible. This was very obviously done deliberately by an intelligent hand.
The key phrase in this biblical passage is הנה האבן (“Behold the stone”). Because the encoded text-string is an exact letter-for-letter repetition of the key phrase of its containing passage, the orientation of this Type 3 ELS code is letter-for-letter.
Example 2: man of God
The following Type 3 ELS code was discovered on February 22, 2021:
The fact that we find the text-string איש אלהים (“man of God”) encoded in a passage in which Elisha the prophet is twice referred to by the peculiar title “man of God”, is astounding in and of itself. But it is even more astounding when one takes into account the fact that this is literally the only place in the entire Hebrew Old Testament where the above text-string is encoded at a default ELS depth of between 2 – 150 letter skips. To word that a little differently, the fact that we find this encoded text-string encoded “here and only here”, rules out any realistic possibility of a coincidence.
With regard to textual orientation, this particular Type 3 ELS code is a something of a wildcard. In form, it exhibits all the traits of a standard letter-for-letter Type 3 ELS. The excluding factor is that the key construct in the plain-text passage includes the prefixed definite article (ה) on the noun אלהים (“God”), while the encoded text-string does not include the definite article.2 Consequently, we cannot quite say that the encoded string is an identical letter-for-letter repetition of the key phrase, only because the key phrase in the plain text includes one additional letter. I want to make very clear, however, that both spellings of the construct are grammatically acceptable in Hebrew.3
Example 3: King David and Nathan
The following Type 3 ELS code is one of the first ELS codes I discovered in the Bible:
Here we see that the text-string המלך דוד ונתן (“King David and Nathan”) is encoded at an ELS of every 69 letters beginning at the first letter of the second word in chapter 12, verse 6.
Given the exceptional length of the encoded text-string, it is perhaps not surprising that this is the only place in the entire Hebrew Old Testament where this text-string is encoded. The fact that the phrase “King David and Nathan” is encoded exclusively in a prophecy that mentions the houses of David and Nathan makes it obvious that this encryption is deliberate.
Note that this Type 3 ELS code revolves around a key concept rather than a key phrase. The key concept of the containing biblical passage is the houses of David & Nathan, which constitute a main topic of the prophecy which makes up the containing biblical passage. The encoded text-string המלך דוד ונתן (“King David and Nathan”) is an echo of this key concept from the plain text of its containing passage. This is a fine example of a Type 3 ELS code with a conceptual orientation.
Example 4: The LORD’s house
The following Type 3 ELS code was discovered at 1:22p.m. on April 13, 2021:
The prophetic vision of Ezekiel 8 is set in the temple in Jerusalem. The construct chain בית יהוה (“the house of the LORD,” or “the LORD’s house”) is used twice by Ezekiel to refer to the temple in this passage, and therefore functions as a key phrase of the containing passage. As the table in the image above shows, this exact phrase is encoded at an ELS of every 64 letters in this passage.
As the encoded text-string of this particular example is an exact letter-for-letter repetition of a key phrase, the orientation of this Type 3 ELS code is letter-for-letter.
Example 5: the house of Saul
The following Type 3 ELS code was discovered at 3:16p.m. on July 28, 2021:
As the table in the above image shows, the Hebrew construct chain בית שאול (“the house of Saul”, or “Saul’s house”) is encoded at an ELS of every 76 letters backwards in 2 Samuel 21:2-9. It should be noted that an ELS search for this text-string at an ELS depth of between 2-150 letter skips yields a total of only 2 results in the entire Hebrew Bible–and this passage just so happens to be one of them. For such an encryption to occur so exclusively in a biblical passage in which the house of Saul just so happens to be the central topic of discussion–rules out any realistic possibility of a coincidence.4
The key concept in the plain text of the containing passage is the house of Saul, which is mentioned once directly in the passage by the Gideonites, and is again alluded to by the writer of 2 Samuel when he mentions David’s purposeful sparing of Mephibosheth (cf. 2 Sam. 9), as David had long before sworn to Jonathan that he would not cut off his house after he became king (1 Sam. 20:14-16). This is another fine example of a Type 3 ELS code with a conceptual orientation.
Example 6: the Prophets
The following Type 3 ELS code was discovered at 3:44a.m. on April 14, 2021:
The key phrase of the above biblical passage is הנביאים (“the prophets”), which (in addition to the plain text) is also found encoded in the containing passage at an ELS of every 64 letters beginning at the second hey of the word הזה in verse 7. This is another fine example of a Type 3 ELS code with a letter-for-letter orientation.
Example 7: Fear not
The following Type 3 ELS code was discovered at 6:22a.m. on March 31, 2021:
As can be seen, the key phrase of the above Type 3 ELS code (אל־תירא (“Fear not”)) is encoded at an ELS of every 4 letters backwards beginning at the aleph in the word תיראי in verse 14. This is another fine example of a Type 3 ELS code with a letter-for-letter orientation.
Type 3 ELS codes are ELS codes which echo a key phrase or key concept found within their respective containing biblical passages. As we have seen, Type 3 ELS codes can be divided into two camps. A Type 3 ELS code with a letter-for-letter orientation simply encrypts a key phrase found in the plain text of the containing passage at a particular letter skip interval within said passage. In contrast, a Type 3 ELS code with a conceptual orientation encrypts a key concept which is the main idea or central topic of discussion within the plain text of the containing biblical passage. Unlike Type 1 and Type 2 ELS codes, Type 3 ELS codes appear to have no secondary function apart from serving as watermarks of authenticity and as an internal system of spell-checkers. This concludes my three-part introduction to biblical ELS codes.
- These two Scriptures are spiritually linked to one another. In addition to being the only two passages in the Hebrew Bible which contain the phrase הנה האבן, they bear other obvious similarities which are indicative of purposeful design. For example, the subject in both verses happens to be named Joshua.
- In biblical Hebrew, the definite article was sometimes prefixed to the word “God” when that word was functioning as the absolute noun in a construct chain. This was to infer that one was referring to the God of Israel, rather than any of the many so-called “gods” of the heathen.
- This construct can appear either with or without the definite article when this construct is used in the Old Testament. In modern Hebrew, it would be written without the definite article just as it appears in the encoded text-string.
- Note that Mephibosheth was one of Jonathan’s sons, whom David spared because of his covenant with Jonathan which he had made many years prior, in which he promised him that he would always show kindness towards his house after he was made king (1 Sam. 20:14-16; cf. 2 Sam. 9).