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  • Scott Fairbanks

Gematria

Updated: Oct 28, 2019

The characters in the Hebrew alphabet served triple duty. Each symbol is a hieroglyph, a letter, and a numeral. For example, 'beit' is a house, the symbol vaguely resembles a shelter, it also represents the `b' sound in a word, and it has the value 2.


There is a school of hermeneutics that explores the Hebrew scriptures by computing the numerical value of words, based on those of their constituent letters. It is called Gematria. I have been suspicious of Gematria. I have heard some suspect conclusions drawn from it. But a researcher who is currently at Tyndale House in Cambridge, James Bejon, has been finding certain patterns in the text that have convinced me that the authors of scripture do use gematria.


For example, courtesy of James Bejon from [1] :

The first half of Jacob’s genealogy closes with Leah (the mother/grandmother of half of Jacob’s 12 sons and 66 descendants), who is closely associated with the number 6.

She has

6 sons;

her full family tree consists of 6 x 6 people,

and is enumerated in 66 words;

and the name ‘Leah’ has a gematrial value of 6 x 6

Gad is

the 7th of Jacob’s 12 sons,

has 7 sons,

is preceded by 77 words in Jacob’s genealogy,

and has a name with a gematrial value of 7.


Inspired by James' work, I applied Gematria in texts that I am currently studying.


Consider Lamech's speech in Genesis 4:23-24.

It contains 21 words which is equal to 3 x 7.

The gematria value of Lamech's dad Methushael is 777.

The gematria value of the names of Lamech's two wives is 210 which is 30 x 7.

The gematria value of the whole speech is 30 x 7 x 7 x 7 + 7 = 10297

There are 7 members in Lamech's family: Lamech, 2 wives, 3 sons, 1 daughter

Lamech is the 7th in line from the adam through Cain.

The name Lamech represents 570, I could find no significance there, 570 = (2x3x5x19)


There is another character named Lamech in the line proceeding from Seth. His speech regards Noah.

Noah is tenth in line from the adam. The speech has ten words. He lived to be 777 years old. I struggled to find any other significance in his speech.


I wrote a Python script to find Gematria values. If you are interested in having the code please email me. segullah@mac.com






[1] https://www.academia.edu/38868964/Gen._46_s_Genealogy_Jacob_s_70_Sons


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