The Mystery of the Hebrew Language
The beginning of language on earth can be traced back to John 1:1, which states:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (NRSV)
When Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, God revealed to them the basic structure of the original language. At that time man lacked direct experience, so he needed to be taught how to think and function in order to deal with his environment. His mind was in some ways like that of a newborn baby.
The creative process of developing the human mind was not finalized in the Garden. It will continue throughout the cycles of human habitation of the earth. The finished product (a human being from God's perspective) can only come to his full potential by being born on the other side of reality after his earthly life is through.
For example, after programming a computer usually must be shut down and restarted. Similarly, people must die and then be resurrected in order to become a finished product in accordance with God's full pleasure and intent.
However, because God does not want preprogrammed robots, he gave us free will. Many human beings will reject eternal life by rejecting God. Since they do not choose to conform to his image, they will remain dead and eventually be eliminated in the lake of fire. Only those made holy and clean by the blood of Jesus Christ will remain to live forever.
The written Hebrew language captures the original concept of God's program. It is the only language that survived after the confusion of Babel to retain some of its original design.
Many Bible verses contain hidden or confirming messages buried within the text that are revealed when overlaid or analyzed with what I call the Hebrew Alphabet Number System. As stated elsewhere, each letter of the Hebrew alphabet contains three dimensions:
- They are simply common letters that make up words.
- Each letter also expresses a symbolic concept.
- Each letter represents a mathematical value.
After the destruction of the First Temple in ancient Israel, the Hebrew language was no longer used. It was exchanged for Aramaic and later Greek. Those languages do not incorporate the above three linguistic dimensions that were embodied in the original text. Therefore, in order to understand the complete message of biblical prophecy, we must study some details of the original Hebrew Alphabet Number System.
The original Hebrew alphabet contained foundational knowledge from God that men could never discover. In it was buried the concept of creation, the source of the beginning of the universe, and the first step toward diversity.
The ancient Hebrew speakers organized things by assigning numbers for levels of priority. For instance, in our bodies the most important organ is the brain; therefore, we might assign the number one (1) to it. For two (2), we may choose the heart. The Hebrews used tables to show how they prioritized things like metals, fruits and vegetables, planets, and even our weekly cycle: the first day, Sunday (the sun), is followed by Monday (the moon). These concepts connect to the spiritual-physical side of man and are interwoven in the fabric of human history. Here are some examples:
Similarly, the Hebrew Alphabet Number System combines numbers and symbols to explain the universe, the earth, and our existence. This system can be used to understand important concepts and philosophies.
Following is a list of the twenty-two Hebrew numbers with their corresponding letters. I tried to capture the meanings of these numbers and letters, as I understand them. I am not a Jewish scholar, and I do not speak Hebrew. But this brief conceptual analysis will give you a glimpse into the complexity of the Hebrew Alphabet Number System and how it can be used to discover hidden meanings in Bible texts, especially those that relate to the Apocalypse.
1 = Aleph
The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is Aleph. It represents God the Creator, a profound mystery of unity and harmony. Aleph has a numerical value of one (1). It is the first prime number, which signifies a beginning.
Aleph is one of two consonants in the Hebrew language that cannot be pronounced. It is always silent, indicating the qualities of being hidden, incomprehensible, unexplainable, and infinite.
In the Hebrew language, the word Aleph means "head of a bull" or the head of royalty (king). In Exodus 32, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the carved stone tables of the Ten Commandments, he saw that the children of Israel had made a golden calf. They wanted to symbolize God with the steer head. By covering their idol with gold they tried to legitimize their fraudulent religious expressions. Humanity often borrows ideas from the Creator God in order to give our enterprises an image of legitimacy.
Ezekiel saw four creatures before the throne of God in a vision. One creature had a steer head, representing the physical world coming from a world of light.
Aleph symbolizes the beginning of everything in the universe. All had its origin within and from God.
2 = Beth
Beth means "house." Its mathematical value is two (2). It symbolizes our world, which is an enclosure within the universe.
Inside a house are many rooms and objects. The world contains governments, people, civilizations, and thousands of life forms. These concepts are reflections of realties that are found in heaven. Jesus tells us that there are houses prepared in heaven for those who will join him. This indicates that heaven will be a familiar place where we will feel at home.
A house has doors, windows, and a roof. Man is locked inside this world, like being in a house. However, there are other worlds outside our own.
In the Hebrew language Genesis 1:1 starts with "B’ree(i)shit Barah Elohee(i)m," which is translated in English as "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Notice the first word in the creation record starts with the letter Beth. It is the outward expression of the "I AM," the eternal God.
Two (2) is the first number that can be divided; hence, it can also mean "duality" or "division." Mankind is composed of two types of humans: male and female. There are two parts of the Bible: the Old and New Testaments. Man struggles with the opposing forces of good and evil, life and death, right and wrong. These concepts can only be understood when Beth (the house) is connected with Aleph (God the Creator).
3 = Gimel
Gimel means "camel." As a concept it indicates the physical (animal) side of man. Its numerical value is three (3). This is another prime number that cannot be divided.
Gimel expresses important ideas, thoughts, or things. It is graphically represented in a triangle. The Jewish star is comprised of two interlaced triangles. The triangle pointing up means "perfect manifestation on the physical side of man"; the one pointing down indicates "perfect manifestation of the spiritual."
Gimel also stands for "divine completeness or perfection." In the Trinity, God is one (Aleph) but His attributes are expressed in the time dimension as GodFather, GodSon, and GodSpirit.
4 = Daleth
Daleth means "door." It has a mathematical value of four (4).
The house (Beth) has a door (Daleth) by which you can go out or come in. The door can be closed or open. If the door is open, man can see another world. God designed us to live with the door open, which means that we will experience strife in our lives, rather than closing the door to avoid conflict. People live in a world of warfare and conflict, both within ourselves and against nature. Daleth symbolizes a world of opposition between good and evil, life and death, justice and injustice.
Daleth represents "this world in this time." It covers the physical side of our world, which exists within the time dimension. There are many examples of this four-dimension concept:
- Four directions (north, south, east, west)
- Four elements (earth, air, fire, water)
- Four kingdoms (animal, vegetable, mineral, spiritual)
- Four seasons (spring, summer, autumn, winter)
- Four DNA genomes (A, G, T, C)
- Four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
5 = Heh
The fifth letter is Heh, which means "window." Its numerical value is five (5).
Through the window, the world comes in, just as with the door, but on a higher level. Light comes in through the window, and you can see what is outside. If you shut the window, your soul will become dark; you will lose hope. You will become ignorant and evil. There is no tomorrow for you, and your soul will slowly die.
Heh also means "the other side." This can refer to heaven, the spiritual world, the immortal side of man, or angels and other spiritual beings.
Another meaning for Heh is "grace." In Hebrews 10:29 the Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of grace." Isaiah 9:6 (KJV) uses five names for Jesus Christ:
- Mighty God,
- The Everlasting Father,
- The Prince of Peace.
6 = Waw
Waw means "hook." Its numerical value is six (6). Waw connects one thing with another.
God made the earth in six days and connected man to the seventh day. The time before creation was then joined (connected) with man after creation.
A supplementary meaning of Waw is "man in his sinful nature," which denotes Satan's influence over man.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:10-12 NRSV)
The above passage describes six manifestations of Satan's influence over man: "the devil's schemes," "flesh and blood," "rulers," "authorities," "powers of this dark world," and "spiritual forces of evil." It also contains three admonitions ("be strong," "put on," and "take your stand"). If you add three (Gimel, "important ideas") to six (Waw, "man in his sinful nature"), you get nine (Teth, "new life").
7 = Zayin
Zayin means "sword/strife" or "completeness/perfection." The meaning that applies to any given context depends on whether we are viewing events on earth or in heaven.
The numeric value of Zayin is seven (7). The number forty-nine (7 x 7) represents a double portion of trials, tribulations, struggles, or weapons (if we are looking at earthly things). The seventh tribe of Israel, Gad, was the first to engage the enemy to enter the Promised Land.
When examining the eternal dimension, Zayin means "divine completeness or perfection." It refers to something that is complete or set aside. The book of Revelation describes seven churches, seven spirits, seven stars, seven trumpets, seven bowls, and seven candlesticks.
An old Hebrew tradition says that we are now living in "the seventh day." The six-day creation story repeats the phrase "And there was evening and there was morning" six times. On the seventh day, however, this phrase is omitted. The seventh day is still in the making and continues to our present time. It is full of strife, swords, weapons, killing, and conflict.
Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's foes will be members of one's own household." (Matthew 10:34-36 NRSV).
8 = Cheth
Cheth has a numerical value of eight (8). It means "fenced in," like in a cage, "being surrounded," or "a new beginning." The difference, again, depends on whether we are looking at earthly or heavenly things.
Man can have a new beginning if he directs his view into heaven. But he will be encircled by evil if he pursues earthly things.
Eight people were saved from the Flood (Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives). These eight people represented a new beginning for mankind after the world was destroyed by water. The root number is still four (4), meaning "this world in this time" (Daleth). Four males and four females came from the old world into the new, progressing into the Cheth (8), a new beginning on a higher level.
9 = Teth
The ninth letter, Teth, is not actually a word, but more of a concept. It indicates "new life." Hebrew tradition says that Teth represents a woman giving birth, or a place where something new is brought forth. That which was in the darkness comes forth into light like a seed bursting from the earth.
Another meaning for Teth is "fruit" or "spirit." Paul mentioned nine fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There are nine gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8-10) and nine Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12).
10 = Jod
Jod, like a new birth, is born out of Teth. Life is transformed and continues on to a higher level becoming Jod.
Jod means "hand." It specifically symbolizes "the hand at rest" because God has provided and prepared everything we need.
Another meaning of Jod is "law and responsibility." The Ten Commandments made up the Law of God. There were ten plagues in Egypt. The tithe (Malachi 3:10) represents a tenth of our earnings. Genesis contains the phrase "God said" ten times concerning his creation.
20 = Kaph
The higher level of Jod continues with the eleventh letter, Kaph, meaning "holding or reaching hand," expressing purpose or redemption. Kaph is connected with the physical side of our bodies, indicating our earthly existence.
The corresponding Zodiac sign is Mercury (Kochab), where redemption is possible. Redemption can lead us beyond our earthly existence.
According to ancient Hebrew law, a person had to be twenty (20) years old to become an adult citizen who was fully accountable to the law. (Exodus 30:14; Numbers 26:2-4, 32:11)
30 = Lamed
Lamed means an "ox-prodding stick." The ox is controlled when a "holding hand" (Kaph) starts an activity, and Lamed (the stick) gets the ox moving. Lamed guided the “bull” of first things (Aleph) that started the world.
The other meaning of Lamed is "dedication." It is connected with the blood and life of Jesus. He started his public ministry at the age of thirty (30) years. (Luke 3:23) According to the Old Testament, a man had to be thirty years old to fulfill the duties of a tabernacle/temple priest. (Numbers 4:23ff)
Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, which was prophesied centuries before. (Matthew 26:15; Zechariah 11:12)
The curtain in the Jewish temple, which separated the people from God, was thirty cubits long. At the time of Jesus' death this curtain was split in two, allowing people direct access to God.
40 = Mem
Mem is more than just a letter of the alphabet. It has a built-in word structure similar to Majim, which means "water."
When applied to days, months, or years, the number forty (40) does not necessary mean an actual measurable amount of time. Rather, it conveys something related to the time-life dimension like a “generation.” These concepts can be compared to water, which is an indefinable expanse without borders, a condition in which people could drown and die.
Mem also means that there is a purpose to the "trials," "testing," or "probation" of life on this side. Israel spent forty years in the wilderness being tested by God before they crossed over Jordan to inherit the Promised Land. (Deuteronomy 8:2-5) Jesus was tempted by the devil for forty days. (Luke 4:1) Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven. (Acts 1:3)
50 = Nun
Nun pictures a nahash or "snake." It also expresses man's individuality in the time dimension. It indicates "life with a purpose on the other side."
In Moses' time, the people of Israel were told to make a bronze snake and lift it up on a pole. (Numbers 21:4-9) Whoever looked upon that snake was saved from the poison and did not die. The image of that serpent not only symbolically reminded man of the original problem of sin, but it will also assured them that God had provided a means of salvation and restoration to live in the midst of a desert experience. As such, it is a prophetic type of Jesus on the cross. (John 3:14; 12:32-34)
Joshua, the son of Nun (50), led the children of Israel through water (Mem = 40) to the Promised Land (50 = 5x10, Heh = 5, "the other side"). Joshua is a type of Jesus who will lead us into the eternal rest of the Kingdom of God. (Hebrews 4:8-11)
The Torah required Israel to celebrate a special year-long holiday every fifty years called the Jubilee. All debts were forgiven on that day, all property returned to the original owners, all slaves freed, the high priest changed to another family, political ties were cut and money reevaluated to its original worth.
On the fiftieth day after the Lord's resurrection, Christians celebrate the holiday of Pentecost commemorating the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The number fifty (50) is also connected with Israel's future return and restoration to the land God gave them (1968-2018).
60 = Samech
Samech represents Satan, and it also means "snake" because Satan appeared as a serpent when he originally tempted man to sin. Adam had been commanded by God to multiply and subdue the earth, but was forbidden to eat from the tree of knowing good and evil. The serpent convinced Adam and Eve to question this command.
It seemed a paradox that God would tell the first couple to be fruitful and populate the earth, yet forbid them to eat the fruit that would give them the knowledge they needed for survival. So Adam and Eve used their own judgment, basing their decision on what seemed good to them at the time, rather than depending on God's provision for life.
At the moment man took that first step of disobedience, he began a journey away from the Lord. Mankind still strives to be independent from God, and thus experiences strife and difficulties in the midst of an evil world governed by Satan.
The first act of disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden brought sin into the world. All of the descendants of Adam and Eve now carry the disease of being sinful. Man is compelled to ask, Why I am here on this planet? Where am I going? Will life ever make sense?
However, through life's difficulties, we can still find God. He has made provision for his children's salvation so they can return to life in conformity with God’s holy nature.
Samech also refers to idol worship. The image of Nebuchadnezzar, which he erected and then commanded to be worshiped, stood sixty cubits high and six cubits wide. (Daniel 3:1)
70 = Ayin
Ayin means "eyes" or "spring." This letter, like Aleph, is silent and can only be verbalized with vowels. The number seventy (70) is an expression of "the sum total of this world." Ancient Hebrew tradition says that the earth has seventy nations, seventy languages, seventy words of wisdom, and seventy elders to guide people. (Exodus 24; Numbers 11) This does not always represent a literal number, but a connotation of something complete.
The inner eye sees the world in its proper place. When we understand a problem, we often say "I see," meaning that we understand what is hidden. The blueprint of God's plan for this earth is understood with the eyes of Ayin.
The second meaning of Ayin refers to spring water that comes out of a mountain. This refreshing life-giving water, which comes from hidden places, can sustain us on our journey.
Seventy (70) is the number of God's punishment for Israel because of their disobedience. Many Bible stories are connected with Ayin (70). For seventy years Israel lived in exile before they were restored. (Jeremiah 25:11; 29:10) Daniel 9:24 prophesied that seventy (70) weeks would be allowed for Israel to put an end to sin. Israel's final restoration will be seventy years long (1948-2018).
Jesus appointed seventy disciples to go out in his name and preach the good news. (Luke 10) In Matthew 18:21-22 Jesus said to forgive those who sin against you seventy times seven (490 times).
80 = Pe
Pe means "mouth." With the mouth, man can talk, question, and communicate with God and other men. He can also feed his physical body.
After the encounter with the serpent, Adam's eyes were opened and he saw that he was naked. When he hid from God, God asked, "Ajakah?" (Where are you?). God knew where Adam was hiding, but he wanted Adam to communicate with him, to express his inner thoughts and answer back with his mouth (Pe). (See Genesis 3:9-19.)
In the Garden God resided with Adam and Eve in a separated environment, fenced in from the processes of life and death on this earth. Now that man has lost this paradise, an uncertain future awaits him. He is unhappy, unsettled, in turmoil. He asks God with his mouth, "Why do I have to be subject to the laws of life and death?" The answer is found in the next number, Tsade.
90 = Tsade
Tsade means "fishhook." To get a fish from water onto dry land, you need a hook. We live in the time dimension (Mem = "water"), but someone with a hook (Tsade) pulls us out as soon as the mouth (Pe) has spoken. The gospel of Jesus Christ (Tsade = "fishhook") is preached, causing confessing of sin (with the mouth, Pe). In this way is eternal life received.
Man was designed to live forever, but because of sin, he must take a detour, much like the Israelites when they wandered through the desert between Egypt and the Promised Land. Some will die on the journey; others will survive to enter the land they longed for.
Jesus chose fishermen as his disciples—men who would "fish" for people to add to the kingdom of God.
100 = Koph
Koph means "eye of a needle." Jesus used an illustration of a camel going through the eye of a needle.
Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
They were greatly astounded and said to one another, "Then who can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said, "For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible." (Mark 10:24-27 NRSV)
It is just as impossible for sinful man to go through to the other side (heaven) as for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Jesus said that he alone can make this happen.
Abraham was promised a son when he was one hundred (100) years of age, and his wife Sarah was eighty years old. God told him that from the two of them would be born descendants as numerous as the stars in the heavens including royalty and the Redeemer. This seemed an impossible proposition, but the Lord assured Abraham that nothing is impossible with him. Abraham believed, but Sarah laughed. She knew her body was wilted. When in the due course of time Sarah gave birth to this promised child, Abraham named the boy Isaac, which means "laughter."
Koph also means "children of promise" and "God's election of grace." Galatians 4:28 and Romans 9:7-8 say that believers in Jesus Christ are "children of promise."
The number 100 can be expressed in the Hebrew system as one (1) in three dimensions or domains. The domains could represent, for example, heaven, earth and under the earth with God as the head (1 = Aleph) over all.
One hundred is also written as one (1) with two zeros. Zero (0) represents a circle. The circle indicates something infinite, with no beginning or end. The number one hundred (100) could represent someone (1) being inside or outside a circle (0). Jesus illustrates this in a story about one hundred sheep.
What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost. (Matthew 18:12-14 NRSV)
200 = Resch
Resch means an "emerging head." The head comes out first during birth. Aleph is the head of the bull, but Resch is the head of man. It has a mouth and can talk to God, so Resch can also mean the brain where all bodily functions are anchored and connected.
Another meaning of Resch is "insufficiency" suggesting that something is "not enough." Human beings born in sin are insufficient to live in another dimension. We need something added from outside ourselves to make us "good enough" to enter heaven.
When Jesus asked the disciples to feed the five thousand men (plus women and children) who had followed them to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee, Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little" (John 6:7 NASB). Even two hundred denarii (200) would not have been enough to feed the multitude. Only Jesus Christ is sufficient to meet all our needs.
300 = Shin
Shin means "tooth" and refers to eating (achol). Teeth are required for eating so they are involved in the process of life and death. When food is crushed by the teeth, its components - fruits, vegetables and meats - lose their individual identities. In a philosophically similar way, when specific experiences in our past are mixed together, we can begin to see meaning and purpose for our lives, which can be expressed as a sense of general well-being.
All the senses (taste, smell, touch, and even sound) are involved in eating or to judge if the food is palatable. Shin is connected with the head and is coupled with what makes sense in this life.
400 = Taw
The last letter of the Hebrew alphabet is Taw, which means a "cross" or a "sign." It encompasses the outer region of existence or the material world.
Taw can also mean "eternity." The number four hundred (400) can be broken down to 100 x 4. God in three dimensions or domains (100) is in control of "this world in this time" (4).
All numbers besides these twenty-two are written as combinations of the above numbers. For example, "teen" numbers (12, 13, etc.) do not exist in the Hebrew numbering system. They are expressed as 10 + 1, 10 + 2, 10 + 3, etc. Adding ten (Jod) to another number brings the meaning of that number up to a higher level.
The Hebrew alphabet is composed of twenty-two letters. The last book of the Bible (Revelation) has twenty-two chapters. Combining twenty (Kaph, which means "holding or reaching hand" or "redemption") with two (Beth, which means "house"), we get twenty-two (22), which represents "an active hand with purpose in my house." The number twenty-two (22) can also mean "banned or exiled to another world." Jacob was separated from Isaac for twenty-two years. Joseph was separated from his father for twenty-two years.
A large number may be expressed by multiplying a base number by itself. For example, forty-nine (49) could be expressed as 7 x 7. Seven (Zayin) means "strife/sword"; therefore, 49 (seven squared) indicates seven times more trouble than seven.
To decide whether the proper meaning of a number in a particular instance can be determined by adding or multiplying other component numbers, we must examine the biblical contexts and compare several Bible verses that use that number. If many references indicate the same or similar meanings, we can be reasonably assured that a true interpretation has been established.
A thorough study of the Hebrew Alphabet Number System reveals that God has imbedded his complete plan for humankind in it.
1 = Aleph: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last." (Revelation 22:13 NRSV)
2 = Beth: "I am in the Father and the Father is in me." (John 14:10 NRSV)
3 = Gimel: GodFather, GodSon, and GodSpirit (Matthew 28:19)
4 = Daleth: "And the Word became flesh." (John 1:14 NRSV)
5 = Heh: Jesus rose from death. (Luke 24:7 and Mark 16:6)
We could continue through the whole alphabet and still not fully capture the meaning of God. He is hidden in every level of human speech and thoughts that are expressed in the alphabet, yet we could never fully define him with mere symbols like letters of the alphabet.
The Hebrew Alphabet Number System helped me to understand and date the Apocalypse. Whenever you read prophecy in the Bible, just remember these numbers and their meanings.