AuthorTopic: Gematria: The Link Between Numbers & Letters  (Read 164 times)

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Gematria: The Link Between Numbers & Letters
« on: April 21, 2019, 12:16:30 PM »

Count the numerical values

Of the letters in Nero’s name,

And in “murdered his own mother”:

You’ll find the sum is the same.

This piece of doggerel, written on a wall in Rome around 60 CE, points to a widespread (and very likely true) rumour that was circulating about the wicked emperor Nero: that he had his mother, Agrippina, killed.

It is one of the earliest recorded uses of gematria, or isopsephy. By this technique, you add up the number equivalents of letters in the alphabet. If the numbers are the same for two different words or phrases, they are pointing to a connection between the two things – and may even suggest they are identical. This particular calculation was done in Greek. If you add up the numerical values for the Greek letters in Neron (Nero) and in the phrase idian metera apekteine (“killed his own mother”), they both equal 1005.

The verse above was quoted by the Roman historian Suetonius. If Suetonius was right about this story, the use of gematria was so well-known in first-century Rome that it could be used by a juvenile delinquent (although a highly educated one) scrawling a nasty comment on a wall.

Gematria is based on the fact that the alphabets of some languages do double duty as letters and as numbers. This is certainly the case for both ancient Greek and Hebrew, and it makes gematria a particularly fascinating technique when those languages are involved.

Curiously, the most famous use of gematria also concerns Nero. In all likelihood, he is the famous Beast of Revelation 13:18, which reads, “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Scholars generally agree this refers to Nero, because the Hebrew letters for the words “Nero Caesar” do in fact add up to 666.

This identification also fits the time, since Revelation, at least in part, probably dates from the era of the Jewish War of 66-73 CE, in which the province of Judea rebelled from Rome and was crushed by the Roman army. Nero, whose cruelty was excessive even by Roman standards, was overthrown in 68.

The number 666, being of the Beast, is sometimes contrasted with 888, which by Greek gematria is the number of Jesus.

So where does gematria come from? It is a Hebrew word, derived from the Greek geometria (“geometry”) or possibly grammateia (“grammar”). As we’ve just seen, one of the earliest instances of gematria is based on Greek letters. But the Greeks did not invent it. Perhaps the Babylonians did. The oldest known use of gematria appears in an inscription from the reign of the Babylonian king Sargon II (727-707 BCE). It says that Sargon built the wall of the city of Khorsabad “equivalent to the value of his name,” which, according to Babylonian calculation, was 16,283 cubits.

Nevertheless, it was the Jewish tradition, particularly its mystical strain known as the Kabbalah, that took gematria the furthest. The single best-known use of gematria has to do with the word chai (“life”), whose numerical value equals eighteen, making eighteen a traditionally lucky number for Jews.

Thirty-six, twice eighteen, thus pointing to two lives (presumably a heavenly as well as an earthly one), is a still more important number. According to Jewish tradition, at any given time there are thirty-six righteous people on Earth for whose sake the world is preserved, no matter how wicked it may become. Their identity is known to no one, for the most part not even to themselves. If anyone claims to be one of them, it is a sure sign that he is not.

Thirty-six may have another meaning as well: it is written with the Hebrew letters lamed and waw, or vav, which equal thirty and six respectively. These letters spell the word lo, “to him,” possibly indicating these thirty-six belong specially to God. The thirty-six righteous are sometimes known as “lamed-vavniks.”..Read More at
New Dawn Magazine


https://www.newdawnmagazine.com/articles/gematria-the-link-between-numbers-letters
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You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

 

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