What's in a Name?


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1 - Introduction

It has been claimed that three is a numerical symbol for all that is substantial or complete. The argument usually begins with an appeal to classical geometry where a minimum of three straight lines is seen to be required to form a plane figure; and three dimensions of length, breadth and height, are necessary to define a solid - the simplest example being the cube. It is further pointed out that there are three great divisions completing time viz, past, present and future; three persons in grammar express and include all the relationships of mankind; thought, word and deed, complete the sum of human capability; God's prime attributes are three viz, omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence; and so on.

Again, as readers of the Bible will know, three is frequently found associated with matters of spiritual substance. Consider, for example, the Three Persons of the Trinity to each of whom in turn the Seraphim direct their cry, "Holy, Holy, Holy"; the Lord - represented by the same three persons - appeared to Abraham 'in the plains of Mamre'; and Jesus rose on the third day (having been crucified at the third hour) and it was for three hours (from the 6th to the 9th) that darkness shrouded him; and so on. Clearly, therefore, there exists a convincing catalogue of instances which support the proposition that, in the appropriate context, three represents absolute solidity and perfection.

The purpose of this paper is to bring forward further powerful evidences confirming the significance of three to those dwelling in 'the courts of heaven'. In line with previous submissions, the procedures will focus particularly on the reading of the information provided in the numbers that are a fair alternative reading of Hebrew and Greek words and phrases, and their representation as related symmetrical structures of geometry.

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2 - The 'Elohim' phenomenon

The Hebrew word 'Elohim' (pronounced 'Eloheem' and traditionally translated 'God' - though it is actually the plural form of 'Eloah'!) is first encountered as the third word of Genesis 1:1 (reading from right to left in the traditional manner):

Note that 'Elohim' has five letters whose values as numerals ( their 'characteristic values' or CVs) are 1, 30, 5, 10 and 40, respectively.

[Those unfamiliar with the Hebrew scheme of numbering kindly click here]

This name for God occurs 228 times in the Torah (or Pentateuch). The researcher, Ian Mallett, has recently drawn attention to the interesting fact that if its letters are read as three groups of three - that is, 1st/2nd/3rd, 2nd/3rd/4th and 3rd/4th/5th - the corresponding CVs (obtained by summing the constituent numerals) are 36, 45 and 55, ie a rising and consecutive sequence of triangular numbers (the 8th, 9th and 10th). These facts are detailed in the following panel:

Observe that the sum of these three triangles is 136 - which is also triangular - and the sum of their order numbers, 27 (or 3^3). Note too that when 16 (the order number of 136) is added to the latter sum, the total becomes 43 - largest prime factor of 'Elohim'.

Clearly, three - the first triangular number proper - is a persistent feature of these proceedings, for consider:

Can such a remarkable confluence - involving the name of the Creator himself - be fairly considered fortuitous? Is it not more reasonable rather to regard the phenomenon as a notable example of supernatural design? However, to draw such a conclusion at this juncture would be somewhat premature - there being further evidences to weigh.

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3 - The 'Yahweh' phenomenon

The proper name of the God of Israel, the mystical four-letter tetragrammaton - vocalized as YaHWeH or JeHoVaH, and invariably rendered 'The Lord' by the translators of the AV - is first encountered in association with 'Elohim' in Genesis 2:4. Its letters reveal a different pattern of three consecutive triangular numbers, thus:

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4 - The 'Yahweh Elohim' phenomenon

In combination with 'Elohim' (the pair translated "The Lord God") a further pattern of three ascending triangles is revealed in the sums of the straight groups of three letters, thus:

Notice that the order numbers of these triangles form a Pythagorean triple - twice the simplest primitive (3, 4 ,5).

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5 - A view from the New Testament

The first chapter of John's Gospel makes it clear that the 'Elohim' of Genesis 1:1 is none other than The Lord Jesus Christ. We are therefore led to expect some evidence of numerical design involving three in respect of this Name. In the original Greek, nominative case, it appears as follows:

Identical forms of both name and title are to be found in the Septuagint - a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament dating from c300 BC - though not in combination. The numerical implications are as follows:

[Those unfamiliar with the Greek scheme of numbering kindly click here]

These remarkable facts invite close examination and comment:

It should not pass unnoticed that the cube represents a biblical symbol of holiness - as evidenced by 1Kings 6:20 and Rev.21:16. This is also implied in Exodus 25 re the 'Holy of Holies' - central feature of Tabernacle worship.

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6 - The Ark of the Covenant

This wooden chest with its golden lid - the 'mercy seat' - occupied the inner sanctum of the Tabernacle; it was there that the High Priest met with God annually on the Day of Atonement to plead forgiveness for the sins of the people. The details of its construction were conveyed to Moses by God - these backed up by the solemn words "... look that thou make (it) after the pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount."

The required dimensions of the ark were "two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof." (Ex.25:10). And for the mercy seat: "two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof." (Ex.25:17); clearly, the perimeter was to be 8 (the cube of 2) cubits

Our concern is with the stated numbers of cubits rather than with precise dimensions. Let us therefore begin by removing the fractions - simply achieved by taking as our new unit of length the 'half cubit'. The ark is then seen to be a cuboid of dimensions 5 x 3 x 3, and the mercy seat, a 5 x 3 rectangle. The following diagram portrays the complete structure:

There are a several attributes of interest:

Careful study reveals that, in respect of this high concentration of triangularity in its numerical characteristics, this particular cuboid surpasses all two million others when length, width and height are each taken over the range 2 - 127 units.

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7 - The 'out-of-the-sea' phenomena

The page 666 - and All That draws particular attention to three dimensionless triangular numbers that occur as 'surface features' of the New Testament; they are 153 (Jn.21:11), 276 (Acts 27:37) and 666 (Rev.13:18) - 17th, 23rd and 36th triangular numbers, respectively. All are observed to have supernatural connections. The last has the form of 888, 777 and 999, and is therefore a multiple of 3 and 37. But, as a triangular number, 666 is unique in that, (a) all its numerical attributes are triangular numbers and, (b) it participates as a triplet in a geometrical rendering of Genesis 1:1.

It is further demonstrated that all three triangles - taken in association with the unique triangular sequence 6, 6x6 and 66 (3rd, 8th and 11th, respectively) - point inevitably, and directly, to the Bible's first verse.

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8 - Conclusions

A series of tests involving computer searches and simulations have established the following additional facts:

The following inferences may be made from a consideration of all these data:

It is appropriate that we consider one final point of interest re the Bible's opening verse:

'Aleph' (shown in blue) - the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and of 'Elohim' - occurs 6 times, in positions 3, 9, 10, 15, 23 and 26. These figures total 86, or 'Elohim'.

Poetry and parable aside, it was ever intended that we read and understand the Bible literally - notwithstanding the problems raised by unbelieving scientists and intellectuals (whose assumptions, concerning reality are, anyway, always suspect - and rarely declared). It is inevitable that the 'wisdom of the wordly wise' will, one day, be destroyed. May these numerical facts - immune to all manipulation, and now seen to be endorsed by the Lord's signature - bring that day closer.

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Vernon Jenkins MSc

email: vernon.jenkins@virgin.net

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26 Nov,'00/modified 11 Apr '01