by Uri Marcus*
With responses by Grant Jeffrey
and Yacov Rambsel and a reply by Uri Marcus*
See also Jesus Codes: Uses and Abuses
EQUAL INTERVAL LETTER SKIP PATTERNS: SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS
by Stan Tenen with a letter from Dr. Jeffrey Satinover.
Significance Discovered in The Yeshua Codes
by Guy Cramer and Lori Eldridge
Editors Note: I have long been interested in the possibility of hidden codes in the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible. Stan Tenen of the Meru Foundation has been doing remarkable, and I believe meaningful, computer analysis of Genesis from which he has gleaned what would appear to be some amazing geometrical properties of the universe. Recently interest in Torah Codes has mushroomed both among Christians such as Grant Jeffrey, numerous groups of Torah scholars in Israel, and others, for instance The Official Torah Codes Page .
I welcome Uri Marcus' article which helps bring balance and reason to this discussion since many extravagant claims are being made. Lambert Dolphin, February 22, 1997. Thanks to Grant Jeffrey and Yacob Rambsel also for their response at the end of this article.
Stop and Think
Publicized details of this famous computer analysis of finding coded messages in the Torah should make us stop and think. For instance, only the book of Genesis was validated by this elaborate test; the other books of the Pentateuch were either not tested, or were tested and failed, with the test results going unpublished. On the other hand, the book of Isaiah definitely was tested and failed. If they had truly discovered "G-d's signature," wouldn't the same miracle have appeared in all the books of the Bible? Or are we to consider Genesis more inspired than Isaiah?
Who does it Glorify
Didn't it seem a bit suspicious that these scores of "prominent Jewish leaders" (in other words, rabbis and sages approved by Talmudic Judaism), who for the most part rejected G-d's righteousness in order to establish their own, would be approved by G-d by name in the holy Scriptures which they disobey? The fact that those who glorify these same rabbis unquestioningly were the ones who "discovered" this phenomenon should also raise suspicions. Just a touch self-serving, no? Where are our spiritual senses, that we can accept that G-d would choose to show His authorship by embedding into His word, of all things, names of unsaved rabbis from the Middle Ages? Why not the apostles, or at least the prophets?
Harness G-d or Harness "the Power"
And then, what are these proofs are being used for here in Israel? The orthodox community, mostly in a yeshiva called Esh HaTorah, give seminars featuring these codes, to convince assimilated Jews (especially from the West, who revere hi-tech) not merely that the Jewish Bible is authentic, but that the rabbinic authorities hold a monopoly on unlocking hidden truth and power. Those who become convinced do not go home and read their Bibles--they go into a yeshiva to study with these people how to harness the power for themselves. This whole practice of bringing out hidden messages in the Torah is openly admitted to be a form of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, which includes liberal use of numerology through "gematria" or assigning number values to Hebrew letters. They use the revealed information to find guidance, uncover secrets, tell the future and open spiritual "doorways" to power. Here in Israel, Kabbalah is accepted in the Jewish community as a spiritual power tool which especially "holy" people can harness to do all the same things done in sorcery; in spite of Biblical prohibitions it is considered "okay" because the Scriptures or the Holy Name are being used (but it is acknowledged that things can often "backfire" for the uninitiated. It is also admitted that Kabbalah taps into demonic powers, but these are simply renamed the "dark side of G-d"). Numeric exercises aside, the source of the Torah-code business is already defiled.
The Rabin assassination
With regard to the "prophecy" about Rabin's murder in Genesis - yes, it can be found in the Hebrew (I checked). Given the timing, it was very possibly not coincidence. But if not, does "finding" it in Genesis mean that G-d was ordering the assassination? Because of this finding, there are a few extremists here saying that the killer - also orthodox - was anointed by G-d to do what he did, like Moses or Phineas (which doesn't wash because Yigal Amir was never appointed a judge over the people). But there are two other rational possibilities outside of coincidence. One possibility: human decision to both discover it and to fulfill it. Isn't it interesting that this "prophecy" which is read in synagogues at the same time every year, was not uncovered at scores of earlier opportunities (Rabin was Prime Minister for 8 years altogether, and a high-ranking leader for several decades). The fact is that until his final 2 years no one in the orthodox community had a need to find a negative message about him. (I suppose the only way to prove this point would be to run the entire Torah through a computer to see where else Rabin's name turns up, and in what context. Is it impossible that this is what someone did, and then chose the most damning combination?) The assassin himself claims rabbinic backing for what he did--although the Genesis prophecy was publicized in Israel only after the event, it's possible that it was seen beforehand by Amir, who decided to carry it out at the "proper" time (he did openly speak of plans to kill Rabin, although he never said when). On a different level, there were several inexplicable gaps in security that allowed Amir to get impossibly close to Rabin that night, as well as testimony that security people were insisting that the bullets were blanks (until it proved otherwise). If you're wondering why Israeli security would allow a fake assassination attempt, there were solid political reasons, but I won't go into those. My point is that there is evidence that human agents could have brought about Rabin's shooting, using the Genesis prophecy as a pretext.
The second possibility: demonic powers seizing on the "hidden prophecy" not only to propel godless men to do evil, but also to build a masterful deception, a "lying sign and wonder". Do we not recognize that even Satan can use existing Scripture for his own ends (as in Matt. 4:6), and that lying spirits will try to deceive the elect with supernatural demonstrations?
Knowing this is possible, what should our response be? When we witness a lawless act (shedding of innocent blood which G-d condemns) being supported by a twist of the Bible and appearing to be supernaturally timed, dare we call it "remarkable... awesome," without also crying "evil"? Are we so impressed by the matching circumstances that we are willing to go along with "G-d decreed...fire fire"? The fact that Rabin was violating the Biblical promise of the Land can never excuse taking his life, a thing which only G-d should do (and could have done at any time). In spite of the fact that I detested what Rabin was doing to our country, my spirit recoils from the very idea that G-d put His blessing on the murder of a dedicated and lawfully elected leader. There are peaceable, lawful alternatives in a democracy such as ours. (In fact, political analysts agree that the impending elections would have removed him from power anyway - he was already trailing Netanyahu in polls at that time.)
Along with this, it was well-publicized in the Israeli press that previous to the Prime Minister's murder, a group of Kabalistic rabbis had gathered in front of Rabin's house and placed a curse on him, which was to be fulfilled within 30 days (actually it missed by two days, which is significant for those who understand the mark of a true prophet of G-d--but the media was so awestruck that they didn't care). Bottom line, guess who got the glory (if you want to call it that) - the G-d of the Bible, or these rabbis who by their own admission harness demonic power? You see, it comes full circle; these false shepherds of Israel, who teach the people to trust in occult truth rather than their God, are reaping a great PR benefit from the "hidden Torah codes" as well as from the Rabin assassination. They may be adored by some and hated by others, but they are feared and their followers are increasing daily. And now they're getting support in the Christian community as well.
Deception...Watch your Back!
You must consider this issue to be among the greater deceptions of this century, not only in Israel but in the Body of Messiah. Why? Because it has the appearance of validating the Bible which has been under such intellectual attack; "...finally some intellectual ammunition for our side (never mind where it came from...)". Therefore Bible-lovers (others besides yourself) are flocking to it without checking it too closely--with the "we need all the friends we can get" attitude. Isn't Satan clever - he set up the siege on the validity of the Bible, and now he wheels his Trojan horse into the besieged city...
Luring them in with Bait
As a matter of fact, it is a new fad among believers and non-believers alike: using gematria (successfully) to prove whatever their agenda calls for. You can find all of these on Internet web sites: Moslems showing the Koran to be supernatural, orthodox Jews adding more codes on the Torah, pranksters proving Edgar Allen Poe was inspired, and an atheist "showing" that he is a G-d. There are also pathetic attempts by Christians obsessed with finding the antichrist through number/name values, which shows where all this can lead to. But I'm surprised at how many Christian groups have come out in support of Witztum's study with uncritical enthusiasm, even trying to use this "proof" to bring people to salvation (what ever happened to the power of the plain message of the Scriptures?). Since I have started checking around, I've come across "proofs" in numerical codes that show that Jesus is the Messiah, that the New Testament is inspired, etc. I've heard of one book newly published, "Yeshua: the Hebrew Factor," (by Yakov Rambsel) which finds Jesus' Hebrew name hidden everywhere in the Hebrew Bible (even though His name is openly written in enough places already). It's a trap, and followers of the Messiah who hang their faith on this stuff are going to fall away. Especially when they get confronted by enemies of Christianity who use the same method to attack the gospel. The example that saddened me the most was a Jewish anti-missionary (a Jewish term for someone who refutes the Christian faith) here in Israel who, at someone's request, succeeded in finding in a Messianic prophecy a hidden code (3 separate times!) that spelled, "yeshua mashiach sheker" (Jesus is a false messiah). He said it was quite easy, and I believe him. Since my faith is based on more solid things, it doesn't faze me, but what will it do to believers who accept numerically coded messages as "irrefutable evidence"?
Truth reveals itself, not need for pyrotechnics
Gematria is not the way to "prove" His Word - as you know, His voice is recognized by those who really want Him, and who love the truth. The truth is clearly revealed so that even a child can see it, and is received with the spirit - such a person doesn't need "pyrotechnics" to be impressed. If someone doesn't know Him, even memorizing the entire Book wouldn't help, how much less statistics about it.
If the Christian community has come to believe that the way to lead people to a saving knowledge of G-d is by glorifying the letters of the words on the page, then we have fallen into making the written Word into an idol, like the Israelites did with the bronze serpent (2 Kings 18). Like the serpent on the pole, G-d gave us the written Word to teach us faithful obedience to Himself, but not to take His place. The Bible is a true but finite snapshot of the "living and active" Word, who is a Person, the infinite G-d of eternity. It is He (not the Book) that we serve; it is He (not the Book) that saves and works miracles and opens blind eyes. The Book is supernatural only to the extent that it is used by the Spirit to transform our lives. Our insistence on supernatural properties in the written words such as inerrancy (even "in the original autographs") is futile and unprovable, since we have in our possession only errant copies--even the exalted Masoretic text has mistakes. But that will not disturb us if we have put our trust in the living Word, who is indeed without error and whom we can trust to guide us through the copies of Scripture which He left us.
Why read backwards?
I see the special numbers used in Scripture as something completely different. They are symbolic of lots of things the Lord wants us to understand, and ought to be taught. That doesn't seem the same as scrambling the given letters to find words that are hidden, or calculating number values of words, and using these to find connections where the Lord didn't see fit to teach us plainly about them (we haven't yet exhausted what He *has* clearly laid out for us!). It's almost as bad when we try to discover hidden stuff when He already says the same thing plainly elsewhere (for then what are we wasting our time for?)
A note from an Internet Discussion Group:
I tried to fulfill Stuart's request to find Yeshua Moshiach Sheker ---"Jesus is the False Messiah"---in a code and it's quite easy. Here are three that I found. There are more but I only picked three.
(ONE) Look in Isaiah 7:1-7:17. I believe this is an area which the missionaries dwell on a bit. The only time the word Moshiach is found in that area in a code (spelled Mem, Shin, Yud, Chet) is starting from the Mem in Melech of 7:1 and counting 11 letters forward. The code ends in 7:1 also.
Now Yeshua (spelled Yud, Shin, Vav, Ayin) is found 5 times in this area. I picked the one with the smallest spacing (a familiar procedure done by code specialists) which starts from the Yud in Bochori in 7:4 and goes 27 letters backwards. It ends in 7:3.
Now Sheker (spelled Shin, Kuf, Reish) is found 28 times in this area. I picked the shortest incidence again which starts from the Shin of Damesek in 7:8 and you just read the next two letters (the Kuf of Damesek and the Reish of R'tzin). If you put this in a matrix of 25 centred around 215, it looks interesting.
(TWO) In the same area I picked others at random. Of course there's only one Moshiach in that area (no pun intended, although it may have been intended since time immemorial).Take the Yud in Vay'hi in 7:1, count 245 letters forward until you get Yeshua ending at 7:15.Take Shin in Yisroel in 7:1, count 140 letters forward until you get Sheker ending in 7:5.If you put this in a matrix of 60 centred around 14, Moshiach cross Yeshua, and Sheker crosses them both.
(THREE) Next, I tried a code in Isaiah 11:1-10, which is another well used missionary area. Again I used the shortest skip length. This is what I got. Take Yud in Chalotzov in 11:5. Count 72 letters backward until you get Yeshua in 11:1.Take Mem in Dalim in 11:4. Count 33 letters backward until you have Moshiach ending in 11:2.Take Shin in L'mishma in 11:3. Count 82 letters forward until you get Sheker at 11:7.If you put this in a matrix of 11 centred around 158, you get the same effect as in the second example. In this example though, the individual codes are more sandwiched next to each other. ---A Lichtiger Chanuko, Mordechai Perlman
Special thanks to Uri Marcus who is a Messianic Jewish believer living in Israel.
After properly attacking the actions and motives of a group of Israeli Kabbalistic rabbis who cursed Rabin before his tragic assassination, Marcus then says "And now they're getting support in the Christian community as well." What support? I research the Internet, newspaper, magazine and book sources worldwide every day dealing with topics such as Israel and the codes. I have never found evidence of "support in the Christian community" for either these warped and evil "Kabalistic rabbis who cursed Rabin" or their Kabalistic methods. The Kabbalah and its "methods" were used by some rabbis for two thousand years. The phenomenon of the Hebrew Codes was only discovered ten years ago. The fact that some rabbis are also interested in this phenomenon does not discredit the codes. These rabbis abuse the Old Testament also. Does this fact discredit also use the Old Testament. Does this fact discredit the Old Testament for Uri Marcus? Let's stick to the real issues. Is this discovery valid? Do these coded words appear in the text in a man made validity? Do these coded words appear in the text in a manner that is beyond the statistical possibility that this is simply a random occurrence? Anyone who spends a few hours studying the scholarly articles in Statistical Science journal, August 1994, Bible Review magazine, Nov. 1995, etc. will conclude that the phenomenon is real. As Dr. David Kazhdan, head of the mathematics department of Harvard University confirmed, "This is serious research carried out by serious investigators."
At one point Marcus declares,
"Deception...Watch your Back! You must consider the Hebrew Bible (even though His name is openly written in enough places already). It's a trap, and followers of the Messiah who hang their faith on this stuff are going to fall away. Especially when they get confronted by enemies of Christianity who use the same method to attack the gospel. The example that saddened me the most was a Jewish anti-missionary here in Israel who, at someone's request, succeeded in finding in a Messianic prophecy a hidden code (3 separate times!) that spelled, "yeshua mashiach sheker" (Jesus is a false messiah). He said it was quite easy, and I believe him."
Unfortunately Marcus is too ready to believe (without checking the evidence) of an enemy of the Gospel while he rejects the Hebrew Codes without reading the detailed reports or examining the readily available computer programs such as Torah Codes. The name "Yeshua" appears thousands of times throughout the Old Testament and therefore will be found close to almost any other word.
Marcus writes that, "Gematria is not the way to 'prove' His Word" and I agree. However, the Hebrew Codes that contain meaningful coded words about Jesus, etc. do not depend on Gematria. Anyone can verify the existence of these codes. The Bible is a true but finite snapshot of the 'living and active' Word, who is a Person, the infinite G-d of eternity. It is He (not the Book) that we serve; it is He (not the Book) that saves and works miracles and opens blind eyes. The Book is supernatural only to the extent that it is used by the Spirit to transform our lives. Our insistence on supernatural properties in the written words such as inerrancy (even "in the original autographs") is futile and unprovable, since we have in our possession only errant copies--even the exalted Masoretic text has mistakes."
Marcus made another statement that I agree with totally, "G-d gave us the written Word totally in the written words such as inerrancy (even "in the original autographs") is futile and unprovable, since we have in our possession only errant copies--even the exalted Masoretic text has mistakes." The Bible itself declares that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16). Jesus Christ declared, "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (Matthew 5:18). Our Lord declares in this and numerous other passages that God inspired the authors to record the words of God. I have no problem in believing that God inspired the inerrant Scriptures in the original autographs.
The posting from Marcus included some astonishing statements: " The Book is supernatural only to the extent that it is used by the Spirit to transform our lives. Our insistence on supernatural properties in the written words such as inerrancy (even "in the original autographs") is futile and unprovable, since we have in our possession only errant copies--even the exalted Masoretic text has mistakes. But that will not disturb us if we have put our trust in the living Word, who is indeed without error and whom we can trust to guide us through the copies of Scripture which He left us."
However, we part ways in our view of the Scriptures as in his statement, "Our insistence on supernatural properties..is futile and unprovable." Here are three that I found. There are more but I only picked three.
(1) Look in Isaiah 7:1-7:17. The only time the word Moshiach is found in that area in a code (spelled Mem, Shin, Yud, Chet) is starting from the Mem in Melech of 7:1 and counting 11 letters forward. The code ends in 7:1 also. Now Yeshua (spelled Yud, Shin, Vav, Ayin) is found 5 times in this area. I picked the one with the smallest spacing (a familiar procedure done by code specialists) which starts from the Yud in Bochori in 7:4 and goes 27 letters backwards. It ends in 7:3. Now Sheker (spelled Shin, Kuf, Reish) is found 28 times in this area. I picked the shortest incidence again which starts from the Shin of Damesek in 7:8 and you just read the next two letters (the Kuf of Damesek and the Reish of R'tzin). If you put this in a matrix of 25 centred around 215, it looks interesting."
Yacov Rambsel replies: The problem with the above statement is that a letter is missing from the text as provided by this source. This has been verified by three, different Hebrew texts, including the Masoretic Text. Unfortunately, one of the computer programs varies the spelling of words in this Hebrew text from the authorized Masoretic Text in this passage. This mistake nullifies the entire analysis that is stated above.
However, there is an interesting reason why the word "Sheker-false" appears in this passage. Isaiah 7:8 declares: "For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people." The Hebrew phrase "Damascus" and "Rezin" provide additional insights. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th letters from the right of the above spells "false," "liar," "perverse" or "sheker." These phrases revealed in text.
Marcus recorded this statement: "I tried to fulfill Stuart's request to find Yeshua Moshiach Sheker ---"Jesus is the False Messiah"---in a coded form...Take the Yud in Vay'hi in 7:1, count 245 letters forward until you get Yeshua ending at 7:15. Take Shin in Yisroel in 7:1, count 140 letters forward until you get Sheker ending in 7:5. If you put this in a matrix of 60 centred around 14, Moshiach crosses Yeshua, and Sheker crosses them both.
Yacov Rambsel replies: I did the analysis he claims he did. I came up with an entirely different phrase. Isaiah 7:1: Starting with the shin letter in the word 'Israel,' and counting every 140th letter in both directions (forward and reverse) spells 'hamah'shak rosh' which means "the head steward." Yeshua (Jesus) is the head steward and Servant to all mankind. If you separate the quph letter and include it with the first two letters of the second sentence, the Hebrew Codes reveal the agenda of the nation Syria in its approach to Israel since 1948.
Marcus reported: " (2) In the same area I picked others at random. Of course there's only one Moshiach in that area (no pun intended), although it may have been intended to count 72 letters backward until you get Yeshua in 11:1. Take Mem in Dalim in 11:4. Count 33 letters backward until you have Moshiach ending in 11:2. Take Shin in L'mishma in 11:3. Count 82 letters forward until you get Sheker at 11:7.If you put this in a matrix of 11 centred around 158, you get the same effect as in the second example. In this example though, the individual codes are more sandwiched next to each other. ---A Lichtiger Chanuko, Mordecai Perlman
Yacov Rambsel responds: "his strong bias is palpable by his convoluted attacks he repeats against several areas of Scripture, such as in Isaiah 11:3 where he says the Hebrew word for "false, sheker" is encoded at an 82 letter interval, which he identifies with Yeshua the Messiah. He claims that this passage associates Jesus with the phrase "false, sheker" because the name Yeshua is also encoded in this area. However, if he would continue counting the same 82 letter intervals in reverse beginning at the word "false, sheker" he would find the word "positive." When we examine Isaiah 11:1 starting with the third letter in the tenth word, counting every 82nd letter forward, we find "chashak" which means "to cling to..to love...to desire." An entirely different meaning than the one the anti-missionary position would suggest! Significantly, this passage, Isaiah 11:3 reveals the name "Yeshua" encoded every 88th letter forward starting from the second letter in the sixth word, which is "His eyes."
Yacov Rambsel's final comment: When we examine these phenomenon carefully, we will find that the codes do not contradict the revelation of the Bible that Jesus is the true Messiah, the Son of God. The codes reveal that a supernatural mind must have created the Scriptures. This conclusion is confirmed countless times by the statements found in the Word of God. Why would a believer in Yeshua Hamashiach present material that suggests the Scriptures contain words that disgrace our Lord?
In conclusion, I have studied the phenomenon of the Hebrew Codes for the last ten years. In the last six years I have used the computer programs to verify the discoveries by the scientists at Hebrew University and those discovered by my friend Yacov Rambsel. I believe that the Bible contains a number of significant proofs that it is inspired by God. The Hebrew Codes are simply one additional proof that is especially meaningful to our generation in that they could not have been discovered or analyzed until the development of high speed computers in our lifetime.
Why would God have placed such hidden codes in the Bible that would not be discovered until the final generation of this millennium? Only God knows. However, I would suggest that God knew that our generation would be filled with skepticism and doubt more than any other generation in history. The Bible has suffered relentless attacks in the last eighty years that have caused many pastors and laymen to abandon their confidence in the authority and inspiration of the Scriptures. If these codes are genuine, and I believe they are, they were placed there by God to speak to this generation filled with those who deny the supernatural inspiration of the Scriptures. My argument is simply this: No human could have produced these incredibly complex codes. In addition, they glorify and lift up the name of Jesus Christ. Therefore, I conclude that they may prove useful in witnessing to the inspiration of the Bible together with all of the standard apologetic evidences such as the archaeological and historical evidence, the incredibly advanced scientific and medical statements in the Bible, and the evidence from fulfilled prophecy. If we use this material wisely and carefully, in conjunction with these other evidences, we can fulfill God's command to us as revealed in 1 Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."
Grant R. Jeffrey and
Received March 21, 1997.
It's obvious some things got garbled on his [Grants] end also, since he's responded to some things I never said in my original letter (like the 'watch your back' bit), and to other things which I reported from others but he attributed to me (like the 'yeshua sheker' ELS).
Some of my points, like the errors in the Masoretic Text, seemed to go right past him. So due to all this, I'm not going to try to respond to everything he says, except to correct a few outstanding errors:
1. ELS was not discovered 10 years ago. The information from the Jewish community is that ELS was used as early as the 1500's, by Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, a leader of the Safed Kabbalist school. So it is the Christian community latching onto a Kabalistic use of Torah, not the other way around as Grant thinks.
2. There are several mathematicians who have expressed strong dissatisfaction with the way the original Witztum study was conducted. They can provide examples of flaws in the research - if Grant is interested he can contact them via the mailing list TCODE or by contacting Lori Eldridge <email@example.com>. From his statements he is under the impression that all professionals came away wowwed by the study, and that the only people suspecting ELS to be less than supernatural are uninformed.
3. I think there's a basic misunderstanding here about my own position: I am not denying that real words are being found. I am denying that the way they are found is proven to be a 'miracle'. I am not against ELS as a theory to be tested - I am against all the premature cries of 'supernatural!' before it's been confirmed one way or the other.
I don't know how to emphasize this enough: the mathematical validity of ELS (meaning the proof that it is statistically improbable, and also beyond human manipulation, which equals miraculous) is still very much up in the air. If *it* falls, so does the whole 'signature of G-d' theory. And so will the faith of anyone, Jew or Gentile, who became convinced of the Bible's truth only because of the 'signs and wonders' of Torah codes.
Grant and Yakov, Dr. Gans and Aish HaTorah, and a lot of people hanging on their every word, have all followed one another out onto a very long limb of assumptions. Worse than that, Christians are already taking it one step further, into predictions of the future (beyond what prophecy says) and rewriting doctrine. I know Grant has spoken against this, but it's happening anyway. At *best* ELS may end up like the bronze serpent that Hezekiah had to destroy. And that's only if it *does* turn out to be proven.
4. I just don't understand why people who claim to know G-d insist on putting Him to the test - here they are attaching His holy Name to this as-yet-unproven theory, which is already having holes poked in it by knowledgeable people who did not have to try too awfully hard, and who themselves are not biased against the Bible.
Wouldn't it be proper to have a little more care with G-d's reputation under these circumstances, and backpedal a bit until the fog clears? Or are people too concerned about their own reputations to even consider this? If so, G-d will surely see to it Himself, but I wouldn't want to be in their shoes...
5. What makes them think that G-d even needs their ELS 'finds' to convince people that what He says is true? G-d did just fine before Torah codes - every generation has its skeptics, and in every generation His remnant has followed Him. "G-d's Signature" has always been on *people* - those prepared to follow Him to the death.
I submit that it's not the intensity of today's skeptics that's the problem, it's the shallow faith of comfort-seeking, lukewarm lives that no longer draw unbelievers to the truth. So they have to resort to gimmicks, even half-formulated ones like Torah codes. (Uri Marcus, firstname.lastname@example.org)
March 27, 1997
Note: The material Uri Marcus supplied was actually not all written by him, but by an associate in the Messianic Jewish community in Israel who wishes to remain anonymous. Uri has edited these ideas and added his own comments.
by Grant R. Jeffrey - the author of The Signature
and Yacov Rambsel - the author of Yeshua: The Name of Jesus Revealed in the Old Testament
Recently the above named gentlemen issued a rebuttal and challenge to Yacov Rambsel and myself regarding the material in our recent books that reports on Yacov's discovery. Yacov Rambsel discovered that the name of "Yeshua" - Jesus is spelled out at equidistant letter sequence in significant prophetic passages in the Hebrew text of the Bible from Genesis to Malachi. Both Yacov and I will be publishing new books in the next few months that will explore this phenomenon in greater detail revealing many additional discoveries. In addition, these forthcoming books will deal with various questions and objections that have naturally been raised by both Christians and Jews who have read about the phenomenon of the codes. Both books will answer these questions in depth, including the specific objections raised by Mechanic, Witztum and Gans to the discovery of the name "Yeshua" in dozens of messianic passages. I am presently heavily involved in researching and writing a commentary on prophetic portions of the Bible for Zondervan Publishing Co. as well as my next book that prevent me from providing an exhaustive response to every item in their article. Therefore, my response today will not exhaustively deal with every single item raised by their article. My next book will deal with these objections in detail. However, in this short article I will deal with the basic objection raised by these men to the name "Yeshua" appearing at ELS in the Bible.
Their basic objections:
1. They claim we (Rambsel, Jeffrey, Dr. Moshe Katz - author of CompuTorah, and other Jewish authors of books including Fascinating Torah Prophecies) have a "complete misunderstanding of the "codes methodology," how it works, and what can and cannot be asserted concerning them." They write, "The following comments apply, therefore, to all of these works."
I can only answer for Yacov Rambsel and myself. We do understand the difference between (A) the type of code phenomena proven by a statistical and mathematical experiment such as the discovery of the "Famous Rabbis" and their dates of death" which lent itself to statistical analysis because of its unique factors and (B) the other type of code which is significant but does not lend itself to statistical analysis. Type (B) codes discovered at this point in time are much more numerous than type (A). While the critics refer to additional statistically verified type (A) codes, they have not yet published them. We have not claimed that the additional Type (B) code discoveries, regarding Hitler, Sadat, or Yeshua, reached the level of mathematical proof provided by the statistical validation of the discovery of the "Famous Rabbis" experiment.
In a historical overview of the discovery of the code phenomenon, we noted the initial discovery of the codes in the medieval period, followed by Rabbi Weissmandl's discoveries in this century. All of these were Type (B) codes. Then we explored the discoveries in Israel in the last decade or so. We did not state that the codes involving the name "Yeshua" had been subjected to an experiment using statistical analysis because the nature of their appearance in specific and well known messianic prophetic passages did not lend itself to the same statistical analysis as the "Famous Rabbis" experiment. However, the assertion by the authors of this critique that no codes have significance unless they meet the specific mathematical and statistical criteria found in the "Famous Rabbis" statistical experiment is simply wrong.
2. The critics of the Yeshua codes claim that "if it cannot be proven that a particular 'code' was deliberately placed in a document, and a statistical evaluation shows it to be meaningless, their 'existence' cannot - and should not - be used as proof of anything" (underlining to emphasize their point by G. Jeffrey).
A careful reading of their critique reveals that this is their basic and fundamental criticism of Yacov's discovery of the Yeshua codes. They correctly point out that the ELS codes revealing "Hitler" "Sadat" "Rabin" and the many "Yeshua" codes cannot meet the statistically verified criteria as to their significance in the same way that the "Famous Rabbis"" experiment could be verified. However, the critics assert that this means that these Type (B) encoded words are therefore meaningless is both illogical and inconsistent. A particular ELS encoded word or words can be meaningful based on its placement in a particular passage of the Bible even though it would not meet the specific statistical evaluation criteria as demonstrated in the "Famous Rabbis"" experiment.
I will respond in point form:
a) Most, if not all, of the authors of this critique participate in or support the teaching of the codes by the Aish Ha Torah/Discovery Seminar. I have received numerous audio tapes, their publications and reports from those attending these seminars. All of these sources, including numerous newspaper articles, confirm that these Aish Ha Torah/Discovery Seminars enthusiastically teach the phenomenon of the codes including both the "Famous Rabbis"" statistically verified experiment and additional code discoveries including many of the following Type (B) codes: Torah, Sadat, the Rabin assassination, Hitler, the 25 trees in Gen. 2, the word Aaron in Lev. 1, the ancestors of King David in Gen. 38, Hanukkah, Hasmoneans, Zedekiah and many more. In their brochure, Aish Hat Torah calls these other codes "impressive" while noting that they are not statistically verified. One of the purposes of these Aish Ha Torah/Discovery lectures is to prove the following: 1) The Bible was inspired by God because no human could have produced these complex codes containing knowledge of future events. 2) The difficulty of encoding even known information such as the names of 25 trees encoded at an ELS of every 21 letters in the Gen. 2 account about the Garden of Eden strongly argues for a supernatural origin for the text.
b) Obviously, most of the above mentioned code examples taught by Aish Ha Torah/Discovery Seminars do not meet the special statistical criteria that was applied to the "Famous Rabbis"" experiment. Does that mean that their illustration of these discovered codes about "Hitler" and "Sadat," etc. demonstrates "a complete misunderstanding of the 'codes methodology,' how it works, and what can and cannot be asserted concerning them"? Obviously not. Aish Ha Torah/Discovery Seminars, supported by our critics, teaches these Type (B) codes in addition to the "Famous Rabbis" experiment as examples of the code phenomenon. Aish Ha Torah/Discovery Seminars teaches that these other codes, even though not statistically verified, are of significant interest to be worthy of sharing with their audience.
Therefore, it is dishonest for these critics to claim that we as Christians are "irresponsible" and engaging in "fraudulent and deceptive" behavior to reveal that the name "Yeshua" appears encoded at ELS significantly in virtually every one of the major prophetic passages that tell us about the Messiah. I understand why they are angry and upset at this discovery of the name Yeshua in messianic passages. However, it is illogical and dishonest to vilify Christians for noting that the name "Yeshua" appears encoded in key messianic passages while supporting Aish Ha Torah/Discovery Seminars that reveal similar interesting ELS coded words such as the appearance of the names of the ancestors of King David encoded in the Gen. 38 account of Judah and Tamar. Similarly, Aish Ha Torah/Discovery Seminars enthusiastically noted the code showing the key words "Torah" and "Temple" occurring in the significant Gen. 28 passage concerning Jacob's dream of the staircase to Heaven at "the house of God.
Anyone who examines this phenomenon for a while will recognize the difference between a code that can be statistically verified and those that are "significant" because of their occurrence in a particular passage of Scripture. While anyone can correctly state that these "other" codes are not statistically verified, most observers, including the lecturers of Aish Ha Torah still conclude that they are meaningful and "significant." Obviously, each person must examine the data for themselves to determine whether these particular encoded words are significant or merely random.
c) Toward the end of their critique of the Yeshua codes, the authors admit that "these examples (Sadat, Diabetes, Gulf War, etc.) employ the same methodology as Witztum's "Famous Rabbis" experiment, but they cannot be verified as valid codes since they did not meet the scientific criteria necessary to conclusively demonstrate their authenticity." However, Aish Ha Torah/Discovery Seminars constantly refers to these "other" code discoveries in its publications, newspaper interviews and seminars. Since the authors of this critique support the work of Aish Ha Torah/Discovery Seminars, it is dishonest of them to attack the motives of Yacov Rambsel and myself when we honestly share the discovery of codes that we feel are significant due to their appearance in key messianic prophetic passages. These discoveries are significant even though they do not meet the criteria of the "Famous rabbis" experiment. However, virtually all other code discoveries, by their nature, also fail to meet the statistical criteria of that particular experiment. Obviously, thousands of people find these "other" code phenomenon to be both interesting and meaningful.
d) These critics reject the Yeshua codes stating that the name Yeshua appears so often it is meaningless. First, the critics acknowledge and do not deny that the name Yeshua does appear in all of these key messianic passages. It is true the name Yeshua does appear frequently, but that could well be true because He is the Messiah that the whole Bible teaches about. Our point is that the name Yeshua is encoded significantly in virtually every single major messianic prophecy in the Bible. If the name Yeshua turned up encoded in only a few of these critically significant passages, it would not have been significant and we would not have presented this discovery. However, most unbiased observers will find it meaningful that this name Yeshua is the only encoded name of a person that repeatedly appears in dozens of specific messianic prophetic verses. The critic's discovery that other names such as "Mohammed" and "Koresh" appear at various intervals throughout the Scriptures is not significant statistically as they themselves note. However, it is not significant or meaningful in any other way because these names appear randomly throughout the text. Again, I note that we have not found any other significant name encoded repeatedly in clearly messianic prophetic passages. While our critics naturally reject our conclusion that Yeshua's name in these passages confirms His identity as the Messiah, no other person in history other than Jesus of Nazareth, ever fulfilled the 17 messianic prophecies that I discuss in chapter 8 of The Signature of God. Therefore, it is very significant to Christians to discover that God has placed the name of Yeshua encoded in virtually every messianic passage.
e) I believe the primary value of the code phenomenon is to prove to this generation of skeptics that only God could inspire the human authors to record the words found in the Bible. The presence of encoded words revealing names and places of future events as well as incredibly complex encoded words (such as the 25 names of trees in Gen. 2) is a phenomenon far beyond the ability of any human author writing thousands of years ago. In May of 1996, after writing my chapter on the Hebrew Codes and while preparing to typeset my book, Yacov Rambsel shared with me his fascinating discovery of the Yeshua codes. After discussion I decided to include a synopsis of his discovery in a chapter in my book. Later, we agreed to publish his manuscript as Yeshua - The Name of Jesus Revealed in the Old Testament as a significant discovery that should be considered by anyone seeking the truth about the Bible.
f) The primary readers of our books are Gentiles, both Christians and non-believers. However, we receive letters from Jews from time to time that indicate that some of our readers are Jews who find this material of interest.
g) The other issues the critics raised about the appearances of the words: "Mohammed," "Koresh," and "false prophet," etc. will be amply dealt with in both Yacov's and my next book that will be published this summer.
h) In my book and in my presentations I quote the statements of Dr. Gans, Witztum and Satinover in the chapter dealing with the original codes discoveries about the Famous Rabbis, Hitler, Sadat, etc. I have never claimed or implied that these gentlemen endorsed or approved of Yacov's discovery of the name Yeshua in the codes. In fact, I often comment in my lectures on fact that the Yeshua codes are rejected by the Jewish community and the above named gentlemen.
i) In my presentation of the codes to audiences and in our books, I did not claim that the codes revealing the name Yeshua were evaluated using the detailed statistical analysis method applied to the "Famous Rabbis" experiment. Rather, I presented the fact that this name Yeshua appears in each of many significant messianic prophetic passages. When teaching this material I discuss at some length the process of the statistical verification of the "Famous Rabbis" experiment. The other encoded discoveries about "Hitler," "Sadat," etc. are presented as encoded words significantly clustered together in a particular text. This is also the basic presentation method of Aish Ha Torah/Discovery Seminars according to the materials I have reviewed and the discussions I have had with one of their lecturers. The codes revealing the name "Yeshua," "Yeshua Shmi - Jesus is my name," and "Yeshua ha'Mashiach" are presented in the context of the significant messianic biblical passage in which they occur.
According to the argument presented by the critics Rabbi Daniel Mechanic, Doron Witztum and Harold Gans in this critique of the Yeshua codes, the only code which is "legitimate" and that should be "honestly" shared with any audience is solely the "Famous Rabbis" experiment which was statistically verified by mathematical experts. I do not acknowledge that their criteria is correct; but I would admit they are honestly consistent in their critique of us if they have never associated themselves with the Aish Ha Torah/Discovery Seminars teaching of these other (not statistically verified) codes about "Hitler," "Sadat," Diabetes," "Gulf War," etc." which obviously do not meet the statistical criteria they insist upon. However, according to my sources, these gentlemen have discussed and taught about these "other" code discoveries that did not meet the strict statistical criteria of the "Famous Rabbis" experiment. Therefore, they are unjust in their attack on the honesty of Yacov Rambsel and myself. They claim that, because we discuss coded words that are significant in terms of their placement in Scripture (but have not been statistically verified by mathematical experiment) we are "fraudulent and deceptive, and should cease immediately."
If these gentlemen are honest about their claim they will declare on the Internet and send letters to myself and Yacov Rambsel confirming that they have never taught, shared or discussed any other code phenomenon other than the "Famous Rabbis" experiment. If they can honestly declare to the world that they have never mentioned any other code discoveries to anyone, then they would at least be consistent in their critique of our books. I believe these gentlemen have taught the existence of these "other" codes that do not meet the test of statistical mathematics. Therefore, their basic argument is inconsistent, illogical, and false. It will be interesting to see if they can absolutely claim that none of the three authors have ever taught about the "other" code discoveries. I await their reply with interest.
Lastly, Yacov and I believe sincerely that these "other" code discoveries about "Hitler," Sadat," and the dozens of codes revealing "Yeshua" are both significant and meaningful. Therefore, we believe that we should share these discoveries by ourselves and others with the largest possible audience. We understand why the authors of this critique reject any of the evidence about the Yeshua codes while being willing to accept the significance of "other" codes revealing the names of "Hitler," "Eichmann," etc. even though they cannot meet the strict statistical evaluation of the "Famous Rabbis" code. However, we believe that these "other" codes should be examined by everyone to determine their importance.
Unfortunately, the graphic artist who rendered the cover art of the Yeshua book decided to vertically reverse the electronic image of the scroll with the Hebrew text without our instruction or approval. The printer produced the initial cover printing with the reversed image before I returned from a trip abroad. The error was corrected in the next printing ten days later.
The Book of Acts reported these words of the great Jewish sage Gamaliel spoken almost two thousand years ago when he considered the testimony of some of the earlier followers of Yeshua. "Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men" (Acts 5:34,35). Gamaliel then spoke the following words of advice to the Jewish council that was considering how to deal with the followers of Jesus: "And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God" (Acts 5:38,39). We believe that God will reveal the truth about these Yeshua codes to the minds and spirits of all those who seek Him. (Received March 31, 1997)
Book Review: The Bible Code, by Michael Drosnin, (Simon & Schuster, New York, 1997).
IS THE BIBLE FILLED WITH "CODES" OF "PREDICTIONS" FOR THE FUTURE?
If you are going to "make it" in the "Bible Prophecy" field today, it seems you are going to have to have a "gimmick" to get "a hearing." The "simple stuff" like any Tom, Dick, and Harry can read in Scripture just won't "cut the mustard." You have got to have something "exciting, astounding, amazing," etc. Just ask "Big Texe" Marrs or Jack Van Impe.
A fellow named "Michael Drosnin" has the type of thing I am talking about. You probably saw him, or heard about his book, as it was "all over" the news (USA TODAY, 6/4/97, p. 8D; CNN; TV "talk shows," etc.).
The usual "book selling midway" of our times. You've got to hand-it to Michael--he did come-up with a new "gimmick," although essentially an old "device."
What he has is a book called "The Bible Code." And what it is is a re-packaging of the old device of "discerning the future." You know, like palm-reading, psychic-readings, fortune cookies, astrological-readings, tarot cards, seances, and similar hokey- pokey. Michael's gimmick is that there are "hidden codes" in the Bible, especially in the "Hebrew" [Michael is Jewish].
This is not exactly a "new thing," for J. R. Church and Peter Ruckman both have used a form it---Church on the "hidden prophecies" in the Book of Psalms and Ruckman on the "hidden" prophecies in the "order" of the books of the Bible. Church did fairly well with "pitching" his merchandise, but I don't know how well Ruckman did with his.
Drosnin claims he found a "hidden code" which indicated that Yitzhak Rabin would be assassinated. He also claims he found a "code" that had to do with "Watergate." His stuff is supposed to be material he deciphered thru using the "computer." After having visited about 5000 "websites" on prophecy, I think I have "discovered" a "fulfillment" of Revelation 17:5: I am beginning to think that "Mystery Babylon" is the Internet-- "The Mother of harlots and abominations of the earth"! What you can't find-out about "prophecy" on the Internet has not yet been "discovered"! It's a sort of "prophecy smorgasbord."
There is a "peculiar" thing about Michael's "codes," and that is they seem to be subject to the all-mighty "Free Will of Man," like so many other things we hear about today. He says the "codes" give a sort of "multiple choice" of possible "fulfillments," and "we" actually determine "which one" will come to pass.
Well, now, that's nice; we don't really "know" that anything is going to happen until it actually happens! Sorta like going to the race track where you have a dozen horses, but you really don't know "which one" is going to be the "ordained" winner!
But, like all "great" books of prophetic "significance," the "bottom line" is, Michael has a "best seller," and that's really all that matters. A few years from now, nobody will remember "who" he was or "what" his book said. The main thing is that he is making big buck$ off of the suckers right now. "Don't you think Michael is sincere?" Sure; and now that his book is getting "national publicity" he's more sincere than ever! As long as it keeps selling, he will exude sincerity like no one ever saw him exude it before. And laughing all the way to the bank, as he goes sincerely on the next "talk show."
Like has been said, not all the thieves and robbers are in jail.
[Permission is granted to quote or reproduce the above]
email@example.com (Bob Ross)
or write or call:
Bob L Ross / Pilgrim Publications
P O Box 66 / Pasadena TX 77501 USA
FAX 1-713-477-7561 / Phone 1-713-477-4261
revised July 15, 1997.
THE HIDDEN CODE
There are hidden codes all around us! Consider our conversations. About half of our message is communicated by voice. The rest is by gestures, facial expressions and body position. If we can not read body language, we are missing half of the story. This is one reason why we should not write the way we talk, it is hard to get all the physical expressions and meanings into words. This word coding also includes abbreviations and acronyms.
This is not the only place we find codes. In the computer, radio, TV and communication signals there are extensive codes used in binary translation, modulation, compression, and error detection & correction. Just observing the data lines in a computer or the signal spectrum in "radio" waves does not reveal the underlying information. It must be decoded first. The military, state department and other groups use encryption to further bury their date in codes. Thus, there has developed a significant science in code breaking.
There is another area where we are constantly searching for codes. This is in the sciences. What are the underlying keys and codes that make things happen, function or react in specific patterns. It was considered a major break-through when the genetic code was discovered which determines the characteristics of human growth and identity. It was a major discovery when individual atoms and molecules were identified and characterized the behaviour of the elements which were organized into the periodic table. The was a significant decoding in understanding the electron, proton and neutron that composed each element. These have now revealed even more complexity with a matrix of quarks, the sub-atomic particles. And there are more expected!
If we find such coding in the physical world, might we not also expect some equivalent coding in the spiritual world and in God's Book, the Bible? For many generations, people have identified what they believed are codes in the Bible. Let us consider a few of the codes. Consider the genealogy list in Genesis 5; (1) Adam, (2) Seth, (3) Enosh, (4) Kenan, (5) Mathalale, (6) Jared, (7) Enoch, (8) Methuselah, (9) Lamech and (10) Noah. If we take the meaning of these names in Hebrew, we have the following sentence; (1) Man [is] (2) appointed (3) mortal (4) sorrow [but] (5) the blessed God (6) shall come down (7) teaching (8) his death shall bring (9) the despairing (10) comfort, rest; the [ ] are added. Now, this is quite remarkable discovery in the Old Testament, but there are many more.
On to the Genealogy in Matthew 1. Ivan Panin (1855-1942) was a Ph.D. mathematician and an avid researcher in heptadic structure; the study of the combinations of sevens. He noted that the number of words in this genealogy in Hebrew can be divided exactly by 7; also the number of letters, vowels, constants, words beginning with vowels, words beginning with constants, words which occur more than once, the various forms of the word, the nouns, the male names, generations and words not nouns. Further, the unique vocabulary in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, Peter, Jude and Paul are all factors of 7.
Prophesy is a form of hidden codes. J. Barten-Pains has identified 8,362 prophetic verses giving 1,817 predictions covering 737 different matters. Perhaps the most interesting is the 70 weeks in Daniel 9:24-27 given by the angle Gabriel. Verse 25 identifies when the Messiah the King is to be presented. Luke 19:42,44 Jesus discussing, "if you, even you, had only known on this day--but now it is hidden from your eyes ," "you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you." which they could have determined from Daniel. This was exactly the 173,680 days predicted and shown by Robert Anderson, "Coming Prince" and others, from Artaxerxes decree March 14, 445 BC to April 6, 32 AD, Jesus' entrance in Jerusalem.
Recently there has been extensive interested in searching for embedded word codes: Weissmandel, "Torath Hemed," 1955; P. Michelson, "Codes in the Torah," 1987; D. Witzum, E. Rips & Y. Roslenberg, "Equidistant Letter Spacing in Genesis," 1994; J.B. Satinover, "Devine Authorship?" 1995; Grant Jeffrey, "The Signature of God," 1996; and Michael Drosnin, "The Bible Code," 1997. This are interesting, but more difficult to interpret.
There is evidence for the super-natural and extraterrestrial origin of creation and the Bible which reveal the nature of God. This evidence is rejected daily all around the world resulting in untold suffering and eternal condemnation. We are all held accountable for the knowledge we could have obtained.
(C) Myles R. Berg 12/7/97
based on Chuck Missler's video from 1997 Steeling of the American Mind conference, Vail, Colorado.
Outstanding Book: B>Cosmic Codes: Hidden Messages from the Edge of Eternity, by Chuck Missler, 1999, Koinonia House, PO Box D., Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, 83816-0347.
* BC Christian News * OCTOBER ISSUE 1999 * VOL. 19
#10 * Formerly "Christian Info News" *
Statisticians attack 'Bible code' concept
(EP) -- An international team of statisticians has dismissed the 'Bible Code' theory, which claims that the Old Testament contains secret messages which can be deciphered by computer analysis.
The idea of a 'Bible Code' has been popularized through best-selling books, as well as through TV shows and news articles.
The concept can be traced to a 1994 article in the academic journal Statistical Science. An article published in the same journal in mid-September of this year highlighted challenges to the theory brought by three researchers.
"Despite a considerable amount of effort, we have been unable to detect the codes," the researchers concluded.
Bible Code theorists believe the Hebrew text of the Old Testament contains hidden messages referring to current events. The messages are supposedly revealed by searching for words formed by equidistant letter sequences in the text -- for instance, looking at every seventh letter. This method has been used to discover alleged predictions of a variety of modern events, including the 1995 assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.
In the 1994 article, three Israeli scholars reported that analysis of the Book of Genesis found connections between the names of famous rabbis and the dates of their births or deaths.
The new article says that such letter configurations can be found in any long text. The researchers said comparison tests using the Hebrew translation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace were just as successful as tests using the Old Testament.
The new research was conducted by Dror Bar-Natan and Gil Kalai, who teach mathematics at Jerusalem's Hebrew University; Maya Bar-Hillel, a psychology professor at the same school; and Brendan McKay, a computer scientist at Australian National University. The researchers said the 1994 study permitted assumptions so broad as to produce any desired results.
Michael Drosnin, author of The Bible Code, stands by the theory, and insists he has proven that the code works.
Addendum: Scientific Refutation of the Bible Codes, by Brendan McKay and Friends
Added April 21, 2004.
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